Global Works

Program Reviews

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Finn
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My Global Works trip was truly inspiring, the leaders were great, and I had an amazing time. When I think of my Global Works trip, it’s my home stay that comes to mind. It was really fun to go through your day with another family from another culture, eat food with them, play with their kids, even go to work with them...it was awesome to be part of a Costa Rican household. I never thought I would learn to catch 20-pound tilapia or harvest star fruit, avocados and mangos on my host family's farm (and, I didn't know that limes could be green on the outside and orange on the inside!).

I thought the kids in my group were all really authentic, creative, and open-minded about trying new things and activities. I felt like we really built a community together. I would do this trip again...a thousand times over!

What was your funniest moment?
It was pouring rain, we were so close to finishing our service project in the community. For some reason one of our group members decided to tell us a story about her science teacher, named Mr. Coward. He told his class that he has thought about changing his name...and, well, I can't really say what he wished to change his name to on this review, but let's just say that we had the best group laugh ever.
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Liv
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This trip to Costa Rica gave me so many things that I would’ve never had without taking the leap to go. I was scared and nervous, but the other kids on my trip were too. We all got along super well from the beginning, and I still talk to all of them almost every day. The people I met in Costa Rica as well changed my life. They gave me perspective and changed my point of view on a lot of things and I am forever grateful. Most importantly, I had boatloads of fun and would recommend for anyone possibly interested in a health care profession. The communities you visit are so welcoming and really want to build relationships with you. The leaders were great too. I still keep in contact with some of them as well. This program gave me so much and I will never forget it.

What was your funniest moment?
Staying in the hotels with all the girls and just laughing at everything.
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Anna
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I found out about Global Works Travel through research about summer travel programs and I'm so glad I did! Global Works provided me with a trip that was challenging and fun, and where I learned through first-hand experience. Although the seven hour layover in Houston followed by the flight to Costa Rica then being delayed for two more hours wasn't much fun, it did provide me more time to learn about my group mates, and pales in comparison to all the fun I had and the experience I gained on the rest of the trip. The adventures like white water rafting, zip lining and surfing on Playa Uvita may have been the most thrill inducing, but they are not what I remember most about the trip. I remember sitting outside on the porch of Poco Sol Biological station looking over the canopies of the cloud forest. I remember how excited and anxious the group was to meet their host families in the mountainous, breathtaking town of Cedral. I remember struggling to communicate with my host mom and dad and my two little sisters, but laughing about it later with my roommate. I remember getting mud and paint and cement powder on my shirt, but admiring the immense progress we had made later. Most of all, I remember each and every one of my group members and how much I miss them. The people I was with and our dynamic was truly special. While I can't speak for other groups, I can imagine that many other Global Works groups have experienced similar connections. My perceptions of people and places changed drastically throughout the trip and the knowledge and connections I have gained are priceless. The Spanish immersion aspect of the program drastically improved everyone's Spanish and provided and authentic view of Costa Rica many of us would not have experienced otherwise. The only advice I give is to live your trip to the fullest, and take time to appreciate where you are; don't rush through an experience this unique and special.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
If I could go back and spend 3 weeks all over again in Costa Rica with my amazing leaders and group members, I would try to slow down my experience and focus more on the moments instead of working through them. I would want to pause and actively appreciate where I am and who I am with because I know I will never be in the same place with the same people ever again. Finally, I would want to speak more Spanish and get more involved with the locals. There is no need to be shy about how good your Spanish is because the more you immerse yourself the better you'll become. In the end, it is up to your how much you learn and takeaway from this trip, and I wish I had focused even more on the parts of the trip that were the most special to me. I have already taken away so much from this trip; imagine what more I could have taken away had I just slowed down and paused a bit more to reflect and appreciate the trip.
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Lily
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had such an amazing time in Costa Rica, and I'm so glad that I chose Global Works as my travel buddy! For starters, I was pretty nervous leading up to the trip. I was worried about my how my language skills would fare in a community full of native speakers, I was anxious about all the new people I would be meeting, and I was hesitant about being away from home. However, the moment that I started talking with everyone at the airport, my fears and anxieties melted away. The next 15 days were the most fun I've had in possibly my whole life. It was amazing to get to know people from all different parts of the world and make connections with them while helping out a community in need. The relationships I made on the trip are ones that I will never forget. Also, the food was incredible!!! I would most definitely recommend a Global Works trip to anyone who wants to travel, experience a new culture, and have a ton of fun doing it!

What was your funniest moment?
The funniest moment was when we named our host family's cat. In Costa Rica they keep most of their pets outside, but we had a cat that lived with us in the house. The family didn't have a name for the cat, so we tried to come up with one for him. After some serious consideration, we decided to name the cat Felipe after a boy in the neighborhood who we all joked about coming back to Costa Rica to marry. Our host mom thought it was hilarious, and it was an inside joke with our family for the rest of the homestay. It was a super funny and perfect way to connect with the family.
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Bryce
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My trip to the Fijian islands changed my perspective on life. Ever since this trip, I have found that the gift is truly in giving. Being in Fiji showed me that taking a brief step out of my comfort zone can be very beneficial, and having an optimistic mindset is always necessary.

Before traveling to Fiji I was very unsure of myself, I didn't know what to expect, so I had told my parents that I did not want to go. Upon arrival, I forced myself out of my comfort zone and began to make friends with some of the nicest people I have ever met. The counselors were amazing as well! Whether you were feeling homesick, or just wanted to talk, they were always there for us. I found myself feeling as if I was apart of a little family, and despite being away from my real family, I was never homesick. My best advice to the people attending this trip is to just be your full self, and you will always have fun.

Meeting the villagers was easily my favorite part of the trip. They made us feel at home and if we ever needed anything they were there for us. Staying in the village with the younger kids, was never a dull moment. Whether we were playing sports, dancing, singing, or just being free we all had an amazing time. Gaining a bond with the people of the Nativi Village is something I will never forget.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
While scuba diving, I saw a fleet of jellyfish swim above my head. None of them stung but it was awe-inspiring to see these florescent animals in their natural habitat.
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Diego
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The week in Puerto Rico I experienced through Global Works was the best week and the best experience of my life. Going to a foreign country with people I didn't know and without my cellphone was a little bit intimidating to me, but the trip wouldn't have been nearly as memorable if I stayed in my comfort zone. After the first day, I felt at home. The counselors were amazing, they made everyone feel super comfortable and were so easy to hang out and talk with. I didn't know anyone going into the trip, but by the last day, it was like we had known each other all of our lives. We still talk and have a group chat months after the trip, and the fact that we all became such great friends in such a short amount of time just shows how close we all became on the trip. Although the hurricane really hurt Puerto Rico, one thing that never wavered was the pride Puerto Ricans had for their country. Everyone we met accepted us and were so happy to be able to share their country with us. We were able to help the house we were working on so much throughout the week and seeing the joy on Angel and Maria's faces, the owners of the house, made working so enjoyable as we were all so determined and happy to help them. After a hard day at work, we went back to the house we were staying at and went to the beach for a couple of hours and all ate dinner and played volleyball together. This sense of community is something that you can't fake, and I highly recommend this trip to anyone who wants to do something truly meaningful with new people from all over the country.

What was your funniest moment?
For me, the funniest moment of the trip was when we had a talent show. We all had to have an act, and it was so funny to watch what people came up with. One person on our trip ate 22 Welch Fruit Snack bags in two minutes. They were these types of moments that really brought us closer together and made the trip so much fun.
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Sofia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Describing this trip is nearly impossible. It changed me mentally and emotionally, and it is an experience I will never forget. Even now I look back on memories, photos, souvenirs, notes and drawings that I have kept from the trip, and can't fully take in how much the trip meant to me. Everyday, I had the opportunity to try new foods, see new flora and fauna, experience new things, and get closer with friends. A year ago, I would've never guessed that I'd get to raft through a jungle, sleep in bungalows, hold a baby turtle, and lay on the soft black sand beach of Parismina. Plus, working with Parismina Association for Sea Turtle Conservation (ASTOP) was a very gratifying and eye opening experience. Being able to look at a problem in the world, learn about it, and be able to even slightly contribute to the help of ending it is something every person should partake in. It changes your mindset on life. I can easily say I am lucky I got to experience that with Global Works. Their program succeeded in immersing us in Costa Rica culture and teaching us about it in very many different ways. Then we were able to take our knowledge and do something with, like in the service part of the trip, and when talking with Costa Rica natives, and then finally at home where we all grew as people.

What was your funniest moment?
It was during our first day of rafting, and our raft leader was asking how old we all were. After each persons response, he would repeat the number but in Spanish. At the very end, a boy who was already pretty fluent in Spanish decided to respond in Spanish rather than English unlike everyone else. He was thirteen. He said "treinta." The leader paused for a minute and blinked at him. Quietly he asked, "You're thirty?" The whole raft broke out in laughter. For the whole rest of the trip, that became a joke amongst our group.
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Dominik
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This trip was easily one of the highlights of my life, it was breathtaking. I learned so much about the Galapagos Islands and how humans have impacted the islands. we explored forests mountains deserts. We learned about indigenous wildlife and invasive species. We learned how the animals found their way to the island and how they interact with each other. I met so many new people all from different places and with different back rounds and got along with everyone, everyone on the trip we all formed a bond together and realized how good of an opportunity we all had to be in such a beautiful location. Everything we did was something completely new and fun. one moment we'd be snorkeling in the ocean and what felt likes moments later we were on a life changing hike on a volcano. This trip really changed my life and I thank everyone I could share the experience with.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
If i could go once more i would definetly try to take everything slower and not try to rush to do something different.
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Blake
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

It's hard to put into words the fantastic experience I had during this trip. It was indeed one of the best weeks I ever had. I was a little bit nervous about going on this trip. I had been on missions trips before, but they were never outside the states. I was so glad to have had the people I was with during the week because it made the experience so much better. By the end, we became like one big family. Even though many live on the other side of the country, I still talk and text them every day. Not only were the people so much fun to hang out, but the work that we did for the community felt so rewarding. We filled a floor and a wall full of cement, and even though it was hard work, it was so worth it. I highly recommend this trip for anyone who loves to do hard work and love to meet people from all across the country.

What was your funniest moment?
One of my most favorite moments during my trip was the talent show that we did. We had people juggle oranges, draw trees in less than a minute and we even had one person try to eat a whole box of welch's fruit snacks in two minutes. Our leaders also joined the talent doing a little whose line is it anyway skit, and it was so funny.
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Emma
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This trip was truly a highlight of my life. This experience was beyond my wildest dreams. I never thought as a high school student that I would be allowed to shadow a doctor, nurse, secretary or even become a pharmacist! The hands on experiences and opportunities to learn were far from how I imagined they would go. I have also never felt so confident in my spanish speaking abilities. I took Spanish classes in school and an additional program during a lunch period a week since I was in second grade. I have also taken 3 high school level Spanish classes as a rising junior in high school. This was the first time in my life that I had such an immersive Spanish speaking presence, between the doctors, patients, staff of establishments we visited, and our host families. Still somehow my favorite part of the trip were the people on it with me. I have met the most outstanding, brilliant, hilarious, and kind hearted people possibly ever. I absolutely loved our group dynamic. I know I have made friends for life. Additionally, the group leaders were always ready to help us with whatever we needed. They were trustworthy, reliable, and so sweet. They each offered and taught us new ideas and viewpoints, and guided us through a different style of life than we are used to. They served not only as leaders, teachers, counselors, and first in line of contact, but as friends.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
One thing I would change would be my attitude in the very beginning of camp. I had assumed that the trip would feel super long since the first day (17 days!!?). Yet after the fifth, I already knew it was going to feel too short. I wish that I had taken advantage of spending more time with the group in the beginning, because now it is unlikely that we will ever all meet at the same time and place again. We made amazing friendships, and it was so difficult to leave each other in the airport. So, if I had the chance to do it all again, I would be more aware of how special the opportunity is to meet new people and gotten more out of my shell when we all first landed in Houston.