LIFE-CHANGING JOURNEYS FOR TEEN TRAVELERS

GLOBAL LEADERSHIP ADVENTURES

Embark on an unforgettable adventure to destinations across Africa, Asia & the Pacific, Central America, Europe, North America, South America and the Caribbean.
Spring Break and Summer program dates are open for enrollment.

ANNOUNCEMENT

BECOME A GLA HONORS FELLOW OR ARTS & LETTERS FELLOW

Fellowships are add-ons to your standard GLA summer program that provide academically and creatively gifted students like you the opportunity to expand upon your summer program experience with a curriculum that both highlights and recognizes your achievements.

Service Learning Adventures

At Global Leadership Adventures, we believe meaningful teen travel can be life-changing.

Community Service

Hands-on Learning

Adventure

97% OF GLA ALUMNI AGREE:

“WHEN I LOOK BACK ON MY GLA EXPERIENCE, I CONSIDER IT TO HAVE BEEN LIFE-CHANGING.”

*Based on a survey of alumni 3 years post-program

Intentional teen travel cultivates a global perspective and open-mindedness in our students.

The goal? For our student travelers to be inspired to become great leaders and global thinkers who seek positive change in their own communities once they return home.

GLA incorporates community service, hands-on learning and adventure into every one of our programs. This lends a strong sense of purpose to student travel.

Serve the community through meaningful, community-led volunteer efforts. Learn about your host destination’s culture, language and history, all while exploring sites of significance along the way. Enjoy adventure excursions that take you to some of the most spectacular places on the planet, from ziplining through jungle canopies to snorkeling among pristine coral reefs to trekking to world-famous Machu Picchu.

Most GLA programs are designed exclusively for high school students, though we do have an option for middle school students, too!

CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO

Responsive YouTube Video Embed

The GLA Difference

We have students and parents covered every step of the way!

5-Point
Safety System

Full-Service
Parent Support

Home Base
Lodging

Expert
Staff

Local
Partners

All-Inclusive
Programs

5-POINT SAFETY SYSTEM

Safety is our first priority. While we believe in the transformative power of stepping outside comfort zones, we remain invested in managing the risks of doing so.

FULL-SERVICE PARENT SUPPORT

We know it can be challenging to leave your child in the care of others. We take care in providing superior support to every parent before, during and after the program. We even provide program blogs for you to stay updated!

HOME BASE LODGING

Your Home Base is a safe and comfortable home away from home, a gathering place for reflection and team building after active days.

EXPERT STAFF

GLA’s program staff are passionate educators and teen experts. We hire knowledgeable, responsible and FUN individuals; we know that having the right leaders makes all the difference.

LOCAL PARTNERS

Working with local partners is a fundamental part of effective community service and responsible travel. They provide context that only a resident can give, and grant our students locals-only access to authentic experiences.

ALL-INCLUSIVE PROGRAMS

Tuition covers almost everything except airfare! Programs include lodging, airport pick-up/drop-off, meals, staff, excursions, educational materials, and secondary medical and evacuation insurance for international programs.

MEET US IN-PERSON OR ONLINE

MULTIPLE EVENT DATES & LOCATIONS ARE AVAILABLE
Meet GLA staff and an alumni family at one of our in-person open houses. Or join us on Zoom for an online information session. Click here to RSVP to your preferred event.

Leadership

Guiding young leaders is at the heart of what we do.

our mission is to inspire the next generation to realize their potential to transform the world and their unique role in it.

At Global Leadership Adventures, we believe leaders are made, not born, and that leadership is a life skill than can and should be developed.

It is GLA’s belief that young people – given the opportunity and privilege to embrace different cultures, confront timely challenges and develop their own unique leadership styles – will make this world the kind of place we can all share and explore together.

From role play to style exploration, GLA’s intentional program design weaves this approach into the daily experience for our students. Directors and Mentors assign Leaders of the Day on-program to get our students out of their comfort zone and into leadership roles within the group.

No matter whether you or the teen in your family is an introvert or an extrovert, we know that anyone can be a leader in their own way, and there’s not only one way to be a leader.

This holistic approach to leadership creates a lifelong impact for our young leaders.

WE'RE HERE TO HELP!

GET IN TOUCH WITH THE GLA ADMISSIONS TEAM
Call or text us during office hours at 858-771-0645 to speak with an Admissions Coordinator, or schedule a call with us during a day and time that is most convenient for you.

Find a Program

Your journey starts here! Explore our programs by destination or theme.

Discover programs by choosing from our portfolio of unique global destinations. Locations span the globe, from Central, North and South America in the west to Africa, Asia and Europe in the east. No matter whether you’re staying closer to home or traveling half way around the world, you’ll live in your host destination for 7-21 days and be immersed in the local community.

Choose from a wide array of program themes and concentrations to find your perfect program. The focus area you choose may relate to a future college major or career path, or it may just foster a new interest as you dive deeper into the field! Most importantly, remember that you do not need to have an existing interest or experience in the theme of your program to participate.

INTERNSHIPS

CHOOSE FROM ONE OF THREE EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE LEARNING INTERNSHIPS
Students on our travel internships will gain interactive field experience through partnerships with organizations abroad, within a theme and concentration of interest.

Costa Rica

Choose a teen travel program in our most popular overseas destination year after year!

GLA STORE

YOUR ONE-STOP SHOP FOR GLA MERCH
Head on over to the GLA Store to shop for everything from Global Leadership Adventures including branded t-shirts, hoodies, hats, mugs, tote bags, buttons and more!

More Destinations

Discover incredible destinations across the continents, and choose your favorite!

FINANCIAL AID

APPLY FOR A NEED-BASED SCHOLARSHIP
GLA has a limited pool of need-based scholarships. Because resources are limited and we try to support as many students as possible, we encourage you to apply early!

Program Themes & Concentrations

Discover your future: choose an academic program theme and concentration that may inspire a future college major or career path, or simply build more confidence in a field of interest.

FREE CATALOG

GET YOUR FREE COPY OF OUR FULL-COLOR PROGRAM CATALOG
Simply fill out this quick form to receive a catalog by mail or email. You’ll be able to browse through all of our programs and learn about the GLA difference!

Our Story

A journey rooted in extraordinary impact.

Our story begins with GLA Founder Fred Swaniker in 2003. Fred, a Ghana native, TED fellow and entrepreneur from Stanford University, envisioned a high school designed to develop Africa’s future leaders regardless of the student’s income or background.

After joining forces with Chris Bradford and Peter Mombaur, Fred’s former classmate and mentor, Fred’s vision was brought to life with the establishment of the African Leadership Academy, a revolutionary pan-African, nonprofit high school in Johannesburg.

ALA’s success was immediate and profound. When surrounded by a diverse group of peers and immersed in leadership development, students began to truly believe they held the power to change the world around them.

As a way to expand the reach of ALA’s successful curriculum, Fred, Chris and Peter created a summer program in 2004, this time welcoming students from around the world and planting the seeds for Global Leadership Adventures. The first program ran in South Africa 2005.

Global Leadership Adventures grew into a global team in 2006 with the expertise of Andrew Motiwalla, who joined the team as a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, with a background in operating global service-learning projects and developing experiential education programs.

Values central to the Peace Corps– immersive experience, sustainability and working side-by-side with local communities – were infused into GLA’s program design early on and continue to be building blocks for the dozens of programs our organization operates worldwide.

Fred Swaniker was honored as a pioneer by Time in its annual list of 100 Most Influential People of 2019. This was in recognition for his continued work to make a meaningful difference in the world through innovation in education.

Global Leadership Adventures has long been a recognized leader in international volunteering and community service programs for high school students.

Over the years, we have also expanded into providing summer volunteer programs for other age groups, such as middle school students, as well as travel internships for high school students that offer leadership learning and career development opportunities in partnership with global nonprofits and social enterprises. Since our founding, the elements of community service and cross-cultural exchange have remained cornerstones on our programs.

GLA is part of the Terra Education family of program providers:

ENROLL NOW

SAVE YOUR SPOT ON YOUR FAVORITE GLA PROGRAM
You can enroll in a Global Leadership Adventures program using our quick and easy online enrollment form before waitlists begin to form on our most popular programs.