When do Youth International trips run?

Youth International programs are offered twice each year: once in the fall semester, which runs from September to December, and once in the spring semester, which runs from February to May.  Each semester lasts 3 months.

Youth International does not run any programs during the summer months.


How many people are usually on each team?

A team consists of up to 14 participants, plus two team leaders.


Who is eligible to join Youth International?

Anyone, from any country, who will be between 18 to 25 years of age when traveling with Youth International, may apply to join the program. (Some flexibility with this age restriction does apply.)  The only factor that would automatically exclude anyone from joining a Youth International trip would be an inability to fully participate in all program activities, or an inability to obtain tourist visas for the necessary countries.

If you are interested in joining one of our upcoming teams abroad we ask you to fill out an application form online and provide personal references. Applications are followed up with a telephone interview. Teams are filled on a “first come” basis for those who are selected. Applications are accepted at any time for upcoming semesters, so early ones do have an advantage.

For more information on how to join a Youth International team, click here: How To Join


How can I get an application form?

Click here: Application


Is Youth International a religious program?

Youth International does not affiliate with, or adhere to, any specific religious or philosophical doctrine, and has no political affiliations or agenda.


What is the program fee for a Youth International semester, and what does it include?

The cost per student for the spring 2018 semester is: US $9,950 for the Asia program / US $10,950 for the South America program.  During the fall 2018 semester, the cost per student is: US $10,350 for the Asia program / US $11,350 for the South America program.

This program fee covers all program expenses during the semester abroad, including: all meals and lodging, all overland travel, all scheduled program activities (including the cost of all outdoor adventure activities and site-seeing etc…), team leaders and in-country staff, all costs for orientation in the USA, educational materials, and other miscellaneous expenses related to the program.

In addition to the program fee, participants must pay for their flights. On average this cost will be approximately $1800 for the South America program and approximately $1,900 for the Asia program.

The only other costs that the program fee does not cover are personal expenses and individual free time activities.  Personal expenses include health insurance, entry visas, and transportation to orientation in Colorado at the beginning of the program.


Where are Youth International trips going in 2018?

In the spring 2018 and fall 2018 semesters, Youth International will send one team to Asia and one team to South America. (Programs in Africa remain suspended for the moment due to security concerns in East Africa.)

The Asia team will travel to Nepal, India, and Thailand. The South America team will travel to Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador, including the Galapagos Islands.

Dates for the Spring 2018 semester:

  • South America: February 15 to May 9, 2018
  • Asia: February 15 to May 16, 2018

Dates for the Fall 2018 semester: 

  • South America: September 12 to December 4, 2018
  • Asia: September 12 to December 11, 2018

View detailed program itineraries here:  Asia Spring 2018 / South America Spring 2018


Can I get college credit?

Yes, Youth International is affiliated with Western State Colorado University.  College courses are offered through Western State Colorado University for both the Asia and the South America programs.  All experiential activities involved in the credit courses are already included within the Youth International program. Students enrolled for course credit are required to complete additional reading and written work, as specified in the specific course syllabus.  Please request a course registration package from Youth International for further details.


Can I pay from a 529 college savings fund?

Yes, 529 funds can be used to pay for the college course costs and the entire Youth International program fee.  AmeriCorps education awards can also be used in the same way.


Who are the program leaders?

For information on Youth International program leaders, click on this link: Leadership


How do participants communicate with parents and friends while they are traveling?

Youth International participants have access to phone and internet/email about 80% of the time during a trip.

Also, someone in the Youth International office is in regular contact with our groups every couple of days while they are abroad. And, in the case of an emergency we are always able to contact a team quickly.  Email updates are also sent to family and friends of each team on a regular basis.


How do we get the visas necessary to travel to these countries?

Youth International provides participants with information on how to obtain tourist visas well before the start of each program.


How old are Youth International participants?

Youth International team members range in age from 18 to 25.  (In rare cases we do have participants outside of this age range.)   The average age is 21, but most teams have participants from across the full 18 to 25 range.


What types of people join Youth International teams?

This is a very common question, and is perhaps the most difficult to answer as there is really no “typical” Youth International participant.  Each is unique!  Our participants bring with them a wonderful diversity of backgrounds and interests.  Team members share a like-mindedness, and often bond through their common interests and enthusiasm for the activities and ideals which drew them to the Youth International program.

All, in some way or another, are eager to step outside of their current path, and to challenge themselves to get out and learn more about the world and about who they are in relation to the world.

Many are taking a “gap year”, or a semester off in the middle of college, or a year off between graduating high school and beginning college.  Several have recently graduated college, and want to experience some of the world before starting a career or going on to graduate school.  A few are taking time out from a career.

The majority of our participants come from the United States; they come from all corners of the country.  We also have many participants from across Canada.  Youth International also has some members that have joined us from a number of other countries around the world.


How long has Youth International been around?

Youth International has been sending groups on learning adventures abroad since January of 1997.


How do I know what to pack and how to prepare for a trip with Youth International?

Everyone who has been accepted to travel with Youth International is given a Travel Preparation Package outlining everything they need to know about what to pack and how to prepare for their Youth International adventure.


Are Youth International trips safe?

Youth International candidates, and their parents, should know that the health and safety of our participants is our number one priority at all times.

Each group travels together, under the guidance of two team leaders who are with the group for the entire trip. In most locations we also have one or more in country staff members that are there to look after the group.

When split up to live with host families, team members are still together in the same village, town or city.  Normally, it is a very short distance between homes.

Since Youth International began in January 1997 we have never had a serious accident or illness. However, we always have an emergency plan in place for each spot on the group’s itinerary. This includes an evacuation plan, and a plan for how to get a student as quickly as possible to the best and nearest medical facility. We will not take a student with us unless they have adequate medical and travel emergency insurance.

In the very rare event that a destination, or an entire country, were to become unsafe for travel, we would, of course, alter the trip itinerary accordingly. The safety of travel to all of our destinations is continually monitored through the US State Department, the US and Canadian Embassy in each country, and our local contacts.


Does Youth International pay commissions for referrals?

No, Youth International does not pay for referrals. Youth International recruits on the strength of its reputation and never pays a commission for referrals to our programs.  If your gap year consultant put you in touch with Youth International, it’s because he/she knows and trusts this program and it is a good match for your interests.  Students should be wary of consultants who accept or, in some cases, demand commissions from programs.  Such financial compensation to consultants does not have the student’s best interests at heart.