First Year FAQs

How do I apply to the program?

The 2016-17 application cycle is now closed. We will post a link to the 2017-18 application as soon as it is open. If you have any questions, email

It will take you to an online application which students should complete with their parents. You will also need to complete a student interview, submit a deposit, and send in your tax information if you are applying for financial aid.

When is the application deadline?

The application deadline for Washington state is October 24, 2016. All materials are due to the GV staff by that date.

There is also an Early Bird Deadline on October 10, 2016. If you apply for the early bird deadline you will receive $100 discount, applied to the program fee.

When we will find out if we were accepted into the program?

Acceptance decisions will be made by October 28, 2016. All students who are accepted will be notified at that time.

How do I get a student interview?

Please schedule an interview, at your school, with one of the teachers listed below as soon as possible. Waiting until the last minute will put your chance of getting an interview at risk as teachers have busy schedules.

If you do not attend one of these schools, please call Global Visionaries at (206) 322-9448 to schedule an interview at our office.

Ballard High School
Joe Szwaja
Spanish Teacher, Room S217
(206) 252-1073

Chief Sealth High School
Noah Zeichner
Social Studies Teacher, Room 235
(206) 252-8630

Cleveland High School
Ms. Williams
Room 2212
Ms. Evans
Room 2214

Franklin High School
Al Snyder
Social Studies Teacher, Room 215
(206) 252-6188

Garfield High School
Katie Hathaway
Spanish Teacher
Gretchen Sloan

Holy Names Academy
Julie Tilghman
Campus Minister
Tricia Cavanaugh
Religion Teacher

Ingraham High School
Sarah Kerr
Peter Fontaine

John F. Kennedy Catholic High School
Jenny Farrell
Director of Campus Ministry
(206) 246-0500 x301

Kamiak High School
Mandy Bergan
Spanish Teacher, Room 222

Mercer Island High School
Chris Twombley
English Department, Room 205D
(206) 275-5026

Nathan Hale High School
Douglas Edelstein
Social Studies Teacher
Marni Balint

Northwest School
Michelle Kowals
Spanish Teacher

Port Townsend: OCEAN
Daniel Molotsky

Rainier Beach High School
Katie Wallace
Spanish Teacher
(206) 252-6384

Roosevelt High School
Lynn Kodama
Spanish Teacher, Room 140
(206) 632-2098

Seattle Lutheran High School
Christer Sonheim
Social Studies, PE & Life Skills

Shorewood High School
Brenda Gilman

West Seattle High School
Anne Eades
Spanish Teacher, Room 233

How do I submit my letter of recommendation?

Letters of recommendation are not required except when requested by Global Visionaries.

If we do request a letter of recommendation, print the form here and have an adult (teacher, coach, community member or religious leader) fill it out. Once completed, please have them email it to by October 24, 2016.

What is the program cost? Can I apply for financial aid?

Program Cost*

*The numbers listed below are before applicable scholarships. Program fees, including airfare, are typically lower for most of our participants. Please refer to the chart below with estimated scholarship ranges.

Spring/Summer Program Fees: $3,675
Estimated Airfare: $900
Spring/Summer Total Cost: $4,575

Intensive Program Fees: $3,290
Estimated Airfare: $900
Intensive Total Cost: $4,190

Scholarship Information

Scholarships range from $100 to $4,100 depending on family income, number of dependents, and other factors. If parents are separated/divorced, please provide financial information for the person who claims the child on their tax forms.

Below is a table which provides an estimate of possible financial aid awards and program costs based on our past financial aid awards. Global Visionaries has a limited amount of financial aid available and while we will do everything we can to meet the needs of our applicants, we cannot guarantee a specific amount of financial aid.

Global Visionaries is committed to working with every family to make this program affordable, regardless of financial background or difficulties, so contact our program staff to discuss your situation even if you feel that you do not qualify for financial aid.

Family Income Estimated Financial Aid Package Estimated Program Costs Including Airfare
$0-$15,000 $4,255-$4,035 $390-$540
$15,001-$20,000 $4,035-$3,835 $540-$740
$20,001-$30,000 $3,835-$3,635 $740-$940
$30,001-$40,000 $3,635-$3,235 $940-$1,340
$40,001-$50,000 $3,235-$2,635 $1,340-$1,940
$50,001-$60,000 $2,635-$2,135 $1,940-$2,440
$60,001-$70,000 $2,135-$1,635 $2,440-$2,940
$70,001-$80,000 $1,635-$1,065 $2,940-$3,510
$80,001-$90,000 $1,065-$755 $3,510-$3,820
$90,001-$100,000 $755-$550 $3,820-$4,025
$100,001-$110,000 $550-$300 $4,025-$4,275
$110,001-$120,000 $300-$0 $4,275-$4,575
What are the travel dates to Guatemala?

Current scheduled dates for the Guatemala trips are:

Spring Immersion: April 7-21, 2017
Summer Immersion: June 30-July 14 2017
Summer Intensive and Chicago metro Immersion: July 21-August 4, 2017

What are financial information mettings? What do I do if I missed one?

Financial information meetings are events held in the evening at the Global Visionaries office where we invite prospective students and their families to come and learn more about the program costs, available financial aid, and fundraising options.

If you cannot attend either of our scheduled financial information meeting, please contact to discuss any questions you may have.

Financial Information Meetings:
Wednesday, October 5, 2016 from 6:00-7:30 PM
Tuesday, October 11, 2016 from 6:00-7:30 PM

How will I find out about my financial aid application?

If you applied for financial aid, you will be notified of your financial aid package at the time of acceptance. If you have any questions or concerns please contact a member of our program staff at and we would be happy to discuss the process with you.

What is the deposit, and how can I pay?

The deposit for applying to the program is $50 for participants requesting financial aid and $250 for participants not requesting financial aid.

If you are accepted into the program, the deposit amount will be applied to your program fees. If you are not accepted we will return deposits or destroy any checks sent. You can send your deposit as a check or money order to Global Visionaries, with the applicants name is the memo line. Or you can click here to pay by credit card or bank withdrawal.

How safe is Guatemala?

The safety of our youth participants is our top priority in every activity we plan, whether here in Seattle or in Guatemala. To date, GV has had zero serious incidents with any of our youth. We attribute this, in part, to the close community we have established in Guatemala and the pre-departure safety training we conduct for all participants. Please refer to the US Department of State website, here, for more information on traveling conditions in Guatemala.

What vaccinations are required?

Vaccinations for Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and tetanus are required for travel to Guatemala.

What about the Zika Virus? How does it affect travel to Guatemala?

Short Answer:
Currently, it does not affect Global Visionaries' travel plans, nor based on our research do we foresee it affecting our travel plans. We continue to monitor the situation on a daily basis, and will notify all participants, families, and trip leaders of any changes.

Long Answer:
The Zika Virus has become a rising concern in recent months after thousands of cases in Brazil associated with birth defects in late 2015 and early 2016. Cases of the virus have been identified throughout Latin America, and it is expected that the disease will spread throughout all countries in the Americas with the exception of Canada and Chile. The mosquitoes that spread the virus already live in the United States, but are mainly confined to the Southern region of the country. The symptoms of Zika Virus include conjunctivitis (pink eye), rash, and achy bones. The main risk associated with Zika virus is for pregnant women due to the association with birth defects. Pregnant women may wish to reconsider travel plans to Latin America.

The CDC recommends that travelers to Latin America protect themselves by taking measures to prevent mosquito bites: using insect repellent and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Travelers may also wish to purchase permethrin-treated clothing available at travel stores to further reduce risk of mosquito bites.

Regarding Guatemala specifically, the mosquitoes that spread Zika virus are in the country. However, in the region that GV operates - at higher altitude and with a drier climate - they are less common. Our Guatemala staff is not aware of any cases in the area at this time and they will keep us abreast of any changes. We continue to monitor the situation on an ongoing basis to evaluate and determine methods of reducing risk and update any protocols necessary.

For more information on the Zika Virus and travel in Latin America, consult the following sources:
The CDC: Zika Virus in Central America
NPR for the latest news on Zika Virus

Do I need a US passport?

Participants who do not have a US passport can still go to Guatemala as long as they have a valid US residency card and a valid passport from the country in which they were born. Guatemala requires visas for some non-US countries.

Do you have a social media policy for staff and students?

Yes, you can learn more about our social media policy here.