The purpose of these trainings is NOT to review every detail of the program – rather, it is to create a “shared mental model” about how to think about the program.
As often happens, plans may change the moment the program begins – the most important thing is that we are all thinking along the same lines and are ready to adapt as needed in order to make the program a success.
Our Integrity is unspoken. It is the unfailing framework from which we build every program, human relationship, and bridge into a community.
Respect is inherent in all of our interactions among students, staff, and all of the members whose communities we serve. Respect means accepting and celebrating differences. Respect means considering all points of view, always.
Cooperation is key to our accomplishments. We are a traveling community, helping to serve other communities. We work together, learn from one another, and build valuable friendships in the process.
Compassion is what drives our service, and that compassion extends to students, parents, and host communities. Our care for people extends to everything we do.
We are invested in the Personal Growth and development of all of our students and staff. We foster an environment for students to safely explore, experience, and self-discover.
Optimism is at our core. We believe that anything is possible, and that every person is capable of driving and adopting positive change in the world.
Innovation is what makes us stand out in international education. Open to new ideas and always striving to work better and smarter to serve our communities, students, and parents.
GLA delivers a profound and unique multi-faceted international cultural adventure with a focus on instilling leadership values. The GLA Program Model offers an integrated dynamic experience that combines:
connections with the local community through meaningful community service
social and cultural context through academic workshops and speakers
adventure, discovery, and culture learning through excursions
connections, discussion, and debate with students and staff
Because we believe in the ability to positively change communities over time, we try to work with the same communities year after year and establish long-term relationships with their community leaders.
Since specific community needs constantly change, we work together with our partners each year to identify volunteer projects that will have the greatest impact.
For each GLA program, students participate in courses and seminars that are focused on the country’s history, culture and language.
The GLA experience encourages students to share their thoughts, engage in discussions with peers from around the world, question experts, and learn about pervading issues that currently affect the country.
Your role in learning and creating a service-learning experience…
GLA attracts an international group of students whose goal looking to expand their horizons with a meaningful travel experience, to make a difference through meaningful volunteer work, and to build relationships with people from around the world.
Overall, trip leaders accompany a group of students on a program that is run by a local, in-country person or organization. The Trip Leader takes a pre-arranged program and elevates it to a “GLA Experience” by adding an additional value layer.
The additional value layer comes in the form of: providing additional student support, extracting learning about leadership and global issues from the experience and doing specific things that provide an additional layer of safety and comfort for students and their parents.
Guide their students through Discussion & Reflection sessions
Serve as a counselor, supervisor, and close confidant.
Manage group dynamic, discipline, and promote respectful behavior
Keeping close to the students’ experience is very important, and Mentors are invaluable to the power of students’ experience as ‘older siblings’ and to the staff for understanding how students are feeling, what conflicts there might be, what legitimate concerns there might be, etc.
The day before the students arrive, the staff should meet to set a schedule for how often they will meet during the program (min. every other day).
Airport pickups: at least one of the staff members should be at the airport to meet students in red GLA Shirts. Check Enrolled Student notes to see if any are arriving as an “unaccompanied minor” and the director is required to show ID and sign for their release.
Team meetings: How often they will meet as a team during the program. It is recommended that the team meet at least twice a week to gauge how people are feeling and to share experiences.
Roles and responsibilities: clearly articulate who needs to be present for which parts of the program.
Inter-personal challenges with staff, meet with both directors.
Running a GLA program can be exhausting. It is important that staff take time to decompress and relax whenever possible. The program is structured to allow different staff members to relax at different times
Evening supervision should be shared by all the staff on a rotating basis. This allows others to rest, relax and get extra sleep
The Program Director should make sure that other staff is not getting burned out or run down. If staff begins to become burned out, the Director should assign them some time off. Ultimately, GLA wants the program to be a positive experience for its staff.
Ambassadors will become eligible to receive a combination of commission and credit to a future GLA program for finding leads and enrollees, as well as other prizes i.e. gift cards, GLA gear, etc.
What are next steps for ambassadors?
If a candidate expresses interest, GLA staff will contact them in September via phone or e-mail for next steps. Candidates will get training and help on how to be kick-ass ambassadors.
What will ambassadors be doing day-to-day?
This is will be fun! Ambassadors get to be entrepreneurs. GLA will give them direction and tools and ideas, but it will be up to them to decide what they'd like to do.
What is the time commitment?
Students are busy, and we don't expect them to commit much time. On average, it would be a few hours a month to promote GLA by organizing an event, writing an essay, etc. In addition, they will need some time to talk to others about their experiences.