Olivia Avery - 2014 Program Participant

What influenced you to apply for an international program?

I wanted the chance to see the world.

Why did you choose GLA specifically?

GLA provided the time to both do service and explore and be a tourist.

What was your favorite part about the trip?

I got to work with Elephants which was amazing.

What makes the program you participated in stand out from the rest?

GLA is a community and it feels very connected.

How did local staff support you throughout the program?

My mentors were amazing. They helped me through personal issues and helped me understand the culture.

Looking back, what's one thing you wish you would have done differently?

I wish I'd packed less.

What does a typical day look like with GLA in Thailand?

We wake up around 8 a.m., eat breakfast together, go over the schedule, get ready to leave, go somewhere, usually each lunch there, come back for free time, eat dinner together, and then have an evening activity (usually a discussion).

What was your favorite extracurricular activity during the program? 

Going to The White Temple.

What did you like most about your accommodations?

The living spaces were beautiful and clean. I loved how they felt private, but there were lots of social areas.

What impact have your travels in Thailand left on you?

It's made me want to travel even more.

What advice do you have for other teens contemplating an international program?

Pack wisely. If you can buy it easily where you're going, consider doing so.

What do you think was the biggest benefit of participating in your program?

Confirming that I am indeed as independent as I like to say I am.

How has your experience in Thailand opened your mind to other cultures?

It made me a lot more aware of what's happening around me within my own community, which has allowed me to put things into better perspective.

What do you hope to study when you reach university?

I'd like to study anthropology, archaeology, photography, or political science.