Multiple Locations +2
  • India
  • Nepal
12 - 52 weeks

Program Details

Camping Hiking Sightseeing
Academic Year Fall Spring
Ashram Guesthouse Host Family Hostel Sleeper Train Tent
Primary Language
Age Min.
Age Max


Starting Price
Price Details
Full Access to Federal and State Financial Aid and Generous Private Scholarships!

LeapYear tuition includes:
- all scheduled program activities,
- food and accommodation during the program,
- one full year of college credit - 29 credits
- a full year of additional internship placements after LEAPYEAR, and
- annual reunions for as long as you care to attend them.
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Meals Park Fees Transportation
What's Not Included
Airfare Domestic Airfare Travel Insurance Visa
Dec 18, 2019
May 28, 2019
21 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

This program offers an extraordinary alternative year of college designed to assist a student in making a powerful and graceful transition from home to independence, high school to college, and adolescence into adulthood. You will spend ten weeks traveling India with a group of like-minded participants. You will then have the opportunity to participate in a three-month internship in the country of your choosing. Throughout your Gap Year, you will participate in four retreats that will serve to guide and support you during your transition into adulthood.

This program can be taken for a full year of academic credit and allows the use of financial aid and scholarship.

Runs from September - May (fall start) or January - August (spring start).

LEAPYEAR can also be done for high school completion.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Ten weeks of group travel to the Indian subcontinent
  • A three-month solo internship anywhere in the world, chosen from our database of over 6,300 opportunities. After, you can participate in a full year of post-LEAPYEAR internship placements
  • A three-month solo internship anywhere in the world, chosen from our database of over 6,300 opportunities
  • A fully accredited, integrative, experiential curriculum leading to a full year of academic credit
  • Access to financial aid and scholarships

Related Programs

Program Reviews

4.91 Rating
based on 11 reviews
  • 5 rating 90.91%
  • 4 rating 9.09%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Housing 4.45
  • Support 5
  • Fun 4.9
  • Value 5
  • Safety 4.75
Showing 1 - 8 of 11 reviews
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Ana Caroline
Yes, I recommend this program

A One-of-a-Kind Opportunity

This program includes a semester of group travel and a semester-long internship bracketed by several intensive retreats. I traveled to Nepal and northern India with nine other students and two trip leaders in my first semester and returned to India to study a form of art known as Thangka painting in Dharamsala during my internship. I learned more about myself and the world around me during my year in this program than I have at any other point in my life.

Housing ranges from staying at retreat centers, living at ashrams, camping in tents, guesthouses, and homestays with local families. One of the most important aspects of the program is a deep cultural immersion, and we got really close to the people we stayed with. Even over a year later, I am still in contact with many of the people I met during my travels.

I personally felt very supported during my time with LEAPYEAR. Although the program may seem a little short-staffed at times, the majority of the staff members care about the students on a deeper level than I have ever experienced. Even when problems did arise, I felt very safe.

The program was both fun and really challenging. Things were not always comfortable. Many of us got sick, and being sick while away from home in a foreign country can be a really difficult experience. The self-reflection aspect of this program can get quite intense sometimes. However, I also had the opportunity to sing, dance, and laugh harder than I ever have. I adventured to places I never knew existed and got to know some really incredible people. LEAPYEAR taught me my own limitations and encouraged me to grow past them.

This program helped prepare me for future academic pursuits and the work I am hoping to do in the future. Every time I reflect on my experience, I learn more and more. LEAPYEAR was easily one of the best things I could have possibly done for myself, and I am so grateful for my experience. I feel much more confident and grounded after my time in this program. It was a completely life-changing experience overall.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
On our last day in India, my group members and I were doing yoga on a rooftop in Delhi when a fish dropped down on us from the sky. It was around 7 o'clock in the morning, and we were all still half asleep when it happened. We had no idea where it came from, but, in my opinion, it symbolized our many indescribable adventures quite perfectly. We all laughed about it for a while afterwards, and it was only one of many bonding experiences we shared throughout our trip.
102 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Traveling with LEAPNOW

My trip to Nepal and North India with LEAPNOW was my very first time traveling outside of the country. It was intense, it was beautiful, it was life changing, and I wouldn't trade that experience for anything else! I recommend this program if you are ready to change your life, listen to your heart, and see the world with clear eyes. The work you do during group travel is such a humbling and unique experience. The staff (which is more like family) thoroughly and carefully crafts the schedule to make your experience abroad the most culturally rich and special as possible.

106 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

The best decision I have ever made

This program was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I chose to travel to India and Peru during my time at LeapNow and had the opportunity to explore new countries while having an incredible system of support and guidance that helped me navigate challenges and encouraged me to face my fears and difficulties without ever feeling alone.
While in India on group travel, I got take language classes in the foothills of the Himalayas, spend time with a wonderful homestay family in Varanasi, help build houses in the South Indian tropics, and far, far more than I could ever say in a simple review.
In Peru on my solo internship I chose to volunteer with the Sisters of Charity of Mother Theresa in a home for the dying, disabled, abandoned, and learned about caretaking and what it takes to live and travel independently.
Within the program I learned communication and problem solving skills, conflict resolution, cultural and social justice education, emotional literacy, group and solo travel skills, how to understand and maintain my own integrity, how hold myself accountable, how to create a healthy relationship with my own body, and how to create healthy, generative relationships with the people around me.
I use what I was taught in LeapNow virtually every day and will never be able to truly express my gratitude for this year of my life and all I learned from it.

97 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

The Best Year of My Life

Hello Everyone!
It's strange to think that a year ago I was in your position, furiously researching study abroad programs. I remember how overwhelming it was and how I didn't believe I would ever find the right one. Then by a chance of fate a family friend recommended Leapnow to me. Participating in this program was the best decision I have ever made. I was fortunate enough to travel through Nepal and Northern India during my group travel where we were exposed to different cultures in a way I have not witnessed in any other program. We lived and worked among the people, learning their language and customs.

Then coming back to the US Leapnow helped moderate the transition and provided a safe container to re-acclimate to society before going home. The retreats have given me tools I feel will be valuable for the rest of my life such as communication, leadership, emotional literacy and facing myself. I have also never before bonded to a group of individuals like I did my group. We are a family.

I would recommend this program to all students going through transition who want to really learn about themselves and the world we live in. It is not for the faint of heart, but I believe everyone has the capability to find true passion and potential through this incredible process.

90 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Gifts that Keep on Giving

I completed the LEAPYEAR program four years ago, and I can still feel the positive impact the experience has on my life every day. Upon graduating High School I felt lost and aside from travelling and exploring during my gap year, I wanted a chance to emotionally develop, get to know myself better and clarify what I want in life. LEAPYEAR delivered as advertised and was as much an inner as exploration as it was an outward exploration. I spent six months traveling in Nepal, India, Nicaragua and Costa Rica gaining new experiences, skills, and perspective about myself and the world. LEAPYEAR gave me the support I needed to learn how to confidently and competently travel and navigate a foreign place where I don’t know the language or the culture by myself. These lessons carried over to other areas of my life and have been serving me ever since. The four retreats helped me to process and integrate my experiences traveling, as well as dive deeper into my inner exploration and develop emotional intelligence. I feel like I got a head start on becoming my adult self which has served me throughout university and especially now that I am transitioning from college life to what’s next. I am forever grateful for my LEAPYEAR experience and the gifts that keep on giving.

What would you improve about this program?
You truly get out of this program what you put in. This is not necessarily something they should improve, however it is important to keep in mind when choosing a program that you must be committed and willing to fully participate to have a transformative LEAPYEAR experience.
93 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

I'm really happy I did it

The year was just so beautiful... nights stargazing on ashram rooftops in Nepal, Himalayan sunrise treks, delicious food EVERWHERE, misty mornings at the maacama campus in California...

Even deeper than that, for me, was softening into who I am as a human being. Learning that I'm not the only one who feels broken a lot of the times, learning to feel this deep sensation in my bones that I'm not alone in the universe - that I have friends all around me. The year itself was such a beautiful (and super FUN) exploration of not only the physical world, but my own heart.

The entire program itself was a springboard - it seems to have shifted my life in irreversible ways. Now I'm so much more capable of deicing for myself who I want to be in the world, how I want to relate to others, and what incredible life I want to build for myself. The power is in my hands, and LEAPYEAR gave it to me.

89 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

The Best Decision of My Life!

Every single day I think about my LEAP year experience, and when I do I am filled with gratitude. In LEAP every day is a unique way to grow in a way I lack the space to describe. Every day is wide awake

What would you improve about this program?
I have no complaints about the program whatsoever. It is like art, to change anything, changes the experience that is unique to everyone.
95 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

I asked for "change" in my life and I recieved...be careful what you wish for...!

Every day on the land in Maacama during the retreats, or out in group travel in India and Nepal, or on my solo internship in Seville, Spain...every day was physically and actively different and yet the constant was a feeling of support, a passion from the staff and group leaders, love of travel and life in general, openness, patience, willingness and wisdom. Everyone brought themselves, their excitement, humor, creativity, genius(!) to the stage and it was an incredible time. Either sitting and writing a paper in India, or California, I felt proud to turn something in because I knew it was going to people who were reading it out of my own learning experience, not our of a systematic and literal grading...it was out of what did I do, what did I learn from it, who am I now? Every day is full of wonder, newness and a total sense of "holy cow, what I am doing is amazing!"

What would you improve about this program?
What could be improved is the living situation. I gave it an 8 out of 10 because I know that the place is very safe, well-built and there is always something being furnished or improved on the land...and that's just it. I would love to have some more areas on the land for getting messy and creative outdoors, a basketball court, or a wall for murals. Also, I could have used some more space in the cabins, but then again...my group was huge and they are, like I said, improving on that group-by-group.
I also wish that I could have had more preparation, time or a big, obvious sign that said "figure out your internship by the time you get back to 2nd Retreat." It would be great if the leaders had reminded us more, if there was a time during the trip that could have been set aside for "hey, how's that internship research going? Let's figure it out together, if you need help."
94 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers