GAP YEAR PROGRAM DETAILS
Now we have added flexibility so you can customize the length of your experience. It’s your adventure. Choose where you have it. The Latin America semester focuses on language and cultural immersion, as well as community and sustainable development. In Asia, we explore education and social issues and add a deeper level of personal reflection and growth. Together, the two segments offer a holistic journey that will help you discover your passions and make the world a better place.
Expand your horizons. Change the world. We’ll help you take the next step.
choose one semester or two
Fall: September – December
Spring: January – May
visit two countries or four
What’s the very best way to learn a language? We believe it’s immersion — combined with one-on-one daily lessons from experienced instructors. That’s exactly what you’ll experience in Guatemala. As you serve a small Mayan community, you will develop Spanish proficiency that will enable you to dive deep into the culture and lifestyle. Already speak Spanish? You’ll take part in discussions and workshops on the current events in Guatemala, as well as understanding complex history of country, including the 36-year civil war that ended in 2000.
In Costa Rica, we’ll dig deep into powerful topics of great importance: sustainable development, environmental management, and green living. On a personal note, we’ll be taking stock of what we’ve learned across our journeys and how it has changed the way we view the world and ourselves. We’ll also have the opportunity to perfect the Spanish learned in Guatemala by practicing with our host families and local Young Dreamers. Costa Rica is a magical place full of rain forests, beaches, volcanoes, and the happiest people you’ll ever meet.
Our time in India is about supporting a neglected community, discovering yourself, and immersing in one of the world’s oldest, richest cultures. Interwoven with our service and cultural experiences, we’ll take a step back to reflect and better understand who we are and to develop the maturity and confidence it takes to be our greatest selves. We’ll explore the country through weekend excursions to places like the Taj Mahal, volunteer in a slum that desperately needs your help, and spend time on causes ranging from education to healthcare to the environment.
A unique blend of old world and new, Ho Chi Minh City with its 21st century buildings and roadways is leaving its most vulnerable populations behind. We will serve one of those populations — impoverished and orphaned children — through education, enrichment and hope. Additionally, we’ll learn about the culture, lifestyle, and daily challenges of our local Young Dreamers. We’ll also explore the beautiful countryside of the Mekong Delta, the beaches of Mui Ne, and the artifacts and lingering effects of the war with the US fifty years ago.
CURRICULUM & PROGRAM ELEMENTS
Building on the success of our service trips, the Gap Year Program focuses on deep cultural immersion, service learning and adventure travel, with an additional focus on self-discovery and Spanish language development.
Students travel together as a cohort, building strong ties with each other that enable personal reflection and introspection. There are facilitated discussions covering everything from values and cultural norms to change and leadership.
The group spends nearly 2 months in each country participating in community service projects such as tutoring, community development, improving schools, and environmental protection. They partner with local Young Dreamers in our global service and leadership program to discuss community challenges and collaborate new ideas and solutions for those problems – and they don’t just ideate, they actually design, engineer, and implement!
One set of Gap Year participants helped launch the Elephant Village School, a new independent school run by Dream Volunteers in a neglected village just outside of Jaipur. In just over two years, the program now has a full curriculum, three certified teachers, and over 30 students, both boys and girls!
Students in the Gap Year program participate in homestays, local festivities and ceremonies, classes, and group activities with local host families, building a rich understanding of the traditions and values of these communities. They also visit important cultural attractions such as the Taj Mahal and the ghats of Varanasi in India, Tikal and Semuc Champey in Guatemala, Corcovado in Costa Rica, and the Mekong Delta in Vietnam.
With so much to experience, time is also reserved for free time and independent reflection, an opportunity for students to process their learnings and continue to discover their own motivations and passions.
Gap Year participants teach, tutor, and partner with local Young Dreamers on community projects.
Program participants can opt for one semester or two. Whether you travel for 15 weeks or 30, you will have the experience of a lifetime!
If you elect to participate for one semester, then you will choose fall or spring, and either Guatemala/Costa Rica or India/Vietnam. If you elect to participate for one year, you will go to India/Vietnam in the fall and Guatemala/Costa Rica in the spring.
If you are participating in both semesters, you will have a month off from mid-December to mid-January. Many students will return home to spend time with family during the holidays. Some will opt for additional travel extensions. We are happy to help you customize your adventure to meet your needs.
The program price is $11,000 per semester.
- Housing & meals
- Cultural activities
- Group excursions
- In-country transportation
- Spanish language lessons
- Service project coordination
- 24/7 emergency response
- In-country guides and on-site staff
- Lectures by local experts
- Self-discovery curriculum
- Books & course materials
- A contribution to Young Dreamer scholarships
- Passport and visas
- Travel insurance
- Individual travel extensions & excursions
(beyond the program excursions)
- Personal expenses
(e.g., for souvenirs, laundry, social activities, extra travel)
There is no such thing as a “typical” day and so many days that go astray of plan, but here are a few daily agendas to give you a feel for what a typical day on the World Stamp program looks like.
9:00 am Breakfast
10:00 am Service Work
3:00 pm Service Learning Class
4:00 pm Henna Workshop (optional)
5:00 pm Free time
7:00 pm Dinner
8:00 pm Self-discovery class
7:30 am Breakfast
8:00 am Spanish Class
12:00 pm Group Picnic Lunch
1:00 pm Service Work
5:00 pm Soccer Match with local students
7:00 pm Dinner
8:00 pm Individual Reflection
A WEEK AT A GLANCE
No day is the same and neither is one week anything like the next. From working hard in the fields to playing with school children, or swinging from the canopy on a zipline in the trees to participating in a traditional Mayan wedding, learning to cook curry or attempting salsa lessons, there are so many amazing adventures to try!