Studying Abroad with The GREEN Program from a Parent’s Perspective: Q&A w/ Samantha Jacobs


Oct 4, 2023

For any parent, sending your child abroad to a different country with an unfamiliar group of people can warrant a host of stresses and concerns.

At The GREEN Program, we understand. Our team is here to address and support any questions or concerns you may have about your child/student studying abroad with us. Above all else, we prioritize the health and safety of our participants.

The TGP experience is impactful for your student’s personal, professional, and academic growth, and we hope that hearing from other parents/guardians will help reinforce the impact of this opportunity.

Read on to hear Samantha Jacob’s testimonial whose son studied abroad in Iceland with us!

1. Did you know that Jake was interested in going abroad?
What was your initial reaction to him telling you he would like to attend TGP?

Yes.  He had mentioned it a few times but never specifically to Iceland.

I cannot tell you that I was too surprised. Before Iceland, he had already visited 22 countries. As a family we have always loved traveling and he developed the travel bug at a very young age. He would tell you that Iceland was on his “bucket list” (yes… at the age of 21 he has a “bucket list” : )  So when his advisor mentioned TGP to him, Jake immediately called me. He was so excited that he had an opportunity to combine a trip to Iceland with his education.

2. What about TGP stood out to you as a positive or beneficial experience for your son? Why did you see The GREEN Program as an opportunity worth investing in?

I saw TGP as a tremendous benefit because the course fit right in line with his Green Engineering Minor. Any study abroad program that enhances a student’s understanding of a particular subject is, in my opinion, worth investing in. Reading something in a textbook will never compare to personally experiencing it firsthand. 

ckc3kx7ot00xzuci5iqh562ku nathan mcbride mokwxkenvoy unsplash

3. Can you tell us more about your experience working with the TGP Team?
How would you describe their customer experience and overall communication with you as you were working with Jake to get prepped for his trip? 

From the initial phone call, I was blown away by how professional and helpful everyone was. My every question was answered in a detailed manner. My emails (and there were many) were answered if not the same day for sure by the next day. If I left a message they called me back almost immediately. I mainly worked with Amanda and Kelsey. Amanda was my first point of contact. When I asked her to please explain the TGP to me I was in awe at the depth of detail she shared. Kelsey was amazing. Evidently Jake signed up for the program a bit late so he and I had to rush to get not only what TGP needed but also all the items Virginia Tech required. TGP staff were so understanding and extremely patient. Kelsey always provided the information I needed in a super timely manner. 

4. What are some of the takeaways Jake took from his time with us in Iceland? How do you see these benefiting him in the future? 

Jake says he now has a much better understanding of the possibilities for renewable energy and the vast potential that exists. He feels this will be a great benefit to him as he starts taking his Green Engineering courses.

I personally feel that he will be slightly ahead of the game having experienced firsthand what natural resources are available to mankind.

The added bonus was Jake getting to see a beautiful country. I have seen the pictures and Iceland is gorgeous! He has also mentioned that the Icelandic people were some of the nicest he has ever met. He loved outdoor activities, especially camping and hiking, it was a great way for him to see the countryside.

ckc3l770y001wcwi5vwlb37cs unnamed 4

5. As you can imagine, parents are often concerned with three things when choosing to support their child to go abroad.

How would you rank TGP and their team in the following (between 1 and 5 (1 being poor; 5 being excellent)):

  • Academics  –  5
  • Health & Safety  –  5
  • Career development & post-program benefits  – 5

6. What is one piece of advice that you’d like to share with parents of students who are considering TGP?

This is an incredibly well-put-together program. 
The attention to detail is incredible.  They have literally thought of everything!  I asked every “what if” question and “in the case of” question and they had an answer and a solution already in place!

As a parent, I would highly recommend this program to any parent and more so to any student wanting to join a study abroad program.

ckc3mqwwx007ncwi5c1p27wji matheus frade 1uu2oxfqjsc unsplash

Bonus: If you were to go on TGP, which destination would you choose? Japan, Iceland, Peru, or Nepal?   

Jake says Japan (I agree).

Questions? Contact our team at [email protected]
Ready to get started on your next adventure?

Read Another Article

Honoring Kate Slattery & Highlighting the Shine On Scholarship for Women’s History Month

In honor of Women’s History Month, The GREEN Program is happy to highlight Kate Slattery – a mechanical engineer and photovoltaic designer for SolarCity who challenged herself and others to work toward a global mission of renewable energy and sustainability. We are honored to work with Kate’s family and GivePower to share Kate’s story and provide the Shine On Scholarship to TGP students in memory of Kate. 

read more

How an Online Sustainability Program Helped Jaedyn Medrano Become an Intersectional Sustainability Advocate

This blog features the virtual Nepal Ethics of Sustainable Development Alum, Jaedyn Medrano who says, “this program taught me how to think about a project holistically, and it has guided me along the path to being a better cultured and inclusive young professional.” She is set to graduate with a double major in Renewable Natural Resources & Ecological Restorations in December of 2022.

read more

Defending Reproductive Rights in the Battle for Climate Justice

Reproductive Justice is Climate Justice. The GREEN Program stands to defend the reproductive rights of all women and people who give birth to access safe reproductive health care. We must do more to educate others and understand the interconnection between Reproductive Justice and the Climate Crisis. It’s important to draw the connections between climate change, pollution, and reproductive rights.

read more

An International Graduate Student Embraces Nepali Culture by Studying Abroad through Shine On Scholarship

On one hand, I believe that every student should be given a chance to study abroad at least once in their life, because it teaches us things that textbooks cannot: adaptability, resilience, curiosity, empathy, just to name a few. Whether good or bad, bursting our bubble and learning about our world will inspire us and open our minds. On the other hand, the people we interact with benefit from the diversity, because all of us bring unique perspectives to the table. Perhaps we share an idea that no one has thought of but could be key to solving a problem; we fuel the aspirations of someone who is facing similar difficulties; or help take down stereotypes.  

read more

Remembering Juneteenth and the Fight for Environmental Justice

n June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, TX, and announced the end of the Civil War and the end of slavery. It is on this day every year since that we celebrate “Juneteenth” as the end of slavery in the United States. It is a day that we celebrate ancestors and leaders who fought to be liberated. We celebrate their power, resiliency, and tenacity. 

read more

LGBTQ+ Leaders and Organizations in Sustainability to Know About this Pride Month

The GREEN Program loves to celebrate love, and there is no better way to do that this month than by recognizing a few LGBTQ+ leaders and organizations that are making a difference not just in their own communities but for our planet altogether. Read below to learn more about some people and spaces that are working together to promote a better world that focuses on inclusion and equality.

read more

Meet 8 AAPI Leaders in Sustainability: Across the Globe and At Home

The month of May is known to many as the end of classes and the start of Summer, but May is also known as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Our team at TGP wanted to take a moment to recognize the contributions and influence of AAPI Americans throughout history, culture, and achievements both on a global scale, and from those who are a bit close to home. We also encourage you to learn more about AAPI Heritage Month and get involved through additional resources.

read more

From a Start Up to a Sustainability Study Abroad Program: How Patrick Applied his Passion for Renewable Energy in Iceland

When Fall 2021 rolled around and I saw the TGP scholarship opportunity, I thought I’d apply not expecting much. When I found out that I actually got it, I was like “I guess I’m actually doing this!”. I was a little nervous and anxious but also so excited for the opportunity! I was also grateful that the enrollment process was very smooth for me with no significant challenges along the way.

read more

Boston University Student Gains a Unique Perspective for Renewable Energy & Sustainability by Studying Abroad in Iceland

Global experiences have definitely shaped me into the person I am today through increased cultural awareness and sensitivity. Getting to really know a great group of diverse individuals from all over the world has not only shaped my perspective on current world issues, but has also allowed me to take a glance at certain topics from another angle and point of view.

read more

A Construction Science Major Turns Lessons into Opportunity after a Sustainability Study Abroad Program 

AJ Ewing spent his past Winter Break a little bit differently than most students, by studying abroad on our GREEN Nepal program. As a Construction Science major, AJ notes that he was nervous coming into the study abroad program having no prior experience in sustainability or electrical/solar grids, but he was excited and eager to learn. As soon as he arrived, all his nerves were gone as he was welcomed by our team and ready to dive in. Now, he can honestly say that when he thinks of The GREEN Program, he thinks of “family away from home.”

read more

How a Geologist Made His Sustainability Dream in Iceland a Reality through a Study Abroad Scholarship

As someone who is in a field with a limited representation of ethnic minorities, TGP created a neutral ground where there was a range of diversity on different levels. My GREEN Program experience in Iceland wasn’t just about the adventures and cultural immersion, but about the education too. I thoroughly enjoyed the lectures because I saw how passionate the different lecturers were about their work and research which is truly inspiring. As a geologist, learning more about the wonder that is Iceland in Iceland was definitely a dream come true.

read more

Get to Know GREENie: Maryam Aida Tidjani

Maryam Aida Tidjani got to experience a brand new kind of GREEN Program during the hard times the world was facing, a 100% Virtual and Online experience. Initially planning on traveling to Peru in 2021, the global pandemic continued to shift things around and we had to pivot all travel programs to Online experiences.

read more

Subscribe to The GREEN Program newsletter & updates

Skip to content