Global Works logo

Global Works

About

For more than 31 years, Global Works has been an industry leader in community service-based adventure travel programs for high school students and custom group trips. Much more than a vacation, Global Works international trips are the bridge for meaningful cultural exchange with people around the world. In all of our locations, we partner with communities and organizations to select and implement grassroots service projects that make an impact. Your unforgettable journey of community service, language immersion, cultural exchange, and adventure starts HERE!

Reviews

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

Hurricane Relief Service Trip!

It’s safe to say that this trip was certainly a once-in-a-lifetime experience! I had no clue what to expect when I first arrived. I could tell each and every one of us was excited and nervous, which made it so easy to meet each other and form friendships. Our trip leaders were incredible; helping us adjust, leading us through the day, and always being there if we had questions or needed help. I was lucky to go on a trip with such an amazing group of kids. I met people from all around who shared my interests and were open-minded to getting to know everyone and creating long-lasting relationships. The service was an eye-opening experience. I was touched by the sense of community and love the people who I met valued so much. It was clear how hard they worked, not only to rebuild their own houses but others as well. We enjoyed working as one big group. There was always something to do and help out with, and it felt good to know that the people we worked with truly appreciated our help. The service was an integral and unforgettable part of the trip, but so were the other countless activities and late nights we spent together. Kayaking in the bioluminescent bay was so fun, and an amazing way to end our trip. Our trips to the beaches every day led to a lot of laughs and memories. The nights we spent in the Big Yellow House are something that I will always remember! We had a bake-off, played countless games, volleyball, and lounged around listening to music. You could always find someone to talk to and something to do. We took a dance class, had a karaoke night, and spent one night learning about the culture of Puerto Rico. My trip was so enriching and fun, and I am so grateful I got to experience it with incredible people. I would definitely recommend this trip, or any trip Global Works offers, to anyone who wants to meet new people, learn about cultures, and spend an amazing time somewhere new!

What was your funniest moment?
The funniest moment of my trip was definitely kayaking on the bioluminescent bay. It was so hard to see, and we kept bumping into each other, but it was so funny and made the experience more memorable.
Default avatar
Aaron
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

10/10 Experience

I had never traveled somewhere without my parents before. I was nervous to say the least. Global Works welcomed in our group with open arms and I feel as if everyone was able to have a great experience from there. Making concrete for houses was awesome because you get to know the other people who you are working with. It was also satisfying to see that we were making differences in people's lives. The experiences outside of service were also really cool and stuff you wouldn't see just sitting at home.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
I almost mixed my hand in with the concrete when I dumped the cement in too hard .
Default avatar
Carson
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Puerto Rico Service Review

Before discovering Global Works and this trip, I was searching for a summer activity that I could attend that satisfied my love for traveling while also serving as a way to help a community in need. Fortunately, I decided to go to Puerto Rico. The trip was amazing! It allowed me to make so many friends, experience a new culture, serve a community, gain travel experience, and to overall learn more about myself. Before going on the trip, I knew almost nothing about Puerto Rico or the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria, but after attending the trip, I returned home with incredible eye-opening stories and experiences to share. The trip leaders were all amazing and truly wanted to get to know each and every traveler and make sure everyone was healthy and actively engaged in service and the experiences. All information before the trip was clearly provided and made my parents feel more comfortable with letting me travel alone to the Caribbean, and I was able to call my parents daily, which they appreciated. If you are wondering whether or not you should go, I would 100% recommend this trip!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
I was most nervous about flying and being alone for the first time hundreds of miles away from my family and friends. Luckily, as soon as I arrived I felt welcomed and instantly met many amazing people in which I still regularly communicate with. In fact, I would recommend attending this trip alone because it really allows you to get out of your comfort zone, try new things, and be more open to meeting new people.
Default avatar
Lila
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Once in a lifetime opportunity

This trip had an amazing itinerary and very supportive leaders! Adam and Sarah were fantastic and bent over backwards all the time to make sure we felt as safe and happy as possible. We saw some stunning sites on the trip too. One highlight was the three day kayak trip where we got to swim in the pacific ocean and see such cool wildlife. Every guide we met on our journey was very experienced and could answer any question you asked. The trip was packed of fun activities but still had time for sleeping in and spending time getting to know others. However, I noticed this trip had a very specific demographic of upper class kids from private schools who had no problem using slurs and derogatory terms in everyday conversations. If that isn’t you, I probably don’t recommend the trip!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
One time we were kayaking slowly around an island, and saw a big mound of rock. As we paddled closer, we see a seal sleeping on the rock. Slowly it starts moving, and we notice that the rock had about 10 other seals all camouflaged on it and they started getting up and moving around!
Default avatar
Finn
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A thousand times over

My Global Works trip was truly inspiring, the leaders were great, and I had an amazing time. When I think of my Global Works trip, it’s my home stay that comes to mind. It was really fun to go through your day with another family from another culture, eat food with them, play with their kids, even go to work with them...it was awesome to be part of a Costa Rican household. I never thought I would learn to catch 20-pound tilapia or harvest star fruit, avocados and mangos on my host family's farm (and, I didn't know that limes could be green on the outside and orange on the inside!).

I thought the kids in my group were all really authentic, creative, and open-minded about trying new things and activities. I felt like we really built a community together. I would do this trip again...a thousand times over!

What was your funniest moment?
It was pouring rain, we were so close to finishing our service project in the community. For some reason one of our group members decided to tell us a story about her science teacher, named Mr. Coward. He told his class that he has thought about changing his name...and, well, I can't really say what he wished to change his name to on this review, but let's just say that we had the best group laugh ever.

Programs

Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

Alumni Interviews

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

Annika Thiim

Annika Thiim

Why did you choose this program?

I chose the Global Works program based on the high ratings I had seen on the Internet. Many of these teen travel review sites included the experiences written by alumni my age, which was amazing and reassuring. The website is also very professional-looking and easy to navigate because it included all the important details and had updated information.

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

The program assisted with all the details regarding the itinerary and where we would be staying during the trip. However, for the flights, I had the option to either book my own direct flight to Panama or take the group flight from Houston to Panama, which was led by Global Works. I ended up taking a direct round-trip flight from my home to Panama instead of the group flight, and everything worked out perfectly.

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

Make sure to keep an open mind. You will constantly be pushed out of your comfort zone, which is why it is so important to be open to new experiences. The most rewarding part about this trip for me was coming out of it with a new outlook on the world, and the feeling of awareness that came with this.

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

The average day consists of breakfast, work, lunch, work, leisure time, and then dinner. However, every day was scheduled differently. Our work was never too demanding as we took frequent breaks to eat and play games. Some of the work we did included: the painting of a church, tending to a garden, cleaning a library, and helping in a non-profit restaurant kitchen.

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 going into this experience was being alone in a foreign country, away from my family. This turned out to not be a problem once I was there because I felt so comforted by my group members and trip leaders. It was exhilarating to experience a completely different environment with people from all of the US. At the end of the trip, I was left with a feeling that the world was more interesting than ever and I am looking forward to many more adventures in the future.

Staff Interviews

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

Fritz Moriarty

Job Title
Director
In 2004, Fritz became co-owner and director of Global Works. Fritz is committed to running high-quality, meaningful international programs with Global Works. Come wintertime, you’ll find Fritz ripping it up on his tele-skis in the Colorado back country. Fritz knows how to find the perfect balance of valuable work and fun in his life, just like a GW program!
Thumbnail

What is your favorite travel memory?

It's hard to pick just one. My first experience living with a host family was in Costa Rica as a volunteer for WorldTeach. I was extremely nervous about my ability to communicate in Spanish and with the concept of living with people I'd never met for the next 11 months. My thoughts were racing as I followed directions and took a bus far up to the mountains in rural Costa Rica. After a 1/2 mile walk a located the house and knocked on the front tour. A little girl opened the door and gave me a big hug. Within minutes I was enjoying a plate of arroz con pollo (rice and chicken) followed by a dance party in the living room with all the kids in the family. I learned a lot about hospitality that day.

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

In my experience the most important factor in success for a company is in the quality of the services they offer. It's easy to tell when something has been rushed or when there is little care or intention. If you put passion and care behind what you do then others will notice and even feel the same way you do about your business.

We are fortunate at Global Works to be surrounded by passionate people committed to global education and student travel.

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

A few more gray hairs for one! On a more serious note, the most important thing I've learned is how to listen first and to better avoid judging a situation or people. There isn't necessarily one way to get something done, and it's more fulfilling to accomplish something as a team than to make your point or always be right.

What unique qualities does your company possess?

I don't know enough about other companies and their culture, but I can say for sure that was have the most wonderful community of staff who love what they do and consistently put the needs of others before there own. I think we have a strong ethical foundation and are always looking to make decisions that benefit as many people and things as possible.

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

We constantly here from students and parents about how this experience has positively impacted them and their communities back home. One of the most amazing stories involved a student from the US who had been adopted form Panama. Coincidentally our trip in Panama had a project planned at the same orphanage this student had come from. She joined our program and was able to return there during the trip and provide a truly breathtaking perspective to her group.

Even more amazing was that following the trip she had inquired with our Panamanian guide about the possibility of tracking down her birth family. Somehow he was able to track them down in a village located in the Darien Gap, one of the most remote areas in Central America. She was later able to connect with her birth parents directly.

Professional Associations

Gap Year Association Logo