Why You Should Apply Early to Your Travel Program

Why You Should Apply Early to Your Travel Program

Congrats on making the decision to go abroad! You’ve picked your program and the start date that works best for you, but our website says the deadline to apply is in a couple of months, so there’s no rush.  You’ll just start your application around that time.

Waiting to apply is a bad idea.

The earlier you apply to go abroad, the easier your life will be. Trust us, we’ve seen the last minute scramble hundreds of times and it’s not ideal. Let’s break down exactly what we mean, shall we?


This may be the most important reason to apply early. There are several documents you’ll need to get, so the sooner you start the process the more time you’ll have to work on them. Some things, like obtaining a passport or visa, require a lengthy timeframe and rely on external factors.  There are some things you just can’t do at the last minute, and paperwork is one of them.

Placement Preferences

For some programs, signing up early means getting your host family or school placement earlier than others. The earlier you apply, the bigger the pool of available host families we have to match you with to make sure it’s the best fit possible. So if you really want to be placed in Torino, while teaching abroad in Italy, you better get going before someone snags your spot! You will also have more time to communicate and get to know the family before you arrive. (Please note, we cannot guarantee anything when it comes to placements).

Fundraise & Budget

If you plan on fundraising, you need time to do it. If you want to save up for this program, you need time to do it. Funding your travels is another one of those things that you can’t do last minute.

All of our programs offer a “build your own” payment plan. We’ll provide the link to pay off your program fee balance and you can make as many payments as you want towards your program until the final due date which is usually 6 weeks before you leave for your program. If you can commit to paying off a certain amount each month, applying early makes it easier to save, budget, and afford that program!


Speaking of budgeting and money, we offer discounts for those you apply early to some of our programs. For example, high school abroad applicants get $300 off a trimester duration and $500 off the semester/academic year if documents are submitted by a certain date. This seems like a no-brainer if you know you’re going to be applying anyway. Unless you hate saving money.

Space is Limited

Each program has a certain number of spots, and once those are taken,  we can’t make exceptions. For example, our July TESOL course in South Korea was so popular, it filled up way before the deadline. Fortunately, we were able to add another one in August, but if you were set on July you would have been out of luck.

Plan for the Future

It’s one thing to decide you want to go abroad, but that decision is just an idea until you have a confirmed plan of action. Think of how nice it will be to have an answer when people ask what you’re doing after graduation. “I’m going to be teaching in Thailand in June with Greenheart Travel” sounds way more impressive than, “I don’t have a job yet. I”m thinking about teaching English abroad.”



We get A LOT of phone calls near popular program start dates. We’ll prepare you ahead of time as much as possible, but travelers still tend to have some lingering questions before departure. While we try to give every single person as much attention as possible, those who start the application process late have less time to organize all of their program details. Do you know what’s nice? Having all your questions answered well in advance so that you don’t have to call at 9:00 pm on a Sunday to ask about where to exchange money at the airport the day before you leave.

Set Yourself Up For Success

Mentally and emotionally prepare for your time abroad – read blog posts, learn about the country, set goals. Basically, the more time to have to plan, the better prepared you will be. Greenheart Travel provides all of our travelers with their own copy of the Greenheart Travel Atlas. This interactive guide is full of activities to complete before you leave on your program like setting goals, reflecting on your motivations, and challenging stereotypes and assumptions about your upcoming host country. Having time to complete these thoughtfully will allow you to be sure you’re ready for the challenges ahead like culture shock.


Last minute applications are a lose-lose. Apply early!

2 thoughts on "Why You Should Apply Early to Your Travel Program"

  1. Abagail Musser says:

    We have so many questions!
    Also, we were unaware of the early bird discount because we didn’t find out about this program until March. If my daughter wants to go abroad in fall if 2021 can we take advantage of the discount in February of 2021?

    Also would it be wise to start the application process now or wait until February 2021?

    1. Haldis Toppen says:

      Hello! Sorry for the delay. For more information on our programs, please reach out to our email travelabroad@greenheart.org. Cheers, Greenheart Travel

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