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Atlas Workshops

About

Atlas Workshops designs and leads custom travel programs for travelers of all ages. We partner with high schools to lead some of the most innovative and creative high school trips and field-courses. We work with university to lead one-of-a-kind faculty level programs around the globe. We work with organizations and business of all types to see how place-based learning can inspire their communities to think creatively about issues at home and around the world.

Founded
2012
Headquarters

45 Prospect St
Cambridge, MA 02139
United States

Reviews

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Casey
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Atlas Workshop's summer design trip to Scandinavia was an academically challenging, thought provoking, and fun experience that I will never forget. After studying abroad in several different countries, I had a growing interest in international politics and culture. I thought this trip really satisfied my curiosity within the Scandinavian countries and pushed me to use my imagination while still remaining within the realms of possibility. As a rising senior, college is a constant worry and a large part of my decisions in how I spend my summer. Not only was I able to add Atlas Workshops to my resume, but also a booklet of information put together by the group. It was a concrete result of what we had studied and learned during the trip. This academic work is an example of how Atlas Workshop is not a "teen tour" that is so commonly viewed negatively on a college application, but rather an academic exploration. The team leaders really made this trip special for me. They challenged us to think and guided us as we worked on our project, while maintaining a kind and caring friendship that allowed the group to really get along and ideas to be shared freely. Lastly, the trip was fun. Along with working on our project and meeting locals who provided new points of views and an insight on scandinavia and its culture, we enjoyed and explored what the cities had to offer. Overall one of my greatest summer experiences.

Richard
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I traveled with Atlas Workshops last summer on their Global Innovators Scandinavia trip. We, in the truest sense, explored Sweden and Denmark, learning about Swede and Dane culture and their approach to public transportation.

I came in expecting a strictly academic endeavor, but got much more. I experienced something personal, wild, adventurous, radically different, and the greatest fun with the best of companions.

The Atlas guides are brilliant. Excellent (hands off) instruction and stellar company. You'll want to be friends long after the summer's end!

This experience was incredibly valuable and helped me grow as an individual. See you next summer!

What would you improve about this program?
Especially being among the oldest on the trip, I would have liked to manage my own money. Instead, more/less/different at a restaurant was not always an option because Atlas covers all meals as a part of the program cost.

I understand why they do it. It makes sense as a program policy to ensure everyone eats, but, on several occasions it was a bother the 17-18s on the trip.

Still- I weigh the complaint little to none. The trip approached perfect.
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Brennan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I went on the Korcula's Island Economy trip this summer, and it was one of the best experiences of my life. On the trip, I was immersed in the culture of Croatia. I was able to swim in the islands crystal clear water on a daily basis, try local dishes, and learn about the country's rich history. In addition to this, I learned how to successfully conduct and execute a design process to a real world situation. This is something that many people never get to do in their lifetime. This aspect of Atlas Workshops takes an experience that a student would normally get on a summer travel program to a whole new level. It is extraordinary to be able to travel to a country, notice a problem or a unique asset that the place possesses, and then make efforts to improve the city or country of focus in a fun group setting. I would highly recommend this trip to any high-schooler with a creative, entrepreneurial spirit, who loves to travel and explore.

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Medhanit
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This program is one of the most unique summer programs out there for students. I had so much fun learning about the design process and coming up with new and creative ideas to help the economy of Korcula, an island known for its people and calm atmosphere in Croatia.
I made so many fantastic memories with my group and would love to go back to such a beautiful and incredible country.

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Noah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I went on the Atlas Workshops trip to Scandinavia last summer and had an amazing time. I have been on other teen programs, and what distinguishes Atlas from the rest is how immersive it is. The tour leaders balanced all the visits to the "nicer" or "touristy" areas with seriously immersive experiences in more down-to-earth parts of the cities we traveled to. I felt safe throughout the trip, and I was blown away by how comfortable our sleeping accommodations were from start to end. The research on this trip is serious fun, and I totally recommend Atlas Workshops to all proactive high school students looking to learn and explore.

What would you improve about this program?
I had so much fun, I just wished I could stay longer!

Programs

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Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Adam White

Job Title
Founder

What position do you hold at Atlas Workshops and why do you like working there?

I’m the founder of Atlas Workshops. I started the company to engage students in real-world projects around the world while training them to be creative thinkers and problem solvers. I believe that global challenges require new creative approaches and that we can prepare the next generation of leaders to tackle these challenges through fun and meaningful international programs.

Did you go on a program abroad? If so, where and what inspired you to go?

In high school I did a typical Teen Tour to Europe. Traveling for the first time was incredible. After the program, I was more mature and totally hooked on traveling. In college I traveled more - on my own and with programs - and lived abroad when I completed my masters degree at the London School of Economics. Eventually, I ended up working abroad on projects for organizations such as the UN or the World Bank in Kenya, India, and a number of other countries before starting Atlas Workshops.

How does your organization differ from other ones in the industry?

Our high school summer program, the Global Innovators Trip is the first project-based travel opportunity for high school students. These trips combine STEM, Politics, Design Thinking, and Research, and take place outside of the classroom. Alums have described our trips as action-packed, fun, life-changing introductions to social enterprise, international engineering, and global business. Each trip is truly unique and students get to brainstorm creative solutions to real-world projects.

What is your favorite story of a participant's experience in the program?

Last summer, we led a group of students on a project to study public transport in Sweden and Denmark and invent new ways to improve transit here in the US. The trip attracted students who were very interested in engineering as well as other students who were more interested in politics or business.

On our last night, one of the engineering students left me a note to say that he expected to become an expert on transit engineering, but through the trip, had realized that transport is about people, not just maps. The trip helped him tie his interests into broader global context and challenges. For him, the experience was eye-opening and inspiring, and he explained that it was way more impactful than he could ever have imagined.

What would you tell a parent who's reluctant to send their kid abroad?

Traveling abroad has been one of the most impactful experiences of my education--traveling with a program can be one of the best ways to get comfortable traveling. Increasingly, international exposure and creative problem solving is not optional in the globalized economy - if you have an opportunity to live, work, or travel abroad: take it!

How does going on a summer program with Atlas Workshops prepare young people for college?

Our programs take place beyond the classroom but are still incredibly educational and impactful on our students. Think of our trips as a field study, research project, and global laboratory.

We are giving students the fundamental skills to solve complex problems, invent new ideas, understand global context, and link issues together. Increasingly, these are the skills most valued by colleges and the most important for students to be successful in and outside of the classroom.

How often does Atlas Workshops staff communicate with parents while students are abroad?

During our program, we have students post a daily update to our trip blog (you can see old posts on our website) and we also send e-mails to parents on travel days so they can rest assured that their children are safe. Also, our staff and trip leaders are available should anything urgent come up.

How far in advance should students start preparing for this program? And how should they prepare?

We want students to prepare to be successful travelers and project team members. Before the trip, we have online materials that will help students prep for their travels and also fully immerse themselves in the problem that we will be tackling. We know most students are really busy before the program and so we want to give you the tools and support to be as successful as possible no matter how much time you have to prepare.