We take students out of the classroom and challenge them to learn about how the world really works in different places, delivering truly unique study abroad and student travel opportunities. Our global education programs incorporate and combine immersion, experience, and inquisition, and take place in what can loosely be described as non-traditional settings. Our goal is to change the way youth think about the developing world – we accomplish this by designing and running experiential, student travel programs that encourage youth to 1)  engage, 2) learn, and 3) question.

Insight Global Education was originally founded in early 2013. The organization began as a dedicated student travel initiative, developing unique international internship and study abroad options for students keen to gain international development experience. The transition from our original narrow focus reflects our ambitions as a study abroad provider to explore a wide range of issues, while engaging an even wider audience. In addition to providing university travel (incorporating study abroad and international internships), Insight began running high school travel programs to the global south in early 2015. Our team is composed of professionals who’ve spent years working in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors, with a wide variety of international development experience. Our small team collectively speaks 15 languages, has traveled to 100+ countries, and is as diverse as it is energetic. Insight is a fully licensed educational travel organization, and is regulated by the Government of BC and Canada.

Our Philosophy

Our model is experiential. Our philosophy is locally inclusive. 

We believe that if you want to change the world, you need to know how it works first. 

Our educational travel programs, both university and high school, are deeply rooted in experiential learning and incorporate a variety of prescribed learning outcomes. The international experiences we facilitate for our students are extremely personal and life-changing. We prioritize getting to know each one of our students on a deep level, ensuring our impact is measured individually.

At the university level, our international programs combine study abroad with international internships. Our semester long programs provide one of the most unique international travel opportunities for current students.

Why We’re Different

Build schools. Dig wells. Teach children. These are three of the most common types of international development experience youth pursue today. The voluntourism industry, though in its infancy, has become a major player in global education and travel.

It is our core belief that if you want to change the world for the better, then you need to really learn about it first. Good intentions do not always have good outcomes, and while some international volunteer projects really do have good outcomes, many others simply do not.

Our university and high school travel programs are rooted in local leadership and are built in partnership with a local stakeholders. Students participating in our programs – be it one of our 12-week university summer travel programs, or one of our 2-week immersive high school travel programs – don’t build anything. They don’t teach, nor do they impart; they meet, they experience, they engage, and they learn.

Our global education programs are different; we place the emphasis on learning through observation, through inquiry, through engagement with local change makers, and through experiential learning. We’re different because we get to know each one of our students’ names, their stories, and their ambitions. We are deeply committed to developing global education programs that suit our students’ needs, while having a net benefit in communities we work in.

Meet The Team

Craig Vandermeer

Craig Vandermeer

CEO / Founder

SFU | M.A International Studies
Carleton | BA Political Science

Holding a Master’s Degree in International Studies, Craig’s first experience in a developing country saw him researching the growth potential of the Ugandan oil industry. After spending 5+ years in sub-Saharan Africa, and having witnessed countless poorly designed education abroad programs, Craig decided to take action. Craig founded Insight in 2013 with the goal to create educational travel programs rooted in experience-based learning. Craig has extensive international development experience, having lived and worked in a handful of countries, and traveled to more than 40.

Favourite Destination: Virunga Park, DRC

Ghazal Habib

Ghazal Habib

VP Operations

SOAS | MSc Public Policy & Management
SFU | BA International Studies

Ghazal is passionate about creating programs in unique places that allow students to broaden their understanding of international development. Ghazal began her career working in the NGO sector in Rwanda and Canada. She eventually turned her attention to social business as a tool for development, leading her to find Insight. Having worked alongside Craig since 2014, Ghazal’s role as VP Operations has allowed her to have a critical influence over programs. She cites the programs‘ impact on students’ career trajectories as her biggest inspiration at Insight.

Favourite Destination: Lamu Island, Kenya

Jared Lim

Jared Lim

VP Business Development

UNBC | B. Commerce

After graduating from UNBC and spending a year abroad, Jared decided to pursue entrepreneurship. He joined College Pro, a business development and house painting franchise, and soon became one of the top franchisees in the company. After achieving the “success” he’d thought he wanted, he felt unfulfilled and sold everything to travel the world indefinitely, on a journey of self-discovery. After developing a passion for social business, educational travel and a desire to make a positive difference, Jared returned home and joined the Insight team.

Favourite Destination: Antarctica

Clint Omelaniec

Clint Omelaniec

Communications Director

SFU | BA International Development

Clint handles website development, photography, video production, and print materials for Insight. Clint graduated from SFU with a degree in International Studies, having participated in the pilot Semester in Development program (Insight‘s first study abroad / international internship program) in 2013. When not working with Insight, Clint can be found filming and editing for organizations like TED. Clint’s passion for student travel lead him to join the Insight team, having first learn about the organization attending a study abroad seminar in January 2013.

Favourite Destination: Disneyland

Erica Altomare

Erica Altomare

High School Program Director

Queen’s | BEd Experiential Education
Queen’s | BA History

Erica’s passion for education has her currently pursuing her Masters of Social Justice Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) within UoT. She is interested in anti-colonial and indigenous education, environmental justice and disability studies. Outside of the classroom, Erica has a vast amount of experience working with youth as a swimming instructor, camp coordinator, conference leader, and non-profit director. As the High School Program and Curriculum Director, Erica collaborates with like-minded educators to build alternative programs and curriculum based on global citizenship.

Favourite Destination: Ecuador

Rebecca Klaassen

Rebecca Klaassen

University Program Director

uOttawa | BSc.Soc International Development

After working abroad in South Africa, Bangladesh and Honduras during university, Rebecca developed a strong belief in the power of global citizenship, and an interest in creating more sustainable ways to practice international development. This intersection, as well as a passion for facilitation and working with youth, brought her into the role of Program Director with Insight. Rebecca coordinates the Semester in Development program and is currently based in Kampala, Uganda. She has travelled to eighteen countries and is always adding more destinations to her bucket list.

Favourite Destination: Cape Town, South Africa

Anisha Mohil

Anisha Mohil

Program Coordinator

WLU | B. Business Administration

While studying at Wilfrid Laurier University for a Bachelor of Business Administration, Anisha developed in interest in the intersection between business and social impact. After graduating, Anisha spent a year in Mwanza, Tanzania at an innovation hub to develop learning programs for aspiring entrepreneurs and consult local, youth-led businesses. Her experiences in Tanzania, and her time in the non-profit sector and as a Teaching Assistant at WLU, have fostered her passion for experiential education and youth leadership, ultimately leading her to her role at Insight. Anisha coordinates the Semester in Development program and is currently based in Kampala, Uganda.

Favourite Destination: Andaman Islands

Nicole Darnell

Nicole Darnell

Program Assistant

UVIC | BA Poli. Sci. & Environmental Studies

As a university student Nicole regretfully engaged in several international voluntourism activities. After finishing her undergraduate degree, Nicole interned for a Human Rights focused Canadian NGO in Southern Uganda. After learning about human rights approaches to development, she became passionate about changing the volountourism narrative, which is what led her to find Insight. As a Program Coordinator SID: Uganda, Nicole is excited to be back in East Africa facilitating experiential learning programs for students.

Favourite Destination: Vietnam

Jagvir Kullar

Jagvir Kullar

Program Advisor

SFU | BA International Studies

Jagvir (Jaggy) is a third year International Studies students at SFU. Jaggy in the Fall 2016 Semester in Development: Uganda program; her first foray into international development. Jaggy joined the Insight team first as an intern, and now has transitioned to work directly with prospective program participants. Her passions for global education and travel stem from her interests in social justice and empathy based learning. Jaggy is one of the founding members and current President of Alpha Pi Phi at SFU.

Favourite Destination: Sipi Falls, Uganda

Danielle Gauthier-Saunders

Danielle Gauthier-Saunders

Program Advisor

Carleton | BA Hon. Crim. & Criminal Justice

Danielle is a fourth year student in Criminology and Criminal Justice at Carleton University. She is a former participant of the Spring 2017 Semester in Development: Uganda program. The program sparked her interest and passion for international development and global education. Since then, Danielle has joined the Insight team as a Program Advisor, and strives to share her amazing experience with students around the world.

Favourite Destination: Uganda

Sarah Somerville

Sarah Somerville

Program Advisor

DAL | BA Poli. Sci. & International Development

Sarah is a recent graduate from Dalhousie University, with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Development. Throughout her degree, she learned about the negative effects of voluntourism and actively sought out programs through which she could travel ethically, and has since been to Cuba and Ghana. Sarah is excited to work for Insight to continue to advocate an alternative model of international experiences – one that is focused on experiential learning and ethical travel.

Favourite Destination: Cuba

Ayesha Jenna-Habib

Ayesha Jenna-Habib

Content Writer

SFU | BA International Studies

Born in Kenya, Ayesha is currently a fourth year international studies student at SFU. After participating in the the Fall 2016 Semester in Development: Uganda program, Ayesha grew a passion for travel and social issues. Aspiring for a career in writing, Ayesha manages and creates content for Insight’s blog. She also takes care of administrative duties. Ayesha is an avid photographer and hopes to travel the world, taking photos and writing about international development along the way.

Favourite Destination: Greece

Partner With Us

We currently partner with a variety of institutions and organizations in Canada, the US, and abroad, including universities, secondary schools, community based organizations and travel companies. Are you interested in partnering with us? Get in touch with us!