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Our Programs

travel & summer programs


Global Kids' summer programs build global competancy by informing students about critical foreign policy issues, providing opportunities for travel, and connecting them with international affairs experts and peers worldwide.

Apply now for Summer 2018! Applications are due May 1, 2018. High school students are eligible to apply.

Global Kids’ Summer Institute at the Council on Foreign Relations is an innovative year-long program that brings up to 30 New York City high school students to the Council on Foreign Relations for three intensive weeks during the summer, with follow-up peer education during the school year. Students engage in leadership development activities, interact with CFR Fellows and other leading experts on global issues through roundtable discussions, and travel to top international institutions such as the United Nations, the New York Times, and Human Rights Watch. Past guest speakers at the program include Robert Rubin, Leslie Gelb, Richard Haass, Kambale Musavuli, Isobel Coleman, George Stephanopoulos, and Gideon Rose. The program culminates with a final project designed by the youth to engage hundreds of their peers in dialogue about U.S. foreign policy and international law.


Our travel programs happen year-round and are an important component to Global Kids' mission. High school students already in Global Kids programs are eligible for these free of charge trips. Please email to find out if there is a Global Kids program in your high school or how to join our school year programs at our Manhattan offices that are open to all local high school students.

Prior to trips, students partcicipate in intensive travel institutes where they learn about the history and the current affairs of the country(ies) they are visiting. It is also a time when they might get language lessons and meet with experts who can talk to them about the region.

See below some descriptions of recent Global Kids international trips.

Cultural Exchange and Service Learning Trips to Japan

For the past three summers, about 10 Global Kids students traveled to Japan for a cultural exchange and service-learning trip.

In 2016, GK Leaders along with Japanese youth from Katariba created a digital game to complement the extensive prevention, education, and relief work following the 2011 tsunami and earthquake in Japan. They adapted GK's existing neighborhood-based game design program, NYC Haunts, to serve as a helpful tool for residents of the tsunami-effected region.

Through a process of collaborative workshops, tours (including a hike up Mount Fuji), and feedback sessions, the youth produced a game that helps younger generations of Onagawa, Japan learn about the events of the tsunami. In the game, the player walks to various locations throughout the town of Onagawa, meets locals, hears their stories, answers riddles, lights ritual lanterns for the deceased, and identifies altitudes that are safe from any future tsunamis.

The GK students also visited Ishinomaki, touring local memorials, schools, and important community sites such as the Ookawa Primary School, a fishery, the Moriumiasu Learning Center and Ishinomaki News Station, staying with home-stay families to learn more about Japanese culture.

Click here to see photos of the trip and go to our Tumblr page to read GK Leaders' Japan trip reflections. Click here to see the geo-locative game the students made.

2016 Peace Boat Trip

Global Kids students traveled to Central America with Peace Boat

In the summer of 2016, Ten Global Kids students from John Adams High School traveled to Panama, El Salvador and Guatemala on Peace Boat for a cutural exchange and youth leadership trip.

Click HERE to read their blog posts.

Click HERE to see photos from the trip on our Flickr page.

Click HERE to read Peace Boat's report on their 2016 summer trip with Global Kids.


Our global education and youth leadership programs do not end with the school year. Every summer for the past 12 years, we have held our award-winning foreign policy summer institute at the Council on Foreign Relations. More recently, we've brought this model to Washington, DC.


Washington, DC and Abroad

The GK-DC Summer Institute is a five-week program that exposes nearly 50 Washington, DC high school students to foreign policy issues, introduces them to a range of international careers, and takes them abroad on an educational and service learning trip. In the past, students have traveled to Haiti, Brazil, Costa Rica and most recently South Africa. Washington, DC high school students are eligible to apply. Check back in Spring 2018 for next year's institute application!

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