ARCC Gap Year 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, they highlight regional issues that are directly linked to global challenges.
Venture to some of the world’s most exotic and intriguing regions, ranging from the turquoise waters of Panama, to the lush jungles of Costa Rica, to the white-sand beaches of Belize. Shadowing doctors in the Bocas del Toro islands off the coast of Panama, we understand the barriers to medical access for remote indigenous communities. Visiting a locally run coffee farm in the Panamanian mountains, we learn the process behind the production of coffee and cacao. Rafting on Costa Rica’s exhilarating Pacuare River, the vibrancy of life in the jungle beckons us in the calls of toucans and howler monkeys. Partnering with local biologists, we work hand-in-hand to preserve the offspring of Olive Ridley sea turtles nesting onshore. Basking in the crystal clear waters off improbably white sand beaches, we take in the beauty of Belize. Exploring the underwater life of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, we gain insights into a world rarely witnessed, while doing a small part to protect the reef through a lionfish eradication project. After experiencing three of the world’s most fascinating and beautiful nations, we return to the U.S. with broader perspectives and a newfound passion to learn.
- Central America: Belize, Costa Rica, Panama
- Fall: September 1 – November 9
- Spring: February 15 – April 25
- $15,000 tuition
- Airfare for international and in-country flights is additional
- SCUBA Diving E-Learning (must be completed before the program) is also additional
- ARCC Gap Year Programs are for students between 17-20 years old.
- It is not uncommon for students who have done one to three semesters in college to join ARCC on a Gap Semester.
Application or Entry Requirements
- In order to officially hold a place on a semester, students need to complete the online application and submit an $800 deposit. The application can be found on the website by clicking the red “Enroll Now” button. This will take you to an online application where you can also make the $800 deposit.
- After submitting the online application, ARCC will confirm the $800 deposit. This deposit is essential to holding the space. If ARCCC doesn’t have a deposit held by credit card or check, please don’t consider the space reserved.
- After submitting the application applicants will receive the detailed application and two – three required reference forms via email. This is the third step in the application process and these application materials must be completed within three weeks of your deposit.
Notifications of Decisions
Once the Gap Director has received all application forms, the Director will follow up to set up to schedule either a face-to-face or video interview. Within two weeks, applicants will be informed as of their acceptance into the ARCC Gap Year program.
Financial Aid Details
ARCC has set aside a pool of funds to be used to partially sponsor students who wish to participate in an ARCC Gap Semester, but are unable to cover the costs of the full tuition. The amount of financial aid granted to a student depends upon the family’s need, the tuition, and the number of students applying for financial aid. Aid amounts can go up to $6,000, but our average award is between $2,000 – $4,000.
Applications for financial aid are reviewed on a rolling basis. We recommend submitting your request as early as possible for a greater likelihood of aid.
Read more about financial aid here.