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reflective journal

Travel can have an impact on various layers of our lives. It can enhance motivation for learning, broaden perspectives, and increase cultural tolerance and global awareness. The experience promotes self-discovery and self-confidence, improving how we understand ourselves as part of a larger society. Travel can also impact instructional flexibility, easing one’s ability to tailor learning for diverse students and teaching contexts, and finally, equips individuals with the critical skills and perspectives needed in our interconnected world. 


Our curriculum encompasses all these layers, which we have highlighted in our GEA Circles of Impact. This framework provides a lens through which we can more reflectively participate in the personal and professional growth our programs are designed to encourage. It also sets up the backdrop for our reflective journal and adds to the understanding of our program readings and guided inquiry-based discussions. We believe all these contribute to an experience that builds more culturally competent and aware travelers, enables us to more more compassionately take care of ourselves and engage with all students in more meaningful ways.


ME: Awareness of myself and others, Internal Dialogue

MY CLASSROOM: Innovation, Empowerment and Growth

MY COMMUNITY (school/district/neighborhood): Expansion, Inclusion of Different Voices

MY NATURAL WORLD: Connection Through Well-being and Happiness

MY NATION: Innovation Through Multiple Voices

MY WORLD COMMUNITY: Connection Through Shared Stories


Within these circles we employ
the following frameworks:



GEA is on a global journey to discover what makes for happy learning environments around the world. On each of our journeys up to the present, we have been bringing you to experience vibrant communities and classrooms: The joy of movement in the schools of Uganda, the empowerment and ownership of students in Finland, the efforts to build community and space where many belong in Cambodia and New Zealand, and the peace that interacting with our natural world brings us in Puerto Rico and the Southwest and many others. Learn what it is that makes these particular classrooms and communities thrive in their way - and what we can take home with us to build a more meaningful and happy life for ourselves.

Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind. 
– Anthony Bourdain

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