ARCC Gap Programs

ARCC Programs


ARCC Gap Semester Programs offer an educational and cultural bridge between high school and college. They are an opportunity to live, work, learn, and explore in some of the greatest classrooms on earth. Designed with a rich educational fabric complementing each and every location, our programs highlight regional issues that are directly linked to global challenges.

On an ARCC Gap Semester we go behind the scenes to meet with local experts, scholars and community leaders to research and study issues and their impact on the communities we visit. Students immerse into the culture through homestays, service work, teaching, and exchange.

An ARCC Gap Semester is life changing. It is an opportunity to reach out and experience both life and the world from a different perspective.

ARCC offers semesters in Africa, Asia, India & Nepal, and Latin America. Each program is an educational semester in a small group setting with a defined curriculum and leadership development component.


242 Redwood Highway Frontage Rd
Mill Valley, CA 94941
United States


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Before I graduated in the spring 2017, I wasn’t really sure if I actually wanted to go to college. I did get accepted into several colleges but was super unsure if I wanted to go. My mom encouraged me to look into a Gap Year. At that time I didn’t know much about gap years, so I investigated a bunch of different programs and came across ARCC on Go Overseas. I submitted my application for the ARCC Asia trip and I am beyond happy that I did. In the 3 months of traveling to China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand, I learned that the world is much bigger then I ever imagined. I learned to immerse myself in many unique cultures. I experienced once-in-a-lifetime opportunities like camping on the Great Wall of China, watching the sunrise at Angkor Wat in Cambodia, and scuba diving on Koh Nang Yuan island in Thailand. I also got the chance to experience home stays to see what life was like for local families. It’s experiences like these that not a lot of people get to have in life, let alone at a young age. Aside from all these amazing opportunities I also got the chance to do service work such as teaching English to Chinese students, working with kids affected by agent orange in Vietnam, building water filters for local villages in Cambodia, and working with elephants at an elephant sanctuary in Thailand. While I was volunteering at these different places, I realized how fortunate I am and it made me appreciate my life back in the US. It also made me realize that you don’t have to have much money life to be happy life. I learned to make long lasting relationships and memories with the 12 other people in my group. it’s hard to answer the question of “what was my favorite part of the trip?” I would say all of it because every experience and every memory was one of the most extraordinary things that I have ever experienced in my life.

Here is a list of other amazing highlights of my trip:

* 4 day hike into Tiger Leaping Gorge
Dancing with the locals in Shangri La
High ropes course
Visiting a small rual village

Sleeping on a boat in Lan Ha Bay
Biking in the old towns
Exploring the city of Saigon

Riding in tuk tuks
Beach days
Visiting rual villages

Scuba diving
Thai boxing
Working at a wild life sanctuary


How can this program be improved?
Visiting additional rural places especially in Vietnam would be nice.
Yes, I recommend
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I am sitting at 35,000 feet on my final flight from Hong Kong back to the States. With only 3 of the 12 hour flight remaining, I know my time with my friends will soon come to an end. But Dr. Seuss said don’t cry because it’s over smile because it happened. I want to use this review of ARCC in asia to talk about all the fond memories and realizations I will take away from this portion of my gap year.

This trip has far exceeded any and all expectations. First I will focus on the experiences themselves. Over the last 3 months I have done so much… below are just a taste of all I have done!


- Rode a Tuk Tuk
- Built Water filters in Cambodia
- Saw the sunrise on Angkor Wat


- Learned to Scuba Dive and loved Scuba Diving
- Worked at an elephant sanctuary
- Developed a strong relationship with my host mom during a homestay in a rural thai farm village.


-Climbed and slept on the great wall of china!
-Hiked Tiger Leaping Gorge (7 miles a day!)
-Went to a rural village in Fu Gong China and built a toilet for a village with only 1 toilet

-Volunteered at Friendship Village
-Swam and relaxed at Halong Bay
- Said goodbye to 13 amazing people…relationships that will stick with me for the rest of my life.

But frankly the experiences would be nothing if it weren’t for the kids I experienced them with. Every single one of the members in my cohort are so valued. A great way to explain this is the words I shared with my group at our final evening circle closing circle. “ I came into this trip feeling a little insecure socially. I leave today thankful that I have made 11 new friends and more importantly have garnered the confidence to simply trust and be myself. I look forward to staying in touch in the future. Thanks for making these 3 months some of the best 3 months of my life.”

Indeed these last 3 months in Asia have been so much more than simply exploring and learning about Asia. It was about the social connections I made. It is about learning to trust and believe in myself that I can make friends I am liked for who I am. And it was about learning about the reality my life is just one small fraction of this world: indeed there are so many like minded people out there and it is just about giving them a chance to share their story because chances are you have more in common than not.

In sum, my time in Asia is one of the most coveted parts of my life and I am forever grateful for the places I saw, the people I met, and the new relationships that will last with me for a lifetime!

Yes, I recommend
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Looking back on my gap semester now, I can honestly say this was one of the most worthwhile things I have ever done in my entire life! Traveling throughout South America gave me a broader perspective on life. It enhanced my perspectives of the world and exposed me to things that few people get to experience in one's lifetime.

Being exposed to different cultures and different ways of life not only gave me a newfound appreciation for my life but also made me extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to travel to a unique region of the world before I go to college.

Traveling to new and exciting parts of the globe with a group of like minded individuals was definitely a phenomenal experience. I will never forget all of the amazing things I did and experienced during my gap semester.

How can this program be improved?
Perhaps the more fun-oriented activities such as river rafting, zip lining, and surfing could be more dispersed throughout the semester instead of during the first few weeks in Costa Rica.
Yes, I recommend
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I thought the trip was really fun and really beneficial. There were some ups and downs across the way but other than that it was a great experience. I had two really awesome leaders Will Earley and Alex Morton and they did a great job keeping the group safe, had great activities to keep the group close and to help form life long friendships. Their was a lot of fun activities planned by the leaders and we learned about a lot of new cultures, met some really cool people, and formed really close friendships.

Yes, I recommend
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Sarah Beth

I went on the Southeast Asia program and it was by far the most enlightening, empowering and happiest 3 months of my entire life. Words can’t describe how incredible ARCC and this program is. My leaders were incredibly knowledgeable, passionate and really had the best interest for all of their students. ARCC was really good at providing a safe yet challenging environment for us and also informing parents of any travel changes/updates we may have had. I’ve come back to the U.S. feeling much more confident and grateful. Overall, if you are thinking about taking a gap year - DO IT! It’s so beneficial and I can’t thank ARCC enough for all of the wonderful friends and experiences I’ve gained.

Yes, I recommend


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