Global Routes

Global Routes

Why choose Global Routes?

Be more than a tourist with Global Routes.

Global Routes seeks to foster personal development in our students through cross-cultural experiences that encourage them to step outside of their boundaries and open their hearts and minds to new and diverse people, cultures and ideas. Service to the global community, cultural immersion and adventure allow students to better understand the world around them and grow into more compassionate, dynamic and self-aware individuals. By enriching each student in this way, Global Routes deepens the global community by promoting mutual respect, consideration and understanding for all citizens of the world.

Come and join us for the experience of a lifetime on summer programs for High School students and Gap Semester programs for students that have completed 12th grade and beyond!

Visit our website for more information!

Diversity & Inclusion

BIPOC Support

We recognize that we are a long way from the diversity we aim for within our students, staff, and partners. We want and need more diversity to truly become the organization we would like to be. We recognize that this will not happen overnight or without dedicating time, attention, and resources. To that end, we have created a strategic plan to address our current shortfalls and to make significant improvements, which you can see on our Diversity & Inclusion page.

Neurodivergent Support

At Carpe Diem, each applicant reads through our extensive Essential Eligibility Criteria prior to enrollment. This criteria allows applicants to determine if the organization is an appropriate fit for their gap semester/year goals and their individual needs. During the interview and application process, we have honest and direct conversations with students and families about the support that our staff is able to provide throughout the program experience. We are committed to creating a culture of acceptance and support. To that end, our Overseas Educators and local leaders are selected for their skill in group facilitation and promoting inclusive group dynamics.

Accessibility Support

At Carpe Diem, each applicant reads through our extensive Essential Eligibility Criteria prior to enrollment. This criteria allows applicants to determine if the organization is an appropriate fit for their gap semester/year goals and their individual needs. We have honest and open conversations with applicants about our ability to support individual needs on each program, with the ultimate goal of a healthy and successful experience for all students. In the past, we have worked with students with severe allergies, diabetes, chronic injuries, and mental health diagnoses. We know each student's journey is individual and we work with families to support these individual needs where possible to help determine if the program is a good fit for their gap semester goals.



Global Routes - and our sister organization, Carpe Diem Education - is committed to maximizing the net positive impact while minimizing the carbon footprint of every program. In our office, on our programs, and through our carbon offset match, our programs are geared toward environmental education to empower future leaders to move their communities to take action. During our programs, students learn more about their impact as individuals and a travel community - then take a solution-oriented lens to tackling key issues. We also contribute to and amplify the voices of organizations and partners who focus on permaculture, natural building, and sustainable solutions.

Ethical Impact

Global Routes - and our sister organization, Carpe Diem Education - is designed to connect to our local communities and provide reciprocal exchange and engagement. Through engaging in experiential education, community engagement, and intercultural exchange, our students develop enhanced perspectives, deeper cultural understanding, and a profound sense of self-discovery and personal growth. We work with vetted local providers to build their businesses as they provide value to our students and programming. With our homestay families, we ensure we minimize our footprint by regularly rotating the communities we work with and evaluating our social impact alongside their community leaders.


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Yes, I recommend this program

Ecuador 2023

Global Routes Ecuador was the most impactful month of my life! I got a chance to learn about the history and culture of the Indigenous community in Ecuador and I was even in Homestay in the gorgeous house of the sweetest Indigenous woman. Throughout my trip, I was swimming in waterfalls, hiking the most beautiful mountains and having the most fun with my travel group. We would spend hours playing card games, singing songs and going on walks in town. I loved every moment I spent in Ecuador and I would do it all again in a heart beat!

  • All the kindhearted locals!
  • All the water activities!
  • The fantastic views!
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Yes, I recommend this program

Costa Rica Global Routes

It was an amazing program. My daughter came back with compassion, love and confidence.
They spent four weeks at a village and learned how to build house, how to milk the cow, how to make sugar from sugar cane... It is such a unique experience. In four weeks, they successfully built a community center for the village. They all cried when they left. Besides this, they have two weeks to stay with local families who only speaks Spanish. My daughter's Spanish got improved a lot! Also she started to be interested in Spanish culture. It was an amazing trip. GR did a wonderful job to make it safe and fun! It is a great team to work with. As a whole, if you are looking for a summer program for your high schooler, go for it!

If I had another child, I would definitely send him/her there.

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Andrew N.
Yes, I recommend this program

My time in Ecuador <3

I didn’t think I could have so much fun with a group of people I had just meet. Global Routes is an amazing program, I definitely see myself back in another country with them. My time with the group <3, the food, and just the overall experience was perfect! Somethings I did while in Ecuador with Global Routes include Hiking, Sightseeing, Community Service, Cultural Immersion, Camping, and in general just having fun everywhere we went! If you’re reading this review and thinking about going on a Global Routes Program… DO IT! It’s an unforgettable experience which no one can take from you <3

  • Gain Leadership Skills
  • Meet great new people/ Network
  • Have so much fun!
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Yes, I recommend this program

Ecuador 2023

We got to immersed ourselves in the culture in various ways, bond with the locals and our host families all while having the opportunity to the exquisite views. The culture of the locals took my breath away, their dress and jewelry added to uniqueness.
We learnt about textile threading, music and instruments. This was the most fun part because we had the opportunity to share the dance with out colleagues and locals. It was amazing.
Then we were involved in tubbing and it was by far the best experience, using rubber tunes and gliding through the rapids. It was indeed an adventure.

  • Amazing foods
  • Site seeing
  • History
  • Bugs
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Yes, I recommend this program

Global Routes Costa Rica program was an incredible adventure and my student grew tremendously

My son was a Global Routes student in summer 2022. He was extremely nervous and more than a little scared about going on his first long adventure by himself, especially after 2+ years of Covid that made everyone way too comfortable going nowhere and not making social connections. It was very hard for him to say goodbye and then embrace all the new people and experiences. The staff, his host family and the other students were incredibly open, accepting, warm and gracious with him. They helped him find a successful pathway through what ended up being an extraordinary adventure. With support, he was able to embrace the hard parts, really enjoy the good stuff and grow tremendously.
When he arrived home, he was transformed. He feels more confident and comfortable in his own skin. This is visibly evident – he stands taller and is much more willing to try new things. For example, on his own initiative he decided to try out for the soccer team, which we feel he would not have been open to before his Global Routes experience.


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Why did you choose this program?

I was interested in GAP year programs for the summer and came across Global Routes online. The Nepal description caught my eye and had me hooked. I loved how they described the program and I’ve also always been interested in Asian culture. I knew I wanted to go very far and do a program out of the country.

I read many good reviews on Global Routes and watched YouTube videos about the program. I took to the internet and did research on Nepal and knew it was going to be a life-changing experience. The photography on the Global Routes website was also amazing.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

Our program leaders were more than amazing and helped with so much. I always felt safe and they always had something interesting, life-changing and amazing to talk about. You can feel the love for the country both of my leaders had and culture. They were very supportive and provided outstanding meals.

They provided all transportation, health questions, medical supplies, money, food, water, and knowledge. What I had to do was live on my own at the homestay and stay with my host family and other group members. We had to get up and meet everyone at the health post each morning in the village.

I also carried my own trekking bag and bought all of the materials I needed myself. We also had free time at night in the tea houses. We would organize group games at night.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

One piece of advice I would give is to bring more pictures from home because homesickness is a real thing and can get pretty intense some times. Also, my host family was very interested in my life in America, so I wish I had more pictures to show them.

Another piece of advice is to go in with a positive mindset always and remind yourself of the opportunity the universe has given you to experience something as epic as traveling.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

The average day is eating breakfast with the group, waking up early and ready to start the day, incredible views (always), learning, trying something new, hiking, playing soccer, talking to the guides, leaders, locals, group members, learning the language, trying new food, feeling tried, climbing stairs. That is usually all in one day.

A week consists of everything stated above, along with bridges, monkeys, temples, tea houses and leaches!

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear was getting some type of disease or getting sick from food or water. How I overcame my fear was telling myself that, if it happens, it happens, and there’s nothing I can do about it other then to keep moving forward. Everyone gets sick; it’s only natural and normal, especially for being a new traveler. And my fear of disease faded because I was so distracted by everything else going on around me during the trip.

Eventually, I wasn’t afraid of much by the end. It was more so, in the beginning, I felt more anxious because I did not know what to expect. I think the only thing that actually bothered me was my homesickness because, by the end of the trip, sickness never came across my mind.

How do I mentally and physically prepare for this trip?

Good question.

On the physical preparation part, stair climbing and going up as many steps as possible is a great way to start. During the trek, we climbed thousands of very steep steps and I was not prepared for the amount of stair climbing. Running and stair climbing will help a lot.

On the mental behalf, going into the trip with a positive mindset and finding the joy in the little things. For example, the way the clouds paint the skies in the morning makes the trees look so green and the peaks look so beautiful. Finding the good in every situation and the fact that some things happen for a reason and to the ride the wave of the emotion you feel.

One of my favorite memories from the trip is when I was eating dinner (dal bhat) with my host family and I was watching the sun go down and all the houses in the valley light up. There were very few houses, but the feeling was amazing and I felt so content - just sitting on the porch with my Nepali family enjoying a sunset and being in the moment.

Staff Interviews

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

Jasmin Van Malderen

Job Title
International Trip Leader
B.S. Biomedical Engineering & Management Minor, University of California Irvine. A California native and current resident of Colorado, Jasmin grew up snowboarding, backpacking, kicking soccer balls and jamming on the piano. She loves spending time with her parents, sister and two pups. With a Belgian father and Korean mother, her house is always filled with a mix of cultures and foods. This has allowed her to travel the world, visiting her family that lives across many continents. When she’s not leading with Global Routes she leads road trips across America as a certified tour guide, coaches soccer for the Special Olympics, and competitively snowboards in the winter.
Jasmin Van Malderen

What is your favorite travel memory?

After completing two weeks of Friendship Camp, we celebrated at the tidal pools of the Owia Salt Ponds, a calm ocean pool with a gorgeous backdrop of rock, crashing waves, and the vibrant green hills that characterize the island.

After hours of swimming, snorkeling, sunbathing and rock climbing, we got to enjoy some delicious Vincy cuisine prepared for us at the Salt Ponds by our friends and local culinary pros, Andre and Bundo.

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

I've really gotten comfortable with diving into a new culture and meeting new individuals in their home countries. Getting comfortable in stepping out of my comfort zone and learning so many new things can be hard but so amazing and rewarding! Being able to show students how to follow your footsteps so that they may experience the same amazing things you have is the best part.

Working with a variety of students and leaders from a range of backgrounds, I have also improved my conflict resolution skills, as a range of problems arose on a daily basis, from big to small. But this is all part of leadership and I am glad I have the skills to be a better leader for the next trip around!

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

We had a student that at the beginning of the trip was not too stoked to be there. She had some attitude and was very testy with the trip leaders. Being able to see her experiences and transformations throughout the duration of the program was one thing, but then to have her enjoy the experience so much and challenge herself with a harder trip the following summer, was more than we could have expected and asked for!

We all still keep in touch and are updated on her life as well as many other past students!

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

Nepal! To challenge myself in a long trek amidst the Himalayas! I love hiking so this would be a great trip for me.

I would love to immerse myself in small local living while exploring a new country I have never been in before! Nepalese people's culture looks so inviting and welcoming and the food looks amazing! It's a tie with Ecuador and Costa Rica too because I would love the opportunity to improve my Spanish as well as explore a new continent!

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

We don't offer a huge variety of trips like other similar companies do. Adam does a great job at really choosing 5-6 trips and working hard on their itinerary. We would rather run 5-6 great, well thought out trips than 15 mediocre ones. With that said, he also spends a great deal of time carefully selecting staff members that would best fit these trips.

The training and thought that goes into each of these trips are incredible, but it really does pay off. I am proud of my team on a daily basis. Every day, there is an instance where we are reminded of what an incredibly talented and blessed group of individuals we all are and how we each individually contribute our own unique skills to the team!

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

Having an open mind. Being open to constructive criticism and being a sponge to soak up the great skills and qualities of my fellow leaders has really allowed me to improve myself as a leader and person overall.

Having an open mind and just jumping into all opportunities 100% with enthusiasm and positivity has only led to great memories and amazing experiences that won't be forgotten!

Professional Associations

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