Take a Gap Year with Purpose

Traditional education can often leave even the brightest minds feeling exhausted. With the world as your classroom, you’ll find meaningful learning, adventure, and ways to impact future change. Come find your direction by seeking lasting solutions to humanity’s most critical issues and discovering your passion by exploring the subjects that you find fascinating.

Explore Our Gap Year Programs

Thinking Beyond Borders is a global leader in gap years. Unlike other providers, gap years are all that we’ve ever done. After sending hundreds of students abroad, we definitely have the magic formula, and one major component of that is our experienced educators.

All of our educators have master’s degrees, and are qualified to lead programs that are about more than just travel and service. They combine deep cultural immersion, fieldwork with experts, and an incredible learning environment. There are no grades, no tests, and no essays. We support and challenge you to learn about the world, yourself, and how you can create meaningful change.

Global Gap Year

Who else can say that they’ve lived and learned in 6 countries? This incredible two semester program will empower you to understand the challenges and solutions to sustainable agriculture, public health, and the environment.

Sustainability & Healthy Planet

Asia Gap Semester

Explore and investigate Thailand, China, and Cambodia. You’ll be immersed in local communities, cultures, and efforts to solve sustainable agriculture and public health challenges. And, you’ll visit the temples of Angkor Wat!

Food Security & Public Health

Latin America Gap Semester

Live and learn in Ecuador, Bolivia, and Peru. You’ll improve your Spanish while living with families and working alongside leaders addressing issues related to sustainable agriculture and education. And, you’ll trek to Machu Picchu!

Empowerment & Sustainability

What Makes TBB Different?

Thinking Beyond Borders’ educators specialize in meeting the needs of gap year students. We believe a gap year is about exploration and learning that prepares students for fulfillment in college, career, and life. Our experts design and lead programs that support students in learning about issues that matter to them and the world. Our Gap Year students are looking for answers, about both themselves and the world, and are ready to do the rigorous work necessary to find them. Your gap year program with TBB will include the following components:

Cultural Immersion

Learning about cultures happens when we engage deeply. Each TBB program includes homestays in multiple countries and cultures, providing a new appreciation of diversity and the shared human experience.

Field-Based Learning

Meaningful learning happens when we confront complex issues and think critically about solutions. TBB programs place students alongside local experts as they work to improve their communities.

Solutions-Focused Curriculum

Powerful learning is the result of asking critical questions of ourselves and the world. TBB’s curriculum challenges students to process their experiences and identify solutions to critical global issues.

Who Is Right for TBB’s Gap Year Programs?

Students who want to learn about the world’s problems, figure out how to solve them, and have incredible adventures along the way. You should be a TBB student if you want to have people you call family in communities around the world, peers who become friends for life, and experiences that will continue to help you understand how to solve our world’s challenges throughout your life. Here’s how a few of our alumni use the sense of purpose and their learning with TBB to create meaningful change in college and beyond.


Read student and parent reviews of TBB's gap year programs!

Andrew Kim

Global Gap Year 2012
“I feel that it humbled me about how little I knew about the world and assumptions that I had made that didn’t end up being true. I think having a critical eye has been one of the most important things I learned. Also, I think when everyone does things in a different way (on campus) – there is a lot of pressure engaging with different fields – having the strength to say maybe that is not the correct way. The other thing I gained at TBB was perspective. I think it’s very easy to feel stuck in a bubble when you are on a college campus. Everything seems so important. I think that getting to see the world before going on to college has allowed me think critically about what my priorities are, that is, the things that I should be devoting my time to.”

Betsy B., Mother of Lucy

Global Gap Year 2010
“After TBB, Lucy went on to her freshman year of college and took classes that were meaningful to her, not just classes that filled a requirement. She finished the year with all A’s and more importantly, she was more engaged with her college classroom experience because of the time spent traveling with TBB. Ultimately, her college experience is more valuable as a result of the gap year with TBB.”