Leadership Focus: Global Leadership Adventures

Global Leadership Adventures (GLA) goal is to offer life-changing experiences that will cultivate a global perspective and open-mindedness that will ultimately inspire teens to become great leaders and global thinkers and seek positive change in their own communities.

Global Leadership Adventures Programs

Programs are offered in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. There is volunteering program for teens and learning about grassroots social movements.

Global Leadership Adventures programs types include:

Animal & Wildlife Conservation

The animal & wildlife conservation program is for school students who are passionate about changing the lives of animals. Students take part on the following activities:

  • Collaborate with experts on issues surrounding animal & wildlife conservation
  • Spend time up-close and personal with elephants, giant tortoises, or rescue animals such as cats and dogs
  • Work side-by-side with a teen animal volunteer team as they help find homes for injured or abandoned animals
  • Contribute to sustainable habitat projects that will help animals to flourish

Global Leadership Adventures Animal & Wildlife Conservation Program for Teens

  • Brazil: Preserving the Amazon™
  • Costa Rica: Animal Rescue Project™
  • Thailand: Elephant Health & Welfare Project™
  • Costa Rica: The Sea Turtle Initiative™
  • Galapagos: Preserving Nature’s Wonders™
  • South Africa: Safari Service Expedition™
  • Thailand: The Elephant Village Initiative™

Children & Community Development

The children & community development program is for students who are passionate improving the communities children depend on. Students take part on the following activities:

  • Change the lives of children in-need through meaningful service as teen volunteers
  • Connect with a new culture and make friends with like-minded interests
  • Go on excursions and explore everything that makes their chosen place special
  • Leave a lasting impact that will have a positive effect on the community for years to come

GLA Children & Community Development Programs

  • Belize: The Initiative for Children™
  • Costa Rica: The Initiative for Children™
  • Costa Rica: Beachside Service Adventure
  • Dominican Republic: Caribbean Service Adventure
  • Peru: Service in the Sacred Valley™
  • Philippines: The Initiative for Children™

Children & Education

The Children & Education program is for students who are passionate improving the lives of children. Students take part on the following activities:

  • Tutor abroad and provide education to children at school and outside the classroom
  • Be a friend and role model to the youngest generation
  • Inspire local children to dream big and achieve their ambitions
  • Leave a lasting impact on the community through infrastructure improvements at local schools

GLA Children & Education Programs

  • Bali: Children’s Education in Action™
  • Fiji: Children of the South Pacific™
  • Ghana: Children of Africa™
  • Peru: Children of the Andes™
  • Tanzania: Children’s Education Adventure
  • Thailand: In and Beyond the Classroom™
  • Guatemala: Children of the Maya™

Country Discovery

The Country Discovery program is for students who are looking to experience a bit of everything. Students take part on the following activities:

  • Travel programs in their program country, from the remote and wild to the ultra-cosmopolitan
  • Savor all the highlights they came for, plus experiences they never even knew they could have
  • Learn about a variety of critical issues, and work with different organizations focused on implementing sustainable solutions
  • Get to know the local people and culture, and take advantage of a diverse itinerary packed with opportunities for insider access

GLA Country Discovery Programs

  • Argentina: Cultural Odyssey™
  • Spain: Cultural Odyssey™
  • Cuba: Cultural Odyssey™

Environment & Community Action

The Environment & Community program is for students who are passionate about preserving the natural world so that future generations can thrive. Students take part on the following activities:

  • Volunteer alongside organizations that are doing important work in the field
  • Recycle and re-purpose scraps and litter for use in sustainable construction projects that benefit the community
  • Unlike typical outdoors summer camps for teens, learn about issues related to the environment, such as climate change, human security and sustainable living
  • Choose the ecosystem they’ll be a part of protecting and preserving, including forests, islands and oceans

GLA Environment & Community Action Programs

  • Dominican Republic: Building a Sustainable World™
  • Costa Rica: Empowering Rainforest Communities™
  • Costa Rica: Protecting the Pacific™
  • Fiji: Marine Conservation Expedition™

Language Immersion

  • China: Mandarin Service Adventure
  • Costa Rica: Spanish Service Adventure
  • Guadeloupe: French Caribbean Adventure
  • Peru: Spanish Service Adventure
  • Spain: Spanish Service Adventure

Medicine & Public Health

  • Bali: Global Health Initiative™
  • Peru: Foundations of Global Health™
  • Dominican Republic: Global Health Initiative™
  • Ghana: Foundations of Global Health™
  • Haiti: Global Health Initiative™

Photography & Journalism

  • India: Service Through the Lens™
  • Peru: Service Through the Lens™
  • Cuba: Culture in Focus™

Social Entrepreneurship

  • Dominican Republic: International Development Initiative™
  • South Africa: Social Change Project™

Sports Leadership

  • Costa Rica: Soccer Beyond Borders™
  • Costa Rica: Surf & Sports Service Adventure
  • Dominican Republic: Sports Service Adventure

Spring Break

  • Costa Rica: Spring Break Sea Turtle Initiative™
  • Dominican Republic: Spring Break Service Adventure


Participating students engage in exciting excursions to places of historical significance, to expand their understanding of their host country. These prestigious programs attract students and are a leader in experiential travel for a teen interested in being a volunteer abroad.

The long-term partnerships GLA global staff have developed with local people, community leadership and action-oriented organizations around the world continue to be the backbone of its programs. Helping deliver sustainable impact while transforming the way people look at the world and themselves is what gets the team fired up every day at GLA.

Fred Swaniker founded Global Leadership Adventures as a precursor to the African Leadership Academy, based in Johannesburg, South Africa but became a separate entity in 2004. Swaniker is a Ghanaian serial entrepreneur and leadership development expert. He has launched five organizations that aim at developing leaders, primarily in Africa. Fred is the founder & CEO of the African Leadership Academy, an institution located outside Johannesburg in South Africa. The African Leadership Academy aims to develop 6,000 transformative leaders for Africa over a 50-year period. He is also the founder of African Leadership Network and Africa Advisory Group. Before he hit eighteen, Swaniker had lived in Ghana, Gambia, Botswana and Zimbabwe. He is worth an estimated $300 million.

The organization is now based in San Diego, United States. GLA is a certified benefit corporation (B-Corp).

In 2005 and again in 2008, GLA hosted Archbishop Desmond Tutu to speak about the legacy of Apartheid. In 2007, GLA students met with Costa Rica president to discuss the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).

A wide number of publications, including the New York Times and The Huffington Post have featured GLA. GLA has a growing alumni base, with student alumni hailing from over 50 different countries.

Organization Details

Focus on Leadership: Global Leadership Adventures

Organization Name: Global Leadership Adventures
Organization Mandate: To inspire the next generation to realize their potential to transform the world and their role in it.
Address: 3636 Camino del Rio North, San Diego, CA, USA, 92108
Address 2: Suite 120
Telephone: +1 858-771-0645
Non-profit organization?: No
Faith-based?: No

Also published on Medium.

About Nathaniel Moikabi

Nathaniel Moikabi is a blogger and a tech professional with 9 years of experience in the high-powered world of writing, marketing and technology. Moikabi is on a mission to help everyday entrepreneurs build sustainable business, stop stressing about their marketing, and start living the life they’ve always wanted.

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