Global Routes

Global Routes

About

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!

Founded
1967

Reviews

Default avatar
Jessie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Global Routes Costa Rica Trip

The 2021 Costa Rica trip with Global Routes was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. From the very beginning, the staff worked so hard to ensure that we felt prepared for the trip and made sure we knew exactly where to go and what to do. It was so well organized and felt so personalized. The trip was the perfect combination of travel, spanish and cultural immersion, free time, service and fun activities. I would absolutely recommend this program to anyone who wants to have an amazing summer full of travel and new experiences.

What was your funniest moment?
I had a lot of funny moments on this trip—mostly embarrassing ones, but those were self-inflicted. This one is fairly random, but we were living in the middle of the rainforest, right next to the Savegre River, so we typically went swimming at least once per day. We would jump off a huge rock and then swim back to jump off again. One day, a few of us decided to swim across the river and climb up a steep cliff-like structure to jump off and cross again. Our path the the jumping spot was obstructed by a fallen tree, so I thought I would just slide under it, and save myself a fall if I happened to slip going over. Unfortunately for me, both the rock and the tree were way more slippery than I thought and I slid about fifteen feet down before falling in the river. It was surprisingly not painful, but I was glad I followed the packing list’s advice and only brought a one piece bathing suit.
Default avatar
ainslie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Costa Rica: 11/10 Experience

In February of 2020, right before the pandemic began, I was lucky enough to travel with Global Routes to Costa Rica for about a week and a half. GR collaborated with my high school, Notre Dame Academy, in Hingham, Massachusetts. My life changed for the better. I not only met so many incredible people on the program, but made connections with so many new people. To this day I still keep in touch with my host family and other members of the community we stayed in. Although the program was challenging at times, every second was worth it. If I could change one thing about this program, it would be to make it longer. I wasn't ready for the experience to end. Not only did I learn so much about a new culture and new land, but the trip was extremely rewarding. I will never forget this trip with Global Routes and would recommend everyone travels with them. Learning how to be a good global traveller is so important, especially for teenagers in high school. My love for Global Routes began on this program and led me all the way to Hawaii for a 4 week summer program with them a year and a half later (July 2021). 11/10 recommend Global Routes. Not only will you have an amazing experience, meet incredible people, but you will also learn o much about yourself! The leaders and staff members so an extraordinary job!!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Go in with an open mind and no expectations! This will make your experience 10x better, I promise!
Default avatar
ainslie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Global Routes Hawaii Review: 100000/10!!!

Global Routes' programs have forever changed my life!!! I would recommend their trips to anyone looking to step outside of their comfort zone and ready to try new things. Global Routes has given me a million more reasons to smile, travel, and build connections with the people around me. I am grateful to the amazing GR team and leaders:)! As I reflect months later, I think about the impact the Hawaii program has left me with. There is not a day that goes by where I don't think about the program and how I have truly changed for the better because of it. I'm forever grateful for both opportunities to travel with GR to Costa Rica and Hawaii! If I could give you one piece of advice it would be to pick up your phone and call Adam. I promise you will not regret it!!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
On the second or third day, we got the opportunity to hike across the Mount Kilauea Volcano crater!! To make the experience even more memorable, there was a rainbow right over it as we were crossing. By far one of the coolest things I've ever seen! (See picture below!)
Default avatar
Mara
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Global Routes

I had a great time in Costa Rica getting to travel across the country having new experiences everyday. Weather it was working on the greenhouse, swimming in the river or zip lining across the canopy the country, culture and people never seized to amaze me. Every place we stayed at we were met with a warm welcome and some of the best food out of any place I’ve traveled. I The country is so beautiful and an amazing place to create memories that will last a lifetime. I would definitely recommend this trip to anyone who loves to travel.

What was your funniest moment?
I loved climbing the mango tree to the very top and shaking down the fresh mangos to eat.
Default avatar
Lily
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My journey to Nepal

It would be dramatic to say this trip changed my perspective on life but it did. The amount of submerging my group and I had into the Nepali culture was everything I wanted and more. I made bonds with people so strong without even saying a many words to them. My host family was so amazing to me and showed me how to truly appreciate family. The guides were basically our guardian angels and we all became so close so fast. Of course there were ups and downs and homesickness but that’s life and it only made me stronger and feel the urge to travel more. Because the feeling of traveling and being disconnected from social media with nothing but a mountain peak view right in front of you is one of the beat feelings ever. I did things I never thought I would do and pushed myself when treeking up 2,3949 stairs in the pouring rain of monsoon season. I pulled leaches off of me, showered in buckets, saw monkeys in the rainforest and had to be in by dark when staying in the village or else the tiger would get us. (True story). Made friends with stray dogs, bison, baby chicks, goats, monkeys My leaders, group members and Of course the locals. I shed tears, laughed, bleed, and got sick but it was all worth it. My first time ever leaving the country I choose the right country to travel to. It has inspired me to go to Places all over the world now. I couldn’t be more great full for my global routes experience and what I have gained and taken away from it. Thank you Nepal 🇳🇵

What would you improve about this program?
I don’t think I would improve anything about this program it’s amazing how it is.
Read my full story

Programs

Displaying 1 - 7 of 7

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!

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