Explore solutions to critical global issues in communities throughout South America. This gap semester program includes:
- Daily Spanish Language Classes & Immersion
- Living with host families
- Fieldwork with local experts
- Academic study
- Guided trek to Machu Picchu
Each gap year program group consists of 18 students and 3 Program Leaders.
Applications Due: July 15 for fall, January 31 for spring
Airfare: $1,750 (costs may vary)
Fall ’15: Sept 13th – Dec 12th
Spring ’16: Feb 14th – May 14th
Itinerary – 13 weeks:
Orientation in Ecuador – 1 week
Unit 1: Ecuador – 5 weeks
Enrichment: Peru – 1 week
Unit 2: Bolivia – 5 weeks
Washington, D.C. – 1 week
Orientation in Ecuador
This one-week period is spent in the mystic beauty of the cloud forests of Mindo, Ecuador. You’ll hold the first discussions of the curriculum and meet with your mentor to set your goals for the semester. You’ll complete health and safety training and team building activities that unite your group. Together, you’ll explore the cloud forest with waterfall hikes, a canopy tour, and tubing down the river!
Unit 1: Ecuador – Education in the Coastal Low-Lands
Education is the keystone of development. It can empower individuals and communities to improve health and create equity and justice. You’ll investigate how governments, non-profits, and independent actors work to address the needs of a rural community. Your group will work in public and private schools to understand education in Ecuador. You’ll live with local families and learn their views on education.
Enrichment: Peru – Trek to 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 as you hike through many Incan ruins before coming to the awe-inspiring sunrise view of Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate on your last morning on the trek.
Unit 2: Bolivia – Sustainable Agriculture in the High Valleys
Over the past 60 years, the world’s population has tripled as we have developed ways to dramatically increase agricultural production. Farmers use technology to increase crop yields, but these often bring pollution, impoverish small farmers, and threaten food safety. You’ll live with families in the town of Cochabamba and experience first-hand the innovative ways in which urban communities are tackling food insecurity. You’ll investigate how farmers, government, and businesses cooperate to balance demand for food with the ecosystem in Bolivia.
Culmination in Washington, D.C.
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 in a final project to raise awareness about critical global issues. You’ll celebrate your accomplishments.
TBB’s programs for students on gap years are different from all the others. Follow the link to learn how.