Designing unique, high quality academic programming – experiential and exploratory; meaningful and memorable; challenging and creative; interactive and international – our students are travelers, NOT tourists!

Dave 3YAII_Logo

BUILDING TRAVELERS NOT TOURISTS

Welcome to a unique approach to international educational programming.

Globalization is here to stay and we live in an increasingly interconnected world.

Our youth must travel to understand the world in which they live and hope to lead.

Travel must be in as safe and structured an environment as possible.

Exposure to a wide range of cultures is essential to understanding.

Understanding is rooted in discovering, experiencing and accepting diversity.

To meet and work with people, where they live, achieves the best understanding.

All of our programs include:

  • Personal partnerships with local students to provide better relationships and understanding
  • Lectures or coaching from local experts – University Professors, Coaches, Conductors, Musicians, Artists (determined by the nature of your group)
  • We include tours that enhance cultural understanding as chosen by our local partners as the most significant.

We offer these programs to any group of young people you could imagine:

  • School Groups – senior academic classes; music groups such as jazz bands or orchestras; athletic teams especially baseball, soccer, volleyball and basketball; co-curricular clubs like Social Justice; special Student Success opportunities; and whatever you’d like to request
  • Community Groups – music, sports, other youth groups of virtually any type
  • Sister City partnerships offer incredible opportunities for youth exchangesschool groups, community youth groups, sister-city exchanges, university student groups as well as teacher and administration professional development and team building trips.

Obviously each of these groups will have a different focus and we are prepared to design whatever specific program is needed

We also offer professional development opportunities for educators so they can consider incorporating these ideas into their activities.

Explore our website, see in greater detail what we offer and then consider how we might be able to make a difference in the way in which our youth view the world and their future in it.

Please contact us for further information or to have any questions answered.

Thank you for your interest!

OUR TESTIMONIALS

  • The Cuba Trip provided a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience a vibrant culture and immerse myself in the Country’s rich history. Actually touring the historic forts and cities we had read about, and putting ourselves in the roles of History’s key players provided a far more stimulating and rewarding learning environment than any classroom. Along the way I made some great friendships that have lasted throughout my university studies.

    Kevin Black – 2007

  • Nearly ten years ago, I had the unique and life changing experience of being able to travel to Cuba with the Barrie Youth Ambassadors. At first as a teenager, I had no idea how travelling would forever change my overall perspective on life and also gain a better understanding of who I am as a person. On my return back to Canada, I became a more enlightened person, as over my two week trip my wide array of experiences in Cuba taught me so much about different ways to look at life. Yet after my return, I was left with a great thirst and drive to further expand knowledge and continue my path of life long learning. As I look back today, at 26 years of age, I have two Bachelor degrees as well as a Masters and now I work as a historical writer and educator. But I can trace back much of this spark and passion back to when my eyes were first “opened to the world” exploring Cuba.

    Matt Pritchard – 2004

  • I strongly support and recommend Dave Morrison’s international education programs for any ambitious young person. I am proud to have participated in its first year and that involvement has empowered me to achieve my dream of working for Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs

    Patrick Watson – 2000

  • I originally enrolled in Global Perspectives to be challenged academically, broaden my worldview, and have a blast travelling— I came out of the program with much more then I ever expected! It not only surpassed my expectations, but also helped me see my full potential, guide me in my post-secondary studies, and most importantly our trip to Cuba taught me how to analyze international and domestic issues from a critical, and global, perspective.

    Brady Chapman – 2012

  • I, like many Canadians, used to think of Cuba as little more than a popular vacation destination, but the Youth Ambassador Program changed that. By going beyond this naive perception, this program delves into the country’s profoundly unique politics, history, culture and people to provide an entirely new perspective and a learning experience like no other!

    Michael Vandrick – 2010

  • Global Perspectives’ Cuban interchange is a completely unique experience that leaves you with lifelong gifts. It provides you with critical thinking, a widen perspective on the world and lifelong friendships just to list a few!

    Casidhe Gardiner – 2012

  • When I tell people that I did an exchange in Cuba their invariable response is shock and amazement. “What?! How?!, Why?! When?!” are usually the initial questions blurted. When I mention that it was a (one of a kind) high-school program the amazement usually grows. The program is truly unique, a fact which I hadn’t truly understood until long after it graduating high school, and even university. While you’re there you’re working with real Cubans, making real relationships, and really experiencing the life that they live every day. The first association that comes to mind when many think of Cuba is “resorts”. This program is the opposite of that in every way conceivable.

    Ian Delves – 2005

  • Cuba is an amazing opportunity to view a communist society unfiltered. Being among the Cuban people allows you to see what life is really like in Cuba. Not the normal experience for foreigners. The differences in culture between Cuba and Canada were very distinct. My experience allowed me to witness what made Cuba unique to our culture, and it was the Cuban people and how they acted as a community. It was amazing to experience a less egocentric culture. To this day I am still in touch with the Cubans that I met through this program.

    Colton Bailey – 2012

  • Global Perspectives, and especially the Cuba experience, was a life-changing event in my life, it provided me with a new look on life and improved my academics ten fold. I would not be in university if it were not for this program.

    Jesse Bernier – 2012

  • The experience I had in the global program run by Dave Morrison was subconsciously the best life experience I have ever had. At the time high school was a means to an exit into the real world, and it wasn’t until I became a member of the program that I became a part of something bigger than me. Unknowingly I entered into a program that opened my eyes to a whole new horizon of opportunities that went beyond the classroom doors. The global program, and specifically Dave Morrison helped me figure out who I was and who I wanted to become as a person, and in doing so, it opened my eyes to many new opportunities. Upon graduating, instead of staying constant on the ordinary path, I took a chance and moved to Los Angeles. An opportunity I would not have done without the guidance of the Global program and Dave Morrison. Throughout the years to follow I’ve had the pleasure of living in various cities in North America, starring in Web-Series, commercials and working on a variety of television shows. All of this would have been impossible if I had stayed with the norm and not taken a chance to become part of something greater, a rich fulfilling program, run by dedicated and passionate teachers who taught me that being in Global meant there is no satisfaction. Just a divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and, in so doing, more alive than the others.

    Connor Mackenzie – 2006

  • My trip to Cuba with allowed me to see the realities of a popular tourist destination off the resort. I was lucky enough to experience one of the most welcoming and entertaining cultures in the world while learning about the struggles of a typical Cuban citizen. To this day I wish I could be dancing with my Cuban best friend.

    Sarah McNeil – 2012

  • Travelling to Cuba was my first trip without family. The history, culture and people are still vivid in my memory as if it were yesterday, not 6 years ago; and I’m still in contact with my host and her family. The program helped me through the hardest part of my life to date, and the experience received was worth every penny spent plus more! I’m forever grateful to the staff who made it possible, and Morri for pushing me to apply to the Global Perspectives program.

    Holly Fisher – 2007

  • Global inspired me to decide what I wanted to get out of life, and pushed me to develop the tools I need to get it.

    Jordan Stewart – 2011

  • Prior to Global I was doing extremely stupid shit on a very regular, more or less daily basis and was flunking classes in subjects I’m interested in and where my aptitude is…. Despite a few incidents when I got back to Canada I more or less just got my act together – my grades improved and I managed to eventually graduate from high school… At one point I was contemplating dropping out and, honest to God truth, I don’t think I would have completed high school without this program.

    Ian Taylor – 2000

  • Global Perspectives was an experience of a lifetime. It was worth every penny and taught me so much about the world and myself that no other class could ever do. I made lifelong friends and memories and it completely changed my outlook on life and future goals. Everyone should get a chance to experience this!

    Jordan Gardiner – 2009

  • In Grade 11, I was lucky enough to be accepted into the most challenging, most innovative and certainly the most rewarding program I have ever experienced. Global Perspectives was not simply about knowledge, in the way that many courses are. It taught thirty students to break free of the eggshells which were their minds: to become aware of a world outside their own, and, above all, to forget about grades and discover a new passion for learning. As a science major, I can say, too, that it is not a program reserved for humanities student. Rather, Global is designed for any motivated individual hoping to learn more about the world’s intricacies in a very constructive environment.

    Aiden McKee – 2012

  • The program, Global Perspectives allowed me to open my eyes to the world and struggles of Cuba that society chooses to ignore. Witnessing the struggles that Cubans experience on an everyday basis gave me the confidence, along with the skill set to overcome adversity. Mr. Morrison, more commonly known as Morri, allowed the program to not only be academically enriching, but create a family experience allowing friendships to continue for years to come.

    Brandon Richards – 2011

  • Well presented, informative lectures, cultural experiences (especially through dance) thrown together with, of course sun and sand made my trip to Cuba one of the most delightful travel experiences I have ever had.

    John Keener – 2011

  • Having the opportunity to travel to Cuba in 2008 truly changed my view of the world. Before this trip, I always liked to travel and “see the world”, but before this experience, I was merely a tourist, not a traveller. During my trip to Cuba with my Global Perspectives class, I had the opportunity to learn first hand from a Cuban student what it was like to be Cuban. I was immersed in their story that included incredible history, captivating culture and interesting food. My mind was expanded by this place since I had never experienced anything like it before, and it gave me a thirst to continue to learn about and experience the world around me. My experience in Cuba has played an enormous role in shaping who I have become today.

    Leah Lawson – 2008

  • I visited and studied the culture of Cuba almost three years ago as part of the Global Perspectives program and I can honestly say that I hadn’t experienced anything like it before, nor have I since. I’ve taken many classes regarding foreign cultures and have studied material of many different types, but nothing can compare to the cultural immersion experienced on a trip with Dave Morrison. While the excursions and dancing and waterfront lectures didn’t feel like lessons at the time, I returned home two weeks later with a completely new perspective of the Cuban people, their culture and their history. I made many friends (both those who travelled to Cuba with me and those living in the country) who I am still in touch with today and who all contribute to my continued learning through their different ventures and cultures. Experiences like this one are rare to find and truly life-enriching, not only in knowledge but also in memories.

    Jacklyn Tuckey – 2011

  • Travelling to Cuba as part of Global Perspectives was a truly life-changing experience for me. The Cuban people were so welcoming and I was shocked at how close the Canadians and Cubans had become after just two short weeks. Learning about the Cuban culture, music, history, economy, and how to PROPERLY dance were just some of the amazing things that we did there. Oh and of course swimming in the gorgeous turquoise ocean- a must. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I am so thankful I took part in and I would do it again in a heartbeat if I had the chance!

    Ellen Craig – 2012

  • The trip to Cuba was a life changing trip to remember. There is no better way of learning about another culture than to be completely immersed in that culture and this trip gave that opportunity.

    Tinashe Muzorewa – 2013

  • My experience travelling to Cuba was an incredible experience full of enjoyment and challenges. It was the first time I was meaningfully immersed in a culture, economic and political system vastly different from the materialist, democratic and capitalist systems I live within and the insight I gained from the experience was invaluable. The experiential nature of the exchange fostered learning that was deeper and more meaningful than any lecture, book or film could provide. Cuba is the ideal country for a student to see and experience as it, in itself, is a contradiction to the institutionalized capitalism and democracy we are absorbed in as Canadians. My personal paradigm was challenged, matured and nurtured an increasing global awareness and open-mindedness by being exposed to a different way of conceptualizing the world.

    Gillian McDonald – 2010

  • I view my involvement with the Barrie Youth Ambassador program as a ‘once in a life-time experience’, and I feel privileged to have been a part of it. Although a trip to Cuba may sound more like a vacation than anything, it truly was a lot more than that to me. The program taught me independence, improved my critical thinking skills, as well as opened my eyes to issues beyond the city, province and country that I grew up in. I firmly believe that these values have helped me through University, College and my work experiences to date, and I would highly recommend this Canada-Cuba partnership to anyone who is even remotely interested.

    Brennan Obermayer – 2008

  • The trip to Cuba was one of the best experiences of my life. While the beautiful weather and gorgeous white beaches are memorable, the culture, the history and the people you meet are unforgettable. The concept of being a ‘traveller’ rather than a ‘tourist’ is incredibly eye-opening and I will be forever a changed person because of Cuba.

    Jennifer Lloyd – 2010

  • An amazing way to experience first hand how other people around the world live, learn and celebrate and it made me crave this understanding in more places. It led to me studying and backpacking through Europe one summer while in University and after graduation moving to Asia for a job (knowing no one there). Global introduces you to people who think like you do and gives you a network of fellow travellers/adventurers for the future!

    Morgan McDonald – 2006

  • Traveling to Cuba has been a life changing experience. It is hard to believe that in only two short weeks a human being can change their entire outlook and view on life. I have never seen such beauty, happiness and innocence in a country and in people, as well; I have never seen so many challenges and difficulties. It made me realize how much I take for granted and how truly blessed I am to be living in a country such as Canada.

    Katelyn Nowocin – 2013

  • Traveling to Cuba has taught me that you don’t need a language to communicate, but simply a song, dance and laughter. After traveling to Cuba I can now appreciate the little things that I now realize were the big things. Cuba has inspired me to one day travel to less fortunate countries and make a difference.

    Katelyn Nowocin – 2013

  • The cultural interchange to Cuba was an unforgettable experience. For two weeks the class was fully immersed in Cuban culture. The day trips were a great way to experience everything Cuba had to offer. The program exposed us, first hand, to the major social differences that exist between Canada and Cuba. Interacting and learning from local Cuban university professors and, even more so, their students really illustrated the socialist perspective and was highly relevant to the world politics and world history portions of the curriculum.

    Derek Keller – 2006

  • It’s been almost ten years since my trip to Cuba and I’ve been lucky enough to fill that time with many great memories and accomplished many great things. However very few of these things do I keep so close to my heart. My time there allowed me to learn about Cuba, it’s people, culture and, of course, dancing but more than that it gave me a whole new perspective on family, love and friendship. Before going to Cuba I was so excited to visit somewhere warm, a place I had never been and learn about their culture. What I didn’t realize was how much I’d learn about myself. You will learn to not take anything for granted. You will learn that money isn’t the “be all and end all”. You will learn that you could be happy with very little to your name and very proud at that. This aside, I was in CUBA, eating new foods, dancing every day, exploring new cities, making new friends and learning some Spanish. This is an experience of a life time, do not let it pass you by.

    Jenna Irwin – 2005

  • Throughout high school, I was a student driven by the hard sciences. I committed to a career in medicine at a young age. I believed that my academic and extra-curricular activities to that point were leading me to achieve this goal. In grade eleven, the global perspectives program was presented to me as a means to challenge my academic success in the sciences and the boundaries I had subconsciously set for myself. A significant and transformative component of this experience was a two-week cultural exchange in Cuba.

    This represented my first international trip without my family, a factor that alone could have contributed to a growth in my maturity. Going through this experience with twenty-some other young adults made it even more rewarding. We were challenged to represent our school, our city and our country, and in the end, I believe we garnered the respect of our teachers/supervisors and our Cuban counterparts. We grew together, and for the first time outside of athletics, I felt like I was apart of a team functioning to accomplish something bigger than any isolated personal goal.

    On this trip, we went to great lengths to present Canadian culture to our new Cuban friends. In return, we were gifted with a revealing look into Cuban history and politics, complimented by emotional and meaningful interactions with our new friends. All of this was set on the backdrop of the beautiful Cuban landscape. From sitting down for a pizza in the historic streets of Mantazas, to performing the Cuban national dances around a blazing bonfire, the memories were timeless.

    Returning from Cuba, the experience continued to affect my life. A country affected by poverty, but rich in culture, my time in Cuba redefined my humility. Cuba showed me the happiness that can be found in the face of countless of challenges. And yet, despite the many positives garnered from this trip, I cannot deny that the hands on experience demonstrated the vast inequality that continues to have an impact throughout the world. Although I didn’t initially realize it, this real-world education strengthened my resolve, and gave me the perspective I believe is necessary for any aspiring difference maker. Be it as medical student like myself, an aspiring politician or a calculating engineer, to make a difference, you must appreciate the many states of humanity.
    There is no better way to achieve this than through a practical experience like the one I had in Cuba.

    Dylan Hoare – 2007

  • My experience with Global Perspectives in Cuba was the highlight of my high school career and the first chance I was given to deeply experience a culture different from my own. The connection I felt with the Cuban students gave my life at the time new meaning and opened my eyes to the realities of a country where the lives of my contemporaries so starkly contrasted the privileged life I had been granted.

    Devon Hardy – 2008

  • Participating in my Youth Ambassador trip to Cuba as a high school student was truly a life-changing experience. This trip allowed me to make great friends in another country and create memories that will last a life time.It is also allowed me to learn and see how past and current politics and history have influenced the development of a country. Taking part in this program is an incredibly unique learning experience that I would recommend. It is one of the best things I have ever done!

    Breanna Keener – 2009

  • Traveling to Cuba with the Global Perspectives program was an unforgettable and life-changing experience. Being exposed to such a unique culture and to a drastically different lifestyle inspired me to pursue my post-secondary education in International Development. I want to help create a world of opportunity and equality. I encourage students to embark on the journey of a lifetime to Cuba.

    Kindersley Brucker – 2012

  • The trip to Cuba really opened my eyes to the world and sent me in the direction of what I am now studying in university. I found that making the world our classroom was one of the best ways to learn; it made the material in lectures more real and easier to understand and retain (even though the classroom was 30 degrees). Being able to immerse ourselves in the culture by having Cuban counterparts was amazing, from the musicals on the bus rides to the nightly dancing.

    Danielle Waters – 2011

  • To say that Global Perspectives has changed my life would be underselling it. Through the mentorship and guidance of those involved, I was able to realize the person I could become and learned the skills and behaviours needed to achieve that goal. I have been immersing myself in travel and other cultures ever since and I haven’t looked back once.

    Christian Lee – 2004

  • If my experience in Cuba taught me anything, it was that happiness does not come from money but rather from a passion for life. The Cubans taught we Canadians how to be passionate for life with their love of music, dancing and their appreciation for our visit and the friendships we have all forged. This is something that I could not have learned in a classroom.

    Tyler Printess – 2012

  • Participating in the Youth Ambassadors program was a very enriching and rewarding experience. The time our group spent in Varadero, Cuba was incredible. We were fully immersed into the daily lives of our Cuban partners, and learned so much about their culture. We were able to travel across Cuba and see the country, and meet individuals who shared their life experiences with us. The program also brought in professors from the University of Matanzas as guest lecturers, to lead discussions on the Cuban culture and history. This was one of the most enriching experiences I have had in my life, and strongly recommend anyone to apply.

    Alex Kleiser – 2009

  • I joined the global program at a difficult time in my life. While this program taught me so many valuable life lessons, it also provided me with a great escape. It challenged me and I welcomed it. Within a week into the program, the difficult times I had been going through no longer had any impact on me. Global help to shape the person I am today.

    Joel McWatters – 2005

  • Cuba was a once in a lifetime experience where we were able to see a third world country from a much different perspective. Learning alongside the Cubans, we were immersed in their culture for two weeks and gained a better understanding of their country and their way of life. These people did not have much money or materialistic things yet they still knew how to find joy. I left Cuba with a better appreciation for what is truly important in life.

    Fergie Wallwin – 2008

  • I could spend hours describing every activity, each friendship I made and everything I learned in Cuba. However, that still wouldn’t summarize how fondly I remember it. In only a two-week period, I grew so much as an individual. I felt older, more mature and a gained a new perspective on how people exist in the world. I loved the dancing, the chicken and rice, the landscape, the friendship, and most importantly I loved the trust and freedom given to learn and experience in a setting completely unique to me. It was an indescribable experience. I seriously recommend the Youth Ambassadors program to anyone and everyone.

    Jamie Hutchins – 2009

  • The memories I made during my time in Cuba will never leave and the friendships I developed will last a lifetime. It was definitely one of the greatest experiences of my life.

    Greg Brooks – 2013

  • This program was one of the most uniquely enthralling learning experiences I’ve ever had the pleasure of being apart of. From beginning to end, the experiences and knowledge I’ve gained from traveling with the program have been huge assets in following years- it’s given me thirst for new experiences and a group of friends that time can’t affect. Given the chance, I’d do it all again, in an instant. This is not something to let pass you by.

    Zack Coulter – 2009

  • While it was not my first time to the Caribbean when I travelled to Cuba as a member of the Global Perspectives Program, it definitely felt that way. Away from the 5-star resorts and carefully cultivated tourist culture I have always known and alongside my Cuban friends, I was able to experience Cuba in a more safe, candid and edifying way than would have been possible otherwise. The exposure to a political and social climate much different from my own, however, was not all I gained. During my time in Cuba I made irreplaceable memories, built friendships that stay strong even today and quite frankly had the time of my life! I believe that these experiences and international friendships have coloured my approach to the world in an invaluable way and would recommend this program to any young person looking to meet new people and expand their perspective of the world around them.

    Kelsey Davis – 2010

  • The Global Perspectives program was both a challenging and rewarding experience that fostered academic excellence and offered me exposure to global issues in a hands-on environment. As a senior university student I can say that this program was one of the best learning experiences and I’ve ever had, and would highly recommend it as an opportunity for students to expand their horizon and further understand their role in the world at large.

    Brad Kuzmich – 2007

  • Whether I was listening to a Cuban History lecture, overlooking Havana from the vantage point of cannons or walking hand-in-hand down the beaches of Varadero, I will never forget my two weeks in Cuba. It was the happiest I have ever been.

    Kyle Tymoszewicz – 2013

  • Participating in the Barrie Youth Ambassadors programs opened my eyes to a world of opportunities and experiences. My time in both the BYA and Global programs made me realize the value of intersectional learning, being a traveler rather than a tourist, and forging the kind of friendships that endure for years to come. No matter what, you will come away changed for the better.

    Morgan Bimm – 2009

  • My experience in Cuba was nothing but fantastic! I was able to establish a friendship with the Cuban student that I was paired with and that friendship still continues to flourish three years later. I was able to immerse myself into a new culture and that culture still remains a part of me today. If I had the opportunity, I would repeat my experience without any second thoughts. Going to Cuba was, without a doubt, one of the best adventures of my life!

    Sarah Brooks – 2011

  • Personally, in Cuba I found that I learned to “come out of my shell” and be a more open person to new experiences. (For example, as much as I hated the dancing, I strongly feel that experience has opened me up to trying new things that I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing.) This September I was a Frosh week leader and I know if I had just came out of high school with out global I never would of done that.

    Trefor Armstrong – 2010

  • Cuba was an amazing experience, as it allowed students to experience a culture very different from the Canadian norm. The Cubans were very open and treated us like family even though they had just met us.

    Jacob Ross – 2010

  • As a part of the Global Class of 2008 my student exchange to Cuba was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. This trip, among many other things allowed me to explore a new country, engage in cross-cultural conversations and grasp culture differentiation as a means for educational enrichment. As a traveller and not a tourist, this trip also allowed me to be critical of the world around me – a quality I had yet to explore in my education.

    Josh Carr – 2008

  • Cuba is much more than all inclusive resorts and a foreign political system. My experience in Cuba during Global showed me a vibrant culture from our gracious and talented hosts with lots of dancing. Lots of dancing – in the best possible way.

    Josh Reimer – 2004

  • Going to Cuba in the Global Perspectives program was the experience of a lifetime. Not only for the fun and excitement of traveling the world with a group of your new best friends, but being immersed in and learning about a culture so removed from my own has had a profound effect of my world image. Participating in the Global program was one of the best decisions of my life.

    Corey Obermayer – 2009

  • The Cuba experience for me was like stepping out of a dream for the first time. I could finally open my eyes to fact that there are different ways of living, and I had an experiential learning opportunity to see it first hand. Cuba was the catalyst for a contagious interest in politics, social movements, and governmental structure that to this day (finishing a BA in Political Science) I have never let go of. I finally found a subject (and truly somewhat of a lifestyle) that I adored and if it wasn’t for my experience in Cuba {with Global perspectives} I may never have had made that discovery.

    Jillian Brown – 2008

  • Having the opportunity to travel to Cuba as a high school student and embark on an adventure highlighted by culture, education, and networking, is truly one of a kind. As an adolescent, to be granted the freedom and responsibility to represent my local community on an international level provided a stepping stone, a transition, into my adult life. These short two weeks offered a period of growth; both as a group of ambitious students, and as an individual who discovered in the warm sands of this beautiful country, that being a positive influence in the world around you is a means to leading an inspired and rewarding life.

    Kirstie Ross – 2008

  • Having the opportunity to travel to Cuba through Global Perspectives, gave me the chance to learn about and experience a country that I had previously only known as a stunning vacation spot from which Americans were banned. In all seriousness, I was awestruck by the conversations I was able to have with the Cuban university students about their country, its history and their every day lives. Pairing our lessons with exploration of the streets, landscapes and culture enabled me to begin to grasp how another society functioned and came to be. Travelling in this way taught me to breathe in the smells, listen to the music and the bustle, and really observe and analyze the sights. This trip gave me a fierce hunger to learn more about other nations and cultures, and for that I am forever grateful. Without this visit I may never have had the opportunity to understand the adage “be a traveller, not a tourist”.

    Chelsea Blake Willett

  • I highly recommend Youth Ambassadors International because I had the pleasure of being involved with the founder, Dave Morrison, as a student in the Global Perspectives program. Learning alongside our new Cuban friends was an unforgettable experience, full of laughter, light, and revelations. I personally developed an understanding of myself as a global citizen, and the experience sparked my interest in international affairs. In high school, I had no idea what I wanted to study in university, but I knew I was interested in learning more about how the world works. My Cuba experience was a main inspiration behind my choice to pursue a dual degree in Globalization Studies and Business at Western University. Overall, the program was extremely well-organized and had a high level of integrity… you should get involved with this unique opportunity!

    Kyah Schmaucher – 2009

  • [The Cuba program] shaped my perspective of what it is to be a global citizen. A maxim of the program, “we are travelers, not tourists” resonates deeply with the value of the experience. We were not there to study cultures, but to share them. Which we did, through friendship, dancing, history, and heat, our experience in Cuba taught us about each other, but also about ourselves.

    Jesse Bettencourt

  • Cuba is such an amazing place! Most people only know Cuba for all the resorts and the life that comes with a resort. While I now know the life outside of the resorts. I was able to experience a different side of Cuba, that not many get to experience. It was a once in a life time opportunity and I will never forget all the amazing memories that I have.

    Paul Mitchell – 2008

  • Our son’s experience with Dave’s international program transformed him into a critical thinker and matured him as a person and as an academic. Experiencing other cultures, values, languages, and foods has shown him that his hometown is just one small corner of the world. He has met wonderful people, and has made lifelong friends. Our younger son can’t wait for his chance to travel with Dave and experience parts of the world with Dave’s unique program. We highly recommend this program for any student who is curious about life in other parts of the world.

    Kelly Faye & Peter Casey

  • The Global Program is a wonderful experience for students. Both of my children went through the program. The travel component of the program made the hard work worth it. It was wonderful to see my children grow more confident and independent through their travels. The opportunity to meet people from other parts of the world was invaluable. Even now, three years later, my daughter still keeps in touch with her “Cuban Sister” and I have two German “daughters” that I hope will come visit again.

    Nancy Brooks

  • Our child had the opportunity to be part of a group that travelled to Cuba in the spring of 2013. At that time she experienced Cuba’s very colourful culture, history and people. We truly feel that the trip had a profound effect on her and gave her not just a better understanding of another country, but a new appreciation of Canada and most importantly, herself.

    Joy Douglas

  • Global Perspectives broadened our daughter’s view of the world and gave her a better appreciation of how well we live in North America. It left a lasting impression that helped her choose a career path. She is a 4th year nursing student working towards a profession where she can help those in need and less fortunate.

    The time spent in Cuba and Germany was a valuable asset to prepare her for the independence of university life away from home. It built a unique level of confidence and cooperation skills beyond what a parent is able to provide for their teenager in the home setting. She was very lucky to have the opportunity to participate in the program run from her existing high school. It was a natural fit for her character traits and definitely enhanced her secondary school educational experience.

    Beth Allen

  • A unique cultural experience which provides local students with the opportunity to broaden their understanding of the world around them.

    As parents with 3 daughters who participated in educational programs to Cuba, Japan and Germany, we can honestly say that the experiences changed our lives forever. Not only did our daughters grow from their involvement, our whole family enjoyed the connections made through hosting international students and having the opportunity to learn about their cultures. It is a wonderful program that fosters culturally aware and accepting youth within our own community.

    Brent & Sheila Boyd

  • The international component of the Youth Ambassador program provided my children an opportunity to meet a life-long friend across the sea. If I were to vacation with my child in Europe, we would see things I think they would like but I would never be able to give the opportunity to spend time with youth, see sites with their peers, and to experience day to day living with their host families. We did an exchange with another venue, and the school component was lost as my child’s academics suffered as the courses she took over-seas were not recognized in her home school and she missed 3 months of class time here. Global prepared my child to visit Cuba but nothing could explain what she learned by experiencing life there. She saw poverty and has been touched by it in so far as she provides treats for subsequent groups to give to her Cuban friends. All in all, the experience the Youth Ambassador program provided for my children filled them with a new appreciation of the Global Perspective than could never be learned from books or from family travel. They look back on their experience as a seed that will blossom into greater travel and a continued relationship with their extended family across the sea!

    Helen TeBokkel

  • Our son entered the program not sure of what he wanted to do in the future, as well as basically cruising through high school not needing to study but getting good grades. The global program challenged him academically and helped to develop organization and study skills which will greatly assist him during the university years and beyond. More importantly it opened his eyes and exposed him to life beyond his “little town” of Barrie. Brady has always had a desire to help others, but the trip to Cuba really ignited this passion. Since then, he has gone on a missions trip to India, and is currently in the International Development and Globalization Program at Ottawa University. As parents we believe one of the most important lessons you can teach your child is to put others needs first and always strive to help the less fortunate. Global exposed our son to experiences we would not be able to offer him, but ones that are essential when trying to shape the character of a young man.

    Mark & Liz Chapman

  • I have been fortunate to have all 3 of my children participate in the Youth Ambassador program through the Global Perspectives program at Innisdale and can tell you that the children said “it was the best experience of their lives”! What they learned about cultural diversity and the friendships they made would never have happened without this program. My son recently returned to Cuba (after 4 years) and happened to run into one of the program directors from his year – they were so excited to see each other and the Cuban friend ended up spending a couple of days touring them around. With opportunities like this, his can be the generation to make a difference in the world as we learn to work and communicate together as a team.

    I would recommend to any parent that they provide their children with this amazing opportunity.

    Martine Ross

  • Sarah’s experience in the Global program has affected her life and life choices immensely. As parents we feel she would not be as confident about her future as she is now if it were not for her experiences in Global. She has experienced things in Cuba and Europe that she could not have experienced at any other time in her life as she was able to meet people especially in Cuba (outside of the typical resort) with a different life and many restrictions that she could not have imagined. To this day she is in touch with her Cuban and German and now has two life long friends that she treasures. She came out of her shell and loved her dancing in Cuba.

    June MacNeil

  • The opportunity for a student to visit a country like Cuba and discover its culture and people can be a life-changing experience. In addition to learning about the history, music and literature through a variety of people, our son learned just as much about himself and this program remains one of the best experiences he has ever had. The Global Perspectives program lead by Dave Morrison took the classroom out into the real world, reinventing the way the students can learn, experience and truly appreciate what life is really like beyond our borders and their own minds.

    Peter Kilburn

  • I am sending this email to express my many thanks to a program which inspired my son towards an amazing journey. My son, Jesse, completed this program two years ago and it truly has changed his life This program allows the kids to think “outside of the box” and it challenges their intellect but also deeply stimulates the love of learning! It is an amazing program that allows a metamorphosis of mind to occur! Allowing kids to experience a truly global perspective helps to minimize their focus on being a teenager. It brings out the caring and empathetic side of our truly blessed Canadian kids. This testimonial screams out the praise of this program!!!! My son Jesse is presently attending university and my daughter Julia is now about to begin her journey as a ‘traveller not a tourist”. This program is more then another ‘school trip’ offered in high school, it is the true meaning of LEARNING!!

    Teresa Maltese

  • This program allowed my son to not only experience living with a totally different culture and forming unforgettable relationships with the people he met there, but allowed him to understand the opportunities and luxuries he has been given. Thanks again for providing him this opportunity.

    Chris Bernier

  • Thank you for the opportunity to tell you about Kyle’s experience. He had a wonderful experience. He has learned things that he would not of if it wasn’t for Global and made lifelong friends. He has kept his friends that he made from the program as well as the students he met in Cuba. This helped him to feel more independent as it was his first time away from home. He talks about it often still and shares with us all the things he learned. We would not have been able to give him this experience were it not for this program and we really appreciate it.

    Cheryl Poland

  • Educational trips to Cuba are a long way from vacations. As a teacher who has chaperoned trips to Cuba, I can rhyme off an impressively long list of students whose lives have been positively changed by their experiences there. Some have become more engaged in volunteer work, some have pursued degrees and careers in international development and many have maintained lasting, meaningful friendships with Cuban citizens.

    Robert Ruttan

  • The educational and experiential wonders go without saying, but as a female chaperone with a physical education and kinesiology background, my take might be a little different. I was intrigued and pleasantly surprised how the Cuban students were so easily able to introduce the Canadians to dance….not only to learn new steps but to actually embrace the experience without embarrassment and self consciousness. Our Canadians delved into the experience with great enthusiasm on a daily basis and brought the music and dances back to their families and school community. An experience that is difficult to explain for sure.

    Louise LeRoux

  • I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to travel with the “Globalites” of 2011 to Cuba. The growth I witnessed in these students, in a 2 week period, was phenomenal. It was inspirational to watch them struggle with success around language, lectures, dance moves, bathrooms, food, music, art, culture and the knowledge and responsibility of their wealth–an insight many Canadians never learn. Travelling can leave students feeling vulnerable with the ambiguity that is involved in learning about a different country. This program ensures that students are safe while they take risks which leads to incredible growth of character and confidence. I loved being witness to these valuable lessons learned with each and every student.

    The students’ teary farewells with their Cuban counterparts with whom they had built trusting relationships is the best evidence of the program’s successes.

    Lisa Swain

  • I have had the pleasure of leading the trip to Cuba three times. Similar to the students, I was impressed by the beauty of the country, the extensive history, the variety of architectural styles, the rich artistic traditions, but most importantly, I was moved by the warmth of the people. Everyone from the university representatives to the bus driver went out of their way to show us the beauty of their country and make sure that we experienced the ‘real’ Cuba. The Cuban teachers-in-training, with whom our students were partnered, possessed an infectious love of life that melted geographical and age differences resulting in friendships that have continued for years. I believe that both the students and the chaperones have been changed for the positive as a result of this wonderful opportunity.

    Leah Pounds

  • Youth Ambassadors International, a truly unique program. The students that participate in this program and travel to Cuba experience an extraordinary combination of academics and culture. They are introduced to a completely different political environment than we are accustomed. Moreover the Cuban teachers and students are respectful and provide a variety of educational, cultural experiences and lessons. The students attend classes daily with an expectation of completing assignments. They return home describing a most worthwhile and valuable academic and cultural opportunity.

    Mark & Patti Sachkiw

  • I have spent time in Cuba with my family several times, yet this, was probably my best two week experience there. Although on the beach, we were in the area of walking activity among the markets, banks, restaurants, and shops rather than other large hotels. So our limited free time was easily spent among other Cubans rather than tourists.
    The Cuban leaders and students were an inspiration. How they are able to be so focused on education, music, and dance when their future opportunities are so limited, and to be at least outwardly happy and positive, is a lesson for all of us.
    To be travelling with 27 students who were “unplugged” – no electronic equipment – and watch them learn so much, and make real friends in such a short time was what every teacher desires.
    I paid my own way as I considered it a privilege to be given this opportunity.

    Janice Laking

  • As a student, Global Perspectives offered me an opportunity to step outside of the “educational box”. As a teacher in training and chaperone for 2 Global Perspectives trips it once again offered me an experience that would take me off the beaten educational path.
    This program has played as major part in my personal and professional goals. The first time I was on a plane was when I went to Germany on exchange. Since then I have had many global adventures and my original GP experiences set the tone for me not be a tourist when I am out in the world, instead to be a traveller.
    As a teacher I want to create this type of international programming. I know the value of it on a personal level and I have seen the value of this type of experiential learning in the students who partake in it. It truly is pricelss and will shape how students relate to the world for the rest of their lives.
    In 2008, the time I spent with Dave Morrison and Allan Craig, 27 students and unforgettable Cubans was by far the most enlightening cultural adventure I have ever been on. Dancing, walking, eating and taking photographs of the real Cuba as opposed to the version sold to most North Americans, was inspirational!
    In 2009, the tenth anniversary of the German/Canada exchange was an honour to be apart of. Learning comes alive when you study the facts and then step on to the ground where it took place. I will never, in my life forget stepping onto the grass at the concentration camp we were visiting and feeling the energy rush from the ground rush into my feet.
    Experiences are part of the journey.
    The journey is an experience.

    Alison Miller