Global Routes draws students from all over North America and the world who have a passion for adventure, genuine cross-cultural immersion, contribution and personal growth. Our participants are looking for something more rigorous than a teen-tour and more culturally engaging than a strictly wilderness or adventure program. Global Routes participants return as more confident, directed, self-aware and adventurous global citizens.
What is expected of me?
We expect you to have a positive attitude, demonstrate patience and flexibility in the face of the inherent challenges of group living in a foreign country, be sensitive to the beliefs and customs of the local people and their culture, contribute to a positive group experience and abide by our student contract on the enclosed application. No previous construction or teaching experience is necessary.
What are the living conditions?
Living conditions will vary throughout your program. During orientation and final travel you stay with your group in family-run guesthouses or small hostels. During the homestay portion of your program, your entire group will stay in one village where you and a partner live in a simple and rustic home, constructed of wood or cement block. Host families are selected for their warmth and friendliness, though their homes may not have electricity or indoor plumbing.
Who are my leaders?
Possibly the best part of your program! We pride ourselves on our exemplary leadership. Please review our staff biographies.
How do you select communities and host families?
In each destination we have in-country staff who identify appropriate communities, and who interview and select each host family. Prior to the start of your program, one of your leaders makes an additional visit to your community to meet with village leaders, members of the project committee and all host families. We go to new communities and use new families nearly every year. This keeps the experience unique and special for communities and students alike.
How long do we work every day? What do we do when we're not working?
You spend between 10 and 18 days on the service projects (40-100 hours total), working between 5 and 8 hours each day. After the workday is over, you have a chance to develop your secondary projects, play soccer with local children, help prepare dinner with your host family, or simply enjoy some down-time to read, relax and take it all in. Some evenings are spent meeting with your group to discuss the service projects or plan a community party. On the weekends, you and your group may have the chance to go to a nearby beach, hike to a waterfall, accompany your family to the local market or attend a dance in a neighboring community.
Can I apply the community service hours to my school requirement?
We present all students with a certificate noting the number of completed community service hours. You will complete anywhere between 40 and 100 community service hours, depending on your program.
Will there be vegetarian food options?
Many of our students are vegetarian or have other dietary restrictions. We make every effort to accommodate dietary restrictions to ensure that each student is well-fed. There may be occasions when it is not possible to obtain a different meal or when people do not understand the dietary restriction and are therefore unable to prepare the meal accordingly. In these cases we ask you to be culturally sensitive, flexible, patient and open to trying new things.
Do I need a passport? What clothes should I pack? Where do I meet my group?
Most Global Routes programs require a passport. Once we receive your application and reserve a space for you in the program, we provide you access to a password-protected webpage designed specifically for your program. There, we post information about passports and visas, detailed packing lists, all necessary travel information, your leaders and group, and much more.
What about health and safety?
We take every precaution possible to ensure a safe and healthy experience. We provide you with a comprehensive list of immunization recommendations specific to your program to make certain that your preventive inoculations are up to date. Additionally, each of your leaders is certified in First Aid and CPR and travels with an extensive medical kit. Finally, we have highly competent medical contacts in each destination whom we can call for assistance when necessary.
How do I sign up?
To reserve a space in one of our programs, submit a program application with a deposit of $600. Please be sure to also review the Terms and Conditions attached to the application.
What is the Difference between High School and Gap/College programs?
First, Global Routes high school programs are available to students finishing 9th-12th grades, whereas gap/college programs are available to students who have finished 12th grade or are currently enrolled in university. Next, gap/college programs are longer (3 months) tend to be smaller groups (12 maximum). During the extended homestay, each student lives independently with a host family, though there may be another student on the program in the same town or region as your host home. Overall, there is a more independent focus on the gap/college and therefore more opportunities to establish your own routine and community.
What is your affiliation with Windsor Mountain International Summer Camp?
We are a proud member of the Windsor Mountain community, with whom we share our headquarters as well as a long history. Back in the 1960s, when Windsor Mountain was known as Interlocken International Summer Camp, a program named Crossroads was developed to bring campers on cross-cultural exchange programs around the world. Over the past 40 years, the exchange program has evolved such that it incorporates more destinations and a curriculum that focuses on community service as well as exchange, and is now under the name of Global Routes. We maintain a close relationship with camp, with which we share resources year-round, and every summer we are a part of daily camp life. Many of our students were campers at Windsor Mountain, and several of our leaders were once counselors.