VIA Programs
95% Rating
(25 Reviews)

VIA Programs

VIA provides rich, immersive, cross-cultural learning experiences in the U.S. and Asia that transcend boundaries, transform lives, and strengthen our global community. Founded at Stanford in 1963, VIA is a private, non-profit, and non-religious organization. Our Asia Programs include a Global Community Fellowship for professionals and short-term programs for high school and university students. Annually, we send nearly 100 Americans to Asia and welcome over 300 Asian participants on programs in Silicon Valley. In recent years, we’ve designed and run programs for Stanford University, the University of California Education Abroad Program, Haverford College, George Mason University, and the Department of State.

Most Recent Program Reviews

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Megan
Female
Washington DC
American University

Learn through action!

10/10

As a Master's student, I participated in the Indonesia summer program with VIA and George Mason University on their approximately 3-week Gender, Culture and Conflict program. I traveled throughout the islands of Bali and Java - conducting interviews, visiting historical sites with local experts, learning from community-based organizations and conversing with women's groups on issues highly relevant to my Master's program. What I appreciated about this field research program was that you were given the opportunity to pursue issues related to your field of study and I discovered new dimensions that I would have never considered if not for this field experience.
As a graduate student, whether you pursue field work or research in the future, you will find this program and others that VIA operate to be highly rewarding. Honestly, the decision to enroll in the summer program was spontaneous for me (I randomly overheard about it from a co-worker) but VIA and the staff at George Mason worked together with VIA to make my enrollment possible. I only heard about the program very close to the deadline, but I didn't want to pass this good opportunity so I applied and thankfully it worked out. So, if you heard about this program close or pass the deadline or are nervous about not meeting the qualifications - reach out! You won't regret it.

How can this program be improved?

It was a great program!

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Rowena
Female
31 years old
Seattle

Life Changing

10/10

I can't say enough good things about the VIA Global Community Fellowship. I was a VIA fellow from 2012-2014, and it was one of the best decisions I've made, especially during a period of career transition in life. For the first year I taught English speaking at a local university in Yogyakarta. The second year I served as a program assistant at a prominent, local NGO called Yayasan Dian Desa, which works on appropriate technology solutions for community development, particularly in rural communities.

VIA did an incredible job in providing us fellows (who all came from very diverse, interdisciplinary backgrounds and passions) with the necessary skills to thrive within our respective programs/organizations. Throughout the two years I spent in Indonesia, I always felt that the local VIA staff (comprising Americans and local Indonesians) were there to support our growth, language learning, and orientation. I very much appreciated VIA's on-going work in forging supportive, collaborative partnerships with local leaders, schools, and NGOs.

I highly recommend the VIA fellowship program, as well as other programs in general, especially if you are looking for a smaller, intimate organization that does an excellent job in promoting healthy cross-cultural exchange and learning!

Will
Male
28 years old
Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Amazing Experience

10/10

I was an adult participant on the 2014 Indonesia-United States Youth Leadership Program. My experience in the program was enlightening, fun, and life-changing. The staff was professional, helpful, and engaging at every step in the process. They provided a dynamic balance of experiential learning and culturally-informed travel experiences. I would recommend VIA programs to anyone who is looking for a meaningful, insightful, and fun global experience.

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Gabrielle
Female
18 years old
Woodstock, NY

Indonesia Youth Leadership Program

10/10

The Youth Leadership Program to Indonesia was the most formative experiences I have had in high school. It is rare to have the ability to travel abroad and be truly immersed within the culture and community of the country you are visiting. It is these experiences that open your eyes to the great diversity and traditions of the world. The VIA staff is what made this possible. I experienced a side of Bali and Jogja that most tourists never see. I learned about the issues people from Indonesia face, and the ways in which they combat these issues. I met people who demonstrated the importance of civic engagement and the acceptance of all people. The staff constantly encouraged us to dive in and take what we learned back home. What we discovered was that while the issues may be different, the work and actions of the citizens are the same.. The VIA staff guided our way to developing our own leadership and communication skills. VIA offers a unique blend of cultural exposure and a concentration on personal growth. I am constantly thinking back to what I learned and experienced in Indonesia. Entering my senior year, I could not be more thankful for the opportunity for intellectual and personal growth the Indonesian Youth Leadership Program offered.

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Kristian
Male
19 years old
Bethlehem, PA

Hike to Borobudur

10/10

4:00 AM we left our homestay in Jogjakarta departing for the Borobudur Temple in an attempt at catching an Instagram worthy picture. At this point we had spent nearly two weeks together and it was towards the end of our first week in Jogja, however previous to this day I really hadn't bought into the whole program. However on this early morning trip followed by a late night reflection everything on this trip seemed to connect and I finally realized how important this trip had been to me and the lasting impact it would have on me. Beyond the picture and beyond the beautiful view from the top of this Buddhist Temple, the impact that the discussion that started on leadership leading to compromise and finished with a reflection of the two weeks will forever stick in my head. Looking back on this one month summer program I can guarantee anyone that is fortunate enough to go on this trip will have countless experiences that will shape them beyond that one month. The leadership skills and peace and conflict skills we learned on this trip were only the beginning of the transformation that will come on this trip. Additionally, the people that you will meet along this one month are connections that will last for long beyond this month, the learning environment they create is unlike anything that can be experienced in a school environment. All in all this trip is one the best experiences I have ever had.

Program Listings

Japan

VIA Programs
The Global Community Fellowship is a 13-15 month program for young and established professionals. Fellows work at NGOs and sc...

Indonesia

VIA Programs
VIA Programs offers a number of J-term and Summer Term, for credit University Study Abroad Programs. Check out our current pr...

Indonesia

VIA Programs
We offer two unique programs for high school students that both fall under the category of our "Youth Leadership Programs". O...

Indonesia

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VIA Programs
Join VIA in Yogyakarta, known as Jogja, for a 6, 8, or 10 week internship at a community development NGO. Interns are paired...