Next Generation Gap Year Programs
Global Quest is at the cutting edge of Gap Year education, a one of a kind cross continental group journey designed for a diversity of high school graduates who are passionate, motivated, and ready to step boldly into the next phase of life with the inspiration, experience and skills necessary to contribute to the creation of a more democratic, socially just and environmentally sustainable community back home!
Known for its beautiful landscapes, rich history, tranquil Buddhist culture, peaceful temples and delicious food, Thailand is an exceptional gap year destination. Thailand is friendly and fun loving, exotic and tropical, cultured, historic and very much part of the modern world. One of the most culturally and biodiversity rich countries in Southeast Asia, encounters with history, culture, and nature await you at just about every turn of this insightful short gap year.
"Going to Thailand was the most fulfilling month of my life. I made the most unforgettable memories. Being immersed into the Thai culture is so unreal and if you open to the experience it will forever change you. I learned so much and left a more genuine and kind person. The friends you make while abroad are something to hold on to. It is eye-opening and life-changing. GO. GO. GO!"
Ansley Sweet, from Hattiesburg, MS
“My time on program in Peru could not have been a richer cultural, social, and personal experience. My program consisted of 12 participants and we were all family and very tight- knit by the end of the trip. I was able to visit places I’ve always dreamed of going such as Machu Picchu, Manu National Park and Cusco. It was very hard saying goodbye to this beautiful country and the people, but I will definitely be returning in the years to come!”
Kellie Y., from San Diego, CA
Peru’s long cultural history is matched only by its cuisine and geography. Together these three influences enrich Peru and those who are able to go beyond its tourist track, as best done on our unique and immersive gap year. You will walk the cobblestone streets of the ancient Inca capital of Cusco, hike the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, and explore the community villages and snow capped peaks of Sacred Valley of the Incas. Our Peru is a Peru waiting to share its environmental challenges, beauty and success stories; its cultural riches and its economic challenges; it’s people’s warmth and its social inequalities and justice movements that are giving voice to people across the country. Let us show you the real Peru through an authentic gap program lens so you can love it as we do.
Welcome to Barcelona, a bustling seaside city in the Mediterranean country of Spain. An eclectic mix of contemporary and traditional culture, celebrated architecture, and a wonderful people, Barcelona is an inspiring gap year destination. Barcelona is often known as the cultural hub of the Mediterranean and boasts more World Heritage listed sites than any other city in Europe, some of which are 2,000+ years old. The second-largest city in Spain has two official languages, Castilian Spanish and Catalan. It’s the perfect place to sharpen your personal, professional and intercultural skills, while you learn about the unique Catalan history, culture and get inspired by the people and projects that are moving Barcelona toward becoming a more just, democratic and sustainable city.
“Not only did this program provide me real world, career focused experience and skills, it also deepened my appreciation for the culture of Barcelona and Spain as a whole. The included cultural activities and trips gave us an insider view of the city and culture as well as local insights living in Barcelona. I would highly recommend this program to anyone and everyone, Barcelona is a life-changing city!”
Ryan F., from Ohio
With the support of skilled program leaders, site based staff and rich experiential and integrated curriculum Global Quest gap year programs are designed to help you:
TAKE THE WHEEL
Explore and pursue your personal, academic and career interests and choose where you want to dive deep within the larger themes of a short but impactful gap program. Lean in and push beyond your comfort zones by engaging self-reflectively with the realities you encounter, and take the reigns of your journey with the support of skilled program leaders and staff.
Learn to live from a place of greater authenticity. Develop a greater sense of personal resilience and a toolkit of awarenesses, emotional intelligence and mindfulness practices that will support you in living more fully and better navigate life’s challenges. Engage in an active lifestyle, and unpack, explore and better understand your worldview, values, privilege and power.
FIND YOUR PATH
Develop your unique voice and explore your intellectual, academic, and professional interests in real time, in the real world. Explore the unique talents, skills and passions you have and how you can become an engaged citizen in your home community. Sync up your values, beliefs and passions into your everyday life on program during our capstone international internship experience in Barcelona and back home.
UP YOUR SKILLS
Spend your days exploring new cultures, learn to live and travel well with your fellow gap program participants and on your own, interacting with myriad people from different backgrounds and deepening, broadening and sharpen your life, critical thinking, community service, career, group and leadership skills.
ACTIVATE YOUR CITIZENSHIP
A wise person once said, Freedom Ain’t Free! Explore the unique and innovative ways that local people -in your generation- are carving out a path for themselves within the modern world while contributing to the creation of a more democratic, socially just and sustainable society. Develop service and career skills that positively contribute to the organizations and communities we partner with that are in line with your passions, gifts and call to actively contribute.
EXPAND YOUR PERSPECTIVES
Use critical and systems thinking to better understand the interconnections between the cultures, people, environments and guiding questions we explore. Explore, challenge and clarify your worldviews, values and beliefs and put them into practice on program and beyond. Learn about grassroots democracy, justice and sustainability solutions being implemented on a local level in 3 distinct cultures across the globe.
HAVE FUN & ADVENTURE
Let’s face it, this stuff is really fun and a gap year program of this kind really adventurous! Traveling, learning and growing with your friends while visiting 3 continents, and 3 amazing destinations, truly is the journey of a lifetime. Whether we’re hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, exploring the night market in Chiang Mai or spending a day off at the beach near Barcelona, our traveling gap programs prioritize spreading your wings, enjoying the moment and seeking out the everyday beauty in the places we visit.
LINK UP & BUILD RELATIONSHIPS
Step away from your technology and learn to engage with your group and the countless people you’ll meet in real time. Develop your interpersonal, community building and networking chops through regular group discussions, engagement with locals, community needs assessments, service work projects and peer to peer hang out times with young students, leaders, innovators and change agents your age in the communities we visit.
Gap Year / Growth Year
Signing up for a gap year program represents a bold step and commitment to taking a YEAR ON after high school before stepping into the next phase of your life in college and beyond.
At Global Quest we see this unique period as a modern day rite of passage and a one of kind opportunity. We support our participants as they transition into the next phase of life with greater self awareness, clarity, purpose with the cross cultural and real world knowledge and skills gained on our programs. Our goal is that your gap year is your growth year, preparing participants to be innovators, leaders and changemakers as they go forward to the next challenges and opportunities in life.
*According to the American Gap Association National Alumni Survey conducted in 2015, the most conclusive to date.
Reported developing as a person, with increased maturity and self confidence.
Reported having developed a greater understanding and respect for other cultures.
Reported developing skills that were helpful in their career.
Reported seeing themselves as Global Citizens as a result of their program.
Traveling to Thailand changed my entire perspective on life, both professionally and personally. It inspired within me a new appreciation for other cultures and a passion for traveling and seeing parts of the world that are less traditional destinations. Most of all, it has shown me how amazing of an experience living and learning in another country is and has awakened within me a desire to take what I’ve learned back home.Cody T.from Houston, TX
"Spain is absolutely wonderful. I enjoy the scenery, the excursions, the random markets, and of course, the many musicians that play in the metro. There is incredible talent here in Barcelona. My Spanish has gotten significantly better over the last two weeks. I am even able to understand and hold a decent conversation with someone who can hardly talk in English. That, in itself, is very amazing for me."Stephanie T.from Wyoming
My time on program in Peru could not have been a richer cultural, social, and personal experience. My program consisted of 10 students and we were all family and very tight- knit by the end of the trip. I was able to visit places I’ve always dreamed of going such as Machu Picchu, Manu National Park and more. It was very hard saying goodbye to this beautiful country and the people, but I will definitely be returning in the years to come!Kellie Y.from San Diego, CA
This was definitely one of the most unforgettable and amazing experiences of my life. I left Thailand in tears because I fell in love with the country, culture, people. I want everyone to do this program so they can have the same wonderful experience I had. People in my program enjoyed it so much that some are traveling back after the program to do an internship or even talking about moving to Thailand permanently.Julia A.Lexington, VA
Stepping out of my comfort zone lead me to lose the fear of doing what I have always desired. I became far more cultured as I tasted various foods, learned bits of the language to communicate with the locals, gained knowledge of their religion and lifestyle, as well as meeting people from all over the world. I wouldn't be who I am today without living abroad and I hope every single person in this generation gets to travel at least once in their lifetime.Brittany F.from Conway, SC
It opened my eyes to an entirely different world. The culture, the community, the language, the places I got to visit and the experiences I had were so unique and different than anything I've ever seen or been through. It motivated me to make traveling a major goal in my future.Richele M.from Plymouth NH
"I loved the program because it really integrated me into Spanish culture. By the end of the program, I really felt like I lived in Barcelona and could be a Spaniard. There were so many cultural activities and trips organized by the program that introduced me to not only Barcelona’s flavor, but Spain’s, and gave me an appreciation and understanding for the place I was calling my home for a month. "Emma A.from Wisconsin
Traveling to Peru was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life! During our time there I got to live with a host family, explore the Sacred Valley and use my skills in service of a local conservation group. The people me met and worked with in and around Urubamba were so kind, caring and beautiful. Our guides helped us make the most out of our time and give back to the communities we visited. I would highly recommend this experience to anyone.Chase L.from Kalamazoo, MI
Going to Thailand was the most fulfilling month of my life. I made the most unforgettable memories. Being immersed into the Thai culture is so unreal and if you open to the experience it will forever change you. I learned so much and left a more genuine and kind person. The friends you make while abroad are something to hold on to. It is eye-opening and life-changing. GO. GO. GO!Ansley S.from Hattiesburg, MS
“Not only did this program provide me real world, career focused experience and skills, it also deepened my appreciation for the culture of Barcelona and Spain as a whole. The included cultural activities and trips gave us an insider view of the city and culture as local insight on Barcelona living. I would highly recommend this program to anyone and everyone, Barcelona is a life-changing city!”Ryan F.from Akron, Ohio
Thailand is a place I have dreamed about traveling to since I was a little girl. A country with a unique charm that makes you fall in love with the culture and the people almost immediately. The program made me see Thailand from a locals view and not just a through the lens of traveler. After 1 month of living here, I feel like I have lived here my whole life, because the atmosphere is comfortable and makes you feel at home.Marissa C.from Westifeld, MA
Courtney F.from Flagstaff, Arizona
"Barcelona has been one of the best experiences that I have ever had. It is so eye opening and I have loved learning about a new culture + making new friends. My internship has been so perfect for me and I learn more every single day! I can also tell my Spanish has improved. Try everything you can!"