Location
  • United States of America
Length
4 - 12 weeks
Program Tags
Adventure Travel College Credit Conservation Cultural Immersion Hands-On Learning Post-High School Scuba Diving Instruction Social Justice Wilderness
Need-based funding, General grants/scholarships, Payment plans, 529 Plan eligibility, BIPOC funding

Program Details

Activities
Animal Viewing Boating Camping City Exploring Farming Hiking Kayaking Scuba Diving Sightseeing Snorkeling Surfing Swimming
Timeframe
Fall Spring
Housing
Cabin Guesthouse Hostel Lodge Tent
Age Min.
17
Age Max
20

Pricing

Starting Price
16000
Price Details
*Airfare for inter-island flights additional
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Some Equipment Meals Park Fees Transportation
What's Not Included
Airfare Domestic Airfare Travel Insurance
May 18, 2023
Nov 09, 2023
32 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Explore the tropical paradise of the Hawaiian islands of O'ahu, Maui, and the Big Island, where white-sand beaches, turquoise waters, and tropical forest become our classroom. Building on nearly 40 years of Hawaiian programming and our long-standing partnerships with impactful local organizations, this unique semester allows us to investigate important environmental and social issues while immersing ourselves in the Aloha culture. Explore traditional taro farming and restore a 400-year-old fishpond in O'ahu. Explore marine ecosystems while earning your SCUBA certification on the island of Hawai’i and investigate important food security issues and help with projects to ensure local sustainability. Learn about aquaponics and vermiculture on a college campus and partner with local conservationists to protect cultural land on Maui. Discover unbelievable beauty and culture while getting to know these famous islands like a local!

Video and Photos

Diversity & Inclusion

BIPOC Support

ARCC Programs believes that social responsibility is an essential aspect of our programming and business operations. We strongly believe that cultural immersion, cross-cultural conversations, and reflection on these experiences can increase self-awareness, promote empathy, and foster growth. We recognize that our staff, student, and participant body is not as diverse as we would hope. We also recognize that there are inherent imbalances in access, particularly when it comes to international travel and outdoor experiences. Recognizing the current imbalances and accessibility issues within the world and more specifically within experiential/outdoor education/gap year programs, we are able to move towards a more just and inclusive world.

ARCC is committed to increasing accessibility for our programs and supporting socioeconomic diversity within our community. ARCC’s Voyagers Scholarship provides up to five scholarship opportunities per semester to students who identify within the BIPOC community. These scholarships can range anywhere from $5,000-$8,000, and also includes gear lending and mentorship support throughout the gap year experience. The Voyagers Scholarship can also be combined with ARCC Financial Aid. If you are interested in applying, please reach out to gap@arccprograms.com.

LGBTQIA+ Support

ARCC Programs believes that social responsibility is an essential aspect of our programming and business operations. We strongly believe that cultural immersion, cross-cultural conversations, and reflection on these experiences can increase self-awareness, promote empathy, and foster growth. We recognize that our staff, student, and participant body is not as diverse as we would hope. We also recognize that there are inherent imbalances in access, particularly when it comes to international travel and outdoor experiences. Recognizing the current imbalances and accessibility issues within the world and more specifically within experiential/outdoor education/gap year programs, we are able to move towards a more just and inclusive world.

Neurodivergent Support

Our Essential Eligibility Criteria outlines the requirements for participation in our programs to determine if our programs are a good fit for each student. While ARCC Gap is not a therapeutic program, we do provide an inclusive environment for students with neurodivergence. We have had students with various diagnosed neuro-differences (such as dyslexia, ADHD, ASD, TS, dyspraxia, dysgraphia, etc) find success on our gap semester programs.

During our interview process, we have open communication with students and families about the support ARCC instructors are able to provide students while on program. For students needing some additional support, we ask them to complete a “Plan of Action” with their at home support system. These plans may include additional information about communication/support preferences, coping strategies, and/or specific requirements to encourage the student to engage with the program effectively. Once on the program, our instructors will periodically check in individually with each student, help the student stay accountable to their Plan of Action, and provide general support to all participants.

Accessibility Support

ARCC Gap Travels to locations around the world that have varying levels of accommodations for students needing accessibility support. For this reason, please see our Essential Eligibility Criteria to see if our gap programs are a good fit for you.

Whenever possible (determined by specific location and program - ie. infrastructure, access to specific health care facilities, dietary options available, etc), we have successfully assisted students with anaphylactic allergies, chronic medical conditions, and other accommodations on programs. We recommend that you reach out with specific concerns to your Gap Director to find the right fit for you.

Impact

Sustainability

At ARCC Programs we recognize that all human action impacts our physical environment and the living beings on the planet. Everything on Earth plays a role in supporting life and we believe that it is our responsibility to have a net positive impact with our actions. We strive to balance the impacts of our programming by partnering with communities and organizations with similar goals toward bettering our planet for future generations.

Ethical Impact

ARCC believes that we (as an industry) need to shift the way we think about international service. We (as a society) have now come to realize that international volunteers often benefit from their service experience, while the impact on the community can be short-lived or even harmful. We at ARCC are taking the years of experience that we have in the international service learning realm, have reflected on previous mistakes, learned from our in-country partners, and have made changes. Our goal is to live, work, and learn alongside community members while also making a positive impact. We are committed to partnering with local community-driven organizations to focus on reciprocity while contributing to established long-term projects. It is our responsibility to engage in mutually beneficial community-driven projects and teach fair trade learning principles to our students.

Program Highlights

  • Participate in the Restoration of an Ancient Fishpond
  • Earn Your PADI SCUBA Certification in Kona’s Crystal Clear Waters
  • Complete Workshops on Aquaculture and Permaculture on Campus at UHMC
  • Develop Surfing Skills Through Lessons on Three Islands
  • Explore Hawai'i’s Volcanic Origins and Unique Ecology in Volcanoes National Park

Program Reviews

4.67 Rating
based on 24 reviews
  • 5 rating 66.67%
  • 4 rating 33.33%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Housing 4.2
  • Support 4.85
  • Fun 4.55
  • Value 4.6
  • Safety 4.95
Showing 1 - 8 of 24 reviews
Default avatar
Autumn
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Hawaii Fall semester

During the 70 days, I have learned so much about my self as a leader, how to work and live so close to others, and how to work as a supportive member of the group. Because of this program, I have gained the skills and knowledge to create less waste, garden and weed, and the importance of giving back to the ‘aina (land). I have found the value in traveling, trying new foods, working and meeting others. This semester has changed my life and perspective for the good and I will forever be grateful to this experience and those I shared it with.

28 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Hagan
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Gap Semester In Hawaii

Taking a gap year and going to Hawaii through ARCC was one of the best choices I have made. I got to escape my comfort zone and my little bubble back home to learn more about the world around me. On this program we learned about the culture of Hawaii and how to help the people and environment. Along the way we met some amazing people and made new friends that would forever change my POV of life. I recommend to anyone interested in taking a gap year and looking to find a passion to take on in the future to take a gap year and join a program. Doing this will definitely help you make a choice in what you want to study in the future going into college or university. I recommend this course of action to anyone who just graduated high-school who doesn't know what to do.

29 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Lucy
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Great time on ARCC

My ARCC trip pushed me out of my
Comfort zone and helped me become even more of a leader. I was able to meet so many amazing local people and listen to all of their stories and learn about Hawaii’s history through them. Although my group was very small we all got along really well and had a lot of fun. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to be able to travel with less pressure before going to college or figuring out what you want to do. I saw things I never thought I would see — lava, a shark while scuba diving, manta ray snorkel — and I became more confident in myself and my ability to lead and interact with people. Both of my leaders were super inspiring and blended in well with the group. My curiosity and joy of learning were heightened and I am so glad I was able to have this experience and travel before going to college in the Spring. I definitely recommend for anyone taking a full gap year or just a gal semester! A life-changing experience that I will never forget.

Pros
  • Interacting with locals
  • Learning the history of Hawaii
  • Getting scuba certified and surfing!
Cons
  • Hard to get a large variety of food for 70 days
  • Had a smaller group so less of a social scene but we all got along really well!
29 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Alexander
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Working in Paradise

I believe this program contains a diverse curriculum that will appeal to everyone no matter your background coming into this program or level of experience. The staff do an exemplary job helping you learn about yourself on the trip and grow as a student, friend, and leader. I learned so much about the vibrant and rich culture in Hawai‘i along with some common phrases and words related to the work we were doing. I believe at time I felt there was too much free time or sometimes not enough, but I believe that as we neared the end of the program we really fleshed out a good schedule that worked for everyone and became a very cohesive group.

Pros
  • Helpful staff
  • Lots of culture and new experiences
  • Making new friends and going surfing, snorkeling, and scuba diving
Cons
  • Lots of bugs
84 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Christy
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Arcc

It was a great trip overall had so much fun and met the coolest people. The experience was the best one I’ve ever had. The rules were kind of annoying but I understand why they are rules. I recommend this trip to any student that wants a fresh start and a new prospective like I did. I see myself and others in a totally different way than I did before and met really interesting people along the way. I also loved the structure of the program and the challenges that pushed me out of my comfort zone. At times, I did get a little bored and annoyed how structured it was but overall it was good

Pros
  • The people
  • The experience
  • Independence
Cons
  • Food
  • Rules
82 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Sophie
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

ARCC

Overall this was a very memorable and impactful experience that I’ll forever cherish. I was able to meet so many amazing people and learn so many things about Hawaii that I would never have been able to any other way. I think this is a great way to travel because I was able to have very unique experiences and make so many different connections that gave me a new perspective on my life. I think it would be better for future participants if they knew exactly what this trip entails because it was not what i expected. I thought we would be camping most of the time/ backpacking to campsites but instead we were staying in cabins most of the time and we didn’t go on very many hikes. I think the packing list could also be less strict because I ended up not using many of the things I packed and I had to buy a lot of things here.

Pros
  • Amazing views
  • Learned a lot about Hawaiin culture
  • Was able to make unique connections with so many people
Cons
  • Group dynamics
  • Lack of camping/being in nature
  • Packing
86 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Kyle
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

ARCC Hawaii Gap Semester - Spring

I had an amazing time on this program! Traveling around the different islands of Hawaii for two months is something I would most likely struggle to accomplish on my own or with a couple friends, making this a perfect program for anyone trying to learn how to travel with a group and on a budget. I got to essentially live with 12 other amazing students while experiencing the culture and fun activities Hawaii has to offer!! This will definitely be a trip that’ll stick with me for the rest of my days.

Pros
  • Gained amazing friendships
  • Extremely fun and mind blowing activities(scuba/shark dive/ etc.)
  • Picked up new travel skills
Cons
  • Not as much camping as advertised
  • Tension in group at times (expected)
  • Wish it was longer!!
80 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Annika
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

ARCC

On the Hawaii ARCC gap semester students can expect to do a lot of farming service. Most of the service done was working on farms. The Hawaiian culture was also a huge focus on the trip. We spent a lot of time with local people who taught us raw and real experiences of native people. We stayed in cabins or group rooms/housing most of the trip and spent a few weeks in tents. The whole time you are with a group which can get hard but you create a very close bond with everyone. All of the days are planned out for you but there is some say in what students want to do during free times.

Pros
  • Experience new cultures
  • Beautiful locations
  • Close friends
Cons
  • Minimal alone time
  • Not much verity in service
  • Long days
84 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers