FAQs

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’re here to help!

General Information

  • 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; business 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 praiseworthy 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. In addition, our students are taught to become independent travelers throughout the year through their ISPs (Independent Study Projects). The students have a mini “ISP” during each trimester leading to their final ISP in Europe: a culminating independent travel week which the student plans with guidance and support from the Winterline team.

  • 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 you with the skills and guidance to get there. If they are interested, students can also earn college credit for skills learned during the Global Skills Gap Year Program so that they can stay on track.

  • 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 an introduction to professional college counseling services through Collegewise, the nation’s largest college counseling organization. Students and their families may choose to independently pursue counseling services with Collegewise, if desired, for 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 you are enrolled, we will provide each student with a comprehensive packing list specific to the program you will be joining.

  • Q: Is Winterline accredited? +

    A:

    Yes. Winterline is one of only a handful of programs accredited by the Gap Year 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: Does Winterline Global Education offer college credit? +

    A:

    Yes, we have partnered with Western Colorado University so that you can earn college credit from our Global Skills nine-month Gap Year Program in a number of areas. Western Colorado University credit must be initiated at least 30 days before Winterline tuition is due. Prior to college credit registration and payment, we recommend that you contact your college to verify it will accept the transfer credits from Western Colorado University. Find more details and step-by-step instructions for setting up your college credit here.

Admissions

  • Q: What are the admissions procedures? +

    A:

    Applying to our programs is easy! Simply submit a brief application that is available online.  You can get started for the nine-month Global Skills Gap Program here, and for our short and summer programs here. We accept applications on a rolling basis so it’s never too early to get started. We recommend that you apply early as spots in our most popular programs fill up quickly. Applicants for our nine-month Global Skills Gap Year Program will be asked to schedule a video interview as part of the process. Once you have completed the application and paid the non-refundable $50 application fee, the Admissions Committee will meet to consider each applicant. If accepted, students must submit a deposit (for the Global Skills Gap Year program) or the full tuition amount (for all short and summer programs) to secure a spot. The only thing remaining after that is to purchase your ticket 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 or ask for your 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.

  • 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? +

    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 Winterline Global Education program.

  • Q: Can I go for only a part of nine-month Global Skills Gap Year Program or only to a specific region or country? +

    A:

    No. We believe that the range and scale of the Program are essential to a meaningful learning experience. If you cannot commit to nine months, take a look at our shorter programs.

  • 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: I see that I have a choice of two travel paths for the Winterline Global Skills nine-month gap year program. When do I select my travel path? Can I select a different path for each trimester? +

    A:

    Students are required to select their travel path when they submit their deposit to secure a spot on the program. Due to the logistical details that go into every step of the Winterline Global Skills Gap year Program, students may not change their itinerary selection once the program has started. 

  • Q: How do most students hear about your program? +

    A:

    Students learn about our program from many sources, including social media, gap year fairs, and referrals from counselors and advisors who think a student will be a good fit for our program! Winterline does not pay commissions for any US referrals to our programs, so these recommendations are all genuine. Word of mouth is another common way students learn about Winterline. If you are interested in the program and would like to speak with a student or parent alumni, please email us at admissions@winterline.com to request that contact information.

  • Q: Can I speak with Winterline alumni about their experience? +

    A:

    Yes! We have both student and parent alumni who would be happy to talk with you about the program. Please email us at admissions@winterline.com to request that contact information.

Costs

  • Q: Is there a fee to apply to a Winterline Global Education Program? +

    A:

    A non-refundable $50 application fee is due upon submission of a 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 nine-month Global Skills Gap Year Program, Winterline fees are all inclusive once on the program. The 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. Our shorter programs are not inclusive. Please review each program page for details about what is included. In every instance, the fee does not include: travel to the start of the program and home again, obtaining a passport, personal spending money during the program, required equipment or gear, recommended or required immunizations, or visa fees.

  • Q: Are scholarships or financial aid available? +

    A:

    Yes. A variety of scholarships and financial aid opportunities are available and described here. You can also check out our blog post where we share a variety of ideas about how to fund your travel.

  • Q: Are there any “hidden costs” that I need to know about? +

    A:

    There are no hidden costs. At Winterline we believe in full transparency and will go to great lengths to make sure that you are fully informed about all costs and fees that are expected.

  • Q: What are your payment policies? +

    A:

    To secure a spot in our Global Skills Gap Year program, a deposit is due within 10 business days of your acceptance. To secure a spot in one of our short programs, full tuition is due within 10 business days of your acceptance.

  • Q: Nine-month Global Skills Program Payment Schedule: +

    A:

    If a student is enrolling in our nine-month program, the remaining tuition after the deposit is submitted 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. If a student enrolls closer than 90 days prior to the start of the initial departure date, the first payment is due with 15 days of acceptance. 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: Winterline Global Education short and summer programs Payment Schedule: +

    A:

    If a student is enrolling in a short or summer program, full tuition is due within 10 business days of your acceptance to secure a spot in the program.

  • 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. Online payments may be made here. Checks should be made payable to “Winterline Global Education, Inc.” and be mailed to Winterline Global Education, 250 Main Street, PO Box 425937, Cambridge, MA 02142-9998 USA. For bank or wire transfer instructions, please email dita@winterline.com.

  • Q: What is your refund policy? +

    A:

    Once paid, all program 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 the program: 100% of payment refunded (less deposit) • Between 89 and 60 days before the first day of the program: 50% of payment refunded (less deposit) • Between 59 and 30 days before the first day of the program: 25% of payment refunded (less deposit) • Less than 30 days before the first day of the program: 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 program 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, many 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!

  • Q: Can I use my 529 College Savings Plan or an AmeriCorps award to pay for a Winterline program? +

    A:

    Yes! Thanks to Winterline Global Education’s partnership with Western Colorado University, we can accept 529 College Savings Plans or AmeriCorps Education Awards for the 9-month Global Skills Gap Program through its Extended Studies program.  Anyone can register – you do not have to be a current Western Colorado University student.

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 any restrictions and their severity to us, and know that we may not be able to accommodate all restrictions. Our primary goal is always the safety and well-being of our students.

  • 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. Or they may be provided with a per diem so that they can make their own food choices. Accommodations will be clean and comfortable at all times but rarely luxurious. Students will stay in a mix of hostels, camps, lodges, rented houses, homestays or university residential facilities.

Travel

  • Q: Who books my travel to/from and during the Winterline Global Skills nine-month gap program and Winterline summer and short programs? +

    A:

    Winterline will book and pay for all international flights during the Global Skills Gap Year 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 winter or spring 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.

    Please note that fees for our summer and short programs do not include airfare to and from the starting and ending points of the program, or local transportation and optional activities on free days. Please refer to each program page for details about what is included in the program.

  • Q: If my son or daughter 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:

    Yes, there will be opportunities to see your son or daughter during the year. There is a 5-6 week Winter Break after the 1st trimester during which most students return home. There is also a short spring break when many families choose to visit. Additionally, students have or weekend breaks and rest days throughout the program.

  • Q: How do the students travel? By private transportation? Public buses? +

    A:

    Students will be traveling by a variety of means, ranging from airplanes, 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 each program.

  • Q: What is the role of the Field Advisors who travel with the students? +

    A:

    Winterline Field Advisors are professionals who are skilled at working with young adults and able to provide strong mentoring and guidance. They are also seasoned international travelers who can guide the squads through diverse living and learning environments while maintaining student health and safety. The Field Advisors make sure students get to partner programming and have the support they need to be successful and independent in partner or skill engagement. Our Field Advisors lead morning and evening group programming and support the students in making well-thought-out decisions about how to spend their free time.

Safety & Health

  • Q: What safety or risk management measures are in place to help ensure that my son or daughter 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 early? +

    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 Field 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. You can see bios of our current Field Advisors here.

  • 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 sends regular email updates 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 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.

Student Life

  • 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, Germany, and the U.S. among other countries.

  • Q: How many students travel together as a group? +

    A:

    Each squad has a maximum of 22 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. All Winterline programs focus on teaching students real skills vs. providing service opportunities.

  • Q: Will students learn any languages while on the Winterline programs? +

    A:

    Students enrolled in our nine-month Global Skills Gap Year program will be spending extended time in Latin America where we will provide informal 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 always thinking about separate, shorter programs for working adults. Stay tuned.

Adventurers Wanted

The Adventure of Your Lifetime

Is Winterline for you? Are you someone who is adventurous (or wants to be)? Who is open to new experiences, interested in meeting new people and willing to challenge yourself, your ideas, your pre-conceptions? Then you’re the one we want.

Apply
Request Info