Thanks for the checking out the blog for this Global Leadership Adventures program!
Here are a few things you can expect:
- We typically receive 2-3 blog posts per week here at GLA Headquarters from our program staff and students, so please don’t be alarmed if you don’t see a blog post daily – that’s totally normal.
- Blog updates sent on weekends may not be posted until Monday.
- Due to many factors, including but not limited to internet accessibility, photos may not always be available to post onto the blog. Sometimes onsite program staff are only able to send text back to Headquarters, where our team updates the blog.
Cell Phone Policy: The GLA cell phone policy is currently in place this summer to help foster meaningful connections between students. This means your student’s phone will be collected every day and returned to them throughout the program during designated spaces of time we call ‘tech time’. Actual tech times and regularity will vary greatly by program location. During designated ‘tech time’, your student may use their phones as they wish. Please note that your student may not always choose to use this time to get a hold of their parents. If you are not hearing directly from your student each day, you can assume that no news is good news! We strongly recommend you follow the blog to follow your students’ experience without talking to them every day. If you are a parent and would like to get in touch with your student directly, you can call us at +1-619-758-3031 and we can set up a formal time for you to connect with your student.
Thank you for your patience and understanding, and we hope you enjoy following along on these unforgettable adventures.
For frequently asked questions about the blogs, please visit our Program Blog FAQ page.
-The Global Leadership Adventures HQ Team
BLOG POST FOR JULY 6
Written by Andrew and Nate
Hi parents and friends! We have all arrived safely and have had time to settle down into our hotel rooms and have some introduction activities to get to know each other and what we will be doing throughout this program. We are already making some great friends and hope to keep bonding through this experience together.
Today we had our first day of exploring London by taking the famous red double decker bus to the Underground (metro) and rode it the London eye. We spent about half an hour in the London eye looking over the city while one of our staff Owen taught us about all the buildings we were seeing. Some of us even played Rock Paper Scissors with other people who were riding on the London Eye.
We walked to lunch and had spaghetti bolognese and after lunch we took a visit to the Science Museum where we saw a limited time exhibit that taught us about how cancer cells were formed and what types of treatments that exist. After this exhibit we had free time to explore the rest of the museum where we learned about medical treatments, the future of energy, ways of tracking time, and the mechanisms of cars, planes, spaceships, and boats.
After exploring the museum we stopped by Royale Albert Hall where we reflected on our day. We also got to know each other by playing a question game. We had pizza for dinner and returned back to home base to play more games and spend more time together. Today was a great way to start off our trip!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 7
What’s up everyone,
We, David and Matthew, were the leaders of the day today. Early morning took us to our hotels lovely English breakfast. During which, we tried some cultural combinations such as beans on toast. After breakfast we started an activity based on the exploration of forensic science. We dived deep into finger prints and how to get away with murder (shh). We took our own fingerprints and shoe prints and learned how to analyze what we found.
Lunch consisted of a heated debate over bangers and mash, the British dish of sausage and mash potatoes. Do you think hotdogs are technically sandwiches? Because they absolutely are. Lunch was followed up with a nice activity surrounding genes, cells, and DNA at Blizzard Labs at Queen Elizabeth college. The lesson (which was super interactive) either offered some new ideas to think about or allowed for people to remember the information they’d already learned. This lesson was held inside a building that is meant to look like a neuron which was really neat.
At 7:30, we were fortunate enough to view an outstanding performance of “Wicked” the musical. When we went it was the 6000th time the show had been performed so they dropped loads of balloons and confetti at the end!
It was an honor to serve as the leaders of today,
David and Matthew
BLOG POST FOR JULY 8
Written by Spencer and Griffin
The day started a bit slow due to our late night at the theater last night, but after we got up and had breakfast, we enjoyed a nice and informative ride to Oxford courtesy of our wonderful bus driver Jim. He pointed out the Windsor Castle that we saw in the distance and a few other beautiful buildings. Once we reached the town of Oxford, we got out and headed to Christ Church College for a nice audio tour with some beautiful views of the quads. This is where they filmed many of the scenes from Harry Potter!
Afterwards, we had a tour with a wonderful guide named David around the town seeing many of the other colleges and historical sites. This area has been the setting for many other movies as well. Once we finished we had a nice lunch in the town and then set out for the Oxford University Natural History Museum. After seeing all of the amazing artifacts in the museum, it was time for punting! A punt is a long, flat-bottom boat that is propelled by a long pole that goes in the water. The weather was perfect for the activity, it was a warm day however there was a nice cool breeze blowing down the river making it a pleasant experience on the water. None of us were experienced in this activity but it made for a “wonderful disaster” as we described it. It was the best part of most of our days, but then again every part of today was super amazing for all of us.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 9
Written by Jackson and Jake
This morning GLA woke up to a fine English Breakfast. Afterwards we had a lecture from Mr. Allen about Carbon Capture and Storage, and safe to say everyone was captivated. We learned about climate change and some ways that we can help to mitigate it. Then, we took the Underground, to the beautiful Leicester Square where we ate sandwiches and enjoyed the park and views at Trafalgar Square.
Soon after we did our very first service on the trip. For three hours we worked with Refugee Network UK in help the homeless population of London by serving meals to those and need. We served a line of people who were waiting in the area where we prepared the food and then we headed out in small groups to the different parts of the city to hand out food. We later reflected on our service and all shared the conversations we had and how special the experience was. We reflected on the homeless problem in England and also talked about problems facing the areas where we live. Some of us even did interviews with the organization to speak about how the experience impacted us.
For dinner we ate a British favorite Fish and Chips with mashed peas. Then we walked to #10 Downing Street where we looked at the Prime minister’s house. After that we took the Tube home and had a closing activity before bed. We also celebrated our long day with a very special trip to McDonald’s close to our hotel.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 10
Written by Lux and Brianna
Hello GLA parents and friends! Today’s blog post comes from Lux and Brianna, today’s leaders. Our day began with a buffet breakfast, followed by a long bus ride across the gorgeous English countryside.
Our first activity was a fascinating exploration of Bletchley Park. We got to learn all about Alan Turing and his colleagues, the Bombe machines they developed to crack the Enigma code, and the importance of the Bletchley Park code breakers through World War Two. It was amazing to see lots of stories from so many women that held instrumental roles at Bletchley Park, though they’re often overlooked and sidelined in every other part of that history.
After a second bus ride from Bletchley park to Cambridge, we began a walking tour around the breathtaking university grounds. We learned about the history of the colleges, what can be studied at Cambridge, and even some of the famous people who have studied there such as Sir Issac Newton and Stephen Hawking! Cambridge is home to many amazing scientists who made many discoveries such as the splitting of the atom and DNA. The amazing warm sunny day provided us with the perfect conditions to walk the historic grounds of the university.
This day was incredibly educational and fun, and we are certainly excited to begin the next leg of our journey tomorrow!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 11
Written by Ryan and Alex
We started off the day with an entertaining drama workshop at the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre and had “lyric” cheeseburgers. We learned how to stay in character when making up certain actions and acted out lines that were were given along with improvisations. It was super fun watching people perform.
Paying a royal visit to Buckingham Palace was our last event of England where we had a glance at the guards and talked about our journey and experiences in the United Kingdom. The Queen was sadly not there for us to say hi or bye… this was our last day in London.
We then rode on the Eurostar. It was a 2 hour expedition, 3 with the time jump, from London to Paris. Card games, Spotify, bracelet making, and learning French phrases passed the time.
The last hour of the night was spent riding a bus to our new hotel in Paris with us getting ready for our early morning in the city of light.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 12
Written by Sofia and Peyton
Today was our first full day in Paris, so we started it off with a French breakfast including croissants, baguettes, yogurt, café and a selection of meats.
After that, we journeyed to the middle of the city to engage in community service. Here, we made sandwiches then handed them out to people on the streets who were in need. This activity made us reflect on how fortunate we are to have certain things, for example: food, water, and housing. We are happy to have made a difference in our world by helping others. Our next stop was lunch where we went to McDonalds and we were able to try some foods that aren’t available at the US McDonalds. Soon after, we ventured to La Cité des Science et de l’industrie Museum. There, we interacted with robots and learned about the brain and live creatures. Sadly, our trip to the museum was cut short due to a strike held at the museum, but at least now we know a little more about French culture and the importance of work strikes for the workers.
Finally, we came back to the hotel and did our laundry. We also had some down time followed by dinner, which was steak and potatoes. Overall, our day was very eventful, and we’re excited to see the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre tomorrow!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 13
GLA Trip Blog!!
Hi to everyone who’s reading this! Just to introduce myself, my name is Stella Taylor. Me and my brother, Rowan Taylor were the leaders of the day today. Today’s basic schedule was seeing the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and doing an art class with a professional artist… Let’s dig in.
First things first, Rowan and I woke up at 6:00, and everyone else did at 7:00, thanks to us knocking on their doors. After breakfast (or petit déjeuner if you’re French) we set out to the Eiffel Tower by taking the metro. Everyone took a few pictures, and then we headed off to make our long climb up the stairs. The line was really long, but once we got to the top we had a wonderful panoramic view of Paris. A few of us even got some souvenirs.
After we all headed down we got ready to explore the Louvre by taking the metro. It was very enjoyable, and we shared some lively conversation amongst ourselves! After doing a quick count of everyone, we stepped foot out of the station and into the main lobby of the Louvre. The glass ceiling was beautiful with its triangular shape. We all split up and went our own ways across the Louvre and we saw some of the most eye catching art we’d ever seen. It wasn’t just the paintings and statues that were eye catching; The ornate and illustrious architecture of the halls we walked along were something all must see in their lives. The marble was beautiful, and the granite, perfect. After a small stint of frustration with the worst locker in the history of lockers, we exited to louvre and went to a drawing class with a local artist.
The drawing class was a wonderful experience. We were able to lightly analyze the painting of Lady Liberty leading the people of France, and then drew her face! We all put in so much work and I am so proud of everyone who did this workshop. Genuinely, your artwork was all so amazing! Some of us decided to edit lady liberty with our own artistic flare… Jake made a robo-liberty with cogs, wires, tubes, while others added simple cosmetic changes like nose piercings.
Finally at the end of the day, we had a little game of “rose, bud, thorn”, where everyone shared their favorite parts of the day. Thank you all so much for reading this, and thank you to GLA for making this trip possible. It was an honor to be the leader of the day, and I would love to go on a trip like this again!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 14
By Eliza and Laine
Happy Bastille Day! On today’s Bastille Day agenda was a trip to the highest natural point in Paris – the Sacré-Cœur Basilica – the Montmartre artist district, and the Palace of Versailles to close things up.
After breakfast, we took a private bus to the Sacré-Cœur Basilica. After climbing several flights of stairs to the top, we were met by a panoramic view of Paris and the grandiose architecture of Sacré-Cœur Basilica, which was filled with high ceilings, stained glass windows, and golden shrines. After exploring the Basilica for a while, we split off into groups to shop around the Montmartre artist district, where we bought everything from artwork and berets to pastries and crepes.
Next, we took the private bus for an hour to the palace of Versailles. In small groups, we ventured around the picturesque gardens of Versailles and enjoyed baguette sandwiches and water (which was important on such a hot day)! The fountains in the garden were on because today was a national holiday! After that, we stayed in small groups and entered the palace to roam through the royal halls and galleries, observing the monumental arts and architecture of the Palace of Versailles. After some of us bought macarons and souvenirs, we headed out to dinner nearby where many of us tried escargot for the first time (the reviews were raving)!
Finally, after dinner and a long bus ride home, we had a closing activity as per usual and everyone began packing up for our train ride to Geneva tomorrow afternoon. We also took in the stunning Bastille day fireworks displays as we celebrated our last day in France! Overall, today’s Bastille day celebrations and activities were tiring but fun-filled and worth every minute of the never ending staircases. Happy Bastille day to all the parents reading this, the lovely mentors, amazing staff in all the countries, and finally the wonderful group of students who made this day and everyday an unforgettable experience!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 15
Written by Arden
Today I, Arden, was the leader, along with Laine. Today was a travel day from Paris to Geneva, which took up most of the day. Our bus driver from the hotel accidentally slept in so we had an extra hour before we left so we got boba and played soccer while we waited. Once our bus driver arrived we headed to the train station and got on our 4 hour train to Geneva. The views were amazing.
After we got to our hotel in Geneva, we had dinner and took our swim test in the hotel pool! As you can expect, it was very chaotic. It turned into a race somehow, but everyone that took the test, passed. This means we will all get to enjoy a swim in lake Geneva soon! After the test we all swam in the pool together, and played chicken and finger tag. Not a lot happened today because of the long travel time, but now that we can swim, the rest of the trip will be even more fun.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 16
What’s up everyone,
As leaders of the day once again, we, Matthew and David, led the group through the day that everyone was looking forward to for the whole trip, to CERN.
The wakeup was hard this morning for all of us after the long day yesterday. Our first breakfast in Switzerland, or rather in France as our hotel is still in France, was delicious and a good way to start the day. The drive over the border to CERN was filled with excitement, as well as fear, since there was a wasp in the bus. The horizon was filled with tall, beautiful mountains, some covered in snow, which was very different from the terrain presented in London and Paris. When we got into CERN, the tour guide brought us to the first particle collider created at the facility and gave us a light show about the collider’s creation. The tour guide explained how the modern Large Hadron Collider works today, which was a nice comparison between modern technology and technology during 1954, the year of CERN’s founding. After that, we got a tour around some of the facility, which unfortunately didn’t include the tunnel containing the Large Hadron Collider’s pipe that carries the particles because the machine was on. You can’t be in there while it’s on because of radiation.
After lunch, during which I (David) was stung by a wasp (I’m OK), we took a ride into Geneva. We took a ride on a yellow boat through the city’s staple water foundation. We walked around the city visiting a Swiss chocolate chip that Andrew recommend, an ice cream place, water fountain gargoyles, and old church, and the flower clock. It was a ton of fun and a totally beautiful city.
We returned to the hotel for dinner. We went outside for pool games and killed time until our evening discussion. As a group we shared highs and lows and collectively mourned our second to last night together. During our mentor groups we conversed about things we’ve learned, and habits we’ve picked up.
The slowly and stiffly approaching realization that we were actually leaving soon was a dark cloud, but we still all planned on making the best out of our final day.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 17
Hello there!! I’m here to introduce myself!! My name is Stella!! You heard from me last time with the day of the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower!! I got to be leader of the day on the last day along with the Regal Ryan!! Today we visited the Red Cross museum and went to the lake to go chill out and swim!! Let’s see how it went!!
Everyone got woken up at 7:00, thanks to our knocking on the doors!! Breakfast followed soon at 7:30, where we all ate so many delicious foods at the hotel!! When we’re all ready, we head out to the bus stop with a nice long walk showing the beautiful mountains and hills of Geneva!! Once we get on the bus, we are headed out to the Red Cross museum!! It was really amazing to walk through!! We were given devices hooked to headphones that allowed us to get a tour!! The devices sensed what you were looking at and where you were in the museum and gave an extremely detailed description of where you were and what it’s all about!! There were some panels that had life sized recordings of people on them, and you got to hear their story about how the Red Cross helped them!! David, Jackson, a ton of other people, and myself all won an incredibly challenging game called Hurricane, and all screamed out in joy when we finished it!!
We all left the Red Cross museum at 11:30, and enjoyed a wonderful lunch together at 12:00!! The meals were a delicious salad followed by chicken and potatoes!! We all got fun snacks at a gas station, and then headed out to the lake!! We arrived there at 2:00, and did an amazing activity together called “Appreciation Circle!!” It was a lot of fun and I got a ton of taps on my shoulder about random stuff that made me extremely happy!! After that and a minor incident with a bee and my extremely bad fear of them, everyone headed out to the lake and went swimming!! I know that Lux and Laine went off to go collect pretty rocks!! I don’t know what everyone else did, but I know they had a lot of fun together!! We went off to go get some ice cream and other sweets before catching a ton of busses to bring us back home!!
Finally it was dinner. The last one. We all shared some laughs and talked amongst ourselves and drank some mocktails, thanks to our councilors!! We went off to play Mafia, after such a long time of wait and excitement between Ryan and I!! It was so much fun!! We all got to say goodbye for the last time, and hug eachother as much as we could!!
This was the best trip of my life!! Thank you to GLA for making it happen!!