Gap Year Programs

Global Gap Year

This unparalleled adventure is Thinking Beyond Borders’ signature gap year program. You’ll live, explore, and learn in seven countries with friends who’ll be with you for life. Experience deep immersion with extended homestays on three different continents.  This is the ultimate gap year program if you want to make the most of your gap year, explore our global community and learn to create meaningful change in the world.

7

Months

Program Details

Early Applications Due

June 1

Final Applications Due

August 15

Program Length

7 Months

Tuition

$32,500

Airfare

$5,000 (costs may vary)

Dates

September 12, 2020 - March 27, 2021

Group Size

18 students & 3 Program Leaders

Your TBB Global Gap Year Awaits!

Apply by August 15th for this Fall!

Learn more about our industry leading gap year programs or apply now!

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Environment, Education and Public Health

It takes holistic knowledge and experience to resolve global issues. This program explores how sustainable practices can protect food and the environment in Guatemala, how education can truly empower in Thailand, and how public health can be the foundation for development in Ghana.

7

Weeks

Unit 1: Environmental Justice and Sustainability - Guatemala

The group will spend six weeks living with indigenous Kaqchikel Mayan host families in the town of Tecpan.  Located in the Guatemalan highlands, Tecpan is a small town off the beaten tourist path which serves the surrounding farming villages as an agricultural hub and is also home to extensive Mayan ruins.  Hone your Spanish skills in this warm and colorful community and learn the innovative ways rural people and governments are creating economic opportunity while preserving their environment and Mayan cultural traditions. You’ll work alongside a local farmers co-op on strawberry, vegetable and corn farms to see how they balance daily necessities, profit, and planet in their efforts to increase sustainability.

As communities around the world adapt to changes in climate, culture and globalization, the question of how to manage natural resources in rural areas is more pressing than ever. Maintaining quality of life, providing jobs for women and the elderly, and harnessing natural resources in a responsible and environmentally friendly manner are all complex challenges that this unit will cover.

1

Week

Enrichment Week: Panama City and Guna Yala

Panama is a culturally rich country with a lot of diversity between the hustle and bustle of the city and the more secluded indigenous populations on the Caribbean Coast.

  • Your group will visit Guna Yala, a rural province on the Atlantic coast, and home to the Guna people.  The Guna people were the first indigenous population in Latin America to receive political autonomy.  Learn about the role community organizing has played to actively resist westernization and preserve traditional culture.
  • You will also spend two days in Panama City exploring and learning about the urbanization of such a culturally rich country.
7

Weeks

Unit 2: Education that Empowers – Thailand

Your group will stay in the small organic farming village of Mae Tha in Northern Thailand.  Here you will work in a local school alongside an English teacher as their assistant to gain a deeper understanding of education in rural Thailand.  You will live in a homestay with a local family for six weeks, learn how to speak Thai through study and build meaningful connections with community members.  Program Leaders teach seminars on Education to contextualize your experience in local classrooms, to provide a global back drop, and to connect your experiences in Thailand to your educational experiences back home.

Education can empower communities to improve health, support gender equity and foster social justice. You’ll investigate how governments, nonprofits, and individuals use education as a tool for social change and to meet the needs of growing communities.  You’ll visit breathtaking Buddhist temples and immerse your senses in the rich smells, sounds, and colors of markets and festivals.  Combined, the unit creates a dynamic picture that highlights the complexities within education that can make it either an oppressive or liberating force around the world.

1

Week

Enrichment Week: Temples of Angkor Wat

Cambodia offers students the stark contrast of getting to see both some of the world’s most spiritual sites and some of the places where histories largest crimes against humanity occurred.

  • Siem Reap & Angkor Wat: You will visit the magnificent Angkor Wat, the world’s largest religious monument. See the “Temple City” at dawn to witness the spectacular sunrise over the temples.
  • Phnom Penh & The Killing Fields: You will visit Cambodia’s capital to reflect on the powerful landmarks related to the Cambodian Genocide, learn how this part of the country’s history came to be, and how it affects communities today.
7

Weeks

Unit 3: Public Health – Ghana

You will learn, work and explore in the beautiful Ashanti region of Ghana alongside local public health professionals while reflecting on how resources, culture, and social structures affect these efforts. Your group will stay in the small town of Kontomire, several hours outside the regional center of Kumasi, where you will learn the local language of Twi, and live with a host family for six weeks.  You will partner with community health clinics to observe and support nurses and provide administrative support in partnership with the government health department. This includes the creation of materials for outreach workshops around hygiene, maternal health, and malaria prevention.

Effective Public Health systems require education, sanitation infrastructure, access to medical services as well as an understanding of cultural context.  Discover the region’s dark past by visiting some of the last remaining slave forts on the Ghanaian coast which date back to the 1600’s which contrast with the beautiful views from the treetop canopy of Kakum National Park.  Combined, the unit reveals the complexities and layers within society which a successful public health system depends on, and creates a dynamic picture of social change within Sub-saharan Africa.

1

Week

Enrichment Week: Desert Nomads & Culture

Morocco offers a rich cultural history and present. You’ll explore sacred sites such as the third largest Mosque in the world in CasaBlanca, make your way through the dizzying streets and alleyways of the Medina in Fez to find the world’s oldest university, and experience the incredible sights, smells and tastes of local markets. Cap it all with a camel trek through the Sahara desert to view the clearest night sky you’ve ever seen!

1

Week

Culmination: Washington, D.C.

There is no city in the world with more people working to create change than Washington, DC. You’ll meet representatives from the World Bank, UN Foundation, other leading international organizations and your own political representative on Capitol Hill to discuss how we can create more empowered and sustainable communities.

In the final two weeks, the group will retreat to a state park in Virginia where you will reflect on your experience and work to create a final project – a presentation culminating your experiences. At the end, we will host a graduation for you and your families to attend to celebrate your year’s accomplishments.

Unit 1: Environmental Justice and Sustainability - Guatemala

Enrichment Week: Panama City and Guna Yala

Unit 2: Education that Empowers – Thailand

Enrichment Week: Temples of Angkor Wat

Unit 3: Public Health – Ghana

Enrichment Week: Desert Nomads & Culture

Culmination: Washington, D.C.

Global Gap Year

Alumni Interviews

How did TBB affect your purpose and direction?

What makes learning on TBB unique?

What are homestays like?

What were the Program Leaders like?

What are the other students like?

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Global Gap Year Program Reviews

Success Stories

“I felt much more prepared and invested in my college courses than many of my peers. TBB taught me to take an active role in my education and to be an advocate for myself. I was able to relate to the information on a much more practical, realistic level. I sought out classes that had a reputation for being more focused on student-involvement and steered away from larger, lecture style-courses. This is a bit of advice that I would pass on to anyone entering college as it’s by far the best way to feel comfortable with and fully understand the relevance of the information being taught, as well as becoming more confident in yourself.”

Shawn Childs

Global Gap Year

“Shawn’s priorities in college are much more focused than most college freshmen’s. She met with advisors repeatedly to pinpoint the most efficient path to achieving her major and minors all within 3 1/2 years.”

Janet Childs, Mother of Shawn

Global Gap Year

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Interested in taking this Gap Semester?

Fill out the form below and we will reach out to you with more information

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Call Us

(203) 993-0236

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Email Us

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Send Us Mail

Thinking Beyond Borders
PO Box 102075
Pasadena, CA 91189

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