Get your questions answered
Do you have questions about a Winterline Global Education program, the admissions process or what to pack before you go? We are here to help!
Q: What specific skills will I learn on a Winterline program? +A:
Each Winterline Global Education program introduces you to a wide diversity of skills – but all of them very practical. You will learn life skills such as cooking, care giving and personal money management; job skills such as customer service and negotiation; communication skills such as effective public speaking and the making of digital media presentations. These are just a few examples of the core competencies you will learn while on one of our programs. Here is a more detailed listing of the range of skills.
Q: How are the Winterline Global Education Programs different from other “gap” programs? +A:
Most “gap” or “bridge” year programs offer students the opportunity to volunteer in another country, or to “get to know themselves better” and “make a difference in the world.” As praise-worthy as these efforts are, at Winterline we feel that in order for young adults to actually offer something, they need to have the skills to do so. A gap experience is an extremely valuable time when students can lay a foundation for a successful college experience by gaining a diverse set of skills and being introduced to a wide range of job and career options. Add to this the value of international travel and exposure to global issues and concerns, and you have a program unlike any other.
Q: How will these programs better prepare young adults like myself for college or university? +A:
The Winterline Global Education programs offer you very practical life and career building skills. They are not “college prep” programs offering coaching in academic subject areas. Yet, by giving you a chance to explore your interests, gain skills and consider career options, you will enter (or return to) college or university with a much clearer sense of direction and purpose. Winterline can help you determine what you want to get out of life and provide guidance on how to get there.
Q: What kind of college or career advising do you offer on your programs? +A:
Winterline is pleased to support students who are enrolled in our nine-month gap year program with professional college counseling services through Collegewise, the nation’s largest college counseling organization.
Collegewise seeks to turn an often difficult and stressful college admissions process into an exciting and manageable one. Winterline provides students enrolled in our nine-month Global Skills Program with an initial one-hour consultation with an experienced Collegewise counselor before departure, in order to assess individual goals and needs and to provide advice and direction. Once on the program, students will have the ability to independently pursue additional counseling services with Collegewise, if desired, for additional support and guidance in the college application and decision-making process.
Q: What do I need to bring along? Will you provide a packing list? +A:
Students are encouraged and taught how to travel light! There will be plenty of opportunities to purchase items along the way if necessary. Once enrolled, we will provide a comprehensive packing list specific to the program you will be joining.
Q: Is Winterline accredited? +A:
Yes. Winterline is accredited by the American Gap Association for demonstrated excellence in the field of Gap Year education having passed all required Standards which are approved by the US Department of Justice.
Q: What are the admissions procedures? +A:
To apply, you are asked to submit a brief 4-step application that is available online. We accept applications on a rolling basis, however we recommend that you apply early as spots in our most popular programs fill up quickly.
Once you have completed the application, paid the non-refundable $100 application fee, and sent in the required information, we will schedule a phone or Skype interview. If you are applying for a summer travel program, you may choose to submit a video interview instead. We do not require an interview for our summer day programs.
After the interview, the Admissions Committee will meet to consider each student’s application. If accepted, students and families will be sent a letter detailing the next steps, as well as instructions about multiple forms that will need to be signed and returned. Once these are complete, the only thing remaining is to purchase your ticket to Orientation and pack your bags for your grand adventure!
Q: Do I need to be a straight A student to go on a Winterline Global Education Program? +A:
No! We invite all types of students to apply for our programs. While we may want to see your transcript and SAT/ACT scores, these are given very little weight in our evaluation of how well we think you will do on our programs. Most important to us is a strong desire to engage and try new things and a willingness to learn and improve through real-life experiences. If requested, an unofficial version of your transcript is fine. You can ask for it from your school/college.
Q: Are there any prerequisites to joining your program? +A:
There are no specific prerequisites to joining a Winterline Global Education program besides an inquisitive mind, a “can do” attitude, and a willingness to take risks, make mistakes, and grow through the process. Students are expected to be physically and mentally fit and flexible enough to meet the stresses and demands of traveling in the developing world. While many students can benefit from a Gap program, those who are adjudicated, court-mandated, or requiring regular in-field therapy are beyond the expertise of Winterline to monitor. Winterline is not a therapeutic program and our policy is that students going on our programs are required to have routine vaccinations in accordance with CDC recommendations. Our complete Essential Eligibility Criteria is available here.
Q: How do I know if I am the right fit for a Winterline Global Skills Program abroad? +A:
You must be able to live in and travel through remote, urban, international, rugged, and physically and emotionally challenging environments. These environments, along with skills-based activities and the living and traveling conditions encountered, require each student to be fully committed to and capable of working hard, taking responsibility for him or herself, and participating effectively in a group to achieve the goals of the program. At all times, Winterline places high priority on the health and well being of our students and staff.
Q: Do you have an age requirement? +A:
Yes, you must be between 18 and 22 years of age as of the departure date for your Global Skills nine-month, semester or summer travel program. We accept students age 16-22 for our summer day programs.
Q: Can I go for only a part of one of the longer programs or only to a specific region or country? +A:
No. We believe that the range and scale of each program–whether a nine-month, or 12-week program–are essential to a meaningful learning experience.
Q: Do you have any medical requirements for participation? +A:
Yes. Winterline’s policy is that students going on our programs are required to have routine vaccinations in accordance with CDC recommendations. You may view the recommendations here by selecting the destinations Winterline travels to (e. g. Belize). This is to reduce the risk to all students of contracting a variety of communicable diseases. A family’s decision on behalf of their child/children is a personal one for which only you are responsible. However, while on a Winterline program, it is our responsibility to do everything we reasonably can to protect ALL of our students from preventable diseases. Requiring immunizations is simply one of the steps we take to try to ensure everyone’s health and safety while on our programs.
Q: Is there a fee to apply to a Winterline Global Education Program? +A:
A non-refundable $100 application fee is due upon submission of the completed application. You may make your application payment here.
Q: How much do the programs cost? +A:
The cost of each Winterline Global Education program varies depending on the length of the program, skills learned and regions visited. For our global travel programs, Winterline fees are all inclusive once on the program. The travel program fees include all programming costs and partner fees; all food, accommodation and travel fees; and all emergency medical and evacuation insurance, and related expenses during the program. Please view each program page for details about the fee for a specific program.
The fee does not include: travel to the start of the program, obtaining a passport, personal spending money during the program, required equipment or gear, recommended or required immunizations, or visa fees.
The fee for our non-residential, summer day programs includes lunch daily.
Q: What are your payment policies? +A:
To secure a spot in one of our Global Skills programs, a deposit of $5,000 is due within 10 business days of your acceptance. Full payment is due to secure a spot for our summer day programs.
Q: Nine-month Global Skills Program Payment Schedule: +A:
If a student is enrolling in our nine-month program, the remaining tuition may be paid in two installments. The first payment is due no later than 90 days prior to the initial departure date of the program. The second payment is due no later than 90 days prior to the departure date of the second trimester.
However, for those students enrolling in our nine-month program and who are recipients of the Early Application Discount, the first tuition payment is due 90 days after the date of the deposit payment. And the second payment is due no later than 180 days after the date of the deposit payment.
Q: Semester and Summer Global Program Payment Schedule: +A:
If a student is enrolling in a semester or summer program, payment for the tuition balance is due no later than 90 days prior to the departure date of the program.
For those Semester and Summer Program students who are recipients of the Early Application Discount, payment for the balance is due 90 days after the date of the deposit payment.
Q: How do I pay? +A:
Students will receive detailed payment instructions when they are accepted.
Payments may be made by bank wire, personal check or by credit card. There will be a 3% processing fee for credit card payments of the deposit or tuition.
Checks should be made payable to “Winterline Global Education, Inc.” and be mailed to:
Winterline Global Education
One Kendall Square, Suite B14106,
Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
For bank or wire transfer instructions, please email: email@example.com.
Q: What is your refund policy? +A:
Once paid, all deposits are non-refundable.
If a student withdraws from the program prior to the start of orientation, refunds will be made according to the following schedule:
• More than 90 days before the first day of orientation: 100% of payment refunded (less deposit)
• Between 89 and 60 days before the first day of orientation: 50% of payment refunded (less deposit)
• Between 59 and 30 days before the first day of orientation: 25% of payment refunded (less deposit)
• Less than 30 days before the first day of orientation: 0% of payment refunded
Please note that written notice of withdrawal must be sent to Winterline Global Education. Refunds will be calculated based on the date the written notice of withdrawal is received.
Q: What happens if Winterline cancels a program? +A:
Winterline reserves the right to cancel any program if there are insufficient registrations and the trip is not economically feasible. If this decision is made, a full refund of tuition and program fees will be granted to all fully enrolled students, though Winterline is not responsible for other costs incurred by clients preparing for the program. Decisions of this manner will be made with more than 30 days advance notice.
For programs that are canceled due to any event that is beyond Winterline’s control, Winterline will refund all tuition less the original deposit amount.
Q: Is crowd-funding an option? +A:
Yes, some gap year students create fundraising campaigns on FundMyTravel, which provides an online platform where they can fundraise for a meaningful travel experience.
Create a campaign page, complete a brief profile to build trust, add a video and tell your story!
Food & Accommodations
Q: My child has a peanut allergy. How do you handle dietary restrictions? +A:
We work closely with our partners to ensure that dietary restrictions are taken into consideration. Please be thorough in communicating these restrictions and their severity to us, and know that we may not be able to accommodate all restrictions.
Q: What will the food and accommodations be like while the group is traveling? +A:
Food will be healthy and nutritious, and offer a balance of local and international cuisine depending on where the students are. We use fresh local ingredients as much as possible, and a balance of fresh salads, vegetables, breads and meats. At times, students will be responsible for assisting with food preparation and clean up under the care of partner chefs.
Accommodations will be clean and comfortable at all times but rarely luxurious. Students will generally stay in a mix of hostels, camps, lodges, rented houses or university residential facilities.
Q: Who books my travel to/from and during the Winterline Global Skills nine-month gap program? +A:
Winterline will book and pay for all international flights during each Global Skills program as well as local ground transportation and flights. Students will be responsible for booking their own travel to/from the starting and ending points of their program as well as their trip home at the winter break if applicable. Students will have access to a detailed travel itinerary before departure so that they are able to book their flights to and from the program. Additionally, Winterline provides a designated travel provider to assist with student bookings.
Q: If my child enrolls in the nine-month program, will s/he be gone for the entire year, or will there be opportunities to visit during the year? +A:
There will certainly be opportunities to see your child during the year. During winter break students may either return home to their families, or families may choose to join them in the country or region where they are traveling. Additionally, students may have shorter breaks or weekends when families can visit them during the year.
Q: How do the students travel? By private transportation? Public buses? +A:
Students will be traveling by a variety of means, ranging from airlines, trains, and private buses to public transportation. This will depend on where they are and how far they have to go to their next destination. All transportation will meet our specific standards and safety criteria in order to be considered.
Q: What about visas and immunizations? Do you handle these or do we have to? +A:
Visa applications and costs will be the responsibility of individuals and their families. Winterline will provide support and advice concerning the required visas in each country visited. Immunizations are also the responsibility of the participant prior to departure. Winterline’s policy is that students going on our programs are required to have routine vaccinations in accordance with CDC recommendations. We will provide detailed health/safety information in the months leading up to Orientation.
Safety & Health
Q: What safety or risk management measures are in place to help ensure that my child will come home safely? +A:
Winterline goes to great lengths to ensure student safety. Our senior staff has extensive experience in international travel and study abroad programs for young adults. All programs begin with careful pre-trip planning and risk assessments, and follow strict safety protocols throughout the trip. Students are taught risk management skills and all members of our programs, both staff and students, actively manage risks. Winterline maintains field staff on the ground to support the programs, and carry out post-trip debriefing sessions with all students and faculty. For more on risk management, see here.
Q: What are the standards of conduct that students will be asked to follow during Winterline programs? +A:
When living together in a community, everyone has both rights and responsibilities that must be balanced with the needs of others. With that in mind, Winterline expects students to adhere to a clearly-defined set of standards of conduct while enrolled in a program. You can find out more about our guidelines around discipline, relationships, and drug and alcohol use here.
Q: How does Winterline handle student prescription medication needs? +A:
We recommend that students bring any personal prescription medicine with them.
Students currently taking prescription medication will need to plan ahead for their time abroad. Medication cannot be shipped to students from overseas. To obtain a supply of medication for the duration of the program, students should talk with their physicians. Review our Prescription medicine guidelines here.
Q: What happens if a student on the program gets sick or needs to come home mid-year? +A:
Winterline will provide all students with international travel medical insurance to cover a variety of situations from minor illness to more severe situations that require evacuation. In the event of a more serious situation, in consultation with our Field Advisors, local program staff, and senior officers – as well as parents – a decision would be made as to whether to bring a student home mid-program. Please note: we require US students to provide proof of US coverage during the US portions of programs.
Q: Who are the advisors who will be traveling with the students and how have they been selected or trained? +A:
We very carefully select and train the Field Advisors who travel with our student groups. Our Advisors are experienced professionals in managing and facilitating student groups and student learning. Many are former teachers with both classroom and outside the classroom experience. Our Advisors are trained to handle situations that are unique to global travel and are thoroughly trained in emergency medical care. We aim for an 8:1 student to adult ratio.
Q: How will families be able to communicate with students during a program, and learn about what they are doing? +A:
In order to keep families informed, our staff send safe arrival emails and regular email updates. In addition, Winterline creates a private Facebook Group for each program cohort in which we post photos and notes from the field.
Should anything come up while your child is away, we will be directly in touch as quickly as possible, and will keep communication open until the issue is resolved.
Telephone and Internet service are generally available to our students around the world. However, there are certain times during our programs when students may be without access to phone or Internet service. We suggest that students and their parents agree on a communication plan that sets expectations around how often they will be contacting each other. In emergency situations, students and parents may call our emergency telephone line 24-hours/day for immediate assistance.
Q: Where do the students on your program come from? +A:
Winterline students come from all over the world. They come from private schools and public schools. They come from cities, towns, and rural areas. The student groups who make up our program are as diverse as we can make them. Past and current students have been from Colombia, Mexico, India, Nepal, Benin, the Netherlands, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. among other countries.
Q: How many students travel together as a group? +A:
Our ‘cohorts’ have a maximum of 20 students. While on the program, students are required to travel in groups of no less than 3. Students may also travel independently during designated free times and for independent projects.
Q: How much free time do students get while on a Winterline program? +A:
Students get a good mixture of both structured and unstructured time. In general, we have 4-5 days of each week planned with activities and skills that students will be working on, and a day or two each week of free or unstructured time. The exact schedule varies from week to week and from program to program, but students will always get independent/free time to hang out, relax, reflect and spend time in an unstructured way.
Q: Is there a service component on your programs? +A:
Not directly. At Winterline we believe that students should have real, practical skills that they can offer before they begin doing “service.” This is not to say that you have to be a professional before you can “serve.” We feel that there are far too many so-called service programs where the students who are supposed to be serving others are actually doing more harm than good, simply because they don’t have substantive training or skills to offer.
Q: Will students learn any languages while on the Winterline programs? +A:
Students enrolled in our nine-month Gap Year program will be spending extended time in Latin America where we will provide formal Spanish instruction and where the students will have lots of time to practice what they have learned in real-life situations. In every program, students will have exposure to a variety of languages and cultures throughout the program as they move within countries and regions. If a student already has a language ability in one of the languages spoken in the region where the group will be traveling, there will certainly be opportunities to improve their language skills!
Q: Can parents go on the programs? +A:
We hear this question a lot! The answer is, for your children’s sake, no! But we are already working on separate, shorter programs for working adults. Stay tuned.