A gap year is anything but a year off. Deciding to defer university for a semester or a year is often the most important educational decision a student makes, and is supported by top universities. Gap years are formative experiences that encourage personal growth while helping students determine how they want to spend the next four years and beyond.
Our Rustic Gap Year Semesters are more traditional gap year travel programs, focusing on community service and adventure travel. Students spend a semester exploring a region of the world (Latin America, South East Asia, or the South Pacific), experiencing the best of what the region has to offer.
Discover the stunning natural wonders, friendly people, and rich cultures of Latin America while studying Spanish and participating in meaningful community service projects. Learn about indigenous cultures and engage with locals through service projects and homestays in three different regions: Central America, the Andes, and the Caribbean. Whether you’re a first time Spanish language learner or nearly fluent, practicing Spanish in places with varying accents and dialects will give your skills a major boost.
Surround yourself with sun, sand, and surf as you travel to the far reaches of the South Pacific. Visit Fiji, New Zealand, and Australia on this marine- focused, high-energy semester. In Fiji, splash in waterfalls, soak in the laid-back island life, and live with a homestay family in the rural highlands. Venture through New Zealand, and find incredible adventures at every turn. Spot dolphins and penguins and marvel at breathtaking landscapes. In Australia, learn how to surf and scuba dive, and earn certificates in Wilderness First Aid and surf life saving.
From remote villages to modern cities and sacred ruins to tropical islands, this semester traces a spectacular route through Southeast Asia’s celebrated sites and best-kept secrets. While exploring history, encountering traditional cultures, living like a local, and contributing to community-driven service projects, you’ll gain a profound understanding of the region. We have many long-term service initiatives here, in the floating villages of the Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia to the communities of our local staff from Thailand and Laos. Visit southern Thailand’s world-renowned beaches, cruise remote jungle rivers by boat and visit an orangutan sanctuary in Borneo and dive into the unique cultures, crystal clear waters and take part in coral reef restoration initiatives in Bali.