Greenheart Travel

200 W. Superior
Suite 300
Chicago, IL 60654
Phone: 312-944-2544 or (toll-free) 888-ABROAD-1
Fax: 312-277-0937
Contact: Lauren Thacker, Interim Director

2019-2020 CSIET Listing Status: Full
Countries Served: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom
Number of 2018-2019 Participants: 1080 (915 semester or year J-1 Inbound; 102 semester or year F-1 Inbound; 63 semester or year outbound)
Not-for-Profit Organization: Established 1985 as Center for Cultural Interchange (now Greenheart International)

Greenheart Travel, a branch of Greenheart International, organizes academic semester and year programs, short-term homestays, language-learning and teach abroad programs in over 30 countries. Students are screened and selected in cooperation with our in-country partners who also place students with carefully vetted host families. Selection is based on language skills, scholastic standing, maturity, and motivation. As a nonprofit based in Chicago, Greenheart International sends and receives over 1,000 high school-aged participants annually. See Greenheart Exchange’s listing for information about Academic Year/Semester Inbound programs for the J-1 and F-1 visa.

Since 1985, Greenheart International has been a catalyst for global transformation through the facilitation of cultural exchange programs, eco-fair trade purchasing, personal development opportunities, volunteer service initiatives, and environmental advocacy projects. Our mission of connecting people and planet to create global leaders drives all that we do in each of our branches: Greenheart Travel, Greenheart Shop, Greenheart Transforms, and Greenheart Exchange. Greenheart International is endorsed by the City of Chicago for the promotion of international education, environmental awareness, and citizen diplomacy. With an ardent commitment to sustainable practices, a steadfast dedication to expanding worldviews, and an abiding passion for planetary change, we are guided by our vision of a united and flourishing global family.

In 2004, Greenheart International implemented an environmental and social initiative called the Greenheart Club.  The Greenheart Club empowers members of our cultural exchange community to be global leaders and take action.  We provide tools to track volunteer impact, funding opportunities for service projects, access to a global network, and resources for professional development.  To date there have been over 100,000 collective volunteer hours logged by over 14,000 members of the Greenheart community and over 50 service projects have been awarded funding by Greenheart. We continue to expand Greenheart Club to create more robust and enriching opportunities for our participants and the communities they engage with. These opportunities include three scholarship-funded leadership programs – the Jr. Greenheart Global Leaders Conference for on-program participants, and the Greenheart Global Leaders Conference and Alumni Council for program alumni.

Academic Year/Semester Abroad—U.S. students ages 15 to 18 travel abroad for three months, a semester, or an academic year. Students live with local host families and attend private or public schools as full-time students.  Thorough orientations are provided prior to departure and upon arrival.  Supervision and counseling are included.  Program fees include medical/accident insurance, 24 hour emergency staff, round trip international airfare from a pre-determined gateway city and 2-3 meals a day. Personal expenses and private school tuition are additional.

Greenheart Exchange is committed to volunteer service and encourages American and international participants to make a difference through active participation in environmental and social service projects during the program. Our students are encouraged to join the Greenheart Club, volunteer in their communities and to log their volunteer hours for recognition. Each year students compete for the chance take part in the Junior Greenheart Global Leaders Conference, which includes an all-expenses paid trip to Chicago. Eight participants, 18 and under, from across the Greenheart branches, will be chosen for this conference.  During this time they will explore global leadership through social and environmental service, cultural exchange, and international advocacy. Students must demonstrate a commitment to volunteerism, and submit an essay and letter of recommendation to be eligible.


Note: Greenheart Travel is a division of Greenheart International