Gap Year Programs

SERVICE - ADVENTURE - LEARNING - INTERNSHIPS
18 Countries — 90 Programs
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Why Take A Gap Year?

A gap year is anything but a year off!

In fact, gap programs are formative experiences for high school juniors and seniors. They encourage personal growth and also can help students determine how best to pursue their college education.

Research has shown that defering college to travel, work, and volunteer overseas can be among the most important choices a high school student makes. And best of all, it's supported by top colleges and universities.

Sign up to learn more!

Rustic Pathways Gap Programs

Rustic Pathways Gap programs each last for one semester and are designed to provide opportunities for travel, cultural immersion, service and non-cognitive skills development.

Among the many options built into our programs, students can immerse themselves in Latin American culture, learn marine conservation in the South Pacific, or intern with a Rustic Pathways partner organization.

(Enroll by March 12th and save $150 on program application fees.)

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FOUR AMAZING GAP OPTIONS

SERVICE AND EXPLORATION

Our most popular and longest-­running programs, travel to several countries within a semester and take part in meaningful service projects along the way.

Spanish Language Immersion

Learn and practice Spanish through local interaction, home stay experiences, and structured classroom time as you travel to Costa Rica, Peru, and the Dominican Republic.

Rustic Internships

Ideal for independently driven students, this program offers internships in Rustic Pathways’ destination countries across the globe.

Design the perfect program

Many Rustic Pathways students choose the exciting option of combining multiple programs during a single trip. Many of our programs are designed to connect easily. If it’s possible, we’ll make it happen!

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Mia
Summer Camp Leadership, Costa Rica

"This trip has impacted me by showing me the joy that comes from teaching others a new language. The most important part of my trip was the community service aspect of each program, and teaching the Ticos English during SCL was the most rewarding experience of the entire trip."

Leader Spotlight

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Andres Zuniga
COSTA RICA PROGRAM MANAGER
Andres puts his master’s degree in environmental management and eco-tourism to use managing the Nicoya Turtle Expedition. The Turrialba native also runs soccer and service programs, where he combines his passion for soccer and helping others. Andres enjoyed a successful soccer career at the University of Costa Rica and is always looking for a friendly match!
Ritesh Narayan, Rustic Pathways Fiji Program Leader
Ritesh Narayan
FIJI PROGRAM LEADER
Ritesh is responsible for looking after many of the service projects that operate around Momi Bay. Born and raised just a stone’s throw away from our Eco-Lodge Base, his sense of humour and construction skills are always in demand. Ritesh learned his skills from his father, who also played an integral role in the development of Rustic Pathways bases in Fiji.
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Katie Mixon
THAILAND PROGRAM MANAGER
Katie holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in theater, and a bachelor’s degree in zoo animal science. She first joined Rustic applying her passion for animal care to our programs at Steve Irwin Zoo in Australia, before managing our elephant programs in SE Asia. Katie’s knowledge of conservation-based issues and warm personality make her valuable asset in SE Asia.

Leader Spotlight

Andres Zuniga.jpg
Andres Zuniga
COSTA RICA PROGRAM MANAGER
Andres puts his master’s degree in environmental management and eco-tourism to use managing the Nicoya Turtle Expedition. The Turrialba native also runs soccer and service programs, where he combines his passion for soccer and helping others. Andres enjoyed a successful soccer career at the University of Costa Rica and is always looking for a friendly match!
Ritesh Narayan, Rustic Pathways Fiji Program Leader
Ritesh Narayan
FIJI PROGRAM LEADER
Ritesh is responsible for looking after many of the service projects that operate around Momi Bay. Born and raised just a stone’s throw away from our Eco-Lodge Base, his sense of humour and construction skills are always in demand. Ritesh learned his skills from his father, who also played an integral role in the development of Rustic Pathways bases in Fiji.
Katy-Mixon_2.jpg
Katie Mixon
THAILAND PROGRAM MANAGER
Katie holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in theater, and a bachelor’s degree in zoo animal science. She first joined Rustic applying her passion for animal care to our programs at Steve Irwin Zoo in Australia, before managing our elephant programs in SE Asia. Katie’s knowledge of conservation-based issues and warm personality make her valuable asset in SE Asia.
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About Rustic Pathways

Rustic Pathways is a leader in providing superior quality educational service and adventure programs for students.
Far from being a year off, a gap year may be the most fulfilling, exciting, and important year of your education. Travel and contribute to community service projects, learn a new skill, or get practical work experience while immersing yourself in another culture.

We offer one-, two-, and three-week spring break and summer experiences, gap year programs, and custom group trips in 19 countries. Programs are carefully designed to help students make meaning of their travel experiences, identify interests and passions, gain confidence, and grow as individuals.

Across the globe, our local staff fosters lasting relationships with the communities in which we work, enabling our students to have immersive and authentic travel and service experiences.

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