A Bittersweet End to the Central America Program

Did you know that our instructors keep the parents up-to-date on what's been happening each week on program? These weekly emails are undoubtedly something to look forward for the home front. To give you a better idea on what these look like, here's the final update from the incredible instructors Jack and Tari on the Central America Program.   Hey families! Our last week on the Central America semester with this crazy, fun, smart, thoughtful, and hilarious group of st… Read more

Program Central America
Departure Fall 2021

Our Quest For Zac Efron in Thailand

I was sitting in my room in Ao Nang, catching up on some reading on one of our free days, when suddenly, McKenna and Cabell came crashing in, saying, “Zac Efron is in Thailand!!” I was shocked. “He was spotted in Phuket!” they continued. We soon hatched a plan to find him. Our hunt for Zac in Thailand had begun. Our first stop was the hot springs in Ao Nang. These springs are naturally heated, similar to the ones in Japan. When we arrived, there were two different types… Read more

Program Thailand
Departure Fall 2021

What I Learned on the Hawaii Program

As the Hawaii Program is nearing its end this Fall, students are looking back and reflecting on their last 10 weeks of traveling around, volunteering and team bonding. Read all about Lauren Castleman's discoveries and realizations about herself and her time on program in this week's blog!   During these past nine weeks in Hawaii, I’ve been able to explore the Pacific. Traipsing around the islands of Oahu and Hawaii, I gained a deeper understanding of Hawaiian culture a… Read more

Program Hawaii
Departure Fall 2021

Poetic Thailand: Khao Sok National Park in Verse

When we visited Khao Sok, a rainforest national park in southern Thailand, I was struck by the variation of color in the tall cliffs next to where we were staying. As I began to describe them, I found myself overwhelmed by the vibrancy of life surrounding me. All I could manage then was pages and pages of words, which I only managed to organize into a poem a week later, after a full free day spent working on it. I truly believe this may be one of my best works, and I hop… Read more

Program Thailand
Departure Fall 2021

Climbing Volcanoes in Central America

Antigua is known for its remarkable volcanic landscapes nearby, so our Central America Program students embark on a multi-day hike in search of volcanoes and high-altitude lakes. Climbing Volcan Acatenango is on the bucket list of most travelers, and our students certainly understand why after this adventure! Read all about this adventure from a student's point of view.   When our hike began, the group was already a bit overwhelmed. We were fraught with emotional turmo… Read more

Program Central America
Departure Fall 2021

Should I Take a Gap Year Before Medical School?

Taking a gap year during college is becoming more and more mainstream, and is proving to be especially popular and useful for pre-med students. A staggering 44% of medical students chose to take a gap year or two in 2019, according to a survey from the Association of American Medical Colleges. While some reported using this year away from the classroom to work on their medical school applications, others used it to improve their finances, recharge or volunteer abroad, fo… Read more

The Ups and Downs on a Hike

The Hawaii Gap Year Students (Group 3) started their adventures on the Big Island a few weeks ago, and used some hands-on risk assessment techniques on their first hikes. Read all about journey to becoming a more positive group that's confident with outdoor exploration.   Our first hike started perfectly. The trail winded down into the valley underneath a completely clear sky and overlooked an incredible view of the outskirts of the island with the scattered buildings… Read more

Program Hawaii
Departure Fall 2021

Poetry-Inspiring Phuket

Charlotte Stang arrived in Phuket on our Thailand Gap Year Program, and found herself deeply inspired by the natural beauty of the land, especially the beaches. Over the course of her first week on program, she wrote two poems for Patong Beach. We can't help but be amazed by the insanely talented students we get on program! Floatby Charlotte Stang   Can you imagine a wide horizon blotted clouds painted by a child’s finger dabbled in clear whites and stormy grays. … Read more

Program Thailand
Departure Fall 2021

Self-Led Week, a Time-Honored Tradition!

While our blog posts are usually written by the students themselves, we just had to share this story from our Hawaii & Western US instructor Lucy McGrath that is on the ground right now. Enjoy this week's tale about Pacific Discovery's unique self-led week, which has long been ingrained in our DNA. We truly believe in the amount of learning and growth our students experience throughout our semester programs, and this week puts that to the test, in the best way possible! … Read more

Departure Fall 2021

Top 5 Things to Do in Phuket

Hey everyone, This is Thailand Gap Semester Group 2, checking in from Phuket. We spent our first two weeks on this island as part of the Phuket Sandbox. These first two weeks were jam-packed with a variety of fun activities. We are all having the time of our lives!! We've listed the top five most exciting things we’ve done on our journey so far for you. #1: Scuba diving!Hi, my name is Abby, and scuba diving was one of the most incredible experiences of this trip! The … Read more

Program Thailand
Departure Fall 2021
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