As summer and the promise of free time approaches, so does the desire to travel. But going abroad doesn’t necessarily mean spending on a lavish vacation, especially when there’s a range of options that facilitate traveling when it’s done for a good cause. Here are a couple of programs that provide an opportunity to make a positive impact, as you get to see the world.
Greenheart Travel is an organization that prides itself on personal enrichment developed through cultural immersion. With interests in environmentalism, peace, and charity, the organization is focused on creating a positive difference in any destination. This drive is what allows this organization to provide the chance for students to accomplish a multitude of great things, whether it’s travelling to Sri Lanka to aid in elephant conservation, or becoming an English tutor for a family in Beijing.
Greenheart Travel offers a vast array of travel opportunities for both teens and adults. Programs for teenagers include: volunteer abroad programs, language camps, and high school abroad. Adult-oriented programs include: volunteer and work abroad programs, Teaching English as a Foreign Language certification, and homestay abroad programs.
Costs vary widely due to the variety of programs GT offers. Prices are dependent upon location, time of year, duration, and program type. Programs like homestay abroad can be as little as about $900 (excluding flights) due to the accommodations provided by the program itself, which include home cooked meals.
Education First is an education-based company that offers an array of tours in over 50 countries. EF prides itself on establishing connections and of course, learning. Designed for students, it offers language immersion and service learning tours, global leadership summits, and even tours built to cater to an Advanced Placement curriculum. The company partners with established non-profit organizations such as the Mariposa Foundation and Free the Children. Trips involve causes such as: improving educational access for young women in India or working to improve living conditions in countries like Nicaragua.
EF also provides an option called “College Break” for 18 to 28 year-old adventure-seekers. Designed to be more flexible and independent, the program provides grander tours that can last over a month!
Because of their brief duration and inclusive packages, EF Tours range from $2,000 to $8,000 dollars—payment plans and discount opportunities are offered for those who need it.
As for deciding where to go, thinking about what you value is the most important factor when it comes to choosing a destination. Do you want to spend your summer teaching English in rural Brazil or is the sound of bustling European cities more of your pace? A tour might be the perfect option if you have not yet decided on a preference, but if you have, choosing the right place and reason to stay abroad for an extended period of time may require more consideration.
At the end of the day, it is always best to choose a destination that has always sparked your interest and inspires you. Travelling is ultimately about enriching your life through new experiences, and your trip abroad is your opportunity to do so!
By Kailyn Mariot