First Year Program FAQs

Scheduled dates for the Guatemala trips are:

Spring: April 6-20, 2018

Summer: June 29-July 13, 2018

Intensive: July 20-August 3, 2018

A full calendar of program dates is included in the "Important Program Dates" tab below.

Please note that fluctuations in air ticket prices and/or school closures (snow days) may change our departure and return dates slightly from published dates.

The First Year Leadership Program application is closed. Please check back in August 2018 for information about the 2018-19 program application.

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

If you have any questions, email

The application deadline for the 2017-18 program is closed. Please check back in August 2018 for the 2018-19 program application.

Application deadlines

Early Bird deadline: October 9, 2017

Application deadline: October 23, 2017

If you apply by the early bird deadline you will receive a $100 discount, applied to the total program fee.

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

You can send your deposit as a check to Global Visionaries (2524 16th Ave S, Room 206, Seattle, WA 98144), with the applicant's name is the memo line. Or you can click here to pay by credit card or bank withdrawal.

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.

Acceptance decisions will be made by October 27, 2017. All students who are accepted will be notified at that time.

If you are not accepted into the program, you will be put onto a waiting list. We will notify you if/when spots open up.

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: Vanessa Lopez (Room S201), P: (206) 252-1073, E:

Chief Sealth High School: Marlene Mersch, P: (206)252-8656, E:

Cleveland High School: Ms. Williams (Room 2212), E:

Ms. Evans (Room 2214),

Franklin High School: Michael Lawson, P: (206) 252-6188

Garfield High School: Katie Hathaway,

Gretchen Sloan, E:

Ingraham High School: Sarah Kerr, E:

Noah Zeichner, E:

John F. Kennedy Catholic High School: Jenny Farrell, P: (206) 246-0500 x301, E:

Kamiak High School: Mandy Bergan (Room 222), E:

Mercer Island High School: Chris Twombley, (Room 205D), P: (206) 275-5026, E:

Nathan Hale High School: Marni Balint, E:

Northwest School: Michelle Kowals, E:

Rainier Beach High School: Katie Wallace, P: (206) 252-6384, E:

Roosevelt High School: Shelly Sutton (Room 131), P: (206) 632-2098, E:

Shorewood High School: Brenda Gilman, E:

West Seattle High School: Anne Eades (Room 233), E:

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, have them email the form to

Spring and Summer Program Cost

Program Fees: $3,775 + Estimated Airfare: $950

TOTAL: $4,725

Intensive Program Cost

Program Fees: $3,290 + Estimated Airfare: $950

TOTAL: $4,240

Scholarship Information

The table below will help you estimate your scholarship amount.

Scholarships range from $50 to $4,335 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.

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

 Family Income Estimated Scholarship Package Estimated Program Cost + Airfare
​$0-$15,000 $4,335-$4,185 $390-$540
$15,001-$20,000 ​$4,185-$3,985 $540-$740
​$20,001-$30,000 ​$3,985-$3,785 $740-$940
​$30,001-$40,000 ​$3,785-$3,385 $940-$1,340
​$40,001-$50,000 ​$3,385-$2,685 $​1,340-$2,040
​$50,001-$60,000 ​$2,685-$2,285 $2,040-$2,440
$60,001-$70,000 ​$2,285-$1,785 ​$2,440-$2,940
​$70,001-$80,000 $1,785-$1,185 ​$2,940-$3,540
$80,001-$90,000 ​$1,185-$805 $3,540-$3,920
​$90,001-$100,000 $805-$600 $3,920-$4,125
​$100,001-$110,000 $600-$450 $4,125-$4,275
​$110,001-$150,000 $450-$250 ​$4,275-$4,475
​$150,001-$200,000 $250-$0 ​$4,475-$4,725
​$200,001-$250,000 $50-$0 ​$4,675-$4,725
​$250,001+ $0 ​$4,725

We invite all prospective students and their families to attend a Financial Information Night to learn more about the program cost, available financial aid, and fundraising option. Information Nights are held in the evening at Global Visionaries' office.

If you cannot attend either of our scheduled Financial Information Nights, please contact to discuss any questions you may have.

2017-18 Financial Information Meetings

Thursday, October 5, 2017 from 6:00-7:30 PM

Wednesday, October 11, 2017 from 6:00-7:30 PM

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.

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

Short Answer

Currently, Zika does not affect Global Visionaries' travel plans, nor do we foresee it affecting our travel plans. We continue to monitor the situation, and will notify all participants, families, and trip leaders of any changes.

Long Answer:

The Zika Virus has become a rising concern in the last few years after thousands of cases were discovered in Brazil 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.

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.

The symptoms of Zika Virus include conjunctivitis (pink eye), rash, and achy bones. The main risk associated with Zika 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, including using insect repellent and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Travelers may also wish to purchase permethrin-treated clothing, available at stores such as REI, L.L. Bean, and on Amazon, to further reduce risk of mosquito bites.

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

Participants who do not have a US passport can still travel to Guatemala as long as they have a valid U.S. residency card and a valid passport from the country in which they were born.

Guatemala requires visas for travelers from some non-U.S. countries. For more information on visa requirements, visit the Guatemala Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, here.

GV recognizes that some students may leave the program prior to completion and has established a refund policy to apply to these circumstances. It should be understood that expenses we incur for items such as training, airfare, culture nights, homestays and retreats, are in most cases, not recoupable and therefore we have a limited ability to provide refunds to departing students. For this reason, we encourage students to obtain trip cancellation/interruption insurance. Our refund policies are the following:

Early Departure. Students leaving the program prior to December 1, are entitled to a refund, minus a $125 program administration fee. Students leaving the program between December 2 and January 31 are responsible for 10% of their tuition, plus any investment by GV in their airfare. Students leaving the program between February 1 and 60 days prior to departure are responsible for 50% of their tuition, plus any investment by GV in their airfare. Students leaving the program between 61 days and 30 days prior to departure are responsible for 75% of their tuition, plus any investment by GV in their airfare.

Late Departure. Other than as described for Personal Departures, students leaving the program within 30 days prior to trip departure are not entitled to a refund.

Personal/Illness Departure. Students who depart the program after February 1, but prior to travel to Guatemala for serious personal reasons (e.g. sickness or family emergencies) should meet with GV leadership and if appropriate, request a deferral of their participation to a program in a subsequent year. Deferral is an option for students who are not graduating seniors. There is a $350 nonrefundable administrative fee required to defer. Any remaining balance above that $350 fee can be applied toward next year’s tuition. If the decision is made not to travel in the following program year after monies have been deferred, funds will be refunded according to the early departure policies above based on the date of the participant’s communication of their decision to not participate that year or the previous year, whichever date was latest in the program sequence. For students departing the program prior to February 1, see refund policies outlined in “Early Departure” apply.

Violation Departures. Regardless of their departure date, students who are removed from the program for violations of GV rules or program requirements are not entitled to any refunds. If the infractions occur while traveling to, from or within Guatemala, the student will be required to pay all costs, including room, board and travel relating to the return to their home state. See section 5, Misconduct and Expulsion, for other consequences in the event of a Violation Departure.

Nonrefundable Items. In no case will GV refund scholarship funds awarded to students, money raised through fund raising (in GV-sponsored events, such as wreaths or coffee sales) or costs incurred by students or families in preparation for the program.

While GV has never cancelled a program, it reserves the right to do so if circumstances, as determined by GV in its sole discretion, so warrant. Examples of events that may cause a cancellation include: extreme currency fluctuations, insufficient enrollment in the program or political instability.

If a cultural immersion experience is cancelled by Global Visionaries within 30 days prior to travel date, Global Visionaries will refund amount that exceeds $1,750 of fees paid (amount of $1,750 is kept by Global Visionaries to cover administrative cost and program services, including retreats, culture nights, and airfare deposit provided in Seattle held prior the trip).

If a program is cancelled by Global Visionaries within 60 days prior to travel date, a refund will be provided less $1,400 (amount of $1,400 is kept by Global Visionaries to cover administrative cost, program services provided in Seattle held prior the trip).

If a program is cancelled by Global Visionaries within 90 days prior to travel date, a refund will be provided less $1,000 (amount of $1,000 is kept by Global Visionaries to cover administrative cost, program services provided in Seattle held prior the trip).

Refunds will be made within 30 days. This is Global Visionaries' sole liability in the unlikely event that Global Visionaries deems it necessary to cancel a trip. Additionally, in the event that the trip is cancelled after airline reservations have been made, participants will not receive refund on air tickets but will gain ownership of the air ticket purchased in their names for the cultural immersion experience they were to attend.

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