Global Works
96% Rating
(54 Reviews)

Global Works

For more than 27 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!

Most Recent Program Reviews

Default avatar
Ryan
Male
14 years old
Sacramento California
Other

Best experience of my life

10/10

Going into the trip i was thinking it would be very fun. I was very wrong Once i met the other kids i was going on the trip with i started really liking them. Once we got into Costa Rica i was very close with the other travelers and i quickly started having an amazing time. I did not think it would be difficult to leave the trip, but as the day got closer and closer the more i feared leaving. The trip gave me Friends and memories i will never forget. Its almost been 5 months since the trip and i still miss it just as much as the day i left. If you are debating to go on a trip with Global Works i strongly recommend you to go with them!

How can this program be improved?

Make it 1 week longer

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Kayla
Female
17 years old
Florida
Florida Atlantic University

Spain: Language Immersion and Leadership Trip!

10/10

I cannot say enough about how much I enjoyed this trip. Prior to going to Spain, I had never been to Europe or out of the country (except for a cruise years ago). My parents were worried about sending me on a trip with an organization that we hadn't heard much about and with people that I did not know. Fortunately, neither of these things were problems while on the trip. It took less than three days for all nine of us (11 including our two wonderful group leaders) to become great friends and a "travel family". Everyone on the trip was extremely nice and made the experience extremely enjoyable. Our group leaders, Carlos and Serena, were super organized and easily communicated with the Spanish people which prevented us from having to worry about any language barriers. Both Carlos and Serena are fluent in Spanish and have many years of experience with the language and culture. The trip allowed us to get a taste of both urban and rural Spain which was quite an amazing and humbling experience. We began our experience in Madrid which was very cool to see, personally, because my mom went to Madrid on a similar trip when she was in high school. Upon our arrival in Spain I was slightly worried about our living accommodations because we were going to be staying in a hostel, and I automatically assumed the worst. When we arrived at our "hostel" I soon realized that the marble floors, clean rooms, and very cute breakfast dining area were nothing that I expected a hostel to look like. It was absolutely beautiful and located right in a quiet area just a three minute walk from central Madrid. All of my expectations were surpassed and we had only been to Madrid. We visited all the major sights in Madrid and even went on a guided tour led by a Madrileño. We were able to do things and learn things that we would not have known about had it not been for our wonderful tour guide. Once our time at Madrid was over we hopped on our beautiful Mercedes-Benz short bus with leather seats and tables and drove in luxury to Segovia where we were delighted to find some cooler weather (more like cold for me as a Floridian). We were also welcomed to the old city by an extremely large Roman aqueduct that used to be a central part of the city's irrigation and water system. Segovia was beautiful with a giant cathedral with a Hogwarts style courtyard in the center and a huge castle called Alcázar that inspired Disney castles. Although the hike up the nearly 200 steep steps of Alcázar's tower was tough, the view was surreal and well worth the trek. After spending the day in Segovia we got back on our Benz bus and drove down a long stretch of road, passing through many small cities dispersed along the road until we reached Sebúlcor. Sebúlcor was was of my favorite places that we visited. Our bed and breakfast was beautiful, quaint, and, again, surpassed all of my expectations. The bed and breakfast was situated right along the main road at the entrance to the city. However, we may have seen 10 cars drive by in the five days that we were there as Sebúlcor is maybe a quarter of a mile long and surrounded by miles of hay fields and mountains. The view was incredible. We even found a huge sunflower patch hidden on the other side of hill with trees. It was an amazing sight and was such an incredible surprise. While in Sebúlcor we went kayaking along Rio Duratón in a gorge and learned about the extensive history of the birds on the walls of the gorge and the caves. It was beautiful, and another thing that I had never seen as a native Floridian. Leaving Sebúlcor was very sad because it quickly became one of my favorite places. After Sebúlcor we went to Amayuelas de Abajo, an extremely small city of around 25 people that had been abandoned until the mid-90s. The people of the city found it and bought the land for cheap, and have created an ecologically conscious city run by solar power. We worked on the city farm run by a very skilled man who is good at basically everything. We built a wall made out of cement along the perimeter of the fence to prevent animals from coming in and eating the crops. We stayed in a big house where visitors can stay and slept in bunk beds which was a super cool camp-like experience. We ate all of our meals with the community which was surprisingly an incredible experience. We also played soccer, handball, and volleyball with some kids from a neighboring community and won at all three! Each day in Amayuelas we also did a workshop and learned how to use native plants to make natural remedies and lotions, which was so cool. Amayuelas was an incredibly rewarding and humbling experience that I will never forget. It also allowed all of us on the trip to get closer and enjoy each other's company. Leaving Amayuelas was also very sad because we had grown very close to the community in our time there. We then drove in our Benz bus for eight (eight!!) hours to Valencia where we met up with our homestay families. After visiting three rural areas of Spain, it was very cool to see a big city again. Valencia was beautiful and urban and reminded me of a European version of Miami. All of our homestay experiences were unique and allowed us to see how different people in Valencia live. In Valencia we worked on wetland restoration projects and worked to remove invasive species of plants from the dunes on the beach. Our hard work was always rewarded with a trip to the beautiful Mediterranean. After Valencia, we took the train to Barcelona. Barcelona was overflowing with people of all origins and had exponentially more tourists than Madrid. We went to La Sagrada Familia, a gigantic and breathtaking cathedral designed by Antoni Gaudi in the late 1800s that is still under construction now. Every curve and color in the cathedral has a meaning and is significant to the story told by the architecture of the cathedral. Overall, Barcelona was breathtaking and a great way to end the trip. I truly can not express how amazing this trip was. After going on this trip I really hope to be able to study abroad in the future and experience Spain again, but I know that it will not be the same without all of the incredible people that I met on my trip. Also, Global Works has a no phone policy for the trips to allow participants to become fully immersed in the trip and the people. As a person who relies on my phone for almost everything for school and communication with family and friends, I am happy to say that I did not miss my phone one bit after the first few days of the trip. It was very freeing. However, I do suggest bringing some sort of music playing device on the trip. We had a lot of fun singing along to songs on our long bus rides and in our free time. Everything about this trip was amazing!

How can this program be improved?

I think that participants should be allowed to have phones during the homestay portion of the trip just to make calls home for safety reasons.

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Juliana
Female
New York
Other

My Summer Adventure in The Galapagos Islands

10/10

Going on a trip to another country without my family was something I had never done before this trip with Global Works and I am so thankful I did. This trip was one of the most amazing and memorable experiences I have ever had, and I tried so many new things. I snorkeled for the first time, and swam with so many really cool sea creatures including sharks which had previously been a fear of mine. I had thought I would miss my family but my trip leaders, Jason and Katie, were awesome and so much fun. While on the Galapagos Islands, I was a boat, bus, and plane ride away from home, but my trip leaders and the island guides not only made me feel safe, but were a great support system throughout the trip. My time on this trip was spent making a ton of new friends from all over the United States, many of whom I'm still in touch with now. There was never a boring moment on the trip. We had incredible activities planned everyday, most of which I wouldn't be able to do anywhere else in the world, and we wrote about them and posted online each day (with photos) so our families could see all the fun we were having. The first day we went to Papallacta's natural hot springs (another first for me), which was very relaxing, and later on, we hiked up the Sierra Negra volcano - which made for some incredible photos. While the trip was full of expeditions and trips all over the islands, we also did volunteer work on the island of Isabela to help the local community and the tortoises. Our group stayed and worked at Campo Duro where we cleared and weeded a large area in the tortoise paddock. We also did some weeding in the large organic garden where they grow many of the vegetables served for meals to the group. There was a huge field in between all of the tents we stayed in, and when we weren't working, we played cards and spent time around a fire laughing and telling stories. (Tip: remember to pack cards and small, fun games.) While all of this was incredibly fun, my most memorable experience was our last day of snorkeling. After getting wetsuits and snorkeling gear, we took a boat ride to go to our final activity. Once I remembered how to zip up my suit (which I may have gotten a little help to do) we jumped off the boat and began swimming around to spot the many different animals. In the end, our group saw a sea horse, stingrays, sharks, a penguin, fish that seemed to glow, and many, many sea turtles. These animals swam right past me and some even right next to me. They were unaffected by our presence, and I had never seen anything like it. The water temperature was just right at 72F, and the weather was perfect the entire 10 days I spent there. I won't ever forget this experience, especially because I really was able to put to use my years of Spanish classes. We spoke Spanish often - with our trip leaders and guides, people in the communities we worked and stayed with, shopkeepers in Quito and with each other. It was an awesome feeling to know that my school Spanish was actually pretty good - and at times a bit embarrassing, which just added to the stories and laughter! I am so grateful to have had this opportunity to experience Ecuador's culture and highly recommend the Galapagos Island trip with Global Works.

How can this program be improved?

Before the trip we were provided a packing list, however, towels was not on the list. Because of the amount of water activities we do, I would have brought at least one, if not two, towels with me just for the activities, separate from your showering towel. I also would have liked to have had more chances to interact with the locals.

Default avatar
Catherine
Female
18 years old
New York City
Other

Cuba!

10/10

I went to Global Works' first trip to Cuba with nine other high schoolers from around the U. S. I had an incredible time and learned so much about Cuba. We had a chaperone from Global Works and a tour guide from Cuba - along with a very nice air conditioned bus to get around the island. We visited Havana, Viñales, Bay of Pigs, and Trinidad and did things like ziplining, snorkeling, and working in urban gardens. The houses we stayed in were called "palidars" which are essentially people's houses that they rent to tourists and cook breakfast and dinner there. Everyone we met was kind and accommodating. I feel so lucky to have visited a place that very few Americans have had the opportunity to see in the past. Getting a first hand account of the state of Cuba from real Cubans was really enlightening, and it showed me popular opinions in America can be very far from the truth. I highly recommend going to Cuba with Global Works because you get a real view of what Cuba is while also having an incredible, once in a lifetime trip. Also - many of the tourists in Cuba are on the older side, so finding a tour group of young people is VERY important if you want to have a good time.

How can this program be improved?

It was Global Works' first trip to Cuba, so of course there are some scheduling and organization things that can be worked out, which were honestly mostly because of the nature of Cuba. It's not quite as efficient as Americans are used to. Also - everyone should be told to bring toilet paper and extra toiletries such as tampons, shampoo, etc. because it is NOT easily available there.

Default avatar
Kellyann
Female
16 years old
New Hope Pennsylvania
Other

Adventure Like No Other

9/10

Throughout my journey to Nicaragua with Global works, there was never a moment that we weren't being challenged and inspired. There were an endless amount of once-in-a-lifetime adventures that made this trip truly unforgettable.
Our first destination was at a quiet hostel on Laguna de Apoyo in Managua. As the group and I were released from our morning activities and ventured into the warm, blue lake, we pretty much immediately became friends. Together we smiled and splashed in amazement of the natural beauty in Nicaragua. The worry-free atmosphere surrounded us and kept the group close for the duration of the trip.
I quickly fell in love with Nicaragua. Passing through small local towns, ordering delicious Mangos at street stands, arriving at another resort on the beach that had the most astounding view of the endless horizon I had ever seen- every moment was filled with happiness. But the best part of Nicaragua was the people.
Nicaragua is home to the most cheerful and amiable people I have ever met. When we first arrived at the clinics in Matagalpa, the local children loved to smile at everything. There were times when we would be doing our community service around the clinic and the children would ask to help just to be around us and laugh. Even the adults in the community tried to make small talk while we were in the doctor’s office waiting for the doctor to write a prescription. Everyone made us feel like family.
Saying goodbye to Nicaragua was one of the saddest moments of the whole trip, but I came home from this Global Works trip with a new understanding and sensitivity to the issues facing Nicaragua and its neighbors today. I had a sense of confidence in my ability to adapt to new environments. And I felt more inspired to promote cultural appreciation and social change back in my U.S. community. This trip was truly such an amazing experience and I would definitely do something like it again in a heartbeat.

How can this program be improved?

I would have included more pre-med-related activities since this trip is supposed to be geared toward pre-med studies, as well as, more group language activities since there is no Spanish language requirement to go on this trip, not everyone has experience with Spanish.

Program Listings

Costa Rica

Global Works
Are you a high school student looking for volunteer opportunities in Costa Rica? Global Works has a variety of options for yo...

France

Global Works
Immerse yourself in the French language and culture via our French in Action or out France Language and Leadership programs!

Nicaragua

Global Works
During this pre-med/public health focus program, students participate in activities with the Nicaragua Ministry of Health (MI...

Panama

Global Works
On this Panama program, we snorkel around the coral reefs of the San Blas Islands, tour Casco Viejo and the Panama Canal, sur...

New Zealand

Global Works
On this program, we SCUBA Dive Fiji's coral reefs, explore the world famous Waitomo caves, surf at New Zealand's famous Ragla...

Spain

Global Works
Immerse yourself in the language and culture of Spain with Global Works' 2-week program or their 3-week program.

Peru

Global Works
On this Peru adventure, we whitewater raft the Rio Urubamba, visit the majestic, lost Inca city of Machu Picchu, barter for a...

Ecuador

Global Works
This year we are offering a Galapagos focused program. There will be expansive experience working with Marine life and biolog...

Peru

Default Program Teaser Image
Global Works
Global Works Custom Group programs offer travel experiences for an existing group. These groups may choose their destination,...

Nepal

Global Works
Travel to Nepal on this adventure of a lifetime. The focus of this program is to extend much needed support and help to our p...

Puerto Rico

Global Works
On this program, we swim in a waterfall, surf or boogie board on Luquillo Beach, zip line at Toro Verde Nature Adventure Park...

Cuba

Global Works
On this trip, we find ourselves in a strikingly independent, beautifully unique Caribbean paradise. Be among the first Americ...

Fiji

Global Works
Find paradise and make a difference through community service via Global Works' volunteer in Fiji programs for high school st...