Global Glimpse has posptoned all international summer programs until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Read an open letter to our community about the impact of COVID-19 on our summer programs.

As the COVID-19 situation is dynamic, we will be using this page to provide centralized information and resources to students and families on COVID-19 and the impact of the virus on our programs. The situation is evolving daily hence we will make updates as soon as they become available.

It’s important for students and families to have ongoing discussions about the risks and uncertainties posed by this developing situation. We hope the information below will provide you with helpful context to ground your concerns in the most up to date information from trusted resources. Our goal is to support our students, educators, and families to evaluate their risk and make informed decisions about summer travel in partnership with Global Glimpse.

Current status of Global Glimpse Summer 2020 programs

We want to reassure enrolled students and families that the safety of our students, teachers, communities, and staff is our primary focus. We are seriously evaluating the situation and we will only run programs this summer if we are confident that we can manage the risks for our students, educators, and community partners. We will communicate any changes in planned programming promptly. 

Expert Global Partners & Daily Monitoring

The Global Glimpse Safety & Risk Management Team, including our Medical Director, Dr. Will Smith, MD, Paramedic, FAEMS, is monitoring COVID-19 on a daily basis. We rely on the expert advice of the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control, and our global risk management partner, International SOS. We are also keeping a close eye on current trends in the student travel industry related to COVID-19. All critical updates are verified by embassies and the local communities where our staff live and work to determine any potential impacts to our summer program itineraries. A list of trusted agencies is outlined below:

ISOS is one of the largest security, medical, and emergency service organizations in the world and our direct partner for global support. ISOS provides valuable insight and information on global and regional safety as travelers prepare for their program as well as direct support during summer programs. Every student, chaperone, and staff traveling with Global Glimpse has access to these services.

Read More about Coronavirus

What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)

According to the CDC there are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused be a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans. For confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases, reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death. Symptoms can include: fever, cough, and shortness of breath. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death. Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human.

COVID-19 has now been detected in numerous countries globally, after first emerging in China, including cases in the United States.  The virus itself has been named SARS-CoV-2, and the disease it causes has been named Coronavirus Disease 2019 (abbreviated COVID-19).

At-Risk Populations

From commonly shared scientific research, it appears that teen students are not typically members of the population who may succumb to complications from a virus like COVID-19. Those populations most at risk have often included the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. At this point, Global Glimpse assesses the health risks from coronavirus to our participants and staff to be low. In particular, according to the CDC, this disease not only is least likely to capture those under the age of 30 (currently 8.1% of all known cases), but that same age group has a 99.8% recovery rate.

What are Panama, Ecuador or the Dominican Republic doing to minimize the spread of COVID-19

According to US State Department:

What can I do to keep myself healthy before my trip?

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds. At a minimum, you should do this before every meal and after using the bathroom.
  • Carry hand sanitizer; use this whenever soap and water are not available.
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue out.
  • Avoid other people who are coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid putting your hands in your mouth.  Use antiseptic wipes to clean surfaces in and around eating areas and airplane seating areas. This includes armrests, tray tables, movie screens and remotes, and any lighting and vents overhead.
  • Practice social distancing when possible.

What will Global Glimpse do to enhance the health & safety of its travelers?

If we decide to run our summer programs we will implement even more robust health and safety support for our trips:

  • We are hiring additional Health Coordinators in each of our international program sites to support the health and wellness of our students and chaperones.
  • We will provide hand-washing stations before meals and we will ensure that all students are washing their hands thoroughly before eating.
  • We will provide hand sanitizer for use throughout the day, after interacting with the general public or performing community service, and whenever hand washing stations are not available.
  • We will use antiseptic wipes to clean eating areas at our accommodations and at all pre-approved food providers.
  • We employ well-trained staff to monitor the health of our travelers and to remain vigilant to their environment. Our International Program Coordinators and international management teams are being specifically briefed on the coronavirus as the situation evolves to ensure they are prepared to support this summer’s trips.
  • We will have comprehensive plans in place in the case that a student gets ill or needs to be quarantined for COVID-19.
  • Our Safety and Risk Management Team will continue to monitor COVID-19 at the global level and our international program teams will closely monitor the situation on the ground in each of our program locations.

Specialized Airline Support

We are the only youth travel organization with an exclusive international airline partnership with United Airlines. United goes above and beyond to support our student flights, providing access to a global network of resources and real-time global health and safety data to support our student groups both on-the-ground and in the air. United has a global team of in-house professionals, including an industrial hygienist that reviews and tests cleaning products, and a corporate medical team who are working around the clock to ensure their airplanes and in-flight procedures minimize passenger exposure to COVID-19. More information on each of these efforts can be found on the United Hub.

If someone becomes symptomatic while traveling, what criteria will be used to evaluate potential COVID-19 from other illnesses?

It is important to remember that the symptoms of COVID-19 are very similar to a common cold or the flu. In all likelihood, that’s exactly what it is if they are ill: a cold or the flu, and not COVID-19. If a participant falls ill and exhibits the symptoms listed for COVID-19, we will work with International SOS, our Medical Director and local medical services to evaluate appropriate care and response. The CDC provides the following criteria used by medical teams and screeners evaluating common illness from COVID-19.

In cases where a student shows symptoms of fever, we will separate them into their own space to minimize contact with other group members and follow all directives from International SOS, our Medical Director and local medical services to provide the best care possible and minimize exposure for others.

What if a student needs to be quarantined? 

If a student has a medically mandated quarantine, due to illness or prior travel, Global Glimpse staff will work with local public health officials, International SOS, and our Medical Director to assist in the following ways:

  • Provide communication support, coordination support, and logistical support to the traveler and their family or school.
  • Leverage our partnership with International SOS to initiate medical support services, quarantine services, and evacuation when possible.
  • Through this process, Global Glimpse will continue to provide communication, logistical, and emotional support for any impacted travelers. We will also provide logistical and emotional support for any family member(s) wanting to be in the location with their loved one while quarantined.

Where can I find out more about Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

If you would like more information, some of the best online resources on COVID-19 can be found on the websites of the US. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization. Please do not hesitate to contact your Global Glimpse regional program staff should you have questions or concerns about the information provided.

What happens if my trip is postponed by Global Glimpse?

If Global Glimpse postpones your trip due to health or safety concerns, you will be offered the opportunity to travel on another trip to a region or country that is safe for travel. If this option is not available, then you will be eligible to roll over all payments/donations to travel next year with Global Glimpse. *Rollover payments are now also transferrable to a family member or friend who qualifies for the Global Glimpse program in 2021.