When a Program friendship changes your life

Laura and James met on the New Zealand & Australia Gap Year Semester Program back in 2016 and it changed their lives forever. They talk to us about their program experiences and their new home Alaska.How did you end up in Alaska?Laura was born and raised just outside of Anchorage, Alaska. I was born and raised outside of Toronto, Canada. We developed a tight bond and strong friendship from the program, and we were interested in visiting each other after the program had e… Read more

The Amazing Race - Thailand Edition

A story of mangoes, sandcastles and haikus (by Lucy)What is the best way, you may ask, to get young adults to bond with each other? Put them in teams and then tell them they’ll be participating in a competition. The rules of the game are simple: complete the tasks, protect your mango, win the game.  We set our scene on the tropical island of Koh Lanta, Thailand. Think white, sandy beaches and picturesque, azure seas. One bright, clear morning, Tari (our instructor) aske… Read more

Program Thailand
Departure Spring 2021

Our Hawaii Highlights

Lets see a run down of our highlights of the week from one of our Hawaii Programs! Thank you for sharing Hawaii E! Connor  Who is that up there Is that a dominant manWhat is he doing  Evan I got the chance to go skydiving. It was one of the most insane moments of my life and the 60 seconds of free fall felt like 10. It’s something I’m so happy I did, and I can’t wait to try it again. Grayson  This evening we went to China Falls and we had quite the experience. W… Read more

Program Hawaii
Departure Spring 2021

A Yoga Retreat in Central America - Matthew and Liv

Matthew and Liv here to give an update on our travels!   We arrived in panajanchel after a long journey hiking through the beautiful mountains and valleys of Guatemala. After a yummy lunch at a local restaurant, we jumped in a boat to head to the yoga retreat! Once everyone arrived, we were very thankful for some warm showers and a nice bed to jump into. The next morning we jumped right into yoga starting at 6:45 am! it felt good to finally stretch out the muscles t… Read more

Program Central America
Departure Spring 2021

11 Things We Have Learned Living In Costa Rica So Far - Taylor Couto

1. Go local! Working in Mastatal we have learned that it is incredibly important to support local businesses and to keep money within a community. At the ranch in Mastatal, where we lived completely sustainably, the apprentices and folks who work here only buy produce from local businesses and shops. This helps those small businesses and also helps those at the ranch by having a healthy and eco-friendly diet. 2.It doesn’t matter if you speak English or Spanish but here w… Read more

Program Costa Rica
Departure Spring 2021

Hiking in Central America

Hiking Volcanoes in Antigua (by Emily and Anna P)What a week! After a long bus ride to Antigua, we settled into our hotel and set out to explore the cobblestone streets, local cuisine, and distinct culture- everywhere we turned there were mountains and volcanoes! Little did we know just how difficult some of those volcanoes would be to climb. After a day to catch our breath from the travel, we set out on our first “warm-up” hike up Mt Cucurucho. We were supposed to hike… Read more

Program Central America
Departure Spring 2021

Our Thai Climbing Adventure

Pushing our limits (by Addie)Our climbing and rappelling adventure was—for many of us—a trip outside of our comfort zones. However, despite some initial apprehension, we embraced the challenge as a growth opportunity and discovered new aspects of ourselves. On Day 1, we braved the courses on the side of the cliff, assessing our climbing skills by trying routes of varying difficulty. (Some of us—myself included—made an immediate beeline for the “easier” routes, only to f… Read more

Program Thailand
Departure Spring 2021

It's not all rainbows and butterflies

This week we hear from Alex on our Hawaii and Western Program. While our Programs make some of the best memories they are also a learning tool for our Students.   Alex:  As I sat at a wooden picnic table inside a quaint Hawaiian hostel with my left foot in a bowl of Coca Cola and surrounded by 13 people I considered strangers three weeks ago, I was forced to ponder where I had gone wrong in life to put myself in this situation. A year ago, if I could have seen myself … Read more

Departure Spring 2021

Meet our Spring 2021 Minimester Instructors

Meet our Hawaii and Costa Rica Minimester Instructors!Hawaii Instructors:Annie Waschko Annie Waschko was born and raised in Northeastern Pennsylvania (near Scranton if you’re a fan of The Office!) but has committed to exploring as many new places as possible. Her motto is “life is not short; it’s the longest thing you get” - she believes that there is lots of room for growth and adventure in life as long as you step intentionally towards it. She received her BA in Engl… Read more

Program Instructors
Departure Spring 2021

Our Instructor runs a half marathon in his quarantine hotel room

Our Instructor (Daniel) is running a half marathon in his Thailand Quarantine hotel room while on one of our Spring Programs. We couldn't describe what he is doing better than he does himself:   'I'm running a half marathon in my hotel quarantine room in Bangkok to raise money for cancer, specifically Hodgkins Lymphoma. 21 kilometres on the 21st of Feb for a supportive and connected 2021 I did a trial run two days ago, running back and forth a few thousand times for … Read more

Program Thailand
Departure Spring 2021