Disrupting the future of internships abroad: How Global Leadership Adventures (GLA) is marking the path towards a future of virtual internships for youth
By Yamanda Boukmakh, Head of Partnerships
It’s an amazing approach to social learning and we believe it will enhance the peer to peer knowledge exchange, which is vital to students of this age. This platform allows us to have the social learning experience that we would normally have in the country, virtually. It also provides students with the structure they need to succeed on an internship.
Regional Director International Programs, Global Leadership Adventures
Who is GLA?
Global Leadership Adventures (GLA) is a USA-based study abroad organization that aims to give high-school students life-changing and transformative leadership experiences through travel. Their programs combine service-learning and travel to guide and create the next generation of young leaders to transform the world and their role in it.
Goals & Objectives
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, GLA pivoted toward offering virtual programs to be able to still deliver on their mission, and support grassroots organizations throughout this unprecedented time. In partnership with active non-profit organizations in South Africa, GLA is offering a 6-week part-time virtual internship this summer where 160 students ages 14-19 will develop essential skills while working on initiatives centered around the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development worldwide. GLA’s first ever Global Impact Virtual Internship program is made up of 160 students who enroll in courses centered around development initiatives, (UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Leadership, and career development for youth.
IGLA’s first ever Global Impact Virtual Internship program is made up of 160 students who enroll in courses centered around development initiatives, (UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Leadership, and career development for youth.
Internships abroad provide young students with experiences and interactions with new people and cultures that have a lifetime impact. As an online platform that puts social learning at its core, the CanopyLAB platform allows GLA to build an experiential virtual community experience that would normally take place through actual travel. CanopyLAB’s features like personal profiles, private messaging functions, course forums and the platform newsfeed elevates interactions, discussions and collaboration between participants directly on the platform. The virtual spaces support GLA’s goal of ensuring social and experiential learning by focusing on real-world challenges and solutions to achieve the SDGs, inspiring the internship participants to become changemakers in their communities.
GLA opted to use CanopyLAB’s platform only 4 weeks before the start of the virtual internship program. The internship directors found the platform set up and course creation process really simple and easy to develop alongside the support from CanopyLAB’s customer success team that provides guidance for the development of the syllabus on the platform. The platform creates a virtual space for volunteer students to be proactive, work on their network skills, utilize their voice, and practice stepping out of their comfort zone.