Summer 2021 students - Please check out our US Domestic Gap Year Programs, a chance for you to spread your wings and make the most out of your Summer... checking out some of our own country's most beautiful and interesting locations!
Our amazing gap year programs combine rugged journeys to some of the most spectacular places on earth, with authentic cultural immersion, language study, rewarding service-learning volunteer projects, and inspiring adventures. You’ll be secure in a supportive group environment and learn more than you ever dreamed.
Our gap semesters are based on the concept of experiential education, and blend cultural immersion, personal and leadership development, volunteer and community service projects, ecotourism and sustainability focus, and transferable academic credit options.
They provide opportunities for meaningful connections with local people, pushing personal boundaries, and gaining knowledge of a country or region's history, societies and environments, facilitated by our knowledgeable Program Instructors.
If you are looking for an experience that challenges you, broadens your horizons, and merges cultural insights and environmental sensitivity with fun and adventure - come and explore with us!
Our educational travel programs are suitable for high school graduates, gap year students, college students and graduates, ideally 17 -22 years.
For an incredible gap year, you can combine each gap year program with another of our exciting Spring or Fall semester programs exploring Central America, South America, Nepal & Tibet, Southeast Asia, New Zealand & Australia, the Eastern United States, the Western United States and Hawaii & The Western United States!
“I can honestly say that I KNOW Nepal, not that I saw it as a tourist, but that I experienced all that it has to offer as if a Nepali myself.”
I can't say enough good things when it comes to Pacific Discovery. Now that I've gone through the whole process of looking into the program, signing up, getting ready, traveling through Nepal and Tibet… and coming home… it is so hard to imagine any other way to see an area of our world. The experiences we had on this trip would be impossible for someone to have without Pacific Discovery's planning, and connections to people in the area. Every day felt like a dream; I will forever remember my trip as one the best decisions I've made in my entire life, and am thankful beyond words that Rachel and Scott have created Pacific Discovery and continue to offer these life-changing opportunities.”
Kara Barnhart, 2014
This 10-week semester program offers you enriching and inspiring experiences throughout the United States’ west frontier and the offshore beauty of Hawaii’s Big Island. It combines conservation volunteer projects in diverse reserves; outdoor expeditions including backpacking, rock climbing, yoga, surfing and white-water rafting; and educational adventure travel through the west’s stunning mountain, rain forest and desert environments. Discover the weaving and cooking traditions of the Native Americans, the navigating skills of the indigenous Polynesians, and the National Parks’ efforts to mitigate deforestation and reintroduce endemic wildlife; uncover more about your own backyard than you even knew existed.
This 10-week semester program offers you an enriching and inspiring experience in Hawaii. It combines conservation volunteer projects with amazing educational adventure travel and heaps of fun in the sun and sea. Immerse yourself in Hawaiian culture and authentic outrigger canoe paddling. Discover Hawaii’s fascinating ocean and mountain landscape and explore incredible jungle, volcanoes, and beaches. Gain skills with lessons in sustainability, conservation, and the environment as well as rock climbing, hiking, surfing, and snorkeling.
This educational travel semester offers a spectacular spring or summer 'down under' combining three week-long volunteer conservation projects in different national parks in New Zealand and Australia; with multi-day outdoor expeditions - a surfing camp, a canoeing journey, a backpacking trip; a rock climbing camp and overland adventure travel through New Zealand and Australia’s stunning mountain, forest and beach environments.
Travel through the diverse and friendly Buddhist countries of Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. You'll get involved in volunteer projects. Have opportunities for meaningful connections with local people. Gain knowledge of Southeast Asia's history, societies and environments. Push personal boundaries, develop your leadership skills, and have incredible adventures hiking, kayaking, snorkeling and biking amidst dramatic landscapes.
A challenging and rewarding semester - you'll trek in the shadow of Himalayan mountains through Annapurna National Park. Get involved in community life and contribute to valuable community service projects. Experience mindfulness during a meditation and yoga retreat. Take an incredible rafting expedition from the Himalayas to the plains. Travel the roof-top of the world between Kathmandu and Lhasa, Tibet. Explore Lakeside Pokhara and Royal Chitwan National Park.
Challenge yourself on this inspiring experiential gap year semester journeying through the astounding cultural and environmental diversity, ancient ruins, and spectacular land and seascapes of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. This program combines immersive Spanish language study, hands-on permaculture volunteer projects, and challenging expedition elements - diving, trekking, surfing.
Gain insight into the lives of indigenous Andean and Amazon communities. Immerse yourself in Spanish. Participate in community-initiated service-learning volunteer projects. Be astounded by Machu Picchu, beautiful Lake Titicaca and the incredible wildlife in the Galapagos Islands. Trek, raft, cycle and snorkel through diverse environments.
This six-week mini semester program offers you an enriching and inspiring experience in Costa Rica. Welcome to one of the happiest countries on earth, perhaps stemming from the laid back Tico outlook combined with the incredible model of eco-stewardship Costa Rica boasts. During the six weeks you will get to experience hands-on animal conservation, permaculture, trekking through the epic Costa Rican rainforests, relaxing yoga and meditation, and endless beaches.
The United States is, in many ways, a country unlike any other, and this experiential travel semester offers you enriching and insightful fusion of environmental volunteer projects, cultural immersion, personal development, and, of course, the sun, sea, and sand!