Discover how modern medicine and traditional healing methods work together as you lend a hand with community service healthcare projects in Bali, Indonesia. This program gives you a well-rounded view of the multi-faceted components of public health.
Meet with medical students to discuss the challenges of implementing public health awareness in developing communities and learn how to conduct a home health visit. Shadow local medical students and assist with checking blood pressure, recording data, managing supplies, and educating local families about preventative care.
Visit a midwife clinic founded by the 2011 CNN Hero of the Year. Support a project that offers free prenatal care, birthing services, and medical aid to anyone who needs it.
Make friends with Balinese youth while developing creative lesson plans that teach children about hygiene, exercise, and nutrition during our fun and interactive healthcare workshops.
Meet with a traditional healer and go on an herbal medicine walk through rice fields for a more in-depth look at holistic medicine. On this program, you will discover just how intertwined traditional healthcare is with today’s modern medicine. These experiences will help you develop an appreciation for the cultural awareness that is required for public health professionals in a developing country.
During this program, you will…
- Earn up to 30 hours of community service working with medical students at a primary care clinic and educating children at a local elementary school about public health
- Learn about holistic healthcare with a traditional healer
- Visit a midwife clinic founded by the 2011 CNN Hero of the Year dedicated to supporting families in need
- Spend a night at an eco-camp nestled in the foothills of Bali’s Northeast shore
- Relax with a bonfire under a sky filled with stars
- Try your hand as a cashew peeler at a cashew factory. Learn how this social enterprise and sustainable business is changing lives
- Learn about community health initiatives in rural areas and small villages
- Meet and converse with a Balinese prince and watch a cultural show at his palace
- Immerse yourself in a variety of Balinese arts, including wood carving, dancing, and Gamelan music
- Take a surf lesson in one of the most iconic surf destinations in the world
- Swim in a refreshing jungle waterfall
- Whitewater raft down a river
- Laugh your worries away with a fun and light-hearted yoga class
- Visit iconic temples and dive into Balinese culture
DAY 1: DEPART FROM LOS ANGELES (LAX)
DAY 2: CROSS THE INTERNATIONAL DATE LINE
DAYS 3-7: UBUD
Begin your adventure in Ubud, the cultural heart of Bali. We will dive into public health initiatives by meeting with local medical students. We will have the opportunity to work directly with these students during their residency at a primary care clinic. We will join them on their home health visits, and help with checking blood pressure, recording information, managing supplies, and educating families about preventative care. This is a truly unique opportunity to learn about the challenges medical professionals face when implementing public health in a developing community.
In addition to our public health project, Ubud has endless activities to enjoy. Laugh your worries away with your new friends during a fun and carefree laughing yoga class followed by a walk through picturesque rice fields. Participate in a workshop where you can try your hand at a variety of Balinese arts, including dancing, Gamelan Music, and woodcarving. Receive an introduction to Balinese culture and explore Ubud’s beautiful temples and colorful markets. Visit the famous water temple and participate in a traditional ceremony. Tour the Royal Palace and dress in your finest for dinner with a real Balinese prince followed by an authentic show. This is a special opportunity not available to tourists!
DAYS 8-9: AMED
Amed is a hidden gem on the Northeast coast of Bali. The village sits directly on a bay with a black sand beach and a volcano on the horizon which creates the perfect backdrop for some breathtaking sunsets. We will stay in beach bungalows and enjoy swimming and soaking up the sun. For those who are more adventurous you’ll even have the opportunity to try your hand at scuba diving in our optional beginner course! Catch a sunrise boat ride to admire the beauty of this region one last time before heading to East Bali Immersion.
DAYS 10-11: EAST BALI IMMERSION
Our next adventure will be truly unique as we sleep in teepees and stay at an eco-camp nestled in nature on the northeast coast. The eco camp is run by an organization dedicated to sustainability and supporting and empowering the local community. It is home to an award-winning social enterprise, East Bali Cashew, which has created employment opportunities for the local women. During our time at the camp, we will learn about the factory and even have the opportunity to work alongside the workers to see if we can keep up! We will also enjoy a hands-on cooking lesson and learn all about local Balinese delicacies. At night we will hang out around a bonfire underneath a starry sky.
DAYS 11-16: UBUD
Our trip comes full circle when we head back to Ubud to complete the second part of our healthcare education at a local elementary school. You will break up into teams and each team will be responsible for developing a healthcare workshop using a mix of traditional teaching methods, art, and games. The focus will be on educating youth about hygiene, nutrition, and exercise. This is a unique opportunity to work together with your peers and get creative. TFT staff will be there to provide instruction and helpful tips for designing a great workshop. The real fun begins when you get to put your plan into action and see your efforts pay off with the children. You will form lifelong memories and lasting friendships after your time educating!
In addition to our two hands-on projects you will learn about holistic health care methods when you visit a midwife clinic, meet with a traditional healer, and go on an herbal medicine walk. It is a fascinating experience to discover all of the facets of healthcare and learn that there are a variety of approaches to health and wellness.
Complete your Balinese adventure with a fun surf lesson on the Southern coast. Catch one last perfect sunset over the ocean while reflecting on the amazing time you had with your new friends exploring Bali.
DAY 17: RETURN FLIGHT TO THE USA
Authenticity is engrained in everything we do.
Eat, stay, and travel like a local. Check out what past travelers have to say about TFT and discover why we were awarded Top Youth Travel organization in 2017.
"Traveling to Bali with Travel for Teens on the Bali Ultimate Service and Adventure trip has been one of the most memorable experiences of my life. I was excited to embrace long-haul international travel and finally explore somewhere that far from my home. Like a lot of people, I was nervous about how I was going to fit in within the group. That was fear was quickly squashed and I formed some very close friendships with everyone on the trip, from other travelers to the counselors to our amazing local guides. This trip was very diverse in many ways: both in the cultures of the regions we visited, the activities that we did, and the composition of our surrounding environment. This trip had a bit of everything, which I loved! We went from cityscapes to mountains to beaches. We had valuable service opportunities, working to restore coral reefs and practicing English with local children and more. We also had adventures like white water rafting, mountainside hikes, and scuba diving. It is really difficult to answer the question “what was your favorite part of the trip” because there really wasn’t one singular event; however, a part of the trip that I found really valuable was eating dinner with the prince. Talking with him provided insight into their culture and their views. He answered our questions about Bali and we answered his about America and Canada. 21 days flew by so fast and while our group is no longer in Bali, the friendships and memories remain."
"This past summer I went on the Bali Ultimate Service and Adventure trip. At first, I was hesitant to sign up for this trip as it was 10,000 miles from my home and it was 21 days long. However, once I arrived, I knew that I had made the right decision. The counselors, other campers, and I immediately all clicked and we became so close that we called ourselves a family. On top of the close relationships that I formed, the trip and all of the activities that we did were amazing. TFT did a really good job of creating a schedule that was a perfect mix of fun, service, and immersion in the culture. When asked what day or activity on the trip was my favorite, I couldn’t choose. Every day was filled with amazing activities. Apart from the fun and adventurous activities that we did such as white water rafting, we also participated in life-changing service. One service activity that we did was tutoring children at the local schools. It was amazing to see the impact that just a couple of English classes had on those kids, it was truly a life-changing experience that I will never forget. I was able to check off Bali from my bucket list, while getting service hours, and making some of the best friends that I have ever had!"
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of teen typically participates in this program? What are the requirements to join?
We have teens join this program from all over the world! They are typically culturally curious teens who are excited about making new friends, stepping out of their comfort zone, expanding their horizons, and trying something new.
This program is only for students who are currently in 9th through 12th grade and approximately 14 to 18 years old. Students living outside of the USA are welcome to join!
Where do we stay?
Our hotels are chosen specifically in safe areas and are well suited to facilitating group supervision. We stay in centrally located accommodations, usually within walking distance of the main attractions. We do not use large, impersonal chain hotels on the outskirts of cities; we prefer to select smaller, family-run hotels where we establish personal relationships with the owners.
In Ubud we stay in a guesthouse that is traditional Balinese style and surrounded by lush gardens. In Amed we stay a short walk from the beach in a traditional Balinese guesthouse.
We also have the unique experience of staying at a beautiful eco-camp. During our stay at the eco-camp please keep in mind this will be “glamping.” You will have a comfortable bed in a shared teepee with a fan. There will be power outlets to charge your devices, but no wifi. This is a wonderful opportunity to disconnect from the outside world for a couple days!
For safety reasons, we do not publish the names of the accommodations we use. We do not feel it is safe to publish the name of a hotel where a group of teenagers is staying abroad. After registering, participants and parents are given access to our secure parent website where you will be able to see the names of all of the accommodations for the program.
Do most travelers go on their own?
Yes! In fact, over 75% of students who travel with us choose to come independently. This encourages teens to step further outside their comfort zone and make new friends. We believe that one of the most rewarding and exciting elements of travel is the new friendships that form along the way. When we travel by ourselves, we are bound to make new friends from all over the country and even the world. The best part is, you can travel again with your new friends on another TFT program the next summer!
If you are thinking about joining a TFT program by yourself but you are feeling unsure, please let us know! We have plenty of references from solo travelers who had great experiences and would be happy to chat with you about it.
Can I bring a friend?
Absolutely! We ask that if you do come with a friend, you and your friend(s) maintain openness to meeting new people and sharing this special experience with the entire group.
What do students like most about this program?
Students love that they are able to get off the beaten path and explore parts of Bali that are largely untouched by tourism. The opportunity to shadow and work directly with medical students is an exciting experience, as well as our public heath outreach project with the local elementary school.
What is unique about this program?
Visiting an award winning midwifing clinic and working directly with Balinese medical students are incredible opportunities!
What is included?
Tuition cost includes ground transportation; accommodation; chaperones and guides; program-related activities and admissions; taxes and tips; all breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.
Not included in cost (this is not intended to be an exhaustive list): airfare; visas and visa application fees; personal and medical expenses; activities and admissions that are not program-related or referenced in the itinerary; beverages other than filtered water at meals; participant expenses that are outside of the program description, such as excess baggage fees and damage to hotels; expenses related to unforeseen circumstances, such as transportation strikes and natural disasters.
How do the optional group flights work?
Upon registration, you will be contacted by our International Logistics Team to discuss the program’s flight details. There is no requirement to take the group flight, but there are several advantages to doing so. The group flight is usually chaperoned by a TFT staff member, and it also offers an opportunity for the students to get to know one another prior to the start of the program. Parents are responsible for coordinating transport to the departure airport – however, the logistics team will send out instructions detailing the exact meeting spot and airport point person. For additional information about flights, visit our dedicated flight page.
Who leads the program?
Our staff is a cut above the rest! We seek out two main characteristics in our counselors – extensive knowledge of and experience in our destinations, and a passion for working with teens. Our staff’s backgrounds include living abroad and working in summer camps or other educational settings. Team members are proven leaders and role models, who connect easily with others and form genuine friendships with each student – all while bringing each destination to life.
We celebrate diversity! Our staff represents 49 different nationalities, speak a combined total of 21 languages, and visited 142 countries. Additionally, 80% of our staff lived or worked abroad in their lives. With so many unique experiences to share, you are sure to gain a global perspective.
Our average minimum ratios are one staff member to every seven participants. Each program has one Trip Director with several support staff, depending on the group size. Directors must be at least 25 years old and have prior experience working with TFT.
What are the safety qualifications for our staff?
Our staff members undergo a rigorous hiring process. They receive the same background check as school educators, an extensive training process to go over all safety precautions and protocols, and are required to be certified in CPR and First Aid. We exclusively hire responsible, multi-talented individuals who are safety-minded and are as passionate about teen travel as we are.
What is the average group size?
We pride ourselves on small group sizes to create a more authentic and personalized experience. Our group sizes fall between 14 and 21 students – the perfect size to facilitate new friendships without feeling lost in a crowd! We believe smaller groups eliminate the likelihood of cliques, and allows for a well-rounded, healthy group dynamic.
How does this program connect to other programs?
Our program dates are designed specifically so that participants can opt to combine trips throughout the summer. When connecting to another program, your counselor will escort you to the airport on the last day of the program and assist you in meeting your next group at your new destination.
Families who sign up for more than one program will also receive a 15% discount on the lesser-priced program.
What is the food like on this program?
In a word – delicious! At TFT, we believe food should be an integral part of the travel experience and always make an effort to eat at authentic establishments when we can. What better way to immerse yourself in the culture of a place than by sampling the local delicacies, and we encourage students to do so whenever possible! Just as we stay away from Americanized hotel chains, we try to avoid restaurants with menus that cater only to tourists because every good traveler knows the best food is found wherever the locals are eating!
Balinese cuisine is bursting full of flavor, aromatic smells and vivid color, with lots of attention paid to balance, detail and variety.
Of course, we are always willing and able to accommodate vegetarians, vegans, gluten allergies, and other dietary restrictions.
Do we ever get time to go off on our own?
Our staff and teens are nearly always together, but we do provide the opportunity to break up into smaller groups to allow for flexibility and customization within the itinerary.
We offer free time in defined safe areas – for example, shopping in a market or exploring a museum. During these times, students remain in groups of at least two and are given no more than an hour. Of course, the counselors remain nearby and available. Additionally, a lifeguard-certified counselor supervises the campers any time they are involved in water activities.
Do I need to bring anything special for the community service portion of this program?
Due to the nature of our service being outdoors, please be sure to bring clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty, waterproof shoes, and a hat. A sarong will be provided for you on day one of the program so you will have something to cover up with for temple visits and when we work at the school.
A more detailed packing list will be provided upon registration.
Do I need any vaccinations for this program?
We recommend checking with your family doctor regarding vaccinations and medical advice for the destination you are visiting. For more information, please check the World Health Organization’s website. Upon registration, we provide a list of recommended vaccinations that can be discussed further with your doctor.
What kind of visa do you need for this trip?
Any US citizen that enters Bali does not require a visa. Instead you will automatically receive a 30-day stay in the country.
When joining a TFT trip from outside of the US, please be sure to check your country’s specific visa requirements.
Do I need to speak the language?
No, our skilled staff members will help you get around and even teach you a few fun phrases!