Frequently Asked Questions


What is Global Works doing about COVID-19?

Please take a look at our COVID-19 specific FAQ page.

How old are Global Works participants?

Our Summer Service Adventure programs are open to high school students — incoming 9th graders through graduating seniors (14 to 18-year-olds).  Our Custom Group Travel Programs can be designed for middle school students, high school students, college/university students, or adult groups. GAP programs are for 18 – 23 year old young adults.

Who participates on a Global Works program?

The Global Works community includes students from across the United States and around the world. Our programs typically have more girls than boys (average of 60:40 ratio). Most summer participants sign up for our programs without knowing anyone else. Students who join us must be ready to ‘step out of their comfort zone,’ work hard, and be willing to reach out, all while making new friends and being part of a close community.

What is and isn’t included in the trip tuition?

Trip tuition includes all accommodations, food, activities, and transportation once the trip begins. You should be able to fully participate without any additional expense once you are there. Our tuition prices do not include airfare, personal insurance, passport expenses, or personal spending money for gifts or extra treats.

What are Global Works’ health and safety protocols?

Since our inception in 1990, health and safety have been our first and foremost criteria in choosing our travel locations. We take a preventative approach to minimize the inherent risks of travel, avoiding areas that do not meet our standards. Global Works chooses the program destination and locations within each country that we travel to based on a number of criteria including, but not limited to: state department warnings, health risks, safe drinking water, and healthy food. First aid kits are on all programs and leaders are minimally certified in First Aid and CPR. We have an Emergency Action Plan detailing medical care and evacuation plans for each location. Each location is visited and scouted prior to the trip by trip leaders to help ensure a positive experience for our participants. We would be happy to talk with you further about our Emergency Action Plan and safety measures for each program.

May I bring my phone/laptop/tablet/music device on my trip?

Cell phones and internet capable electronics (such as laptops, iPads, iPhones, iTouches, Kindles, etc) are not permitted during Summer Service Adventure programs*. Participants may have cell phones for the opening and closing travel days. Cell phones are not to be used while in-country on the program. If a student brings a cell phone or internet capable device, the Global Works staff, upon arrival, will collect the phone and hold it for the duration of the program. We do this for the purpose of maintaining group cohesion and focusing on the goals of our program. Parents may always get in touch with their children via the Home Office. Global Works is not responsible for lost/damaged cell phones or electronics. Thank you for understanding and respecting this policy!  

*On our Custom Group Travel programs, please check with your group chaperones regarding trip policy.

May I call home during the trip?

Participants will have the opportunity to call home once within the first 5 days of the program, and once per week following. Families will receive a schedule of the days and timeframes in which they might expect a phone call home prior to trip departure. Please note that, while we provide the opportunity to call home, students are not required to do so unless otherwise deemed necessary. We recommend discussing your expectations with your student before the trip.

All Global Works summer programs have a dedicated blog, written by students, that highlights daily activities and includes photos. We update the blog every 1-2 days. This is a great way for parents, families, and friends back home to stay up to speed on group happenings!

Parents may always get in touch with their children via the Home Office in case of emergency or extenuating circumstances.

Do I need to know another language?

You do not need specific language experience, just a willingness to try and a desire to learn! We recommend 2 years of language study for our Spanish and French Language Immersion programs, but it is not required. Your leaders will be able to translate and help work with you at your level. For homestay programs, we will aim to place you with another student who can complement your skills and comfort level.

Should I be nervous if I don’t know anyone on the trip beforehand?

Absolutely not! Even though it is perfectly natural to feel nervous about the unknown, those feelings will disappear quickly after the first few days as you become familiar with your group and new surroundings. Our fun and caring staff spends the first couple of days facilitating group orientation and team building activities. Our staff keeps a watchful eye on the emotional well-being of each individual, as well as the dynamics of the whole group.

May I come with a friend?

Yes, however, we do need to keep tight limits on how many people know each other on any given trip. If friends do decide to travel together, it is vital that each individual reaches out to make new friends. Global Works offers small group experiences, and it is necessary for everyone to feel welcome and included. The vast majority of participants will be attending without a friend.

What are the behavioral expectations?

Global Works rules and guidelines are implemented to ensure a united, safe and successful group travel experience. Global Works participants are expected to maintain high standards of personal behavior. While the majority of activities are structured and supervised, students also have “free time” which does not involve constant supervision/surveillance. Group members must be able to assume responsibility for their actions and decisions. Students whose parents require them to be under constant surveillance or who are likely to act irresponsibly should not apply.

The drugs and alcohol question?

There is no question. The rule is clear: no drugs, alcohol, or tobacco products. If you are not sure you can live by this rule for the duration of the program, please do not come on the trip. We have sent students home for this reason, and we are firm on this subject.

How much time is spent on service projects and do we receive documents for the hours we complete?

The total number of service hours may vary from 10-50 hours, depending on the length of your program, your program location, and variables beyond our control, such as weather. After your program ends you will receive a “Community Service Certificate.” This document notes the number of hours you completed and a detailed description of the tasks and projects accomplished. We are also happy to complete any further documentation needed to earn community service hours for a school or civic organization.



Sounds great! How do I sign up?

Complete our online application by clicking the “Enroll Now” button. You will be asked to create an online account with your email address and a password. The application includes an $800 deposit for our Summer Service Adventure programs and a $500 deposit for our Custom Group Travel programs. If your group/school is collecting payments separately, please select that you are paying by “check” to bypass this payment.

When do I need to enroll?

Programs fill on a first-come, first-served basis. We suggest you sign up early to ensure a spot on your top choice program!

I submitted my application and deposit! What are the next steps?

Congratulations! You will receive an email confirming your program and outlining the next steps. Login to your personalized Login Page to access your financial statements and forms and documents, including medical information and paperwork, airfare information, and your financial statements. You will also find the Global Works Parent & Student Handbook, your go-to guide for information about preparation, policies and practices during a Global Works trip.

Do I need a Passport?

Yes, except for Puerto Rico, all Global Works programs require you to have a passport. Please do not delay in applying for or renewing your passport. As a general rule, most countries expect that your passport will be valid at least 6 months from your trip start date. Go to to find our more information, apply for, or renew your passport.

Do I need specific immunizations/vaccinations for my program?

We follow the guidelines and recommendations of the U.S. Center for Disease Control. The governments of the countries that we travel to do not require specific immunizations or vaccinations. However, we recommend several immunizations, based on the idea that we will traveling to “off the beaten path” locations. Upon enrollment, we provide you with information about health and immunizations for your particular destination (please see the Vaccination and Travel Health Info document on your Login Page). We strongly suggest that you consult your physician and/or travel medicine clinic to make the final decision about immunizations.

Can I use a school or sports physical in place of the Global Works Physician's Exam?

Yes, so long as the information is from within the past year, is still accurate, and includes a physician’s signature. You may upload your form in place of the form provided on your Login Page.

What should I pack for my trip?

Upon enrollment, we will provide you with a Packing List that is specific to your trip via your Login Page. We take into consideration you destination, specific activities, and duration of trip. We will provide information about clothing, gear, and personal items.

Do you offer payment plans or financial aid?

Yes. Please see the following pages for more information:

Financial Aid
Global Works Ambassador Program
Global Works Community Fund Fellowship


What are the flight schedules for the international group flights?

Please contact our office at or 303-545-2202 and we would be happy to provide you with the flight itineraries. If you are already enrolled, this information is provided on your Login Page in the Forms & Documents section.

How much does the international group flight cost? And where does it depart from?

See our Dates and Tuition page for Group Flight costs and departure airports.

How do I reserve the international group flight with Global Works?

After enrolling on a Global Works program, you will be asked to complete the Travel Reservation form (available on your Login Page in the Forms & Documents section). Here, you indicate your preference to take the international group flight, and whether you need a connecting flight to the departure airport. For those who have chosen to travel on the international group flight, you will have the option to pay upon completion of the Travel Reservation form or receive an invoice from The group flight reservation will be confirmed when we receive payment for the Group Flight and tickets have been issued. You will receive an e-ticket receipt via email 2-4 weeks prior to the program.

What if I need to book a connecting flight to the group flight departure airport?

You can book your connecting flight on your own or through our travel partner, Cain Travel. Cain Travel looks to maximize your cost savings under pre-negotiated Global Works rates and can often provide connecting flights under one ticket with the Group Flight. In order to book through Cain Travel, it is required that you first complete the Travel Reservation form (found on your Login Page). Upon receipt of the Travel Reservation form, our travel agent will email you in 3-5 days to provide detailed schedule options and quotes. There is no obligation to purchase the quotes that she provides. However, if you do make the reservations, there is a ticketing fee for this service. Cain Travel requires payment at the time of booking. The Global Works Home Office does not handle arrangements or billing of any connecting flights; only the international Group Flights.

Cain Travel is Global Works’ travel agent partner. Based out of Boulder, Colorado, Cain Travel is a full service travel agent who provides our Group Flight reservations and can also assist with Connecting Flight reservations. Amanda LaMoy manages all Global Works reservations. Her contact information is:

Can I book my own flights?

Yes. You are not obligated to purchase the group flight through Global Works. If you are making travel reservations independently for the international group flight and/or your connecting flight, please plan to arrive/depart within the travel window indicated on Login Page. Once confirmed, update all flight information under the Forms & Documents section of your Login Page. Global Works leaders will facilitate meeting students upon arrival and will communicate with you the time and place to meet prior to the trip. Parents will be called upon arrival to assure that the participant made it safely!

What does opening travel day look like?

Upon arrival to your destination, leaders will collect passports, a copy of your passport, departure tax / extra money for baggage fees in envelope (if applicable) and medication that leaders should administer (if applicable). Students will make phone calls home and the office will send an email letting parents know that the flight has arrived. Most groups also post photos and travel day stories on our blog to let you know they are off to a great start!

Will my son/daughter be supervised in the airport in case of a delay or flight cancellation?

Yes! The Group Flight and Airport Chaperone Service is included for all participants who reserve travel on the Global Works Group Flight. This service costs $99 and covers:

Reserving flights and providing updates for flight schedule changes.

Staff chaperoned flights and airport supervision.

Assistance at group flight check-in counter at departure airport.

Assisting in re-booking in case of flight delays and/or cancellations.

Hotel and travel expenses in case of flight delays and/or cancellations.

Supervision by a trained Global Works staff member in case of flight delays and/or cancellations.

Access to all flight records.

Investigating lost luggage.

Choosing seat assignments and/or meal preferences.

Potential to receive airline credit in case of cancellation of international group flight.

Is it ok for parents to meet their son/daughter at the end of the trip?

Yes! We’ll help you to rendezvous with your family members on the morning of the last day of the trip.

What are the Unaccompanied Minor (UAM) policies?

Each airline has different UAM policies. Some require students under 15 or 16 to fly as an Unaccompanied Minor. Airline attendants check you in and escort you through connecting cities. Global Works leaders will meet and sign for you at the gate upon arrival at your final destination.

Can I use frequent flier miles?

Unfortunately, the airlines do not permit using air miles for our pre-reserved international group flights. Some families book the Global Works group flight on their own in order to take advantage of using air miles. You MAY accrue miles on our international group flights. Email us your frequent flier number and we will assure that it is applied to your group flight.

Do I need a passport?

Yes, except for Puerto Rico, all Global Works programs require you to have a passport. Please do not delay in applying for or renewing your passport! Your passport must be valid for the duration of your trip and, in some cases, up to 6 months after your date of entry (destination dependent). Go to to find our more information, apply for, or renew your passport.

Do I need a visa? If so, how do I get one?

It is each participant’s responsibility to obtain, if necessary, a visa for entry. For U.S. passport holders, visas ARE required for the following Global Works programs: China & Nepal. If your child is not a US citizen, it is your responsibility to determine whether a visa is necessary for entry. Non- U.S. citizens must contact the appropriate embassies and consulates to inquire about any visa requirements for all countries to be visited. You may also opt to go through an agency that will provide advice and services. Global Works partners with Visa Central/ CIBT Visas who offer student discounts for their services. Visit to determine your visa requirements and obtain the necessary paperwork. Global Works participants receive a disounted price for services. We suggest that this process be completed two months prior to departure.


How are homestay communities and families selected?

Global Works is committed to providing secure and meaningful homestay experiences. Homestay families are carefully chosen through a standardized process of interviews, home visits by our Country Directors, contractual agreements, and careful consideration for our students’ privacy and safety. Families sign a contract with Global Works stating they have a clear understanding of our rules, guidelines, and expectations. We carefully consider and match students based on age, gender, and preferences to the extent it is possible. We search for families who have the desire to partner with our groups in service work and cultural exchange. Additionally, we do not place Global Works girls in homes with teenage boys and homes must have a private room for the student(s). Our communities are typically rural and feature a strong community spirit.

How are participants placed with a homestay family?

We match participants based on a number of criteria including (but not limited to): allergies, diet, age, language proficiency, and personal preference. We do consider students wishes as far as having kids in the home, other teenagers, etc., but cannot always guarantee this will be available. Our first priority is to place each participant with a reputable, responsible, and warm family with an authentic interest in cultural exchange.

Will I be placed in a homestay by myself, or with another student?

Most students stay in paired homestays. However, we do offer students the option for an individual homestay, if requested. We will do our best to honor these requests, based on availability.

When will I find out who my host family is?

Our Global Works leaders will determine which participant(s) will stay with which family once they have met and spent a day or two with the group. We find that this greatly increases the possibility of excellent matches, both between Global Works students and with the families themselves. For this reason, participants will find out about their family while on their trip, not prior to departure.

What do we do during a typical day in the homestay?

You will be with your group during most days to work on projects and participate in other activities. Local community members and children will often be working and playing alongside you. In the morning, you will have breakfast with your host family, then meet the group for an activity or to begin working on a community service project. Certain communities return home for lunch with the families. In the afternoon, we may work for an hour or two and then join in a soccer game or other activities in the community. Some evenings, we will get together with the group and our families for dances, game nights, festivals and/or potluck dinners.

What types of gifts should I bring for my homestay family?

Because you will not know the members of your family until a few days into the trip, a good idea is to bring one gift for your host mom, one for your host dad, and a collective gift for the children. We provide more specific ideas on your Packing List!

Will I be able to keep in touch with my homestay family after the trip?

Definitely! We encourage participants to write letters and emails and send photos to their homestay families after the trip. This is a wonderful way to stay connected to the host community. Our homestay families especially love to receive mail from their “American son/daughter” during holiday times and birthdays!

What are the communities and homes like?

Like any community in the United States, all of our communities are different from one another. The same goes for the families we choose. Typically, our communities and families are in rustic settings where participants and chaperones should expect conditions significantly different than their own back home. The presence of a variety of animals and some insects IS NOT out of the ordinary. All participants should consider, and must disclose, sensitivities to allergies, foods, and less sanitary conditions that are commonly present on our programs.

Will my host family speak English?

No. Some of the children may have basic English at school, but the majority do not speak English. Remember, we have told each family that you are there to practice Spanish or French. Before arriving to the homestay, we will practice some key phrases in the target language as well as some other useful communication skills. Charades, anyone?!

What experience do I need to do a homestay?

We encourage students to have at least two years of Spanish or French before participating in a homestay program, but it is not required. The most important thing you can bring to your homestay experience is a willingness to try and a desire to learn.

Will I be placed in a homestay by myself, or with another student?

Most students stay in paired homestays. However, we do offer students the option for an individual homestay, if requested. We will do our best to honor these requests, based on availability.

What if there is an emergency?

Participants will know where their Global Works leader(s) and/or group chaperone(s) are at all times and vice versa. Participants will carry an Emergency Contact Card that has their leader’s cell phone number. If there is a problem in any home that warrants switching host families, we will organize a move. In addition, Global Works always has evacuation plans for each location that we visit. Your Global Works leader will know where to find the closest medical facility and the fastest way to reach it.