Global Leadership Adventures (GLA)

Program Reviews

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Courtney
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Thailand

Our experience with Global Leadership Adventures (GLA) was a 10 out 10. We were nervous to send our 16 yr old daughter across the world on her own for the very first time, but the GLA team was so well prepared, the programs so thoroughly planned and their excellent communication, made the process easy to trust. The Thailand Elephant Initiative was a perfect balance between educational activities, cultural immersion, and community service.
Our daughter had an incredible experience – she loved her time teaching 5th graders English, working with elephants and getting the chance to learn more about how to care for and feed them. She came home with some new friends, great memories, and plans to meet up with them for another program next summer.
What an amazing opportunity for teens! We highly recommend GLA to other families seeking meaningful and impactful travel experiences for their children.

Pros
  • Food
  • Friends
Cons
  • Hot
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Mary
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Ghana: Children of Africa

Our experience with Global Leadership Adventures (GLA) has been outstanding. From the very beginning, the entire process was well-organized and thorough. The GLA team provided excellent communication, ensuring we were well-informed and prepared every step of the way.

My daughter recently participated in the GLA program in Ghana, and it was an incredible experience for her. The program was meticulously planned, with a perfect balance of educational activities, cultural immersion, and community service. She felt safe, supported, and inspired throughout her journey.

The dedication and professionalism of the GLA team made this experience truly memorable for my daughter. We are grateful for the opportunity and highly recommend GLA to other families seeking meaningful and impactful travel experiences for their children.

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Miles
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Peru: Foundations of Global Health

In the summer of 2023, I went on a two-week trip to Peru with 9 other students: all 15-17 year olds. And while it may sound cliché, this trip was life-changing. We spent time in pop-up clinics around Cusco, where residents would come to get medicine and treatment from the doctors there. We spent five days at these clinics, and I wish we had done more over those 14 days! It was such an eye-opening experience that has completely changed my career path to be medical. We also visited Machu Picchu (literally the coolest thing I have ever seen), Rainbow Mountain (an hour-long hike to 17,000 ft above sea level), and whitewater rafting. On top of that, I met some of my favorite people ever; we all became great friends instantly. Overall, I would recommend this program to anyone who is looking at a medical career, wanting to make a difference in another community, or just wanting to see another country with friends!

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
Cuy, known in English as Guinea pig! We ate it in the back of a farmer’s house, where we also learned about the textiles his family made. While a little scary, the guinea pig wasn’t bad - tasted somewhat like chicken!
Pros
  • Made a real difference
  • Amazing food, with both traditional Peruvian options and more familiar options
  • Great friends
Cons
  • I wish we had done more volunteer work
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Joseph
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Dominican Republic Adventure

This was a unique experience both both kids. They navigated the airline industry on their own to and from as teenagers. They dealt with all manner of challenges and learned they "Can Do It" - whatever it might have been. Both kids came home more mature and aware of the environment while getting some exposure to a very different culture. Upon arrival at the Airport in DR until departure from the same airport days later the kids both reported the trip as fun, informative, challenging, safe, and did I mention FUN?
Cheers from a happy parent.

What was your funniest moment?
Zip lines and snorkeling
Pros
  • Learning about mangroves and the ecology the groves help protect
  • Meals
  • Sight seeing
Cons
  • Rained a lot some days
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charlize
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

GLA: Bali Island Health Expedition

Really enjoyed this program!! Staff helped make the program turn into an immersion of both public health community service and having fun around Indonesia. Daily activities were held for the group which helped us make connections together as a group, and food was also good as well! Fit the program well as we normally ate Indonesian cuisine with occasional outside food. Other activities such as scuba diving and surfing were also very fun, and it was a wonderful experience that I would definitely recommend!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Visiting a coffee plantation which was most famous for making coffee out of animal feces (sounds weird, but the feces were converted into coffee beans, somehow) Definitely the most surprising thing I saw.
Pros
  • Safe and fun atmosphere
  • Good food!
  • Visiting the both local and city side of Bali
Cons
  • Homesickness definitely comes through towards the end of the program
  • Food is not for picky people, but there are many options available
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Jennifer
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Great Experience for our Teen!

GLA was an amazing experience for my daughter. It was her first time away from home and she was a bit nervous to go to another country. Once she arrived, she immediately made friends and was immersed in the experience. When we heard from her on the trip, she sounded confident, excited and busy! In addition to improving her Spanish and learning about the culture of Guatemala, she matured and grew as a person. This year, she is very focused in school, articulate with her teachers, and very involved in the family. I would recommend GLA to every teenager, as it has made a world of difference in our child.

Pros
  • Meeting new people.
  • Going outside your comfort zone.
  • Learning about other cultures.
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Avery
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing experience!!

There were so many things I was looking forward to with this trip: new friends, new adventure experience, and meaningful volunteer work and relationships. All of those I can say with 100% certainty that I got on this trip. There was no stress on this trip, you are able to relax as you walk around the beautiful home-base with mangos and star fruits growing around you. There are so many fun people to talk to, whether they are on your trip, or just people that live in the country. I am so appreciative that I was able to go on this trip, and would do it again any day!!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Have no fear, and make relationships with anyone and everyone you see. I was able to create really meaningful relationships with the bus drivers, conversing with them in Spanish and helping them out a bit with English.
Pros
  • Food was incredible, and made fresh at home base every meal.
  • Great surfing instructors
  • Beautiful home base and country
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Sophia
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

One of the best things I’ve EVER done

This trip was nothing but amazing. It not only gave me new learning opportunities, but it forged memories I will remember forever. In Spanish class at school I love to practice what I learned and tell stories. I love the people I went with and adore the times we had. It is so exciting when I remember something that happened. I end up smiling and laughing for so long. This trip is something I will never forget and I am so lucky to be given this opportunity. I would definitely recommend this trip to anyone who wants to go to another country, while also doing some volunteer work.<3

What was your funniest moment?
I think the funniest moment was our puppet show. Were split into 3 Spanish classes and had to tell a story via puppets in Spanish. My group did Cinderella, and the experience was great. Another top tier moment was when we all presented our songs we learned in Spanish and we dressed up the guys in makeup and they did an amazing routine. (My group won both events and it was AMAZING)
Pros
  • Great new experiences
  • Opportunity to see different culture
  • Helped the community
Cons
  • We had a ton of bugs be born on one of the days we were there. It was bad luck because they are only born in one day a year and it happened to be the day we were there
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Maggie
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

re: Costa Rica Beachside GLA

I would like to recommend this Costa Rica Beachside GLA program. My 14-year-old son travelled on his own for the first time. Jordan gained more skills to socialize with students from his age. He also learned from other students from other cultures and people of Costa Rica. He grew a lot from the experience. He came back with more confidence, motivation, and maturity. As a parent, I cannot thank GLA enough for this travel aboard experiences. This is a very unique opportunity for an American teenager to learn and serve diverse communities.

What was your funniest moment?
Seeing baby turtles hatched in the evening
Pros
  • Meet other students from all across the country and make new friends!
  • Gained independence travelling
  • Serve the community-picking up garbage along the beach
Cons
  • None,
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Grace
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Unique learning experience

My trip to the Dominican Republic was an amazing experience. I feel as if this trip had so many different things to offer. From unique learning experiences to fun adventure activities and even great lodging. I went on this trip with little background knowledge of ocean conservation. I went in with an open mind. The service that we did was centered around not only learning about the ocean but also helping the community support conservation. The biggest thing I took away from this learning was that by learning more about how to take care of our coral reefs, I realized how easy it is to make small changes. In my day-to-day life, I can do small things that add up to make a significant impact on keeping our corals and ocean animals healthy. When we weren't doing service, we spent time exploring all that the Dominican Republic had to offer. As I have gone on two GLA trips based on my experience, the lodging for this trip was very comfortable. At the heart of all GLA trips were the people I met, who greatly impacted my experience. Whether that was people in the community or other students on the trip, they all helped to broaden my perspective of the world around me.