ARCC Programs
95% Rating
(53 Reviews)

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.

Most Recent Program Reviews

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Michael
Male
18 years old
BOSTON, MA
Washington University in Saint Louis

As cliche as it sounds..."the best 3 months of my life"!

10/10

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!

Cambodia:

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

Thailand:

- 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.

China:

-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

Vietnam
-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!

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Natalie
Female
18 years old
Agoura Hills, California
Cornell University

My Gap Semester

9/10

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.

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Andrew
Male
19 years old
Mahwah, New Jersey
Other

Latin America

9/10

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.

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Sarah Beth
Female
18 years old
South Carolina
Other

Most enlightening, empowering and happiest 3 months...

10/10

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.

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Hannah
Female
20 years old
Tampa

The Amazon

10/10

When I found out we were staying in the Amazon I was a little apprehensive. We took a boat to our destination and waste welcomed by a swarm of little kids! Two of them being my host family daughters ( mi hermanas) Jocelyn and jasmine! They took us to where Emily and I were staying and we were introduced to our families. Surprisingly enough it was a grandmother , grandfather, my host father and mother, two daughters , and one son named Eric. All of them living in a small house. Emily and I slept on small mattresses on the floor with bug netting around us. There were bugs I've NEVER seen before and it's was hot most of the days. Eating and spending so much time with our families was life changing. /so basic to say that , I know, but it's true.. I will forever be different and greatful for that experience. My host father had us teach him English , and he took us on extra hikes to see native plants and wild animals. He always made sure we were as comfortable as possible and happy! If I could do this all again I would in a second. Thank you to ARCC for this opportunity.

Program Listings

China
ARCC Programs
Leave the traditional classroom far behind as we journey to China, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. Gap Asia is a unique blend...
Peru
ARCC Programs
Adventure and education collide during our three-month journey through the lush jungles, dizzying heights and breathtaking co...
Uganda
ARCC Programs
ARCC Gap East Africa explores the majesty, cultures and challenges of three East African nations: Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania....
Cuba
ARCC Programs
ARCC’s New Frontiers: Patagonia & Cuba Spring Gap Program provides access to some of the world’s most intriguing and undiscov...
Nepal
ARCC Programs
Embark on the journey of a lifetime as we experience the rich cultures, numerous religions, ancient histories, and indefatiga...