Improve your language skills while living with a local family abroad. Make international friends and explore a different culture during your full immersion language camp.
Language Camps Director
We provide scholarships each year of over $12,000 to those who are considered First Time Travelers.
An interactive guide to help facilitate your experience. The Atlas will help you meaningfully engage with the rest of the world.
Your program doesn't have to end when you get home. We have full scholarship alumni programs for returned global leaders.
What does it mean to be in good mental health in the program eligibility requirements?
Moving to a new culture and staying in unfamiliar surroundings without your normal support structure can be very stressful, even to a well-adjusted student. Sending a student with pre-existing conditions on an exchange program could exacerbate whatever challenges the student was previously facing. In order to ensure the safety of our participants, we must be rigorous in our pre-screening of all applicants.
Therefore, we may not be able to accept students who have struggled with any kind of mental illness within the last 2 years and/or are reliant on medication to address their existing mental health condition.
These include, but are not limited to:
If the student’s mental health issue has been managed (post-medication) for over 2 years, we will ask for a note from his/her relevant practitioner (psychologist, therapist, psychiatrist, etc) as part of the application process.
Can I apply with friends?
Absolutely! We are happy to accept friends and groups. (Please note that it is difficult to place two students in the same household in Japan due to home sizes.)
Preparing for the program
What out-of-pocket expenses will I have?
The out-of-pocket expenses on program depend on your spending habits. Food eaten outside the host family and souvenirs are not included in the program fee. Transportation costs vary per country, consult with the program manager. We recommend each child bring $50-100 extra spending money per week.
What should I bring as a gift for my host family?
It’s a great idea to bring a small gift with you for your host family. It would be nice to bring something that represents where you are from. Common gifts are chocolates, wine, coffee mugs, t- shirts, etc. Read this blog for inspiration.
When will I receive their host family placement?
Your child will receive information about their host family placement two weeks prior to their departure, and in some cases one week prior to their departure.
Can I earn high school credit for doing this program?
Greenheart Travel does not provide high school credit for the teen summer language camp. If you are interested in earning credit, consult with your home school in the U.S. Please refer to this blog post for tips.
Arriving in the country
Are there group flights? Do I book my flights or does Greenheart Travel?
No. All students fly individually to their destination, and you are responsible for flights. They are not included in the program fee. (We encourage parents and students to watch this webinar together.)
Does Greenheart Travel book flights or give flight discounts?
No. Greenheart Travel cannot book your flights for you and we do not offer any discounts on flights.
When should I arrive in the country?
Each program has specific arrival and departure windows for all students. Please refer to each program’s page for more information.
Who picks me up from the airport?
Depending on the country, there is a group pick-up from the airport (students all follow the same arrival/departure guidelines) or host families will pick students up.
Should I fly using an unaccompanied minor service?
Greenheart Travel does not recommend this service. The “additional” services advertised by the airlines are already provided to all travelers. At any time, a student can ask an airline’s professional for help finding their gate or for connecting flight information, and most of our high school students successfully fly independently. If you would like the peace of mind this service provides, Greenheart Travel offers self-empowering alternatives (such as reviewing airport maps, mapping connections, etc.) that we believe teach teenagers relevant life skills about traveling independently.
Life while on program
Doe I need to bring a laptop?
No, all school assignments can be done without a computer.
What if I have an allergy/specific dietary requirement?
We can cater to vegetarian needs quite easily. Any other specific diets should be discussed so we can make arrangements with the school and host family.
How much supervision is on the program?
Students will be supervised while at school, during the excursions and at the host family home. However, there will be times, such as commuting to school, or going for a walk with friends, when the students will be unsupervised.
How do I commute from the host family to the language school?
The mode of transportation depends on the country and the host family’s proximity to the language school. Commutes can be by bus, train or foot and last 10-45 minutes.
How many other students will there be on the program and where are they from?
A majority of our students are American between 14-17 years old. However, there are students participating from around the world, so your child will have a cross-cultural setting both in the classroom and out. While the number of students does vary by start date, classes will accommodate no more than 12-15 students.
Will I be required to speak the language outside of the classroom?
Language practice and immersion are the main priority of this program. While we do not require the students to sign a contact stating they will only speak in the local language, it is highly encouraged that they use their language skills when talking to friends, partaking in the daily excursions and at night in the residence hall or host family home. Program staff and chaperones primarily communicate and answer questions in the local language to encourage this immersion culture.
Will I be able to do laundry on the program?
Yes! You won’t have to be stinky! You will be able to do laundry once a week.
If I go for longer than 2 weeks, will I repeat activities?
No, the two-week itinerary listed on the website is a sample schedule to give you an idea of the offering.
What happens if I get sick while abroad?
They will be covered by mandatory health insurance. You will receive a policy brochure and insurance card via email 1-2 weeks prior to their departure. Our partners at the language school will also be in contact with us notifying of any illness or medical needs that we would immediately communicate with you if anything were to happen.
Benefits of participating in the program
How will this program improve my foreign language skills?
In a traditional classroom, students may learn language skills; however, they are not forced to practice these skills in real world situations. Through language immersion, your child will both learn the practical language skills in a classroom while also being forced to use them with local, native speakers during the excursions and/or host family experience. Studies show that 4 weeks of a full language immersion experience can be equivalent to a yearlong college language course because of the intensity of use.
Why should I choose Greenheart Travel?
Greenheart Travel provides 24-hour support to you and your child throughout the application, program and alumni processes. We are a mission-based non-profit audited and accredited by CSIET, which requires organizations to meet high-level standards in the industry. We pride ourselves on providing personal and responsive support throughout the entire application process and while your student is on program, giving you a peace of mind that all your questions and concerns will be addressed by a personal program manager you know by name.
Additionally, part of your program fee goes to a donation to support the Greenheart Odyssey, an award-winning leadership development program for under-served youth.
Does your high school require you to volunteer to meet graduation requirements? Are you applying to top colleges that are asking for your service learning experience? Once you are accepted on a Greenheart Travel program, you will be eligible to join our Greenheart Club!
The Greenheart Club is a great way to:
Once you are accepted on your Greenheart Travel language camp program, we’ll help you get started! In the meantime, get inspired by our alumni stories on our blog.
“While in Spain, I experienced many amazing things and I got the chance to volunteer through awesome organizations. My experience actually inspired me to major in international relations.” – Eleanor Brow, Greenheart Travel alum in Spain.
“It is a great feeling to know that I am able to make a difference. I have also had students tell me that I’ve made them realize how important studying in school and learning English is. I’m glad I was able to help these students and show them how much potential they have if they apply themselves. They are amazing people and I will miss them all when I return to the U.S.” – Diana Freedman, Greenheart Travel alum in Italy
There are a so many factors to consider when choosing a language immersion program overseas. Below are a few ways Greenheart Travel can help make this planning process as stress-free as possible, and help make sure this is a successful and life-changing adventure!
Cultural and Language Immersion
Greenheart Travel high school students receive a full cultural and language immersion experience with language classes taught by native speakers. Through language immersion, your child will both learn the practical language skills in a classroom while also being able to use them with local, native speakers during the excursions and/or host family experience. Studies show that 4 weeks of a full language immersion experience can be equivalent to a yearlong college language course because of the intensity of use. A highlight of the program is not just the cultural immersion of the country, but also a chance to meet international students from around the world.
Unique Programs Around the World
Whether it’s learning Spanish in Costa Rica or Japanese in Japan, Greenheart Travel programs will give you an authentic glimpse into the many facets of life abroad while practicing a second (or third) language in a structured course setting.
Flexible and Affordable Programs
Traveling abroad doesn’t have to interfere with the school curriculum or your graduation timeline. Greenheart Travel’s summer programs average between 2-3 weeks, giving you a chance to experience life abroad without missing out on classes or summer obligations.
Service Learning Opportunities While Abroad
Need to meet service learning requirements to graduate? Greenheart Travel alumni are eligible to join the Greenheart Club, offering resources for finding volunteer projects around the world and resources for grant awards even after your program.
Personal Program Manager for Every Student
Greenheart Travel has a personal program manager for each student traveling abroad, offering support from the time you or your child inquires to the time they return home, by someone you know by name.
Greenheart Travel alumni are provided with the guidance and tools they need to translate their impactful experiences abroad into tangible skills that can be highlighted on their college applications. Through our Alumni network, your child will have a chance to connect with like-minded students, and mentor future participants.
Greenheart Travel is annually audited by the Council on Standards for International Education Travel (CSIET), which acts to ensure that we offer quality programs for our participants. To learn more about their process and standards you can find information on their site.
Greenheart Travel’s Commitment to Helping You Prepare for Your Program
Our language camp program managers care about each student’s experience abroad. To help facilitate a successful and life-changing program we offer each student an in-depth pre-departure orientation, as well as in-country support during the program.
Continued Support During and After a High School Abroad Program
Once a student has started their language camp program, Greenheart Travel program managers continue to support both the parents and the students during their time abroad.
Even after a student has returned home, their program manager will offer support with reverse culture shock or translating the experience abroad to be used on college applications, as well as introduce them to our Greenheart Travel alumni community and opportunities.
Committing to a language camp program can feel a bit daunting, but we are here every step of the way to make the application process as simple as possible. Below are the steps you’ll need to take to be accepted on a Greenheart Travel program.
1. Ensure Your Eligibility: The eligibility requirements, such as age or language proficiency, may be required for certain destinations. Please consult the individual program pages for more information.
2. Start Your Application on Your Program’s Page by Clicking “Apply Now”. You will be sent more information as well as the link to our application portal to begin your formal application.
3. Submit Basic Program Information: The first step in our application portal will be basic things like your chosen start date, etc.
4. Submit your deposit: A $300 deposit is required in order to apply for the program. This is subtracted from your total program fee. If we are unable to accept you following your interview (very unlikely!) we will refund your deposit in full.
5. Complete Application & Documents: Provide more detailed information about yourself in Part 2 of the application. In this section, you’ll tell us more information like your work history, motivations for joining the program, travel history, and emergency contacts. You will also submit your documents (below) within your portal account.
6. You’re Accepted! Woohoo! We are usually able to accept people within 1-2 weeks of their interviews.
7. Commitment Deposit: Once you are accepted to the program, you will need to submit a $300 commitment deposit within 14 days to confirm your spot on the program. We cannot start the host family matching process until we have this deposit. Once you submit your commitment deposit you will unlock the acceptance portion of your portal, which includes things like pre-departure videos, travel and arrival information, the Greenheart Travel Atlas, and more.
8. Book your flights, and get ready for your adventure! Your remaining balance is due in full 60 days before your start date.
You’re Accepted – now what?
Your program manager will be in touch with you directly about your acceptance. You should expect to receive a program handbook via email, which talks more about your program, as well as supplemental information about dealing with culture shock and our insurance program. We will also schedule an online pre-departure orientation to answer any lingering questions you may have. You can expect to receive your host family placement 1-2 weeks prior to your start date.
All payments go towards the total program fee. You will be required to pay a $300 deposit when you submit your application, and then a second $300 commitment deposit will be due after acceptance. Both deposits are applied to the total program fee, they are not additional fees.
The final balance of the program is due 60 days before departure. We do not deviate from this schedule and you can pay online via credit card.