Global Leadership Adventures (GLA)

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9.9 / 10 after 71 Reviews Based on overall, support & value average ratings

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This past summer I traveled to Fiji for three weeks with Global Leadership Adventures and I can honestly say it was the best experience I have ever had. Every new place we went we were greeted with the warmest welcomes and friendliest smiles I had ever seen in my life. The program director, mentors, and local staff were so incredibly helpful, supportive, intelligent, and fun. The food and housing were always great. The balance between service and adventure was awesome, we worked for long hours in the villages on a variety of projects but it was always fun. When we got back we had free time to jump in the ocean or hang out in a hammock. The excursions to see stingrays and the long mountain hikes were incredible. And the nightly meeting where we talked about leadership and our views on the world were so engaging and informative. While I was there I also became best friends with the other students on the trip, and since then have flown across the country to visit them. Everyone was so welcoming and nobody was left out, we all had so much fun together. My time in Fiji was without a doubt be the best experience I have had to date, and I know when I came home I was a changed person. I expanded my horizons and immersed myself into a new culture. I gained new knowledge of people around the world, and new insight into the vast world that is out there. My trip challenged me, it pushed me and tired me out but at the end of the day it proved to be so incredibly rewarding. I recommend this program so much to anyone who wants to do service in another country and expand their horizons. The spirit of the country was indescribable, one of the best things I have experienced in my life. The GLA staff did an amazing job organizing this and I'm so happy I was lucky enough to be a part of it!

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Posted: December 8, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
18

It was a big step for us to let our daughter go on her first big foreign trip on her own. However, we were re-assured by the extensive and well planned communication from GLA. We also noticed our daughter being very responsible in all her actions and in preparing for the trip. She really developed and grew as a result of the experience and came back clearly having had the best of times having met so many wonderful friends. She just can't stop talking about her experience abroad. It positively transformed her and I can highly recommend the experience to others. GLA was also extremely helpful with any questions we had and my daughters safety was their number one priority, which was really reassuring. Despite my initial hesitations she had such an amazing time that she's going back this summer to Thailand and cant wait.

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Location:
Posted: December 2, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
58

My daughter went on a trip last year with GLA to Costa Rica. At first we were nervous about our her going so far as a 15 year old, but GLA was great and it ended up being a trip of a lifetime. The GLA advisors, Jackie, was very patient and informative with all my questions. They were completely on the ball at every step of the way and made us feel very comfortable as parents. The volunteer work with local school system was great for our daughter, but even more, the immersive cultural experience with like-minded teens from various places and backgrounds was irreplaceable. She has become an ambassador going with GLA to Peru this year and we're excited for her and the impact these trips are having on her world view, life experiences, learning and self esteem. We felt very comfortable working with Global Leadership Adventures and can not wait to see what future adventures our daughter has with GLA!

Program:
Location:
Posted: December 1, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
7
Age:
46

i spent 14 days in chiang mai working with elephants at a tourist home. there we discussed the issues elephants are faced with in thailand and ways we can help. our service work centered around the elephants and consisted of things such as cutting grass for them, building dams to help with flooding in the town we were in, taking the elephants to the river to bathe, feeding them and cleaning after them in the morning. the GLA staff both local and international were awesome, they were very helpful but also fun and entertaining. the food was incredible and our home base at thai elephant home was beautiful. this was a once in a lifetime experience and an unforgettable trip. we met high school student at a local schools and became friends with them in a couple hours in less than a day. we played soccer with the mahouts and performed a very cringy talent show. this was a very fun and eye opening trip and i am very glad i got to go on it and meet some great people as well.

Program:
Location:
Posted: December 1, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
16

This past summer, I went to Costa Rica with Global Leadership Adventures. My program was called Beachside Service Adventure and consisted of 10 days in Parrita. There were about 60 people in my group (mostly girls only like 10 boys) and we were split up into mentor groups of like 8-10 ish.

M y group worked with a startup plant nursery which was amazing. We worked with two locals, Nicholas and Mau who's nursery it was, and spent our service time basically hardcore gardening in the rainforest. One day we were clearing the land for the nursery and we got to be super cool with machetes and hack through the jungle brush which was awesome. Other groups did stuff like paint a mural at a school, build a tire playground, plant trees at a farm, build a garden at a school, etc.

One of my favorite parts was our nightly mentor group talks. Since gla does focus a lot on leadership we did discussion groups about leadership in our lives and how we can be a leader in our community and we talked about globalization and the relationship between developed/developing countries and some economics so it was really cool to get kinda a crash course foreign policy and how it applies to us kinda thing. And we totally had to open our minds to new ideas which was cool

Honestly the best part was just being immersed in the culture like eating rice and beans and drinking pineapple juice we ate SO MUCH fruit it was amazing

I thought the GLA people were really cool like every program has to have a native who works as an advisor so we actually had two: one woman who has just finished up in the peace corps and one woman who was from Parrita. They were really organized like being at the airport was stressful at first but once you find the GLA people they take care of you the whole time which was great and my parents weren't stressed at all

I would recommend on program length so I did a 10 day but I would recommend the 14 day ones just cause I really started to form close bonds right as we left and didn't really get the chance to develop those friendships. If you have any interest in the peace corps or mission work it's so great cause a lot of the staff did the peace corps or at least extensive volunteering so you get tons of cool people to ask lots of questions.

If you're nervous about doing GLA I'd definitely recommend the programs in Latin America/Caribbean. I know my parents were a lot happier knowing I was in the same time zone and it was easy to call me and my flight wasn't too bad. Plus it's less of a culture shock than, say, Thailand. I would definitely say whatever program you do, find someone who did that one before because there were a lot of confusing things just cause they can only fit so much in a brochure.

One of the lasting effects of GLA on my life is I feel a lot more down to earth and focused on nature and being in the present and I worry way less about social media or texting or television now which is nice.

-Miranda Wilson, GLA Ambassador

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Location:
Posted: November 27, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: wilsonm3
Age:

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