Frequently Asked Questions


General Questions


Q: Why choose The Sprout Experience?

A: Quite simply, you will not find another company that offers the amazing opportunities you will find at Sprout. From deeply immersive international travel to experiencing the thrill of hearing your own original music professionally recorded and produced, Sprout experiences truly have the power to educate, inspire, and change lives for the better.


Q: Who started The Sprout Experience?

A: Sprout was founded by Julie Milkie and Daniel Grigson, both educators and experienced youth travel leaders.

JULIE MILKIE (M.A.Ed. in School Counseling) is a co-founder of The Sprout Experience and a certified special education teacher. She has extensive experience leading international student travel programs. Her past destinations have included Kenya, the Galapagos Islands, Bonaire, Australia, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Switzerland, England, France, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Mexico, Canada, and locations across the U.S. Julie was also a trip leader for the Maasai Music Project.

DANIEL GRIGSON (M.S. in Environmental Education) is a co-founder of The Sprout Experience and a certified middle grades/secondary science teacher. He has extensive experience leading international student travel programs. His past destinations have included Kenya, the Galapagos Islands, Bonaire, Corn Islands, Tanzania, Mexico, Canada, Trinidad & Tobago, Ecuador, Peru, Nicaragua, Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, and locations across the U.S. Daniel founded a national award winning Environmental Club in 2007, and the Maasai Music Project in 2009. He is an accomplished musician and producer, starting the Necco Records label in 1996.


Q: Can I speak with a real live person to answer my questions?

A: YES! Call at any time. We are always ready to answer any questions, offer any help, and do what we can to make your Sprout Experience the best experience possible. Call or e-mail either of our company founders:

Julie: (440) 320-5792 or julie@thesproutexperience.org
Daniel: (440) 840-3907 or daniel@thesproutexperience.org


Q: What is the ratio of students to leaders for The Sprout Experience programs?

A: At The Sprout Experience we maintain a ratio of one leader for every 8 participants, and our international programs are usually one leader per 6 participants.


Team Adventures


Q: What are TEAM Adventures?

A: Our international & domestic programs are ultimate immersive travel experiences with deep roots in conservation, culture and art. Far from the traditional tourist path, we stay and work with local communities, schools, scientists and conservation groups. Participants are invited to push their limits, step out of their comfort zones and open their minds and hearts. We immerse ourselves in the natural beauty of an area, often camping without modern conveniences and at research centers or in the bush. Each trip also includes activities to let students recharge and enjoy being together. We might snorkel, visit museums, or simply have some “down time” at a comfortable location.


Q: Why is it important for students to participate in an international travel program?

A: Globalization is here to stay, and students who want to work in our interconnected world benefit from international travel. Participating in an international program as part of a student’s education is the most effective and accessible means for students to develop needed skills because it pushes a student to get out of their comfort zone and to experience a new and amazing culture, language and environment. It teaches students to appreciate difference and diversity and to dismiss stereotypes. Students who travel report that the experience increased their self-confidence and independence, and helped them appreciate cultural differences. Also, along they way they built friendships and memories that will last a lifetime.


Q: What are the age requirement for international travel?

A: Generally, students who will have completed 8th grade or who have just graduated high school by the time of program departure are eligible to apply. The usual age range is ages 14-18, but that can vary slightly.


Q: I’d like to talk to alumni and parents. Is that possible?

A: Absolutely! You can read testimonials on the our webpage or contact Julie or Daniel and they will get you in touch with alumni families.


Q: What immunizations are required for International TEAM Adventures?

A: Different programs will have different requirements. See each program's specific webpage for details. Generally, it expected that travelers be up to date on routine vaccines before any trip. During our pre-travel meetings, we will cover immunizations thoroughly and work with you to answer questions and provide you with up to date information.

We strongly recommend you talk to your child’s pediatrician and contact the CDC or your local travel clinic to make sure your student has the recommended immunizations or medication for travel in your destination.


Q: Why does The Sprout Experience request a student to purchase medical & travel insurance for travel?

A: Experience has shown to expect the unexpected when traveling and international travel insurance gives you that peace of mind knowing your child has the protection needed in the event of lost baggage, trip cancellation or interruption, or a medical emergency. At The Sprout Experience we work with two representatives from Berkshire Hathaway and our only a quick phone call away from their expertise and support in the event of an emergency.


Q: What if my child becomes ill when traveling?

A: At The Sprout Experience our leaders are trained in CPR and First Aid and are equipped with a medical kit while on program to handle minor ailments such as blisters, headaches, or upset stomachs. If a more severe illness were to arise, we always have access to medical care, and a SPROUT staff member will contact a family directly if medical treatment is required.


Q: In the event of an emergency, how are medical expenses handled?

A: Families are responsible for the medical costs incurred during a program. Fortunately, most medical events are covered by your mandatory trip/medical insurance. At times, some costs may need to be paid at the time of service. For amounts under $250, the Sprout Experience will temporarily cover the required costs. For higher amounts, we will contact the family and make necessary arrangements. At all times, the health and safety of our travelers is most important. Any monies paid by The Sprout Experience to cover medical expenses in the course of a program must be reimbursed by the family within 10 days of program completion.


Q: What if a participant has very specific dietary or medical needs?

A: We understand that some students have special needs related to health, diet and at The Sprout Experience we are committed to doing all we can to accommodate the unique needs of each student. Full disclosure on your part is key to your child’s physical and emotional well-being on the program so please be sure to list all medical or dietary needs on required forms and to talk to Julie and Daniel about your child’s specific needs.


Q: What type of correspondence can the participant and their family expect?

A: Upon acceptance into a program we will be in frequent contact with each student through various means of correspondence such as email, Twitter and required pre-travel meetings. For the pre-travel meetings, attendance is mandatory for students and parents will be asked to attend at least two meetings.

During program, we do our best to stay make daily contact via a text, Facebook page or email...it all depends on the service where we are. Additionally, many families opt to purchase international data plans for their child.


Q: What travel documentation is required?

A: All international travel programs require participants to have a passport that will be valid for six months beyond the time of travel. Passports must be in reasonable condition.

Travel to Kenya also requires a visa and once accepted we will send you information on when, where and how to apply for the visa. It is recommended that visa applications are mailed 6 months prior to program. If your departure is date is in the month of June, this means you should apply for your visa by December.

For international students we require a copy of their passport and any relevant visas. We also highly recommend they contact the local consulate for their destination country for more details.


Q: Can siblings, cousins or a group of friends go on the same program?

A: Absolutely! The international programming offered at The Sprout Experience will change your life forever, and having family or friends share in this experience may be a once in a lifetime opportunity. However, one of the most memorable parts of travel is meeting new friends and building new relationships along the way. Family and friends who travel together need to understand that we have an expectation that all travelers spend time with the entire group and it is not always guaranteed that family and friends will share accommodations or be in the same group for daily activities.


Q: What are some examples of past conservation projects?
A: The Sprout Experience is different from all other student travel companies in that we offer unique conservation projects. Our past programs have taken us to Kenya and the Galapagos Islands where we worked with local and nationally known scientists gathering data on lion prides and baboons, developing a field guide in English, Maa, and Swahili, tracking and gathering data on Galapagos tortoises, planting native flora, and invasive species removal. Also, coral reef restoration in Bonaire and leatherback sea turtle conservation in Trinidad.


Q: Can I travel with my child?

A: At this time, there is no provision for parent/guardians to travel with their child. Sprout may offer family programs in the future.


Application Process


Q: How do I apply for a TEAM Adventure?

A: First, congratulations on your decision to join The Sprout Experience on a life changing program! Each TEAM Adventure has its own web page on the site. Visit the page for your desired program, and there will be specific instructions on how to apply. Each TEAM Adventure will have a paper/snailmail option, and a digital online option.


Q: How do I know if I was accepted into a program?

A: The Sprout Experience will contact a parent or guardian upon receipt of your application and deposit and an invoice will be mailed/emailed. If you are new to The Sprout Experience, we take time to contact your parents, teachers and other adults on your application as well as sent up a time to meet and interview. After the interview, you will be contacted within 48 hours of your acceptance or denial to the program. In the event you are not accepted into the program, the full $500 deposit will be refunded within 30 days.


Q: What form of payment do you accept?

A: Checks and credit cards are accepted. Please note there will be a 3% processing fee added to the payment amount when paying by credit card. Checks should be made out to The Sprout Experience.


Q: What are Sprout's refund/cancellation policies?

A: Checks and credit cards are accepted. Please note there will be a 3% processing fee added to the payment amount when paying by credit card. Checks should be made out to The Sprout Experience.