Global Leadership Adventures (GLA)

Program Reviews

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Sabrina
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My daughter went to the Dominican Republic for 10 days and absolutely loved it! She worked hard to help communities, had an eye opening experience, but also had fun and met many new friends. I definitley would recommend such a program. This type of experience broadens a students horizons and exposes them to environments and/or situations they might not noramlly experience. So happy I was able to send her on this trrip!

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Rachael
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had the most meaningful experience participating in the Fall 2020 Global Impact Virtual Internship. The extraordinary relationships I formed, the unbelievably rich and personal conversations I endured, and the charitable service work we as a whole completed made me look forward to the three times a week I got to participate (even in a zoom setting). I truly believe being part of the GLA community was a gift that not only helped me grow as a person, but formed lifelong connections with people I would not have met otherwise. I will always cherish the meaningful opportunities and worthwhile conversations that brought me and my peers joy and knowledge during a time of uncertainty and dismay.

What was your funniest moment?
Each week, in every core session, our supervisor would ask us one fun question to “break the ice”. These questions were so funny and lighthearted and allowed me to see my peers’ true colors and share laughs with likeminded, passionate students.
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Tapaynga
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I was under privileged compared to the other girls on the trip and they formed their own cliques within the first day. Some of the were really nice and included me in activities but if I was around some of the other girls it felt like they didn't want me there. The volunteer made me feel less alone but it would have been nice if I would have felt more welcomed by everyone throughout the trip. I also asked the girls to send me some pictures once we had service but none of them did. I feel like I missed out on a lot of memories and inside jokes. I don't have a lot of pictures from the trip because they were not sent to me after they agreed to send them.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
I have always been terrified by the ocean and being able to swim in it knowing I was in a safe environment helped me step out of my comfort zone and try something new.
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Kendal
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Global Leadership Adventures is hands down AMAZING.....My experience in Ghana was absolutely incredible and I can honestly say it has changed my life forever. Ever since I was a little girl I have always had the dreams to help those in need and to travel. But I was often told I was too young and to wait until I am older and more mature. GLA believes that anyone can become a leader it doesn't matter how old you are. I am so incredibly happy that I decided to do this trip at 14 years old because it completely flipped my life around in the best way possible.

While in Ghana we were able to participate in so many amazing cultural experiences including Ghanaian dancing, Bead markets, and we were even able to attend Church.
The service aspect of the trip was also a part that left me absolutely speechless. We worked in classrooms of children ranging from babies to 6th grade helping with their overall care and also very important academic skills the children would need to move on to their next grade.
But the truly most impactful part of the trip for me was park time. We did this every single day of the program for at least 2-3 hours. This was the time everyone made the deepest connections with the children of krobo that I will cherish forever.

An aspect of the program I wasn't expecting to be as impactful as it was. Was the teens I got to experience the whole thing with. I can truly say that each one of them will be my lifelong friends and I am so grateful to GLA for giving me that.

I will be returning to the same program next year and plan to until I age out of GLA. I would encourage EVERY SINGLE PERSON to participate on this program and honestly any program GLA has to offer.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The most nerve racking part of the program for me was teaching. As a 14 year old I felt as if I was still a child myself so I didn't know how the kids would respond. I chose to work in Nursery 1 which was a class of about 30 2-4 year olds. My first day of teaching was pretty scary because it was all new. The GLA staff was incredible and always stepped in if I needed help. The turning point for me in which I feel that I faced my fear was when I finally started being myself with the kids and trusted myself as a teacher.
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karen
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My daughter returned from Costa Rica saying it was the best experience ever. She had to travel out of the country on her own and handled flight delays coming back. She built strong friendships with all the other attendees and they are already planning reunions. They helped out with children in the community but also learned many new activities including surfing, zip lining, white water rafting. They did cooking lessons, dancing lessons. The facilities were also reported to me as being very nice and there was a special cook who offered a wide range of food. We ran into no problems except the reto4 hour flight delay but that worked out fine in the end. I would highly recommend this program and we already told our younger son that he can go somewhere through GLA when he is the same age.

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Amanda
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I loved GLA program and I loved Thailand. I went two years ago and on another program now because I’m not in high school anymore and I wish GLA wasn’t only to high schoolers because it was the best two weeks. They had a schedule and followed it, you were never bored although there was designated down time to relax and chat. It is expensive yes, but 100% worth it for what it provides. I liked how it was both touristy but we did volunteering like it wasn’t just one or another. If you went on this trip, you will be able to explore Thailand. They make sure you can. With volunteering, it was fun and educating and hard but worth the trouble. I made friends for life that I still speak to today, two years later. I wish I did the three weeks but I got so much out even just two weeks.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
The fruits they have in Thailand, they were spikey on the outside and looked like a clear egg.
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Isabela
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Since I was young, I've always loved to travel and do volunteer work. When I found GLA online I was ecstatic to complete both of the things I love to do at once, the only problem was picking a country (because of the variety of countries they offer, which I LOVED) and the price. The great thing was GLA offered grants and scholarships that enabled me to travel to Ghana, so don't let the price stop you from enrolling all you have to do is talk to a GLA representative. I picked Ghana the 21 day Children of Africa trip because of the motive of education and cultural immersion. Once I enrolled GLA had helpful tips on packing and what to expect which really prepared me for my journey, even a webinar to further prepare the students and parents. Throughout the whole process GLA was available to answer questions and keep both me and my mother informed. Once we arrived in Ghana the staff was outside the airport waiting for our arrival to welcome us to the country, all the students checked in with the staff and were given a way to communicate with there parents that they made it safely. From that point till the very last day the staff was hands down AMAZING. The trip was everything I ever hoped for: culturally immersing, exploring the sites, interacting with the locals, playing and teaching kids, etc. The trip exceeded my expectations, it was truly life changing being able to share a passion of travel and service with people from all over the world your age. I will never forget this experience.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
I would advice travelers to follow GLA updates and travel portal online to be the best prepared for the trip. I would also advice to soak the trip in its entirety, no regrets. Have an open mind about everything: the culture, people, FOOD, etc. Also don't forget your camera, its beautiful in the Volta region. Be open to the students on the trip as well, you can also learn from them and their lives; I would contact them before the trip to introduce yourself through whatsapps or facebook (one of my peers created a group chat). Lastly, just treasure every single moment of this trip and that the smallest of change can be the biggest to someone else.
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Natalie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had the best 10 days of my life on this trip! It was not nearly long enough and I'm going back with GLA for 21 days this year. Costa Rica is a beautiful country that GLA does an amazing job of showing to it's students. We learned so much about the culture and how to respect the way of life while there. One of my favorite lessons learned was responsible voluntourism. My service project was to help a local elementary school with a garden and murals. We cleaned out a patch in their back yard area then built garden beds. We also talked to the students about what they wanted on their walls then painted sustainability themed murals. My personal favorite activity was playing soccer with the most beautiful backdrop with local kids. Back at home base after long service days we learned lessons about leadership and service. Meals were eaten outside under the stars or on the balcony overlooking the beach. The nightly "taste of Costa Rica" dish allowed us to sample the local cuisine. Though I was there for just 10 days I made amazing friends and memories to last a lifetime.

What was your funniest moment?
One day at my service site while painting we heard a swell of noise from the tree behind the school. The child next to me said "monos". I was on my feet running for the tree before I could think. Within the limited Spanish I could remember from school the word for monkey was still in my vocabulary. My friends rushed around me and we stared at about 15 monkeys in the tree. There was even a baby clinging to its mother. I was speechless. Though the moment was more amazing than funny to us GLA students the students at escuela paraiso though it was funny. The monkeys was a weekly occurrence for them whereas all i get to see at school is birds and the occasional squirrel. With the children laughing around me and the monkeys screeching above me I realized how amazing it was that I was able to experience this different life in another country.
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Claire
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had an incredible experience serving at a local school, bonding with my fellow participants, taking the opportunity to practice my Spanish, as well as learning about the history and culture of Guatemala. This program has helped to shape the person I am. It was the perfect balance between service, cultural activities, and forming what have become lasting friendships with my peers and mentors. I would highly recommend entering the program with an open mind. It may seem overwhelming at first but that will quickly grow into excitement. GLA does an amazing job of reminding you to take a breath then giving you nudge outside of your comfort level to the place where you will grow, learn, and enjoy yourself the most.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Keep a journal! You will definetly want to be able to look back on your trip once you return home and it’s a great way to reflect on your experience as you go.
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Sophia "Sophie"
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This past summer I was lucky enough to go on a summer program to Bali. I did the Bali Global Health Initiative, which was where I was able to dive into the health care system in Bali, have hands on learning where we got to go into local people's homes and take their basic health information, and teach children in local schools about hygiene, eating healthy, and exercising. Not only was it incredible to meet the locals and also learn more about health, but also all the people on the trip were so amazing, thoughtful, and engaged. The friends and connections I have made on my trip will continue to last with me for a long time. Lastly, I was able to become more independent and learn more about myself and who I am as a person. GLA creates such an amazing opportunity for students to not only find their passions, but also learn more about themselves, how they can become better people, and what they can contribute to the world. This trip has changed me for the better in so many ways, and I recommend this trip to anyone who wants to learn more about a very different culture, handle medical gear, and make life-long friendships.

What would you improve about this program?
The only thing that I would change about this trip is to give kids who are planning to go on the trip a heads up about the language. In Bali it was hard to communicate with the locals because we did not understand Balinese well and they did not understand English well, so at times it was difficult. With that, I would give a little handbook that includes more of the language so that kids can learn a little more of the language before they come.