GAP YEAR PROGRAMS – THE GLOBAL GAP YEAR
- Living with host families
- Fieldwork with local experts
- Academic study
Each program group consists of 18 students and 3 Program Leaders. The map shows the full itinerary. Please note: this itinerary is subject to change.
You’ll learn to travel with cultural sensitivity, communicate across language barriers, and immerse yourself in a new culture. You’ll complete health and safety training and team building to unite your group. You’ll hold the first discussions of the curriculum and set goals for the year. Explore the cloud forest of Mindo with a hike, canopy tour, and tubing down the river!
UNIT 1: NATURAL RESOURCES & THE ENVIRONMENT
The environment and its natural resources are threatened. Your group will explore how production and consumption systems affect the environment. You’ll investigate how industry, agriculture, and cultural conflicts threaten forests and clean water in rural Ecuador. You’ll plant trees that protect the ecosystem and support local farmers. You’ll experience towering peaks of the Andes, equatorial beaches, and the colonial architecture of Quito.
ENRICHMENT WEEK: MACHU PICCHU
Travel to Peru and hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Throughout the incredible four-day trek, your guide will describe the Incan Empire and its mysteries.
UNIT 2: SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE
Over the past 60 years, the world’s population has tripled. Farmers use technology to increase crop yields, but these often bring pollution, impoverish small farmers, and threaten food safety. You’ll investigate how farmers, government, and businesses cooperate to balance demand for food with the ecosystem in Yunnan province. You’ll live with a rural farming family to see the path from field to plate.
ENRICHMENT WEEK: ANGKOR WAT
Travel to Cambodia and visit Angkor Wat. You’ll explore the incredible Khmer temples at Angkor Wat and tour the powerful museums of the country’s history in Phnom Penh.
UNIT 3: EDUCATION & ECONOMIC GROWTH
Education is the keystone of development. Your group will explore how education can empower individuals and communities to treat disease, produce goods, and support effective government. You’ll work in education centers for women and children in some of the poorest parts of Jaipur. You’ll visit the breathtaking Taj Mahal and immerse your senses in the rich smells, sounds, and colors of markets and festivals.
ENRICHMENT WEEK: UDAIPUR & THE PUSHKAR CAMEL TREK
Travel to Udaipur and Pushkar on India’s famous railroads. You’ll explore Udaipur’s scenic waterways and beautiful architecture. You’ll visit the Hindu pilgrimage city of Pushkar and camp on a camel trek.
UNIT 4: PUBLIC HEALTH & THE AIDS EPIDEMIC
HIV/AIDS is our most critical global health crisis. With deaths in the millions in sub-Saharan Africa, communities face the threat of collapse. You’ll investigate how a country recovering from Apartheid is attempting to address the needs of those infected. You’ll work with home-based caregivers, a nursing center, and clinics. You’ll experience gorgeous coastline, expanses of grassland, and a mix of ethnicities.
ENRICHMENT WEEK: ADDO SAFARI
Travel to Addo National Park for a safari. You’ll cruise in the safety of a vehicle to witness un-caged elephant, lion, antelope, and giraffe. You’ll photograph baboons under the baobab tree.
While traveling the world teaches many things, the greatest lessons are those we learn about ourselves. You’ll explore the relationship between the US and the rest of the world. You’ll meet representatives from the World Bank, Congress, and NGOs to discuss international development. You’ll reflect to bring together your learning and experiences into powerful conclusions. You’ll create a Presentation of Learning to raise awareness about critical global issues. You’ll attend the TBB gap year programs graduation and celebrate your accomplishments.
What’s the Global Gap Year Really Like? Read Student Blogs: