Frequently Asked Questions


ABOUT SPROUT

Q: Is The Sprout Experience a new company?

We adopted the name “The Sprout Experience” in 2016. However, our founders have been building and leading travel programs since 1997. Daniel and Julie have a combined 40+ years in education, and they have traveled with hundreds of students to destinations on four continents. See our PROGRAM LEADERS page for more information on our founders and other staff members.


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 4 to 6 participants.


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 Milkie
(440) 320-5792
julie@thesproutexperience.org

Daniel Grigson
(440) 840-3907
daniel@thesproutexperience.org

Visit our CONTACT PAGE for more ways to connect.


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.

 

TRAVEL PROGRAMS

Q: What are TEAM Adventures?

A: You may hear Sprout refer to our “TEAM Adventures.” This refers to our international & domestic travel programs. They are the 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: Can students with unique needs travel with Sprout?

In most cases, yes! Sprout travels like a family, with the needs of each individual cared for. Since our groups are small (10 to 16) and our staff to student ratio is low (at least 1:5), we are uniquely prepared to accommodate participants with special needs. This includes medical, emotional and individualized learning needs. Of course, each situation is unique and a decision will be made with the best interest of the student in mind.


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.

You can also visit our TESTIMONIALS page for comments by our Sprout family.


Q: What immunizations are required for International TEAM Adventures?

A: Different programs will have different requirements. Generally, it is 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 a travel clinic to make sure your student has the recommended immunizations and/or medication.


Q: Why do we request a student to purchase medical & travel insurance?

A: International travel/medical insurance gives you 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 our own representative from Arch Roam Right. This means help is just a quick phone call away at any time, day or night. When every participant has the same policy managed by the same representative who is familiar with Sprout, we can be sure that any situation will be handled quickly accurately. It allows us to provide the safest, best experience for your student.


Q: Is it safe to travel with The Sprout Experience?

A: The safety and security of all participants is our number one priority during every program. We have a deep knowledge of our destinations, and we have trusted partners on site to help us keep our safety plan current and complete. This is where Sprout excels. Instead of relying on the news media and outdated travel publications, our partners right on the ground apprise us of the safety and security of our destination to the minute. This allows us to plan, prepare, and make decisions with the most accurate and reliable information possible. Safety and health are a part of our pre-trip meeting preparation and safety reminders are included in daily briefings throughout the program.


Q: How does The Sprout Experience handle emergency situations while traveling?

A: The Sprout Experience completes detailed safety preparation unique to each destination, including identifying best practice emergency procedures in that specific country and location. We work with our in-country partners to identify potential problems and agree on planned responses. Medical facilities at the destination are identified and procedures are implemented to make them accessible in the case of medical emergency. In remote locations, this includes partnering with Flying Doctors to provide air transportation for emergency medical care. We also identify law enforcement and consulate locations in the destination country to assist our group in the unlikely event that we face an emergency situation. Our partnership with Arch Roam Right also provides us a direct line to access the best emergency response possible. No matter what, Sprout travels as a family, and everyone is cared for as if they were our own family.


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 the 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 students and parents through electronic correspondence and pre-travel meetings. During program, we do our best to stay make daily contact via Whatsapp. On most programs, students will be able to contact home on a number of occasions. In the case of emergency, our program leaders always have access to a working mobile phone.


Q: What are pre-travel meetings?

A: Before most of our TEAM Adventures, we will schedule a series of meetings. These are important to prepare for a successful program. Students get to know each other and have an opportunity to express concerns and ask questions. Pre-travel meetings are also important for completing paperwork and assuring that each student is ready to travel. Attendance is mandatory for students. Parents will be asked to attend at least two meetings.


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. Some destinations also require a visa. Sprout will provide information on when, where and how to apply for a visa if needed. It is recommended that visa applications are mailed 6 months prior to program. For international students we require a copy of their passport and any relevant visas.


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 activity groups.


Q: Can I travel with my child?

A: Maybe. We are willing to discuss this option. However, it is strongly suggested that a student’s FIRST international program with Sprout be without parents. This allows for the most growth and development for the student during the program.

 

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 are Sprout's refund/cancellation policies?

A: Visit our FINANCIAL POLICIES page for more information.