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The only free comprehensive guide to Gap Year Programs! Why consider a gap year? Calendar of 2011-2012 USA Gap Year Fairs


Live with families around the world. Learn and work with experts in the field. Study development issues. Educate and motivate others.

16 students, 3 teachers, 8 countries. Apply. Learn. Be the Change.

Presenting TeenLife’s 2012 Guide to Gap Year Programs! The only free comprehensive resource of its kind.

ith rave reviews from parents, students, and educators about the informative content in our “gap guide” last year, my staff and I are so proud to unveil our latest Guide to Gap Year Programs! This year’s guide is even bigger and better! Not only will you find even more gap year program listings and beautiful photography, but you will also find more in-depth information on what it actually means for students to take a gap year and its benefits. Contributing writers Robin Pendoley and Kathy Cheng do a wonderful job of outlining some of the most important things to consider when selecting a gap year program in “The Gap Year—The Newest Addition to Higher Education” on page 7. We also have an insightful article from Bob Claggett, former Dean of Admissions at Middlebury College. He was quoted in Time Magazine as saying that taking a gap year was the single best indicator for success of the students on his campus—and that gap year students widely report being more focused, driven, and directed during their college years. In fact, we have three student profiles about teens who can vouch for what Bob is saying. Each teen highlights how their past gap year experiences helped shape their future college goals.

Marie Schwartz, President & Founder, TeenLife Media, LLC

We encourage you to attend one of the 28 USA Gap Year Fairs close to you (see pages 5-6). And don't forget to go to our site,, to view over 300+ gap year programs and to sign up for our e-newsletter and announcements of our new digital guides.


2012 Guide to Gap Year Programs Marie Schwartz President & Founder Marketing & Sales Cara Ferragamo Murray Vice President of Marketing & Sales

Operations Ellie Boynton Vice President of Operations

Camille Heidebrecht Director of Marketing & Managing Editor Editorial Robin Pendoley, Kathy Cheng, Robert Clagett, and Jan Devereux Contributing Writers Anh-Thu Huynh Manager of Operations & Customer Service Art & Production Kathryn Tilton Designer Sales Amy Barnett Account Executive • Jeanne Kelley Account Executive • Cindy Tessman Account Executive •

Students trekking in Peru with Global Routes. See listing on page 17, ad on page 10.

Join at Now! Published by

Limit of Liability

TeenLife Media, LLC 1330 Beacon St., Suite 268 Brookline, MA 02446 (617) 277-5120

TeenLife Media, LLC (TL) takes no responsibility for any of the descriptions of the various programs listed. TL is not familiar with all of the organizations listed. We edit the descriptions only to achieve a consistent format. TL presents all descriptions without any warranty of any kind, express or implied. TL is not responsible for the accuracy of any description, or for mistakes, errors, or omissions of any kind, and is not responsible for any loss or damage caused by a user’s reliance on the information contained in this guide. All the information contained herein is subject to change without notice, and readers are advised to confirm all information about an organization and obtain references before making any commitments.

Copyright © 2011 by TeenLife Media, LLC Brookline, Massachusetts Published by TeenLife Media, LLC Brookline, Massachusetts

Trademarks: TeenLife Media, LLC and related trade dress are trademarks or registered trademarks of TeenLife and/or its affiliates in the United States and may not be used without written permission.

Table of Contents 5



The Gap Year— The Newest Addition to Higher Education

Attend a USA Gap Year Fair at a location near you.

Gap year experts provide meaningful tips when researching gap year programs.


GAP YEAR PROGRAMS 11 Academic 14 Adventure/Trips 15 Arts 17 Community Service 23 Environmental Conservation 29 Internship & Work Experience 29 Special Interest 30 Travel/Culture 33 Gap Year Advisor

Student with Up with People reads to a group of children in the Philippines during a community impact day. See listing on page 15, ad on page 16.


Student Voice

Viktoria Low highlights how her gap year program at sea shaped her life.


About TeenLife


Making the Case for a Gap Year


Student Voice


Student Voice


Advertiser resource page


Checklist of Gap Year Must-Haves



Former Dean of Admissions encourages students to take a gap year before college.

Amanda Carnahan shares what inspired her most during her gap year.

Things you shouldn’t forget when traveling on a gap year.

Find out more about what we offer and how to register on our site.

Zander Rounds describes his unique eight-month gap year adventure.

Find out more information on the advertisers in this guide.

Featured Listings

Cover Photo: Thinking Beyond Borders student playing with children in South Africa.

Visit a USA Gap Year Fair Near You! Once again, Dynamy Internship Year and Thinking Beyond Borders have teamed up to bring you 28 USA Gap Year Fairs across the country. These events showcase a wide variety of gap year organizations and programs. New this year! Every Gap Year Fair will kick off with a Speaker Presentation one half-hour before the fair. Speakers include a combination of gap year consultants, authors, and experts. Topics include: gap year planning, the pros and cons of taking a gap year, and how gap year experiences impact college. For complete information and fair times, go to

November 2011


Thursday, 11/10 6:30-7:00 p.m. Speaker 7:00-9:00 p.m. Fair South Burlington High School Burlington, VT

Thursday, 1/12 5:00-5:30 p.m. Speaker 5:30-7:30 p.m. Fair Pace Academy Atlanta, GA

Sunday, 11/13 12:30-1:00 p.m. Speaker 1:00-4:00 p.m. Fair Noble and Greenough School Dedham, MA

Tuesday, 1/17 7:00-7:30 p.m. Speaker 7:30-9:00 p.m. Fair Providence Day School Charlotte, NC

Tuesday, 11/15 5:30-6:00 p.m. Speaker 6:00-8:00 p.m. Fair Oyster River High School Durham, NH

Wednesday, 1/18 6:30-7:00 p.m. Speaker 7:00-9:00 p.m. Fair Marshall High School Falls Church, VA

Wednesday, 11/16 6:00-6:30 p.m. Speaker 6:30-8:30 p.m. Fair Cape Elizabeth High School Cape Elizabeth, ME

Thursday, 1/19 6:00-6:30 p.m. Speaker 6:30-8:30 p.m. Fair Thomas S. Wootton School Rockville, MD

Thursday, 11/17 4:00-4:30 p.m. Speaker 4:30-6:30 p.m. Fair Hanover High School Hanover, NH

Saturday, 1/21 12:00-12:30 p.m. Speaker 12:30-3:30 p.m. Fair Sidwell Friends School Washington, D.C.

Look for this symbol throughout the guide which indicates keystone exhibitors who will be at each USA Gap Year Fair.

Sunday, 1/22 12:00-12:30 p.m. Speaker 12:30-3:00 p.m. Fair Phillips Academy Andover, MA Saturday, 1/28 12:00-1:00 p.m. Speaker 1:00-4:00 p.m. Fair New Trier High School Winnetka, IL Sunday, 1/29 1:00-1:30 p.m. Speaker 1:30-3:30 p.m. Fair Groves Academy St. Louis Park, MN

February 2012 Thursday, 2/2 6:00-6:30 p.m. Speaker 6:30-8:00 p.m. Fair The Met (Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center) Providence, RI Tuesday, 2/7 7:00-7:30 p.m. Speaker 7:30-9:30 p.m. Fair Solomon Schechter School of Westchester Scarsdale, NY Continued on page 6

Wednesday, 2/8 6:30-7:00 p.m. Speaker 7:00-8:30 p.m. Fair Bristow Middle School Hartford, CT

Saturday, 2/18 1:00-1:30 p.m. Speaker 1:30-4:00 p.m. Fair Denver Academy Denver, CO

Thursday, 2/9 6:30-7:00 p.m. Speaker 7:00-9:00 p.m. Fair Darien High School Darien, CT

Saturday, 2/25 12:30-1:00 p.m. Speaker 1:00-3:00 p.m. Fair Vistamar School El Segundo, CA

Friday, 2/10 6:00-6:30 p.m. Speaker 6:30-8:30 p.m. Fair The Hewitt School New York, NY

Tuesday, 2/28 6:30-7:00 p.m. Speaker 7:00-9:00 p.m. Fair Francis Parker School San Diego, CA

Saturday, 2/11 12:30-1:00 p.m. Speaker 1:00-3:00 p.m. Fair The Dwight School Manhattan, NY

CESA Languages Abroad

Sunday, 2/12 1:00-1:30 p.m. Speaker 1:30-3:30 p.m. Fair The Northwest School Seattle, WA Wednesday, 2/15 6:00-6:30 p.m. Speaker 6:30-8:30 p.m. Fair Lincoln High School Portland, OR Thursday, 2/16 6:00-6:30 p.m. Speaker 6:30-8:30 p.m. Fair Peak to Peak Charter School Lafayette, CO

Gap Year language courses Travel & learn a new language! Visit us now at:

Spanish | French | Italian | German | Portuguese | Russian | Japanese | Chinese | Greek | Arabic

March 2012 Thursday, 3/1 6:00-6:30 p.m. Speaker 6:30-8:30 p.m. Fair Sir Francis Drake High School San Anselmo, CA Friday, 3/2 4:00-4:30 p.m. Speaker 4:30-7:30 p.m. Fair Los Altos High School Los Altos, CA Sunday, 3/4 1:00-1:30 p.m. Speaker 1:30-3:30 p.m. Fair Jewish Community High School of the Bay San Francisco, CA

New! Each Fair kicks off with a Speaker Presentation.

The Gap Year—The Newest Addition to Higher Education By Robin Pendoley and Kathy Cheng

ap years are not the norm—not yet, anyway. But this number is growing exponentially as more and more parents and students are recognizing the incredible growth, learning, and focus that other students have gained from taking a gap year. High school guidance and college admissions counselors are also seeing a gap year as a critical preparatory phase for even the highest achieving students. Educators highlight the benefit of concrete, real world experience as an exceptional foundation for four years of college study. While it may feel like a risk to step outside of the norm, take comfort in knowing that the best schools in the country—both at the high school and college level— are now encouraging students and families to consider a gap year. Below are the essential benefits, options, and opportunities you’ll need to know about as you plan a gap year for your teen. What is a gap year? A “gap year” is typically a period between completing high school and beginning college. It may be either a semester or a full year away from traditional classroom studies. While there are countless reasons to consider a gap year, the most important is that gap year students are generally better prepared for college. A well-structured gap year allows students to develop personal and social maturity, academic focus, and a sense of direction. With studies showing that 33% of college students drop out before graduation, it is clear that this type of learning experience can be crucial.

When it comes to shaping your gap year, there are a variety of program types to choose from, including academic programs, working or interning in a field of interest, volunteering, pursuing athletics, or traveling. All provide students with great opportunities to: • Gain “real world” perspective and direction that give the college years meaning and purpose. • Develop maturity and independence by joining professional communities as a volunteer or employee. • Attain a deeper understanding of our local and global society that traditional schooling rarely provides. • Pursue various fields of interest to test or define a career path. Is a Gap Year Right for Me? Every high school senior should consider a gap year; the benefits listed above make a good case for it. Let’s take a moment to dispel the myths that stop some from looking at gap year options: 1. They are too expensive. Gap year opportunities range from those that cost the same as a year of college to those that will pay a stipend and an education award to participants. Everyone can find a way to make a gap year affordable. 2. They are only for students who aren’t ready for college. Programs and individual options vary greatly, offering opportunities for essential learning and growth for all types of students. 3. There is a strong risk that students won’t go back to school. Experts with decades of experience in the field estimate that over 95% of gap year students who were on a college track go back to school immediately following their time away from the classroom. THE TEENLIFE 2012 GUIDE TO GAP YEAR PROGRAMS | 7

Have you ever...

...siPPed tea witH a tibetan


...danced witH a masai


How to choose? Once you have a sense of the options available, it’s time to narrow the field. Answering the following questions will help you hone in on the best fit: • How Long? Program options are a few weeks to eight months. While some students want to experience a diverse year with lots of different activities, others choose a more in-depth experience from a single program. • International or Domestic? International opportunities range from university learning to service programs. Domestically, there are options offering students a chance to live, work, study, and volunteer in different communities. • Group or Individualized? It is important to consider who will serve as the student’s support system while away from home. Group programs offer a peer community, focus, and support from well-trained program leaders, while individualized programs offer more freedom for the student. • Service or Learning? If service is the goal, make sure the program’s work aligns with the contribution the student hopes to make. • Price Range? Finding your ideal gap year program that fits within your price range may require some flexibility. Just remember that there are affordable options for every budget.

gaP semester Programs




Kenya, tanzania, uganda

Latin america

cHiLe, costa rica, ecuador, Peru


cHina, tHaiLand, tibet 1-800-767-2722

Is a Gap Year a Good Investment? With the cost of college rising nearly every day, a gap year is an excellent investment for any student’s education. Consider the following: • Gap Years Can Help Pay for College There are a number of gap year options that will pay students both a living stipend and an education award. City Year and AmeriCorps provide a range of service learning opportunities in communities around the U.S. A year of service is rewarded with a modest living stipend and a $5,500 Segal AmeriCorps Education Award to be applied toward college tuition. Many colleges around the country will augment that award, sometimes even doubling or tripling its value. • Gap Year Students Get More Out of College Gap year students widely report being more focused, driven, and directed during their college years. Investing in a gap year may be the best way to ensure the money invested in college tuition will be well spent.

How much should I spend? While money is an important factor when comparing programs, it’s important to not let it limit your search. Ultimately, you want to find a program that is both affordable and the right fit. Here are some things to think about when evaluating the cost of a program: • You Get What You Pay For When looking at the cost of a program, carefully consider group size, safety, support services, itinerary details, quality of experience, and learning opportunities. • College Credit = $ Some organizations offer college credit for successful completion of their gap year program. It is important to check with your university prior to your program to determine if those credits will transfer. If accepted, the credits earned may satisfy general education requirements, shortening your time on campus and reducing tuition costs. Additionally, accredited programs are often eligible for traditional college scholarships. • Scholarships and Financial Aid Many programs offer scholarships and financial aid. Scholarships can range from a few hundred dollars to enough funds to cover all costs of participating. Some programs will assist students in raising funds on their own. Additionally, organizations like Rotary International provide scholarships for student exchange. • Earn Your Keep Plan ahead and schedule time over weekends, summers, or holidays to work and earn money to put toward the cost of your gap year. Some students choose to spend the first few months of their gap year working full time locally to finance programs or travel later in the year. Virtually every student can benefit from a gap year. All it takes is some planning, legwork, and flexibility to make it happen.

Robin Pendoley is Co-Founder & CEO of Thinking Beyond Borders (, an educational gap year program. Kathy Cheng is Director of Admissions of Dynamy Internship Year (, an experiential learning gap year program. The USA Gap Year Fairs organization and events are a collaboration of Thinking Beyond Borders and Dynamy Internship Year.

Cheshire Academy College Preparatory and Postgraduate Program

Our college counselors help you find the “right fit” college. They get to know you as a person, advise you about courses, and guide you through the SATs. You’ll attend the college counseling course and the college fair, which draws admission officers from more than 100 colleges. At every step of the application process, you’ll have the help you need. And when you receive your decision letters, the counselors help you decide which college to attend. • Teacher/student ratio: 7/1 • Average class size: 12 2011 college placements include: • Bates College • Carnegie Mellon University • Georgetown University • Johns Hopkins University • New York University • University of California at Berkeley

Cheshire, Connecticut • Admission Office: 203-439-7250 Download our postgraduate brochure at under “Publications”

Gap Year Programs Gap Year Programs challenge students through study, service, travel, and cultural exchange. Although every Gap Year Program is different, each promotes self-exploration and personal growth, which often leads to clearer direction for college studies. They can be academic or special interest, but most importantly, gap year programs teach through experience rather than in a typical classroom setting. From experiencing different cultures, studying community development, or diving into environmental issues— to learning how to be entrepreneurial, understanding religion, or excelling in sports, music, or fine arts, there are literally hundreds of structured gap year programs worldwide!

Academic Aspire by API: Gap Year Abroad Programs Aspire by API provides comprehensive gap year abroad programs for recent high school grads. Their language and cultural immersion programs provide students with opportunities to learn and develop global skills in an exciting, enriching, and safe setting. Location(s): France, Ireland, Spain Name: Courtney Link Phone: (512) 600-8921 Email: Address: 301 Camp Craft Road, Suite 100, Austin, TX 78746 Website:

Center For Study Abroad (CSA) Since 1990, CSA has offered low-cost academic programs worldwide that are open to all students. It’s easy to register with quick confirmation. Students can earn college credit, and have flexibility with housing, travel, and payments. Payment accepted upon arrival, or in advance. Location(s): Asia, Australia, Central America, New Zealand, South America Name: Alima K. Virtue, Program Director Phone: (206) 583-8191 Email: Address: 325 Washington Avenue South, #93, Kent, WA 98032 Website:

Teens having a blast with visitOZ: work in australia. See listing on page 29, special promotion ad page 34.



CESA Languages Abroad From beginner to advanced, or one week to a year, CESA offers a variety of language programs in quality language schools across Europe, Latin America, and more. CESA students gain a wider and richer knowledge of the vocabulary, grammar, and syntax of the language they are studying. Program Location(s): Argentina, Austria, Chile, China, Ecuador, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Morocco, Peru, Portugal, Russia, Spain Name: Katherine Brand Phone: +(44) 1209 211800 Email: Address: CESA House, Pennance Road, Lanner, CON TR16 5TQ United Kingdom Website:

Cheshire Academy Postgraduate Program Strengthen your academic profile; extend your interscholastic sports participation prior to college; and build English skills. Advisors will help create a postgraduate program that best suits your needs, including an SAT and ACT Preparation Course. Program Location(s): Cheshire, Connecticut Name: Treda Collier, Director of Admission Phone: (203) 439-7250 Email: Address: 10 Main Street, Cheshire, CT 06410 Website:

ISA Gap Year Begin your college career abroad with an ISA Gap Year program! Choose from 22 locations worldwide for a full year, semester, summer, or intensive month-long program. Explore a new culture through classes, activities, excursions, and even volunteering. Program Location(s): Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, England, France, Italy, Morocco, Panama, Peru, Spain Name: Erica Cerza Phone: (512) 474-1041 Email: Address: 1112 West Ben White Boulevard, Austin, TX 78704 Website:

Sea|mester students hoisting a sail aboard S/Y Argo while participating in the King’s Cup Regatta in Thailand. See listing on page 13, ads on pages 21 and back cover.


WWW.TEENLIFE.COM for information on:




Ocean Classroom: SEAmester College Semester Your classroom is a schooner and your campus is the sea. History, science, literature, and math take on new meaning when concepts are applied in the field. The curriculum is integrated with the journey and ports throughout the Eastern U.S. and Caribbean. Program Location(s): Eastern Seaboard, Caribbean, United States Name: Susan Hodder Phone: (207) 633-2750 Email: Address: 1 Oak Street, Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538 Website:

Sea|mester Sea|mester offers a range of unique educational adventures where our students live aboard either S/Y Ocean Star or S/Y Argo sailing from country to country. Sea|mester education programs are highly experiential and offer college-level credits. Program Location(s): Australia, Fiji, Galapagos, Italy, South Africa, Spain, Tahiti, Thailand, and the Caribbean Name: Travis Yates Phone: (941) 924-2900 Email: Address: P.O. Box 5517, Sarasota, FL 34277 Website:

Sol Abroad High School & Gap Year Programs Sol Abroad offers affordable high school study abroad, gap year, and Spanish immersion programs in Oaxaca, Mexico; Heredia and Atenas, Costa Rica; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Granada; and Spain. Students can travel with Sol Abroad for the summer, or during a semester, spring break, or winter break. Program Location(s): Argentina, Costa Rica, Mexico, Spain Name: Brent Hunter Phone: (512) 380-1003 Email: Address: P.O. Box 523, Austin, TX 78767 Website:


Summer and Gap Year Programs Community Service

T. (510) 530-5303

College Admissions

www. Jobs & Internships Private Schools



TeenLife Local

Bringing out the best in teens



Adventure/Trips Carpe Diem Education Carpe Diem Education’s gap year programs are designed to safely challenge every student through service, travel, community, and cultural exchange. Students not only gain personal insight, but are also challenged to be better self-leaders and global citizens. Program Location(s): Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Fiji, Guatemala, Honduras, Hopi Nation, India, Laos, Navajo Nation, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Peru, Rwanda, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, Vietnam Name: Ethan Knight Phone: (503) 285-1800 Email: Address: P.O. Box 17427, Portland, OR 97217 Website:

Students exploring the Taj Mahal in India with Youth for Understanding USA. See listing right, ad on page 24.

Youth For Understanding (YFU) USA YFU USA is a non-profit international educational organization with programs in 64 countries. For 60 years, YFU has exemplified excellence in international youth exchange worldwide. YFU USA brings 2,000 students to the U.S. and sends 500 U.S. teens overseas each year. Program Location(s): Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, Uruguay, Venezuela Phone: (800) TEENAGE (833-6243) Email: Address: 6400 Goldsboro Road, Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20817 Website:


National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) Phone: (800) 710-6657 Address: 284 Lincoln Street, Lander, WY 82520 Website:

North Carolina Outward Bound North Carolina Outward Bound has been providing life-changing and transformative wilderness courses for teens, college students, adults, and veterans in the North Carolina Mountains, North Carolina Outer Banks, the Florida Everglades National Park and Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge, and Patagonia since 1967. Challenge, adventure, and teamwork combined create an ideal platform for teaching leadership in the Outward Bound setting. Program Location(s): Florida, North Carolina, Patagonia Name: Ryan Robinson Phone: (800) 841-0186 Email: Address: 2582 Riceville Road, Asheville, NC 28805 Website:


Real Gap Experience is a leading gap year provider with more than 200 projects across 35 countries. Ranging from one week to two years, take your pick of adventure travel, volunteering, sports, language immersion, round-the-world packages, or paid work. Program Location(s): The Americas, Africa, Asia, Europe Name: Tom Sharp Phone: (866) 939-9088 Email: Address: 61-63 Chatham Street, 5th Floor, Boston, MA 02109 Website:

World Challenge Expeditions

Arts Up with People In six months, you can travel to more than 20 cities on two to three continents. In every city, volunteer through community impact projects, live with local host families, and perform a dynamic international musical production. College credit options available. Program Location(s): Asia, Europe, North America Name: Breton Shepherd, Admissions Representative Phone: (303) 460-7100 Email: Address: 6830 Broadway, Unit A, Denver, CO 80221 Website:

Phone: (877) 333-1060 Address: 240 Commercial Street, 4th Floor, Boston, MA 02109 Website:

Go to to view all listings and register.

where there be

dragons accredited

semester summer and


The leader in cross-cultural education, fostering leadership, self-exploration, and global citizenship since 1993.

language immersion wilderness exploration culture and development studies homestay rugged travel internships

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Real Gap Experience

UWP— A Unique Gap Year Opportunity Want to spend 6 or 12 months traveling the world and making a difference? Make the most of your Gap Year with Up with People! UWP offers the most unique Gap Year experience for young people from around the world. In 6 months, you can travel to more than 20 cities on 2-3 continents. In every city, volunteer through community impact projects, live with local host families, and perform in a dynamic international musical production. You also have the option to take university courses and earn credit during your UWP semester.

The Global Education Program UWP ad Teen Life.indd 1

Programs begin in January and July each year. Apply to travel for one or two semesters. Learn More! Visit us at or call +1-303-460-7100. Follow us on Facebook.

9/15/11 4:43 PM


CIEE: Gap Year Abroad Gap Year Abroad with CIEE offers collegebound high school graduates an opportunity to acquire a broader global perspective, foster independence, and gain self-knowledge during an exciting gap year abroad program. Program Location(s): Chile, China, Dominican Republic, France, Japan, Spain Name: Nate Dyer Phone: (800) 40-STUDY (78839) Email: Address: 300 Fore Street, Portland, ME 04101 Website:

Student with Adventures Cross-Country making new friends in the Masai Village, Tanzania. See listing below, ad on page 8.

City Year Phone: (617) 927-2500 Address: 287 Columbus Avenue, Boston, MA 02116 Website:

Community Service Adventures Cross-Country: Gap Year Programs (ARCC) ARCC has been offering programs for young adults since 1983. ARCC GAP Semesters are an opportunity to live and learn in some of the greatest classrooms on earth as students embark on a journey of discovery of local peoples, places, cultures, and ideas. Program Location(s): Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda; Asia: China, Thailand, Tibet; Latin America: Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru Phone: (800) 767-2722 Email: Address: 242 Redwood Highway, Mill Valley, CA 94941 Website:

Basti Ram Basti Ram's mission is to help rural communities in India by running projects that are designed to give access to education, learning, and skills. They accept volunteers of all ages and all professions and welcome anyone with a big heart and a generous disposition. Program Location(s): India, United Kingdom Phone: +44 07515 857865 Email: Address: 17 Dalkeith Road, Ilford, Essex, IG1 1JD United Kingdom Website:

Global Citizen Year Phone: (415) 963-9293 Address: 466 Geary Street, Suite 400, San Francisco, CA 94102 Website:

Global Routes Global Routes is a pioneer in the world of experiential, international programming for young adults. Through their community service programs, participants live and work sideby-side with host families in small, rural communities throughout the world. Program Location(s): Belize, Brazil, Cambodia, China, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, India, Kenya, Nepal, Peru, Tanzania, Thailand Name: Rosie Perera Phone: (413) 585-8895 Email: Address: One Short Street, Northampton, MA 01060 Website:



Global Vision International Phone: (888) 653-6028 Address: 66 Long Wharf, Suite 562 S, Boston, MA 02110 Website:

Kuchanga Travel Kuchanga Travel connects individuals and organizations to a wonderful range of volunteer opportunities and adventure. Program Location(s): Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zanzibar Name: Joanne Trangle Phone: (612) 432-4473 Email: Address: 5536 Loring Lane, Golden Valley, MN 55422 Website:

Maasai International Challenge Africa (MICA) MICA, a non-profit organization based in Tanzania, places volunteers in different schools, hospitals, and orphanages, and also organizes safari adventures in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Program Location(s): Africa, Asia, Latin America Name: Edward Laiser Phone: +255 767707352 Email: Address: P.O. Box 14950, Arusha, 0255 Tanzania Website:

Ocean Classroom: Horizon Gap Program The Horizon Gap Program is a tall-ship voyage in the Caribbean that includes humanitarian, environmental, and cultural projects that have lasting impact. It provides a framework for personal challenge, adventure, and self-understanding in a supportive community of students learning at sea. Program Location(s): Eastern Seaboard, Caribbean, United States Name: Susan Hodder Phone: (207) 633-2750 Email: Address: 1 Oak Street, Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538 Website:

Projects Abroad Phone: (888) 839-3535 Address: 347 West 36th Street, Suite 903, New York, NY 10018 Website:

Teen wildlife volunteer holding a lion cub with African Conservation Experience. See listing on page 23, ad on page 13.


student profile

In Her Own Words

Why did you decide to participate in a gap year program? I knew I was ready for a break from academics and a traditional classroom education. I was thinking I wanted to go abroad on some kind of experiential learning program, but I wasn’t sure exactly where I wanted to go. All I knew was that I didn’t want a scholastic program.

so much: “ I learned independence,

self-confidence, how to take initiative, and respect for others.

How did you research gap year programs and decide which to do?

What was the most memorable part of your gap year experience?

One day at school, I noticed a colorful poster on a bulletin board with a photo of the Sea|mester sailboat (“Argo”), so I wrote down the contact details and immediately sent away for more information. It sounded amazing, so I signed up. I was ready for an adventure, and I got one.

When we crossed the Equator in the middle of the night. The staff woke us all up to watch as we crossed the “line.“ We had a little ceremony on the deck, where we each threw something overboard to appease Neptune (god of the sea) and commemorate our first crossing. I threw in my antinausea pills because I became a true sailor that night— no more seasickness!

Were you already an experienced sailor? No, not at all. I’d taken a few sailing lessons at summer camp when I was little, but I didn’t know anything about being out at sea for a long period of time. I lived on the Sea|mester boat for 90 days, sailing between Australia and Thailand with 17 other shipmates and 5 staff members.

Viktoria Low

Graduate of the University of Oregon and Fortuna High School in Fortuna, CA

What did you learn by participating in a gap year? I learned so much: independence, self-confidence, how to take initiative, and respect for others (essential when you’re living in close quarters with a crew for 3 months). The experience made me more willing to try new things. I also became an advanced diver and trained as crew for ocean sailing. These are valuable skills I can use for the rest of my life. When I got home I got certified as a dive instructor and worked last summer teaching diving in the British Virgin Islands with Action Quest, which is one of Sea|mester’s programs for high school students. Would you encourage other students to take part in a gap year program? Yes, absolutely. It really changed my whole direction in life. It was an unforgettable experience, and one I’ve continued to learn from since coming home. I liked it so much, in fact, that I’m now working for Sea|mester as their West Coast representative.


European Art and Culture Six week courses & Semester

Founded in the UK in 1987, AHA provides structured courses of art history and European civilization. Accompanied throughout by unstuffy, brilliant tutors, students enjoy a full program of onsite tutorials. Meet like minded students from around the world and make good friends. Stay in the right places, see the most wonderful art and expand your cultural horizons on this unique, worthwhile course. Six week courses run throughout the year to Italy. There are also a variety of two week summer courses to Venice, Florence and Rome. NEW Autumn Semester program: A 90 day program that starts in London (European culture and politics) then to Paris (Impressionism and Modernism) then to Tuscany (language, cuisine or practical art) before joining our six week art history course travelling the length of Italy.


telephone: +44 (0)1379 871800 AHA USA Magazine Advert.indd 1 11/10/2011 18:10

Gap Year? Now What?


Raleigh International Follow in the footsteps of Prince William and Catherine Middleton by joining a Raleigh service learning and adventure expedition. Young people from around the world gain valuable work skills while volunteering on sustainable community and environmental projects for five to ten weeks worldwide. Program Location(s): Borneo, Costa Rica, India, Nicaragua Name: Stacey Adams Phone: +44 (0)20 7183 1270 Email: Address: 207 Waterloo Road, 3rd Floor, London, SE1 8XD United Kingdom Website:

Rustic Pathways: Gap Year Programs Rustic Pathways is a pioneer in providing empowering community service, experiential learning, language, and adventure experiences for students in truly amazing places all over the world. From one month to nine months, they offer gap year options to suit any budget and timeframe. Program Location(s): Australia, Burma, Cambodia, China, Costa Rica, Fiji, Ghana, India, Laos, Morocco, Nepal, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Tanzania, Thailand, Vietnam Name: Tim Porter-DeVriese Phone: (800) 321-4353 Email: Address: P.O. Box 1150, Willoughby, OH 44096 Website:

Volunteer Abroad with Greenheart Travel Change your perspectives. Change your life. Travel for a Change. 1.888.ABROAD.1 | 746 N. LaSalle Dr., Chicago, IL

Set your own course

Thinking Beyond Borders (TBB) Thinking Beyond Borders empowers and inspires students to address critical global issues. TBB’s Global Gap Year, Ecuador Gap Semester, and Thailand Gap Semester programs feature fieldwork, homestays, and academic study in developing communities. Program Location(s): Cambodia, China, Ecuador, India, Peru, South Africa, Thailand, United States Name: Robin Pendoley Phone: (203) 993-0236 Email: Address: P.O. Box 656, Fairfield, CT 06824 Website:

take the helm of your education • • • • •

fall, SPrinG & Summer SemeSterS tWelVe academic creditS marine Science & leaderShiP ScuBa & SailinG certificationS no eXPerience neceSSary



Teen getting her hair braided while visiting with a family in Lake Eyasi, Tanzania with KUCHANGA Travel. See listing on page 18.

United Planet

Volunteers For Peace (VFP)

United Planet offers programs which place volunteers in several countries around the world. Volunteers not only live with host families and work on community projects, but they also enjoy excursions, language classes, and excellent support in the country. Programs range from one to 52 weeks. Program Location(s): The Americas, Asia, Africa, Europe, Middle East, the Pacific Name: Mary Babic Phone: (617) 267-7763 Email: Address: 11 Arlington Street, Boston, MA 02116 Website:

VFP provides affordable cultural exchange and meaningful volunteer work in over 100 countries. Offering more than 3,000 projects, VFP helps individuals and groups plan their short- or long-term service adventure overseas or in the U.S. Program Location(s): France, Haiti, Iceland, India, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico Name: Meg Brook Phone: (802) 540-3060 Email: Address: 7 Kilburn Street, Suite 316, Burlington, VT 05401 Website:


Environmental Conservation African Conservation Experience From hands-on work at wildlife rehabilitation centers to helping field researchers and rangers, or assisting wildlife vets, African Conservation Experience offers volunteer placements at exciting wildlife conservation projects throughout southern Africa. Program Location(s): Botswana, Mauritius, South Africa Phone: (510) 530-5303 Email: Address: P.O. Box 2739, Oakland, CA 94602 Website:

Blue Ventures Blue Ventures is an award-winning marine conservation organization dedicated to conservation, education, and sustainable development in tropical coastal communities. Volunteers join three- to eight-week expeditions at Blue Ventures’ sites in Madagascar or Belize. Program Location(s): Andavadoaka, Madagascar; Sarteneja, Belize Name: Kate Guy Phone: +44 (0)207 359 1287 Email: Address: AH309 a/b, 22-24 Highbury Grove, London, N5 2EA United Kingdom Website:

Gap Year South Africa Phone: (805) 354-5632 Address: P.O. Box 592, Cambridge, CB10ES United Kingdom Website:

International School for Earth Studies: Gap Semester (ISES) ISES is a private, interdisciplinary institution specializing in earth-based studies. ISES seeks students who wish to explore their interests in responsible and sustainable environmental stewardship, developing tomorrow’s environmentally sensitive leaders. Program Location(s): Quebec, Canada Name: Geoffrey Cushing Phone: (819) 647-3226 Email: Address: 197 Fierobin Road, Ladysmith, QC J0X 2A0 Canada Website:

Making the Case for a Gap Year By Robert Clagett

ou’re in high school, working hard to create a strong academic record, getting involved in all of the right extracurricular activities, and doing anything and everything you possibly can to get admitted to the college of your dreams. But is it starting to feel like getting into college has become the primary motivation for everything that you do? If the answer is “yes,” then you may need to reevaluate. Take a step back and truly think about what your educational, personal, and professional goals beyond high school might be. Explore what you want to study and why. Maybe take a year off to do something different. Maybe a gap year. More and more American graduates are doing just that—postponing college to engage in a potentially life-changing gap year experience. Ranging from service-learning trips all over the world to organizations closer to home that serve local communities, there are a plethora of quality gap year programs to choose from, many of which are listed in this guide. Ultimately, what you do with your gap year is far less important than allowing yourself to pursue your own dreams and ambitions. The benefits of time taken off after high school, regardless of what you pursue during that year, are many.

Robert Clagett is a former Dean of Admissions at Middlebury College.

Often, parents worry that students who take a gap year will lose their hard-earned study skills when they put their formal education on hold for a year. However, the opposite is true. At Middlebury College, for example, students who took a gap year have, on average, higher GPA's than those who didn't. They even do better than their high school academic credentials (GPA, test scores, etc.) would have predicted, more so than their non gapyear classmates. THE TEENLIFE 2012 GUIDE TO GAP YEAR PROGRAMS | 25

making the case for a gap year

Take a step back and truly think about what your educational, personal, and professional goals beyond high school might be... maybe take a year off to do something different. These academic benefits are not surprising, considering students who have taken a gap year are typically more focused, more mature, and more prepared to take advantage of all of the opportunities that higher education affords. The significant confidence and personal growth from taking a gap year helps them define themselves more clearly from the very start of college. And that in turn, helps them come closer to realizing their own potential as students while in school. Now isn’t that what your education should be all about?

It might sound scary to deviate from the norm in such a dramatic way, and taking a gap year does require some serious planning and consideration. Cost, for example, is a factor, but for many programs financial aid is available. Some programs involving farming or language immersion offer a small salary.

Despite the appeal and perks of taking a gap year, the logistical end of things can be a little tricky too. When you’re considering your post-high school options, just bear in mind that if you decide to take a gap year, it probably still makes sense for you to apply to college during your senior year. It is far easier to go through the process with the help of your family and school, especially with resources like counselors, teachers, and others who stand ready to assist you.

You can always defer your enrollment for a year. Most schools will gladly accept your deferral, especially upon knowing about your gap year decision. According to Kristin White, the author of The Complete Guide to the Gap Year, here are average numbers of freshmen who delay their college start at some leading schools: Cornell (50 to 60), Dartmouth (20 to 30), Georgetown (15 to 25) and Yale (30 to 40).

Then, come September of the following year, you’ll have the college you’ve chosen waiting for you, and you’ll be refreshed and ready to begin. Truthfully, “refreshed” is often an understatement for students who’ve gone on a gap year. Most come away from it feeling like a whole new person, one who’s ready to take on the world.

So think about it. Think about the ways in which you could grow and benefit from the investment you and your family will be making in your college education. Most importantly, think about doing something for the pure love of it, and not because it might help you get into college.

Robert Clagett is the former Dean of Admissions at Middlebury College. He also worked in admissions at Harvard University for more than twenty years and has taught at The Governor’s Academy in Massachusetts and at the International School of Hamburg in Germany.


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Dynamy Internship Year

Students traveling in Siena, Italy with Bel Camino. See listing on page 30, ad on page 6.

At Dynamy, education takes on a new meaning. Students from ages 17-22 years old explore their talents and pursue interests through hands-on internships, apartment living, college courses, and adventure challenge. Students walk away with real-world and real-life experiences that better prepare them for college, a career, and beyond. Program Location(s): Worcester, Massachusetts Name: Kathy Cheng Phone: (508) 755-2571 x18 Email: Address: 27 Sever Street, Worcester, MA 01609 Website:

VisitOz: Work in Australia The Leap Phone: +44(0)1672 519922 Address: 121 High Street, Marlborough, WIL SN8 1LZ United Kingdom Website:

Internship & Work Experience Bridge the Divide Foundation, Inc. Bridge The Divide offers both volunteer and paid exchange programs between the People's Republic of China and the U.S. in the teaching of conversational language and customs. Volunteer programs range from two to four weeks; employment programs paid by the People’s Rebublic of China are a semester or longer. Ability to speak or write Chinese is not required. Program Location(s): China, United States Name: John Metelski Phone: (540) 882-4058 Email: Address: 15037 Thicket Court, Waterford, VA 20197 Website:

Paid jobs are guaranteed in rural and Outback areas on farms, ranches, and in hospitality, childcare, and teaching. VisitOz students are offered an initial nine-day farm training and safety course before work. Program Location(s): Australia Name: Joanna and Dan Burnet Phone: +61 (07) 41 686 185 Email: Address: 8921 Burnett Highway, Goomeri, QLD 04601 Australia Website:

Special Interest The Apprenticeshop A school for traditional boat building and seamanship. Program Location(s): Rockland, Maine Name: Eric Stockinger, Executive Director Phone: (207) 594-1800 Email: Address: 643 Main Street, Rockland, ME 04841 Website:


GAP YEAR PROGRAMS Pioneer Ranches Canada Gap Program

Bel Camino

Pioneer Ranches, Canada has an exciting four- or eight-month Gap program that provides opportunities to develop leadership skills, sample college courses, try out some trades, and experience ministry trips to Guatemala and the Australian Outback with a January or August start. Program Location(s): Australia, Canada, Guatemala Name: David Arnold Phone: (888) 511-2660 Email: Address: Box 660, Sundre, Alberta T0M 1X0 Canada Website: gap.php

Bel Camino's Semester in Siena offers young adults a three-month immersion in the language, culture, and landscape of Italy. Highlights include: a homestay, language study, cultural excursions, instruction in the creative arts, and a week-long hike in Tuscany. Program Location(s): Siena and Toscana, Italy Name: Carla Fabian Phone: (305) 877-4937 Email: Address: 5001 London Walk (Quayside), Miami, FL 33138 Website:

Class Afloat Gap Year

Travel/Culture ANDEO ANDEO is a non-profit organization specializing in educational homestay programs since 1981. They offer flexible gap year programs to fit each student's individual goals, interests, schedules, and budgets in more than ten countries. Program Location(s): China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Spain Name: Andrea Bailey Phone: (800) 274-6007 Email: Address: 620 SW 5th Avenue, Suite 625, Portland, OR 97204 Website:

Art History Abroad Art History Abroad students not only immerse themselves in European culture and beautiful Italian art, but are taught to draw connections between art history, philosophy, music, and literature to make learning about art interesting and fun. Program Location(s): France, Italy Name: Nick Ross Phone: +44 1379 871800 Email: Address: The Red House, 1 Lambseth Street, Eye, SFK IP23 7AG United Kingdom Website: 30 | THE TEENLIFE 2012 GUIDE TO GAP YEAR PROGRAMS

Phone: (800) 301-7245 Address: 97 Kaulbach Street, P.O. Box 10, Lunenburg, NS B0J 2C0 Canada Website:

Greenheart Travel Greenheart Travel, a division of Center for Cultural Interchange (CCI), is passionate about helping teens and adults reach their full potential through unforgettable experiences abroad. They strive to use cultural exchange to promote global understanding, academic development, environmental consciousness, and world peace. Program Location(s): Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Peru, Scandinavia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Tanzania, Thailand Name: Anna Kacyn Phone: (888) 227-6231 Email: Address: 746 North LaSalle Drive, Chicago, IL 60647 Website:

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Student profile

I wanted to find a unique “experience that would have personal meaning. In Her Own Words ” What exactly were you looking for in a gap year program? I wanted a program that would allow me to do volunteer work abroad, get university credit, and provide time to travel and go on adventure excursions such as rafting and trekking. I also wanted to study a new language and learn about other cultures to help me understand the world better.

What did you do on your gap year experience? I had two very different but equally amazing experiences. I spent three months in northern India, working with Mother Teresa’s organization, Missionaries of Charity. We lived and volunteered in a variety of settings and stayed in hostels, hotels, and with Tibetan host families. I took Hindi lessons and learned yoga while living at an ashram. We also visited cultural landmarks. For the second part of my gap year I went to Peru with Carpe Diem’s Latitudes program. I studied Spanish in school for one month and then lived on an eco-farm for two months to learn about sustainable farming in underprivileged communities.

What was the most memorable part of your gap year experience?

Amanda Carnahan

Graduate of Camas High School in Camas, Oregon and Portland State University

Why did you decide to participate in a gap year program? I felt completely burnt out from school and was at a loss as to what I wanted to do with my life. I was looking for something new and exciting and decided I wanted to find a unique experience that would have personal meaning.

How did you research gap year programs and decide which to do? I started by searching online for volunteer opportunities and study-abroad programs. There were tons of options, but I couldn’t find one with all the components I was looking for, at a price I could afford. With a bit more searching I eventually found Carpe Diem Education. After talking to Carpe Diem’s executive director myself, I was confident the program was right for me.

The most memorable part of my gap year experience was getting to know the group I had the honor of traveling with in India. I really had no idea what to expect. But as time went on, I gained the most amazing friends, who are now like family. I don’t think I have ever laughed so much in my life! I will always cherish our adventures together.

What did you learn by participating in a gap year? I learned that I could handle anything! I learned to trust myself and have self-confidence. I learned better communication skills and techniques to handle stress. I also got a glimpse into the potential we, as individuals, have to impact our world. Most importantly, my experience gave me the courage to be myself, to stand out in a crowd, and to show others positive ways to approach life.

Would you encourage other students to take part in a gap year program? Yes, I think a gap year is crucial for everyone, because it lets you break free from your regular classroom education and see the world in a whole new light. My two different experiences each challenged me to think more critically about my opinions and my cultural values.


Students on stage with traditional Cambodian dancers with Thinking Beyond Borders. See listing on page 21, ad on inside front cover.

i-to-i Volunteering i-to-i Volunteering has been running incredible volunteer programs and adventure options since 1994. i-to-i's programs are the perfect way to meet new people, immerse yourself in new cultures, and make a difference abroad. Program Location(s): Africa, Asia, Australia, Latin America Name: Tom Sharp Phone: (800) 985-4852 Email: Address: 61-63 Chatham Street, 5th Floor, Boston, MA 02109 Website:

LEAPNOW Phone: (888) 424-5327 Address: 11640 Highway 128, Calistoga, CA 94515 Website:

Map the Gap International Phone: (203) 672-5950 Address: P.O. Box 872, Seymour, CT 06483 Website:

Masa Israel Journey Phone: (866) 864-3279 Address: 633 Third Avenue, 21st Floor, New York, NY 10017 Website:


SFYI International School Phone: (877) 997-7686 Address: 54 Wildwood Lane, Sandpoint, ID 83864 Website:

Travellers Worldwide Travellers Worldwide offers more than 300 voluntary projects abroad in 21 countries, including care and community projects, teaching, sports coaching, conservation, marine, language and cultural, drama, dance, and music—with even more experiential internships to choose from! Program Location(s): Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, China, Ecuador, Galapagos, Ghana, India, Kenya, Mauritius, Morocco, Nepal, New Zealand, Peru, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Zambia, Zimbabwe Name: Kristin Marucci Phone: (603) 574-4935 Email: Address: Suite 2A, Caravelle House, 17/19 Goring Road, Worthing, SXW BN12 4AP England Website:

Where There Be Dragons Dragons programs are rugged journeys that introduce students to the distinctly unique qualities of life in the developing world. Each carefully crafted program combines remote travel with homestays, service work, language study, and internships. Program Location(s): Bolivia, Brazil, Burma, Cambodia, China, El Salvador, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Laos, Morocco, Nepal, Nicaragua, Peru, Rwanda, Senegal, Sikkim, Thailand, Tibet Name: Chris Yager Phone: (800) 982-9203 Email: Address: 3200 Carbon Place #102, Boulder, CO 80301 Website:

Gap Year Advisor The Center for Interim Programs Phone: (609) 683-4300 Address: 195 Nassau Street, 2nd Floor, Suite 5, Princeton, NJ 08542 Website:

Volunteers For Peace

International Voluntary Service for 30 years

Offering more than 3,000 affordable projects in over 100 countries, including the US. ❖2-week to 1-year service projects. ❖Custom built projects to meet your personal or group schedule and interest. ❖$300 Registration for all projects. ($500 if you are under 18-years old.)

Learn more at

Volunteers For Peace, 7 Kilburn ST Suite 316, Burlington, VT 05401 ~ 802-540-3060 ~

gap year abroad

language / culture / challenge

Deferring college for a semester or a year? Bridge the Gap between high school and college with a Gap Year Abroad program with CIEE. Six amazing countries and cultures to choose from!

w w w. c i e e . o r g / g a p

Australia is the smallest continent with the biggest work opportunities in the Outback!

isitOz guarantees adventurous outdoor work for students and visitors who want to experience Australia’s sun, sea, and rugged terrain, while earning good money at the same time. VisitOz provides a wide range of jobs in just about any farming or hospitality trade in the rural areas and the Outback. To give you an idea, farm and station jobs include everything from working with horses, cattle or sheep, driving a tractor or bulldozer, mechanical work, fencing, and farm maintenance, to working in stables, trail riding centers, with racehorses, polo ponies, and camp draft horses. Hospitality jobs include working on Host Farms and in hotels, bars, and roadhouses in the Outback. There are even opportunities to be “homestead helpers” who assist with all duties in the homestead and sometimes act as educational tutors. Skilled plumbers, electricians, mechanics, construction workers, and maintenance workers are also in high demand. Participants in the VisitOz program don’t have to be experienced agricultural workers. After the initial period to get over jet lag–with sand, sea, surf and sun—every VisitOz adventure starts with a short Introduction to Agriculture course at Springbrook Farm or one of the other associate farms. At the training farm you’ll be given an introduction to all of the farming basics and safety essentials you’ll need to work in the Outback. You will also need a Work and Holiday visa (good for up to one year), which you can obtain yourself on the internet. Jobs are paid at a union negotiated rate and all include free food and housing. In just nine days after arriving in Australia, VisitOz participants go off to the job of their choice. Come to Australia and do something different!


A Gap Year Checklist It is important to be prepared for anything and everything when traveling with a Gap Year Program. Here is a general list of things you must—and might—need to pack.

Necessary Travel Documents Passport Passport photos Debit & credit cards Prepaid currency cards Traveler’s checks Wallet or purse Prepaid international calling cards (SIM cards) Insurance policy Flight tickets Local bus/train tickets Youth hostel card Student identity card Immunization records Discount card ( Multiple copies of trip documents Contact information for U.S. embassies

ART HISTORY ABROAD students admiring renaissance murals on the interior walls of the Barancacci Chapel in Florence. See listing on page 30, ad on page 20.

General Toiletries Shampoo Toothbrush & toothpaste Deodorant Razors Shaving gel or oil Suntan lotion Moisturizing cream Insect/mosquito repellent Antibiotic cream Bandages Lightweight travel towels Brush/comb Toilet paper Tissues Nail clippers

Weather Appropriate Clothing T-shirts Shorts/short skirts Underwear Casual light pants Jeans Hat (hot or cold weather) Comfortable travel shoes Bathing suit Sunglasses Plastic rain poncho Going out/dress up outfit

Other Useful Items Book of language (and key phrases) to communicate with locals Day pack/backpack Sleeping bag Alarm clock Pen & paper or journal Camera Combination padlock Vitamins Universal sink plug Glasses/contacts prescription Ball of string Sewing kit Resealable plastic bags Mosquito net Balloons and other small giveaways for kids you meet


About TeenLife Visit

become a member Students at a recent TeenLife event.

Who We Are TeenLife is the "go to” resource for parents, teens, and educators actively looking for meaningful learning experiences—regionally, nationally, and internationally—for students. Our award-winning site, handy guides, and faceto-face events feature an extensive number of opportunities, programs, and services that "bring out the best” in teens.

What We Do Few students, parents, and educators have the time, resources, or knowledge to research interesting, experiential learning opportunities for teens. So, we do it for them. TeenLife scours the Internet and teen resources for new information and ideas on a continual basis. Our proprietary database containing thousands of listings for teens is unmatched by any other source.

Join at now!

Information is offered online at and through monthly e-newsletters, email communications, and printable guides in a number of categories. Families and their teens can also explore opportunities at live events, school and student fairs, and corporate meetings. Students, parents, and educators are encouraged to register for free to take advantage of our comprehensive resources! For more information about TeenLife, email or call (617) 277-5120. Programs, schools, service providers, and other organizations who want to be listed on our site should contact

Big News! TeenLife has won three awards! We are ecstatic that our growing audience of parents, teens, and educators continues to recognize that TeenLife is delivering top-of-mind resources and information for middle and high school students. TeenLife Media received three awards in 2011: a Gold Award from NAPPA (the National Association of Parenting Publications Awards), a Gold Award from Mom’s Choice Awards, and an “Approved” rating from Parents’ Choice Awards.





a year off and having “thisTaking amazing global experience changed my idea of what I In His Own Words wanted to study in college. ”

Student profile

Describe your gap year experience.

Zander Rounds

Graduate of Brookline High School, Brookline, MA College: Georgetown University

I went on Thinking Beyond Borders’ global study program. In eight months we visited seven countries total, and spent five weeks living with host families and studying global development issues in each of our four “core” countries. In Ecuador we had seminars on water conservation and natural resource management; in India we learned about sustainable agriculture; in China we examined education in developing nations; and in South Africa we discussed public health issues and HIV/AIDS. In each country we did a hands-on project to put what we learned into practice. When we returned to the U.S. we spent time in New York and Washington, DC, meeting with international development organizations. As part of the program, we also were required to visit high schools and present on our experiences.

What was most memorable about your gap year experience?

Why did you choose to participate in a gap year? I had known for a long time that I wanted to do a gap year between high school and college, and I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to do: go back to China. I had already done a high school exchange program in China my sophomore year and had spent the summer there before my senior year. I planned to work on an organic farm for half the year and then teach English. My parents wanted me to consider some other options, though.

How did you decide which gap year program to do? My mother researched a lot of programs online, but I was stubborn and wasn’t open to considering what she suggested. Finally, she persuaded me to come along to a Thinking Beyond Borders info session, which was being held at a friend’s house. I met one of the program’s founders, and felt an immediate connection. The program’s mission to study international development resonated with me, so I decided to sign up.

Working with HIV/AIDS patients in South Africa is something I will never forget. It was the most emotional part of the trip because it was the first time I had seen people dealing with death and loss. Getting to know each of my host families was challenging, but really rewarding because I found I was able to form very strong bonds with people from completely different backgrounds.

How did your gap year influence your future goals? Taking a year off and having this amazing global experience changed my idea of what I wanted to study in college. In fact, during my year off I decided to transfer from Georgetown’s College of Arts and Science, where I was originally accepted, to its School of Foreign Service. I had to submit a whole new application, but my gap year helped me realize I wanted a foundation in economics and government, so it was worth it.

Would you encourage other students to participate in a gap year program? Yes, definitely. Taking a gap year has helped me appreciate college more. In my freshman class, about 13 other students were coming from gap years, and I’ve become good friends with most of them. We share a special bond that comes from having seen the world through different eyes.

Finally! A resource for families with teens.

Not little kids. Teens. Find meaningful programs, services, and opportunities for students in grades 7-12. Private Schools Semester Schools Overnight Summer Programs Gap Year Programs College Admissions Resources Activities, Events, and Volunteer Opportunities

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8 Adventures Cross-Country: Gap Year Programs (ARCC)* 13 African Conservation Experience 20 Art History Abroad* 22 Aspire by API: Gap Year Abroad Programs* 9 Basti Ram 6 Bel Camino 28 Carpe Diem Education* 6 CESA Languages Abroad 9 Cheshire Academy Postgraduate Program 33 CIEE: Gap Year Abroad* 4 Dynamy Internship Year* 10 Global Routes* 21 Greenheart Travel 32 International School for Earth Studies: Gap Semester (ISES)* 13 Maasai International Challenge Africa (MICA) 23 Pioneer Ranches Canada Gap Program* C3 Rustic Pathways: Gap Year Programs* 21, C4 Sea|mester* 27 Student Advantage C2 Thinking Beyond Borders (TBB)* 16 Up with People* 36 VisitOz: Work in Australia 33 Volunteers For Peace (VFP) 15 Where There Be Dragons 24 Youth For Understanding (YFU) *Indicates Keystone Exhibitor at USA Gap Year Fairs



There are hundreds of gap year programs across the country and the world. We hope that the programs listed in our Guide to Gap Year Programs will help you get started on a wonderful adventure. featured listings 17 Adventures Cross-Country: Gap Year Programs (ARCC)*

18 Kuchanga Travel

23 African Conservation Experience

29 The Leap*



29 The Apprenticeshop

32 Map the Gap International*

30 Art History Abroad*

18 Maasai International Challenge Africa (MICA)

11 Aspire by API: Gap Year Abroad Programs*

32 Masa Israel Journey*

17 Basti Ram

14 National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS)*

30 Bel Camino

14 North Carolina Outward Bound

23 Blue Ventures

18 Ocean Classroom: Horizon Gap Program

29 Bridge the Divide Foundation, Inc.

13 Ocean Classroom: SEAmester College Semester

14 Carpe Diem Education*

30 Pioneer Ranches Camps*

33 The Center for Interim Programs*

18 Projects Abroad*

11 Center For Study Abroad (CSA)

21 Raleigh International

12 CESA Languages Abroad

15 Real Gap Experience

12 Cheshire Academy Postgraduate Program

21 Rustic Pathways: Gap Year Programs*

17 CIEE: Gap Year Abroad*

13 Sea|mester*

17 City Year*

33 SFYI International School*

30 Class Afloat Gap Year*

13 Sol Abroad High School & Gap Year Programs

29 Dynamy Internship Year*

21 Thinking Beyond Borders (TBB)*

23 Gap Year South Africa*

33 Travellers Worldwide*

17 Global Citizen Year*

22 United Planet*

17 Global Routes*

15 Up with People*

18 Global Vision International*

29 VisitOz: Work in Australia

30 Greenheart Travel

22 Volunteers For Peace (VFP)

32 i-to-i Volunteering

33 Where There Be Dragons

23 International School for Earth Studies:

15 World Challenge Expeditions*

14 Youth For Understanding (YFU) USA

Gap Semester (ISES)*

12 ISA Gap Year*

*Indicates Keystone Exhibitor at USA Gap Year Fairs

Enlightening experiences, amazing places, inspiring people... Rustic Pathways offers unmatched Gap Year programs from one to nine months on any budget.


Service ■ Learning ■ Adventure ■ Discovery 1.800.321.4353 ■


The semester abroad that will put you miles ahead. Start your journey today...

TeenLife 2012 Guide to Gap Year Programs  

This free guide contains helpful advice from experienced gap year program executives, a look at the gap year experience from the perspective...

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