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EDUC ATIONAL S EMESTERS IN A GLOBA L C LASSR OOM

M E A N I N G F U L S E RV I C E . R E A L CO N N E C T I O N S . T R U E A DV E N T U R E .


ARCC’S GLOBAL CLASSROOMS:

COSTA RICA ECUADOR PERU UGANDA KENYA TANZANIA

PATAGONIA/ CUBA

LATIN AMERICA AFRICA

CUBA

PATAGONIA/ CUBA

Chile

PATAGONIA

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CONTENTS NEPAL

Why Take a Gap Year?

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Program Philosophy

4

The Group: Students

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The Group: Instructors

INDIA

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GAP PROGRAMS:

INDIA/ NEPAL

Africa

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Asia

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India/Nepal

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Latin America

18

Patagonia/Cuba

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Program Reviews

22

Featured Students

24

Safety

26

College Credit & Financial Aid

27

All Programs At-a-Glance

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How to Apply

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ASIA

CHINA

THAILAND

VIETNAM CAMBODIA

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“I do not believe that a gap year is an alternative to college, but more of a supplement and benefit that will significantly increase my independence and preparedness for the years to come.” ALLIE W., ROSS, CA, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA ‘19

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WHY TAKE A GAP YEAR? From the top Ivy League Universities, to prominent news sources, to private college consultants, experts in higher education are saying that taking a gap year has enormous benefits for high school graduates. Described as a modern day rite of passage, a gap year is an opportunity to not only take advantage of the natural break between high school and college, but to unplug from the everyday classroom. It is a chance to reboot into a new style of learning, to embark on real work and world experiences and to gain a better sense of identity, self confidence, and hone in on one’s ability to be a critical thinker. What this formative break away from the classroom can do is ignite a desire for change, awaken a passion for learning, and expose a young adult to multiple fields of study and career paths to serve as inspiration in gaining a direction for college.

NOTEWORTHY STATISTICS OF STUDENTS reported that their gap year experience “set me on my current career path or academic major, or confirmed my choice of career or academic major.”†

OF A GAP YEAR of students surveyed was: “I gained a better sense of who I am as a person and what is important to me.”†

OF GAP YEAR GRADUATES

Gap Year students show a clear pattern of maintaining a

than would otherwise have been predicted, and the positive effect lasts over all four years.*

Gap Year students are perceived to be more

than non-Gap Year students* and have proven to be more engaged in leadership opportunities and extracurricular activities on college campuses.

report that their Gap Year had significantly added to their employability.*

Gap Year students often make some of their closest

during their Gap Year. Shared interests, the desire to experience the world outside of the classroom, and the willingness to stretch beyond one’s comfort zone foster a dynamic space for life-long friendships to form.

† Gap year data from The Gap Year Advantage, an independent study of 300 Gap Year students between 1997-2006 by Karl Haigler and Rae Nelson * American Gap Association (n.d), Data & Gap Year Benefits, Retrieved from www.americangap.org/data-benefits.php

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“The cultural exposure was one of my favorite aspects of this trip. I felt like I was living the true ways of the people of those countries.” SEDONA L., FRANKLIN LAKES, NJ, HAMPSHIRE COLLEGE ‘17

THROUGHOUT YOUR ARCC GAP SEMESTER YOU MIGHT:

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Build and install solar panels on homes in Tanzania

Assist in a microfinance and food sovereignty project in Peru

Help build and maintain trails in Parque Patagonia in Chile

Build and install biosand water filters in Cambodian homes

Participate in earthquake infrastructure relief along the coast of Ecuador

Watch the Sun Rise over the WorldRenowned Taj Mahal


PROGRAM PHILOSOPHY ARCC semesters offer an educational and cultural bridge between high school and college. They are an opportunity to live, work, learn and explore in some of the greatest classrooms on earth. On an ARCC Semester we immerse ourselves into the culture through homestays, service work, teaching and exchange. Working in partnership with area leaders, we pinpoint worthwhile service projects and collaborate with community members to achieve a common goal. As a small community we embark on a journey of discovery of people, places, cultures and ideas, as we take advantage of the opportunity to reach out and experience both life and the world from a different perspective. ARCC Semesters are structured around four components:

SERVICE IMPACT Service is a major component of the ARCC Gap Semester. Service projects are based upon ARCC’s five global themes and offer students an opportunity to give back to the communities in which they stay. ARCC has long-standing relationships with organizations around the world and is committed to finding projects that are impactful, sustainable and locally driven. ARCC’s service projects are supplemented by our educational component via readings and discussions, which serve to provide background and a deeper meaning to the projects.

CULTURAL IMMERSION Exposure to other cultures is one of the most significant opportunities for students in their gap year. On an ARCC Gap Semester, not only do students get to experience cultures foreign to them through daily interactions with partners, locals, or students their age, but they become fully immersed through homestays, village stays, and participating in the daily traditions and local activities. As we immerse ourselves in these cultures and learn about different projects and fledgling organizations, we are given the opportunity to also be a part of the process by working alongside community members. Living and volunteering in these communities helps us gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for what these communities and organizations are trying to accomplish.

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LEADERSHIP ARCC’s Leadership Development curriculum is designed to foster growth and encourage students to play an active role in the group’s overall experience. Students are encouraged to find their voices and build confidence by undertaking leadership opportunities and increased responsibility as the semester progresses. Through student-led lessons, activities and excursions, students are empowered to become effective leaders gaining valuable skills that will carry on for the rest of their lives.

“I thoroughly researched gap year programs and ARCC was above and beyond everything else. Doing ethical and meaningful projects was very important to me, and ARCC exceeded my expectations.” ABBY F., NATICK, MA, WILLIAMS COLLEGE ‘21

EDUCATIONAL CURRICULUM Designed with a rich educational fabric complementing each and every location, ARCC Semesters highlight regional issues that are directly linked to global challenges. On an ARCC Semester we go behind the scenes to meet with local experts, field researchers, scholars and community leaders to research and study these issues and their impact on the communities we visit. Over the course of our travels, we examine five global themes.

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FIVE GLOBAL THEMES LITERACY AND EDUCATION

ENVIRONMENT AND CONSERVATION

Compare the philosophy of education in different countries by identifying the challenges, issues and limitations regarding literacy and education in the developing world. Take part in real life solutions and bring change to schools by working with administrators, teachers, and local children.

Investigate issues surrounding habitat degradation and natural resource loss. Explore the fine line between national interest in economic development and conservation efforts for native land and the protection of animals.

MICROFINANCE & ECONOMIC GROWTH PUBLIC HEALTH Go behind the scenes to see the access to health care and its positive and adverse effects on rural and urban communities. By shadowing doctors, assisting nurses and interviewing local community members, our students are exposed to the uphill battle in dealing with world health issues both big and small.

Research how communities make ends meet in an increasingly globalized economy, while working to maintain their unique cultures. Meet with communities who have developed co-ops and vocational training schools to build their own skill sets and gain an understanding for the genuine progress happening on the ground.

URBANIZATION AND THE MOVEMENT OF PEOPLES Examine the trends of emigration and urbanization and their effects on food security, economic development and the environmental landscape. Speak with farmers who train the younger generation in sustainable agriculture practices as well as local entrepreneurs in urban regions to learn about ongoing ingenuity in the workplace that brings economic development to the area.

CAPSTONE PROJECTS Students draw upon the rich experiences of the three months to examine a self-selected topic from a particular angle. After gathering information through interviews, site visits, immersion and documentation, students culminate their semester with a Capstone Project. They may make a video documenting how attitudes towards public health in Thailand and China lead to disparate health care systems, or present findings comparing the success of conservation efforts in the population of Tanzania’s elephants and Uganda’s Rhinos. Students come away from their Semester not only with memories that will last a lifetime, but with skills and experience that will be invaluable in their future educational goals. Examples of past Capstone Projects: • Comparing the Lives & Struggles of Women in Three Latin American Countries • A Glimpse into the Lives of Migrant Workers in China and Vietnam • Humans of Southeast Asia—Stories of People Encountered Along the Way

• Education to Equality: Giving Her a Voice (Speech to the United Nations) • How U.S. Consumers Affect Other Cultures: Tracking Product Lifecycles • Analysis of Aid and Development in India (video and interviews)

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THE GROUP:

STUDENTS ARCC groups are made up of 8 to 12 students, which provides an intimate group environment for travel, service, immersion, and learning. Though the majority of ARCC students are recent high school graduates, our students range in age from 17–20 years old. Students on an ARCC Gap Semester are excited to be a part of the Gap experience and are ready to fully engage in all aspects of the program. Our semesters are not for students that are coming out of youth-at-risk or therapeutic programs. Groups are carefully selected to ensure compatibility over the 90-day semester and considerable effort is put into making sure that students are coming for the right reasons. Through our application process, which requires students to complete a detailed application, interview with a Gap Director, and provide two outside references, we can ensure that students on ARCC Gap Programs are there for all the right reasons.

“My advice to any person considering a gap year is to DO IT. But not only that, do it with ARCC. I am lucky to say that I have not only grown to have two new mentors, but also thirteen new lifetime friends.” EMILY M., DECATUR, GA, UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA ‘21

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THE GROUP:

INSTRUCTORS

EXCEPTIONAL LEADERSHIP ARCC Gap Instructors are exceptional individuals. They average 27 years old and have experience ranging from service with the Peace Corps, to teaching full time in a high school, to a graduate degree in international development, to an extensive resume of leading international programs. All of our instructors have a shared commonality: an enthusiastic character with a love for teaching young adults about global issues. Each semester is led by one male and one female instructor. In addition, we also enlist professional outfitters for our adventure activities such as rafting, surfing, and SCUBA diving. EXTREMELY SELECTIVE HIRING PROCESS ARCC’s outstanding reputation in the industry brings us hundreds of staff applications each year. We take careful steps to ensure we hire instructors with extraordinary character and experience. Most Gap Instructors are selected from our talented summer leader pool. In addition, all instructors pass rigorous background checks in order to work for ARCC. EXTENSIVE TRAINING CURRICULUM Every ARCC instructor has training in emergency wilderness medicine (WFR certified­—80 hours) or EMTs (120 hours). In addition to the multitude of experiences our instructors bring to ARCC, all instructors, new and returning, are required to attend our fifteen-day intensive staff training focusing on trip safety, group dynamics, logistics, leadership, communications, protocols, and emergency procedures making them some of the most well-rounded instructors in the industry.

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IN OUR INSTRUCTORS’ WORDS...

PROGRAMS LED: Asia Gap, Thailand and California Summer BA in Neuroscience and Religion, Middlebury College

“I believe there are common lessons that are important on a gap semester, such as humility towards other cultures, a stronger sense of independence, awareness of the nuances of doing service, and a sense of global responsibility. My hope for my students is that they’re able to interact with local people in a meaningful way and realize that, while life for a Cambodian person is very different than what we’re used to, those differences are contextualized by the humanity we all share.”

“The Instructors took care of every detail, provided guidance but allowed for just the right amount of independence too. They were outstanding role models and extremely gifted at team building. Top notch leaders.” PARENTS OF GRACE L., PACIFIC PALISADES, CA, MIDDLEBURY ‘19

PROGRAMS LED: Latin America Gap, Asia Gap, Thailand, Costa Rica and Cuba Summer BA in Spanish and International Business, University of Tennessee MA in Education; University of Tennessee

“I strive to give my students insight into a little bit of everything: a new perspective on education outside of the US, the current condition of public health in the world, the importance of conser ving our natural resources, and the interconnectedness of world economies. The beautiful thing about Gap programs is that we find balance between learning about global issues while engaging with nature through hands-on projects and outdoor recreation.”

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“My perspective broadened every day with all the things I learned on Africa Gap. The program reignited my academic curiosity and made me genuinely excited to continue to learn in college. Go on Africa Gap and completely change your life!” ABBY F., NATICK, MA, WILLIAMS COLLEGE ‘21

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he Africa Gap Semester explores the majesty, cultures, and challenges of three East African nations: Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. Take

advantage of our unparalleled access and gain a unique education on this fascinating expanse of Africa. See the eager smiling faces in a Masai primary school as you teach English in an overcrowded classroom. Tromp through the equatorial rainforest tracking rhinos with wildlife biologists. Meet with leaders from an all-women’s co-op designed to bring personal and financial independence. Witness the migration of millions of animals crossing the savanna of the Masai Mara at sunrise, one of life’s unforgettable moments. Build a soccer field hand-in-hand with local players, converting a dirt lot into a community centerpiece. Never again will you look at education in quite the same way!

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS •

Work at a Rhino Sanctuary to Assist in Protecting Africa’s Sacred Animal

Study Education by Living with Students at Kenya’s First Free All-Female Secondary School

Whitewater Raft the Exhilarating Nile River

Construct and Install Solar Power Systems into Rural Tanzanian Homes

Shadow Nurses in a Masai Health Clinic to Learn Traditional Medicine

Search for the “Big Five” while on Safari in Masai Mara National Park

AFRICA GAP SEMESTER PROGRAM DETAILS:

UGANDA TANZANIA

AT L A N T I C OCEAN

KENYA

Number of Days: 90

Dates: September 15 – December 13

Start Location: San Francisco

End Location: San Francisco

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Tuition: $13,500

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“In 90 days I learned more about myself and the world than I thought I was capable of. I am so much more well-rounded, and my knowledge of the world has blossomed in a way that will remain open forever. It has pushed me to become a better person. This was the best decision I have ever made.” ALLEGRA B., WASHINGTON, DC, SKIDMORE ‘19

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eave the traditional classroom far behind, as we journey to the heart of China, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. The Asia Gap Semester

is a unique blend of education, service and exploration of these intriguing and ancient cultures. Partner with local mahouts and biologists at a Thai Elephant Rehabilitation Center and understand the true value of conservation. Meet with village leaders to learn how their community thrives in an increasingly globalized world. Learn about efforts to combat human trafficking, starting with education and income generating opportunities. Get your hands dirty building bio-sand clean water filters for rural Cambodian villages. Share laughter with Vietnamese children affected by Agent Orange and feel how service transcends boundaries. Throughout three months abroad discover the many lessons this fascinating corner of the world can teach us.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS •

Teach English in a Chinese High School While Living in a Homestay

Watch the Sunset and Sunrise from your Tent on the Great Wall of China

Install Clean Water Filters in Rural Homes in Cambodia

Examine the Effects of Agent Orange by Working with Youth at a Village Outside of Hanoi

Become SCUBA Certified on the Thai Island of Koh Tao

PROGRAM DETAILS: Number of Days: 90

Dates: September 15 – December 13 February 13 – May 12

Start Location: San Francisco

End Location: San Francisco

Tuition: $13,500

CHINA

THAILAND

VIETNAM CAMBODIA

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“This semester has made me aware of so many global issues I didn’t know about. The leaders are so passionate about the topics and it encourages you to have more valuable table conversations. Because of this program I feel more motivated to learn.” DANA A., DOYLESTOWN, PA, PITZER ’20

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mbark on the journey of a lifetime as we experience the rich cultures, ancient histories, and indefatigable energy of India and Nepal. Live

amidst the rugged Indian Himalayas as we join an NGO working to reform the Ladakhi education system. Trek along the mystical mountain trails of Annapurna in the Nepali Himalayas. Partner with an organization providing health care and resources to migrant workers in a Kathmandu slum. Rise early from an Ashram for morning yoga, then lead classes on nutrition and facilitate English conversation with local schoolchildren. Build clean water filters in a rural Nepali village and witness the immediate effects of our hard work. After living in and exploring two of the world’s most fascinating cultures, leave your semester with broadened perspectives and a new fascination for this part of the world.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS •

Build and Install Clean Water Systems in Rural Nepal

Ride a Camel on a Multi-Day Trek in the Thar Desert & Surf Goa’s Beginner Breaks

Watch the Sun Rise over the WorldRenowned Taj Mahal

Settle into Daily Life in a Homestay in the Indian Himalayas

Trek the Peaks and Valleys of Nepal’s Annapurna Mountain Range

PROGRAM DETAILS: NEPAL

INDIA

Number of Days: 90

Dates: September 15 – December 13

Start Location: San Francisco

End Location: San Francisco

Tuition: $13,500

ARABIAN SEA

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“My experiences in Costa Rica, Ecuador and Peru will be carried with me throughout the rest of my life and I know that I am returning to the U.S. a better, more determined person.” EMILY M. LOVELAND, OH, UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA, ’21

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dventure and education collide during this three-month journey through the lush jungles, dizzying heights and breathtaking coasts of

Costa Rica, Ecuador and Peru. ARCC’s 20 year history of exploration and service in Latin America opens doors unimagined by the casual traveler. Tuck yourself away in a remote mountain village in Costa Rica and discover the simplicity of “Pura Vida.” Partner with local biologists on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast, and witness the impact of human population on endangered sea turtles. Navigate Ecuador’s Amazon jungle by canoe and explore the effects of mining. Discover the ancient city of Peru’s Machu Picchu treading in the footsteps of the Incas. The rich and unforgettable experiences of the Latin America Gap Semester gives us unique insight into this fascinating part of the world.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS •

Help Protect Sea Turtles Coming Ashore to Lay their Eggs

Surf the Waves of Costa Rica’s Stunning Pacific Coast

Walk in the Footsteps of the Incas and Explore the Ancient Ruins of Machu Picchu

Facilitate Nutrition Education to Communities on the Shores of Lake Titicaca

Explore the Effects Mining is Having on the Ecuadorian Amazon

PROGRAM DETAILS: COSTA RICA

Number of Days: 90

Dates: September 15 – December 13

Start Location: San Francisco

End Location: San Francisco

Tuition: $13,500

ECUADOR PERU

SOUTH PA C I F I C OCEAN

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SOUTH AT L A N T I C OCEAN

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“This semester will change your life. Period. I learned more in these 3 months than I ever have in school and I feel more prepared to enter college. The world is a big place, and ARCC will help you be exposed to it in the best of ways.” TEDDY F., HERMOSA BEACH, BOSTON UNIVERSITY ’19

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ourney from the jagged spires of Patagonia to the magical and timeworn island of Cuba. Taking advantage of our unparalleled access, we delve

into conservation efforts through the study of local fisheries and by examining the contentious debate on hydroelectric dams. We learn about the Gauchos and their fight to protect their traditions and lands and we trek through some of Patagonia’s most spectacular terrain. Traveling to the Caribbean shores of Cuba we encounter a nation ready to enter the 21st century. We view history in the making as we refurbish local schools and teach English to eager students, before basking in the crystal clear waters off white sand beaches. We conclude this unique experience in the salsa-filled streets of La Habana. After experiencing two of the world’s most fascinating places, we return home with broader perspectives and a new passion to learn.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

SOUTH PA C I F I C OCEAN

Work in the World-Famous Parque Patagonia Alongside Conservation Experts

Teach English to Eager School Children in a Rural Chilean School

Trek in the Shadows of the Towering Peaks and Glacier of Torres del Paine

Deliver Food by Horse and Buggy to Cuba’s Elderly and Shut In Community

Experience Havana’s Energy, a City Bursting With Music, Dance and Great Food

PROGRAM DETAILS:

CUBA

SOUTH AT L A N T I C OCEAN

Chile

Number of Days: 90

Dates: February 13 – May 12

Start Location: San Francisco

End Location: Miami

Tuition: $13,500

PATAGONIA

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“ARCC has changed me in ways unimaginable and has made me mature in almost every aspect of my life. Through this experience I have gained a new family and now have 13 brothers and sisters that I will stay in contact with ‘til the day I die. I don’t know any other way I would have liked to spend this semester.” CONNOR L., PARMA, OH, OHIO UNIVERSITY ‘20

“Choosing ARCC Gap has been one of the best choices of my life. I’ve been able to see and experience countless incredible things I would have missed otherwise, make lifelong friendships with my group, and I’ve become a more globally aware individual.” CAMERON D., HIGHLANDS RANCH, CO, UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING ‘19

“It is clear to us that you have given the program so much thought — the kids are so obviously both learning and enjoying themselves, meeting fantastic new people and acquiring great skills. I am so pleased that Franny has had this experience!!” PARENT OF FRANNY E., NORTHAMPTON, MA, MOUNT HOLYOKE ‘20

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“This trip has proven to be a life-altering experience for me. It’s helped me to develop more individuality while simultaneously learning to work better in groups. I never would have been presented with these unforgettable adventures through any other platform.” CYRUS K., DANVILLE, CA, UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO ‘20

“Loved the program—it is transformative for these young adults and gives them strength within a very competitive world.” PARENT OF ANDREA S., WASHINGTON, DC, QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY ‘21

“Thank you, thank you, thank you for arranging such an amazing program. A true lifetime experience!” PARENT OF MACKENZIE B., HOLLIS, NH, GEORGE WASHINGTON ‘21

“Maayan sees herself as part of a bigger world and more responsible for others. She is very proud of what the group did in Africa and truly feels like she can make a difference in this world.” PARENT OF MAAYAN L., BROOKLINE, MA, BOSTON UNIVERSITY ‘20

“Learning about global issues in a classroom is nothing in comparison to actually experiencing them. Throughout this Semester, I have found myself awestruck by seeing the lack of education for children and adults, the lack of the accountability the US has taken for the use of Agent Orange, and the endless disadvantages women face in the world. Being here has added emotion and purpose to learning, and I cannot imagine starting my college life any other way.” TEDDY F., HERMOSA BEACH, CA, BOSTON UNIVERSITY ‘19

“If you are considering a Gap Year, take one. If a Gap Year has never crossed your mind, take one. It’s the best decision I’ve ever made.” MAIREAD K., MILWAUKEE, WI, DENISON UNIVERSITY ‘19

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FEATURED STUDENT

ADVICE FOR FUTURE STUDENTS…

COHASSET, MA | ARCC GAP AFRICA WAKE FOREST ‘21

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO TAKE A GAP YEAR?

I decided to take a Gap Year early on in my senior year for many reasons: I wasn’t extremely enthused about the prospect of going to school the next year because I was feeling burnt out from the past 18 years in school, I have always loved to travel and saw this year as an amazing opportunity to see the world debt-free, and, honestly, I don’t know why everyone wouldn’t want to take a gap year! FAVORITE ARCC MEMORY

My favorite ARCC memories are some of the silly games we played throughout our whole trip. My favorite is called squirrel and when someone shouts out “squirrel” everyone has to get in a position where your feet are off the ground. On our final feast dinner I yelled out squirrel as we were walking to the table and we all perched on chairs and grabbed onto poles. The whole restaurant was looking at us like we were crazy. HOW HAS YOUR ARCC EXPERIENCE INSPIRED YOU?

I’m way more excited about attending college and learning than I thought I was going to be. I learned so much on my semester by experiencing and observing and I’m excited to get back into the classroom.

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My advice is to take a Gap Year and do it with ARCC because it will change your life! But in all honesty, I was so happy that I chose ARCC especially for my first semester. I think my advice would be to do a program like ARCC in the fall if you choose to take a gap year and do something more independent in the spring. I am so happy I had structure and guaranteed friendships in the fall as all of my friends headed into college. Now I am definitely ready to be more independent and next semester I’m going to Spain on my own to walk the Camino de Santiago. I think a huge part of my year will be embracing that independence and figuring things out on my own for once. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO TAKE YOUR SEMESTER WITH ARCC?

I went to the gap fair in my area and picked up a ton of packets and talked to a lot of programs. In the end I chose ARCC because they were the most organized and ethical company I talked to. After watching their online webinar which compared their gap programs, I was sold on going to Africa because I think the projects they do there are incredible and it’s a region of the world that’s hard to travel to on your own. HOW DID YOUR INSTRUCTORS INSPIRE YOU?

My instructors were amazing leaders and friends and I am so lucky to have them as role models and people to talk to in the future. Throughout the semester they initiated conversations that significantly changed my way of thinking. I’m also really inspired by their life paths and they’ve made me question a lot about what I want to do in my post-college years.


FEATURED STUDENT

SAN RAFAEL, CA | ARCC GAP ASIA BROWN UNIVERSITY ‘21

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO TAKE A GAP YEAR?

I decided to pursue a gap year after a rewarding but grueling high school experience in which I felt limited by my daily routine and the classroom environment. I also felt that I would benefit from a change in scenery and new perspective. In my Gap Year I wanted to challenge myself to pursue new experiences, relationships and passions, and to take a step back, take a deep breath and do some self discovery. FAVORITE ARCC MEMORY

One evening, while exploring a beach in western Cambodia, a few of us in the group waded out under the stars along a sandbar. The water remained only about hip deep for at least a hundred yards, and the moon hung low along the horizon. Looking around us, we saw the water glittering with bioluminescent plankton. Stunned by this development, we shouted back to the rest of the group to come and see. We spent the better part of an hour floating in phosphorescent water under the Cambodian sky. Undoubtedly, that fleeting experience is one I will never forget. HOW HAS YOUR ARCC EXPERIENCE INSPIRED YOU?

My time with ARCC has inspired me in innumerable ways, some of which I’m still discovering as time goes

on. Firstly, I found a good deal of satisfaction in, say, reading an article from ARCC’s course reader before traveling to Angkor Wat, knowing that I would soon have the opportunity to supplement my intellectual understanding of the place with a visceral real world experience. Additionally, the people with whom I spent my 90 days illuminated so many new perspectives and opinions, and have ultimately given me a lot of comfort by demonstrating that there are other like-minded individuals who felt drawn to pursue a gap year as well. ADVICE FOR FUTURE STUDENTS…

I would emphasize that the nerves you likely feel while considering a gap semester are as natural as they are constructive: in the context of branching out and seeking new experiences, the butterflies are a sign that you’re doing something right. I would say that it is imperative to be able to lean into discomfort and absorb new situations with an open mind. Never say no when faced with a choice between your comfort zone and a novel, challenging situation. To summarize a quote from my leader, you either have a good time or a good story. HOW MY INSTRUCTORS INSPIRED ME:

Both of my instructors inspired me with their unflagging authenticity and determination to provide us with the best experience possible. Luke, for example, always encouraged self-awareness and curiosity, and somehow managed to always find a quote to perfectly suit the moment. Erin provided a constant source of positivity and enthusiasm, while also keeping us grounded in our experiences. Most of all, I valued the way in which they encouraged us to embody these traits not by verbal suggestion, but by the simple power of modeling the traits themselves.

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SAFETY ARCC’s safety record is impeccable and is simply unmatched. In 34 years of operation, no ARCC student has ever suffered an injury requiring an overnight hospital stay. Considering that we have had many tens of thousands of students participate in our programs, we are extremely proud that our commitment to safety has produced such enviable results. Some very important reasons for this extraordinary safety record are: WELL-PLANNED PROGRAMS, LEAVING LITTLE TO CHANCE Almost every minute of every day of our programs is planned in advance. Activities, meals, service projects, transportation, etc. are organized by our experienced office staff up to a year in advance of the departure date of any program. This way, we are able to arm our instructors with an extremely well planned and detailed itinerary, which allows them to better focus on the well being of their students, which in turn leads to safer programs. ALL ARCC INSTRUCTORS HAVE AT LEAST 80 HOURS OF FIRST AID TRAINING (WFR) Prior to leading programs for ARCC, all instructors are required to go through an 80 hour/10 day intensive first aid course (WFR) as well as an additional 15 days of staff training and trip preparation. While these first aid skills are rarely used for more than scrapes, bruises, and blisters, we’ve found that this level of medical training ensures that our instructors are extremely proactive in any environments that have safety implications. By being proactive, we can generally avoid most potentially dangerous situations. Our impeccable safety record suggests that our instructors have been successful in these efforts. WE HIRE SMART, EXPERIENCED, AND MATURE INSTRUCTORS TO OPERATE OUR PROGRAMS A typical instructor is 27 years old and has considerable trip leading experience and experience working with teenagers. We hire instructors who make intelligent decisions on behalf of our students and our organization. This maturity and experience is critical to operating a safe and successful program. ARCC believes strongly in being proactive about the safety of our students which is why we have a philosophy of “Safety First” in whatever we do. Whether designing our trip itineraries, hiring our staff, choosing our locations, selecting outfitters, or developing protocols, our first consideration is always for the safety of our students and our unblemished safety record suggests we are doing things right.

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FINANCIAL AID Choosing to do an ARCC Gap Semester is a big decision and we’re glad you’re considering us! The semester you take with us is no doubt going to be a life changing one full of new cultures, friends, experiences and accomplishments. As you prepare, something we don’t want you to be discouraged by is the price tag that accompanies a Gap Semester. It’s going to take some hard work, persistence and creative thinking, but you can raise the funds you need to take what will undoubtedly be the best semester or year of your life. Typically students fund their Gap Semesters through a mixture of working, fundraising and asking for scholarships. We find that students who contribute financially to their Gap Year experience are some of our most successful students, taking ownership and bringing a commitment to make their Gap experience the best it can be. ARCC offers need-based financial scholarships. Each year ARCC gives approximately $75,000 in financial aid to qualified students with need. Please contact us for more information on our financial aid program. Please know that aid is awarded based on need, program availability, and overall aid available.

ACADEMIC CREDIT ARCC Gap students have the option to earn up to 20-quarter hours of college credit through the Northwestern Association of Schools and Colleges. These credits are widely accepted throughout the country at both public universi­ties and private institutions. Please call the ARCC office to learn more.

415.332.5075

ARCCPROGRAMS.COM

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SEMESTER PROGRAMS TUITION*

LENGTH

START/END LOCATION

Africa

$13,500

90 days

Asia

$13,500

India/Nepal

2017 – 2018 DATES

GRADES

San Francisco

September 15 – December 13

High School Graduates

90 days

San Francisco

September 15 – December 13 or February 13 – May 12

High School Graduates

$13,500

90 days

San Francisco

September 15 – December 13

High School Graduates

Latin America

$13,500

90 days

San Francisco

September 15 – December 13

High School Graduates

Patagonia/Cuba

$13,500

90 days

San Francisco/Miami

February 13 – May 12

High School Graduates

* Airfare for international group flights additional

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READY FOR ARCC GAP?

SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION REQUEST Visit arccgap.com and click on “Enroll Now.” Applications are processed on a first come, first served basis. Programs do fill, so we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible.

CONFIRM YOUR SPACE WITH A DEPOSIT Once we receive your application, we will contact you to confirm space is available and take a deposit. An $800 deposit is required to secure your space and is applied to the full tuition of the program.

SUBMIT THE DETAILED APPLICATION AND TWO REFERENCES After you’ve completed steps 1 and 2 you will be given access to ARCC’s Detailed Gap Application. Included in this detailed application are a series of short answer questions, as well as two reference forms, one based on character, the other on academics.

INTERVIEW WITH A GAP DIRECTOR Upon submission of your application and references a Gap Director will contact you to set up an interview. This Admissions Interview will be done either in person or via Skype.

FINAL DECISION Within two weeks of your interview an ARCC Gap Director will notify you of final acceptance.

ARCC’S EXPECTATIONS: While there is no experience necessary to participate in an ARCC program, there are some critical attributes that we expect of all ARCC participants. We expect students to maintain high standards of personal behavior. A successful ARCC program requires participants to have a positive and unselfish attitude on the trip as well as an open mind and flexibility. ARCC programs are ‘hard workhard play.’ We hope everyone will actively commit to all the program’s activities, as teamwork is often required for the experience to be successful. ARCC does not tolerate the possession or use of tobacco products, illegal drugs or alcohol. Any student found possessing or engaging

in one of these activities will be sent home immediately at their own expense and without refund. We take great pride in creating the best possible program itineraries. The descriptions of the programs provided in this catalog and on our website represent our plans as we make them. However certain aspects of the program or itinerary may not happen exactly as described. Service projects can change based on the needs of the communities, schools, non-profits, NGOs and other organizations. To get the most out of an ARCC experience, participants need to be flexible and open to changes.

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242 REDWOOD HIGHWAY MILL VALLEY, CA 94941

ARCCPROGRAMS.COM 415.332.5075

Front Cover Photo: Claire Golder


ARCC Gap Programs 2017 Program Catalog