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Global Works

About

For more than 33 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

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Reese
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Fiji: Epic Service Adventure

This trip was my favorite trip with global works so far!! The people and councilors created a extremely comfortable and fun environment that was the perfect mix of service acts and other fun activities. The food was amazing at all the places we stayed and our host families made us feel like we were really members of the family! The trip helped me gain a more global perspective and new experiences I could never get in my community. Overall I would highly recommend students to try this adventure!!

Pros
  • I made lots of new lifelong friends.
  • I experienced new pieces of culture I’d never been apart of before.
  • I gained a much more global perspective.
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Luca
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing learning experience

I met a lot of new interesting people and quickly got immersed in Spanish culture including Spanish customs, food and the language. It’s a great opportunity to broaden your horizons in beautiful new locations. You grow so much and Learn so much about yourself. I’ll cherish my memories of the trip for a long time and would highly recommend it. You’ll fall in love with Spain in this trip. You work hard and learn how to thrive with others. I met so many cool people on this trip I won’t soon forget.

Pros
  • Great social growth opportunity
  • Amazing way to quickly learn Spanish and learn about Spanish culture/explore Spain
  • Make new friends/have wonderful, new experiences in beautiful locations.
Cons
  • Close quarters with group mates at times.
  • Some accommodations might be a challenge for some.
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Avery
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Global Works Travel Fiji Experience

Bula! My name is Avery Martin and I had the opportunity to go to Fiji this summer with Global Works Travel. The experience was incredible and each day I wish I could go back. One of my favorite parts of the trip was the cultural immersion. We were able to stay with the people of the Namara village. The Fijians in this village became like family and welcomed me into their homes with open arms. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone who wants to be pushed outside their comfort zone, experience once in lifetime opportunities, and be immersed fully in a culture outside their own. I want to thank everyone at Global Works Travel for making my experience so memorable.

Pros
  • Full Cultural Immersion
  • Once in a lifetime opportunities such as zip lining through the jungle, scuba diving with the manta rays, and cooking with the people of the Namara village.
  • Creating lifetime bonds
Cons
  • Limited time to talk to family.
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Tiffany
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Global Works - Amazing Community Experience -- A parent perspective

I think Global Works does an amazing job connecting the kids with the community. My 2 kids (14 and 16) had fantastic homestay experiences and both of them still connect with their Costa Rica families every week, which has been a super cool experience.

I think global works is safe while at the same time creating some really great opportunities for kids to explore and challenge themselves. For example, the kids had the opportunity to attend a local city soccer team game and then ended up getting to play the city champions in an impromptu game which was a really neat experience. I also think it is good to really know that the kids really work hard for the community service - they are digging ditches, pouring concrete and clearing paths.

I think the big differentiator for Global Works is their connections with the community and providing an experience for kids to engage with groups of people that they would not have the opportunity to engage with on a more traditional tour - that connection is pretty special and results in some amazing opportunities. So, combine that with hard work and opportunities to explore the rainforest, zipline, and surf and it definitely is a unique experience.

Pros
  • Unique community connections and homestay
  • Supportive guides
  • Helping where it is needed the most
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Catherine
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Spain Immersion and Immigration

My 16 yo joined this program in 2022. He was reluctant but we were all so relieved and happy that he did it. He connected with teens from far flung places and valued the camaraderie and support from the leaders. He was proud of his building accomplishments and thankfully he acquired some Spanish along the way. He even read a few Hemingway books, under the night skies. After he returned, he shared amazing stories and has stayed in touch with kids across states and continents. The No screen policy was also a welcome change!

Pros
  • Amazing itinerary
  • Wonderful food
  • Awesome activities
Cons
  • None

Programs

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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!
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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

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