Ever considered a high school travel abroad summer program? Do you dream about seeing the world, exploring new cultures and experiencing life in ways only possible through travel? High school travel abroad programs are a great way to become a global citizen and stand out among your peers as you apply to college. Here’s what others say of their experiences and things to consider.
We receive lots of emails from high school students who wish to travel abroad, to experience the world. Naturally, they also also have questions about what to expect. The following email came from a student who was unsure about traveling alone, away from home.
“I like to travel. I know I want to see more of the world and I have been researching summer service trips abroad online and talking with friends. I’m not sure where exactly I want to go or what I want to do? I am in high school and also don’t know if I want to go alone not knowing anyone else. How do I decide?”
Our best advice – GO. First, do your due diligence. Then, absolutely GO!
We asked both students and instructors Mariel Turner, Michael DeMattia, and Annika Berman to help you understand what you might have to gain from a summer on The Road Less Traveled. Here’s what they had to say:
The truth is, the experiences on an RLT trip last far longer than the trip itself. Over my three summers with RLT, I know this to be true. You remember the littlest moments, like cleaning turpentine off of the hands of a Costa Rican school boy, because they got a little messy when he was helping paint the walls of the school building. Or assisting a young Kuna girl write “water” in her notebook, and having her smile wide after she finished tracing the “r”. You remember these little moments forever because they are genuine; they are real. Your connection to another person is so true it ceases to matter that you are from such different places, such different lives. In those moments, you’re just people and you are fundamentally joyful. They are more than just the little moments they appear to be because of the heart and passion behind them. Mariel T., Participant
“The Road Less Traveled never failed to ground me in what was important – Every summer, The Road Less Traveled was a blessed opportunity to step away from the heady rush of a university campus, from academic and job pressures, from the distracting buzz of civilization and to focus on people and places – on real needs, real opportunities, real challenges, real beauty.
Perhaps most of all, the Road Less Traveled was for me about people and hope. It was the place where I’ve had the most true, most genuine, and perhaps most intense interactions with people – and that is a beautiful thing. Being in a situation with people that forces us to drop our pretenses, to become vulnerable, to be honest…and to have the opportunity to shed all past baggage and be the versions of ourselves we want to be. To struggle together, to succeed together, to sometimes fail together, and to learn how to work together. And the people I called “colleagues” at the Road Less Traveled were some of the best people I’ve known – the most caring, committed, passionate, and downright fun to be around. I learned so much from working with them and had such a blast doing it – they continue to be some of my best friends and greatest role models.
It changed my approach to social change – from focusing on brilliant ideas and innovations to focusing on developing and unleashing the incredible power of each individual to create positive change.
The youth years are a perfect time to do that, and to have the opportunity to facilitate such a transformative journey for young people is a rare gift – one that I only hope I’ll have a chance to experience again.” – Annika Berman, Instructor
As a participant with RLT, I wrote about how rare life-changing experiences are. As a leader, traveling with young adults who find beauty and wonder in the people and natural world around them inspired me each and every day. Being surrounded by young men and women who are willing to seek out new challenges in unfamiliar places while supporting one another to grow and learn was nothing short of miraculous. In losing touch with MY world, I became more in tune with the REST of what life had to offer. Rolling waves on the shore, the way the sun peaked over the ridgeline, the sound of rain against the tent roof: each moment suddenly became…. beautiful, magic even. The Road Less Traveled has and will always be my life-changing travel. Michael DeMattia, Participant and Instructor
Still need to convince your parents? Here are even more reasons why you should travel the world:
Sound good? Go!