Staff Spotlight: Allison Yates

Program Coordinator


Allison graduated from Indiana University with degrees in International Studies, Spanish and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. She’s traveled to over 30 countries and hopes to soon visit Brazil, India and South Africa. She also writes freelance about travel, women and society and in her free time loves listening to podcasts, belting her favorite reggaeton songs, reading anything fascinating, and trying to learn social Latin dances.

What is your favorite travel memory?

So hard to pick just one, but one of the best moments I had abroad was when interning at the Madres de Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires, Argentina and working directly with the same women that bravely confronted a military dictatorship and fought for justice for their disappeared children. Once, while speaking with one mother, I heard the horror story of her torture, yet her optimism for the world.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

Working for Greenheart Travel has given me the amazing opportunity to focus on training our students, teachers and volunteers for the challenges and situations they'll face abroad. We look deeply into who we are and how culture influences this to help create more meaningful relationships. It's wonderful.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

A great example of how going abroad changes your life is with one of our high abroad students in Austria. Her host father worked at a Syrian refugee camp and it opened her eyes to the global refugee crisis & she then fundraised on their behalf and changed her entire future career aspirations! She's such an inspiration.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

High school abroad in Spain! I never got to study abroad when I was in high school and that would have been my dream destination. Later, I got to study abroad while in college, but I think I would have really benefited - both emotionally and in terms of language skills, had I had that chance in high school.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

Everyone that works on my team cares so deeply about our participants' well-being and growth during their program, because all of us were once in their position. I am so proud of the support we give people and how hard we work to give them insight into all things living abroad. Also, our creativity as a team is outstanding and I'm so impressed with their skills.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

Having experienced before what all of your participants do! If I hadn't passed through the challenges, excitement and growth of having gone abroad, it would be really hard for me to help others doing the same thing. Also, we have a TON of fun in the office (but of course we still work hard!) and we laugh a lot.