In the News

Greece the Word for ‘Hellas’ of a STEMCivics trip

Greece the Word for ‘Hellas’ of a STEMCivics trip

STEMCivics students travel as volunteers for Squads Abroad, a worldwide effort that connects students to improving communities while enjoying a culturally-enriched journey.

“Thirty-two PURPLEfect people, representing grades 8-12, will volunteer in refugee shelters in Athens. In addition, Purple Lightning will visit a few Greek islands and experience a range of cultural activities. Read the full article here.

Even virtually, students in one program continue solving global challenges

Even virtually, students in one program continue solving global challenges

When administrators at Liberty High School in Liberty, Missouri, wanted to expand global education at the 2,000-student school, they went all in by creating a microschool called Empowering Discovery of the Global Experience, or the EDGE.

Principal April Adams and Assistant Principal Sara Wickham helped design the program and get district support to convert a wing of the school for the classes, which use the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals as a foundation for learning.

With the EDGE’s globally focused curriculum set to complement the school’s core academic standards-based lessons, the program launched this school year with 110 students. But when planning for this inaugural class, Adams and Wickham knew one thing was missing — the practical, hands-on experience of working directly with international communities.

Through a little bit of research, Wickham found the nonprofit Global Brigades program, which connects high school and college students with projects addressing real-life challenges in healthcare, water supplies and economic development in a variety of countries across the world.

For its first project, 13 EDGE students are working on a community development program in Honduras. Although the students just recently got started and are still determining what the specifics of their project will be, Wickham and Adams said they’ve already seen benefits from the virtual connections students are making with project leaders in Honduras.

“With what our students have explained, with what their experience has been and how excited they are to be able to have the international connection even though we’re grounded during the pandemic, to me it’s just so fantastic,” said Adams. “That’s what school is about. It’s about getting that spark back into learning.”

Read more in the full article here.

Global Brigades Offers Students Transformational Learning Experiences, While Transforming Global Communities

Global Brigades Offers Students Transformational Learning Experiences, While Transforming Global Communities

Prior to COVID-19, Squads Abroad — which was founded five years ago as the high school division of Global Brigades — was annually organizing dozens of in-country school volunteer programs. In the summer of 2019, they launched TeleSquads as a way to continue supporting their partner communities through in-country teams who never stopped working after the pandemic hit. This led to the development of TeleBrigades as the virtual college program that allows students to get their feet wet in global work while still attending their respective schools and programs.

Squads Abroad President Erik Werner said that they now recognize that virtual-focused programs can engage more students in their international development, as well as greatly reduce costs, risks and one’s carbon footprint. He said that they have also found that the TeleSquads virtual-experiential-learning model can work in a classroom setting, as well as beyond the classroom.

“Through TeleSquads, students have the opportunity to learn first-hand how an international-development organization operates while interacting directly with our on-the-ground staff and community members,” said Werner. “Each TeleSquad is supporting and interacting with live, real-world international health care, engineering and business case studies.”

Read more in the full article here.

Transforming Volunteer Experiences into a Meaningful Career: An Interview with Radhika Prabhu

Transforming Volunteer Experiences into a Meaningful Career: An Interview with Radhika Prabhu

Written by Marketing Intern, Ashley Farhat

Published March 15th, 2021

Volunteering was the impetus for me to pursue a career in international developmentThe whole adventure was due to strong women who gave me their complete and unconditional support!” – Radhika Prabhu


International Women’s Day 2021

International Women’s Day commemorates the many social, economic, cultural, and political achievements women have constructed globally and celebrates the progression of gender equality.

To honor IWD 2021, we spoke to Radhika Prabhu, one woman who has utilized her career to create meaningful impact for women internationally. Radhika holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Boston College and a Master of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.

She currently serves as Executive Director of the U.S.-Pakistan Women’s Council at the U.S. Department of State. This position allows Radhika to work in conjunction with the private sector, civil society, and government officials in both the U.S. and Pakistan in an effort to advance women’s economic inclusion and reduce economical barriers to women in Pakistan.

The Squads Abroad team became better acquainted with Radhika and her work during our partner organization’s GB Week 2021 celebration, during which she served as our keynote speaker.


Radhika Prabhu, Executive Director of the U.S.-Pakistan Women’s Council at the U.S. Department of State.

Volunteering in College

Similar to Squads Abroad student volunteers, Radhika’s volunteering experiences aided her tremendously to discover a passion to make sustainable impact both locally and internationally.

Through Radhika’s personal and ambitious endeavors, her network of hardworking and successful women in college encouraged her to develop a passion for creating sustainable impact in international development through volunteer work.

Did you have any volunteer experiences in college that led you to your career today?

Volunteering was the impetus for me to pursue a career in international development! The then Chairwoman for a global non-profit, the Art of Living Foundation, was aware of work I had done through the Foundation in partnership with communities in Mexico, and she suggested I connect with an acquaintance who happened to be Mexico’s Minister for Youth and the Environment to discuss my vision. I was a junior in college and I will be eternally grateful to Shirley for her faith in me.

The Art of Living Foundation is an international volunteer-based, non-profit organization dedicated to creating a violence-free society. Radhika utilized connections within her network to build upon a plethora of volunteer opportunities during her college years, ultimately leading her to her volunteer journey with Art of Living.

I reached out to the then Minister to explain my interests and she invited me to meet her. A few weeks later, during my spring break, I found myself traveling to Mexico, sitting across from the Minister to explain the organization’s work and my vision. The Minister was a visionary and introduced me to incredible leaders – in academia, non-profits, communities, government institutions, artists, and grassroots activists. They all helped pave the way for years of development work conducted through Art of Living in the country.



A local staff member and a volunteer in conversation during a 2017 Leadership institute.Radhika was able to turn her newly found inspiration into sustainable action through her connection to Mexico’s Minister for Youth and the Environment by expressing her vision for progressive change. Radhika’s apparent passion allowed her to turn her ideas into actions.

Through a girlfriend who worked at the World Bank, I became aware of grant opportunities for community development and applied. I was subsequently awarded funding through the World Bank’s Youth Innovation Award and the World Development Report Grant to pursue a dream of engaging young people to be stewards of sustainable development.

It was through these efforts that I learned how to manage programs and teams, translate my ideas into impact, and work with governments and corporations. It also led to me working for the Foundation to steward similar efforts across the United States and Canada. My mom was my constant companion throughout this time and both my parents gave me their undying support.

Radhika’s volunteer work ultimately enabled her passion for sustainable international development and allowed her to build upon and expand her skill-set. She denotes her early volunteer experiences to be the foundation of her current achievements.

These experiences propelled me to pursue my graduate degree at Georgetown and pursue a career in international development. The whole adventure was due to strong women who gave me their complete and unconditional support!


A student volunteer walking with an elderly community member during a Global Health Squad.


Global Citizenship

At Squads Abroad, we encourage student volunteers to become Global Citizens through empowering communities and reducing inequalities in health, business, engineering, water, dental, and legal entities in an effort to incite sustainable impact. Below, Radhika discusses how she defines Global Citizenship.

What does the term “Global Citizen” mean to you?

Thriving. It is being proud of where you come from while appreciating and drawing wisdom from every tradition and culture in the world. In the Vaidic tradition, which my family follows, it is an idea known as “Vasudaiva Kutumbhakam”, or one world family. It’s an ancient but ever relevant recognition that we are all connected.

In 2019, Radhika was named an AAPI American National Security and Foreign Policy Next Generation Leader by New America and the Diversity in National Security Network. Radhika, alongside her peer professionals, continues to develop a footing for volunteers and future generations to initiate lasting and meaningful impact from a global standpoint.

Through coordinating an inspired team across both the United States and Pakistan, her work aims to increase and improve upon opportunities for women within the Pakistani economy. To learn more about Radhika and her work as an Executive Director for the U.S.-Pakistan Women’s Council at the U.S. Department of State visit


The Boulder Country Soccer Team poses for a picture during their 2018 Brigade in Costa Rica.


Become a Global Citizen

Squads Abroad offers meaningful volunteer experiences, both in-person and virtually, for students interested in pursuing careers in Medicine, Engineering, and Business. To start your path toward becoming a Global Citizen like Radhiku Prabhu, visit our website to learn more about our programs!

Bigger Family, Bigger Impact: Meet Global Brigades!

Bigger Family, Bigger Impact: Meet Global Brigades!

They say family gives you the roots to stand tall and strong; Let us be the first to introduce you to our older sibling Global Brigades. With Global Brigades and Squads Abroad working together our Holistic Model is set to be more impactful than ever! Just like your family, our family shares some similarities but each organization retains our own unique characteristics. In 2018, we were brought into the Global Brigades family to expand our volunteer base with high school students and further round out GB’s Holistic Model. Over the last year, we’ve worked together to adapt our programming to fit into the Holistic Model and from a volunteer perspective, this created an opportunity to level-up our high school volunteers’  future opportunities to do more sophisticated development work through Global Brigades when they eventually graduate and begin attending a university! Global Brigades has given Squads Abroad a larger infrastructure to scale operations and make a deeper impact through community development!

Top 3 Differences Between Squads Abroad and Global Brigades

We bet you’re wondering, what are the differences between Squads Abroad and Global Brigades if they are part of the same organization? Not to worry, we are here to clarify! Check out the 3 key differences between the two!


  • University vs. High School While both programs offer the incredible opportunity to empower under-resourced communities abroad, the main difference is that Global Brigades offers programs to university students while Squads Abroad offers programs to high school students. Squads are comprised of high school students and the faculty members that lead them who mobilize abroad for positive social change. Since 2005, collectively with Squads Abroad, we have mobilized more than 80,000 university and high school volunteers as one of the largest empowerment initiatives.


  • Cultural Enrichment One of the most unique aspects of Squads Abroad is the cultural immersion component to all their programs. Each skill-based program offers unique opportunities for students to elevate their cultural competency based on the unique community they work with. From traditional batik fabric dyeing in Ghana to cow-milking and cheese-making workshops in Costa Rica, each activity exposes students to a unique aspect of the country’s culture. In participating in these activities, high school students learn about the country’s history on a deeper level and have the chance to learn from and bond with local community members.


  • Independent Leadership While Squads Abroad’s supplementary focuses on cultural competence,  Global Brigades’ programs support independent leadership. This means Global Brigades volunteers get to deepen their understanding of international development from our strongest local community leaders and staff members. Global Brigades even offers Student Leadership Conferences and Global Leadership Institutes which focus on bringing together leaders to experience the Holistic Model and think critically about volunteering abroad.


Behind The Scenes with the Holistic Model

The Holistic Model is how we meet a community’s health and economic goals. This model demonstrates how each squad and brigade type are a part of a larger movement of volunteers and year-round development work that helps break the cycle of poverty. 

The Holistic Model graphic demonstrates how our three broader programmatic focus areas: Sustainable Health Systems, Economic Development and Water & Sanitation Infrastructure systematically work together. Previous versions of the model were presented in a linear order, but it is more dynamic than that! We begin partnering with communities at different points in the model and some need more strengthening in one of these areas prior to beginning to work on others. 

The Holistic Model helps us actively engage with a community’s needs, helps the community form strong leadership and organization, and seeks to build a continuous partnership through the hard work of volunteers, staff, and community members. Us at Squads Abroad are excited to be part of it!

How Can You Get Involved

In college or at a university and interested in Global Brigades? Join an existing Chapter or start a new one as a President!

  • If our programs have peaked your interest, don’t hesitate to join an existing GB Chapter on your campus. By joining a Chapter you can learn more information about brigades and connect with our GB family right at your university. Are you more of a leader? Consider becoming a Chapter President and starting your own Chapter or joining a Leadership Institute where you can experience our programs up close and personal. To learn more about these unique opportunities click here!


In high school and interested in Squads Abroad? Are you a high school teacher? Lead a Squad or join a squad at your school

  • Join our squad! If you’re interested in leading a group of high school students on an experience they’ll never forget click here to learn how. Are you a high school student who’s interested in joining a squad? Talk to your instructor or coach and let them know that we offer programs that focus on health, education, or STEM so you can put all those skills you’ve learned in school to use! Share our website with your teacher and follow us on social media to see what we really do on a Squad!


Tell your community about Global Brigades and Squads Abroad

  • You may not be in high school or college, but we’re sure you know someone who is! Spread the word to your friends, family, and colleagues who you think may be interested in a unique opportunity to empower under-resourced communities abroad. You can send your friends a link to the Squads Abroad and Global Brigades websites or follow us on social media to stay up to date on all the latest GB events and news.


Need more info? Reach out!


  • If you’re on the fence about joining Squads Abroad or Global Brigades we can provide you with more information and help you decide which program is right for you. Contact us at or for all inquiries.
Warum Dr. Normeshie nach Europa will | Why Dr. Normeshie Went to Europe

Warum Dr. Normeshie nach Europa will | Why Dr. Normeshie Went to Europe

Spiegel Online

In Ghana werden dringend Ärzte benötigt. Dennoch verlässt inzwischen jeder zweite nach der Ausbildung das Land – vor allem aus Frust über die schlechten medizinischen Bedingungen. Was könnte den Brain Drain stoppen?

Ghana urgently needs doctors. Nevertheless, every second person leaves the country after completing his training – mainly because of frustration over the poor medical conditions. What could stop the brain drain?

View Article

Volunteering abroad with Warwick Global Brigades

Volunteering abroad with Warwick Global Brigades

The Boar

Global Brigades is one of the best experiences one could ever have, and this is not a bold statement. The programme gives its participants the opportunity to use their technical skills to create an impact, while simultaneously immersing themselves in the culture and language of the country. This is just an addition to the core of what the Legal Empowerment Brigade and the Engineering Brigade in Honduras aim to achieve.

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Through virtual or in-country programs, Squads are passionate groups of volunteers who mobilize abroad to create positive change. Each Squad type has a skill-based focus area that support the education, health and economic development objectives of community partners.
Squads are passionate groups of volunteers who mobilize abroad to create positive change. Each Squad type has a skill-based focus area that support the education, health and economic development objectives of community partners. Faculty choose their dates, duration (typically 1-2 weeks), and their site location from one of our six program countries.
Squads Abroad is a 501c3 non-profit organization under our parent company Global Brigades, a Platinum Level Guidestar member for Financial Transparency. Since 2004, our organization has collectively mobilized more than 70,000 international volunteers to help resolve global health and economic disparities around the world.