Cutting Edge, Cross-Continental Gap Programs

3 CULTURES | 3 CONTINENTS | 3 MONTHS
LIMITLESS POSSIBILITIES

Next Generation Gap Programs

Global QUEST is at the cutting edge of Gap 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!

THAILAND

Known for its beautiful landscapes, rich history, tranquil Buddhist culture, peaceful temples and delicious food, 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 SE Asia, encounters with history, culture, and nature await you at just about every turn.

TOP HIGHLIGHTS
Explore the interconnection between Thai history, culture, history, politics and Buddhism from experts in the field and on the streets of Chiang Mai, “The Rose of the North.”
Link up with young Burmese social justice activists and contribute your skills to their efforts of creating a more just and representative society for their people.
Live with a Thai family and engage in a service project focused on restoration ecology and education in the majestic mountain village of Maedtaman, home of the renowned Elephant Sanctuary.
Dive deep and explore Bangkok, the “City of Angels”, snorkel in a national park and learn to fish for squid in the evening on Koh Chang, an island that retains its remote and rugged spirit.

"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

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. You will walk the cobblestone streets of the ancient Inca capital of Cusco, 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 Peru so you can love it as we do.

TOP HIGHLIGHTS
Learn about the interconnection between Peruvian history, culture and politics from local expects and young innovators and change makers working for social and economic development, community empowerment and conservation of the local environment.
Live with a local family and participate in a group service project based on community need, in the peaceful and intriguing town of Urubamba, surrounded by historic ruins and snowcapped Andean peaks in the heart of the Sacred Valley.
Dive deep into the city of Cusco; capital of the Americas, and explore the Sacred Valley, long the home of attractive colonial towns, isolated weaving villages, and the place to explore and learn about the ancient Incan culture.
Bath in a hot spring in the Sacred Valley and hike the awe inspiring Inca Trail to Machu Pichu where you’ll soak up a mix of beautiful mountain scenery, lush cloud-forest, subtropical jungle and a stunning mix of Inca paving stones, ruins and tunnels.

SOUTH AFRICA

Welcome to the southern tip of Africa, where two great oceans meet, sunny weather is a constant for most of the year, 11 official languages are spoken and big game viewing is often just a short drive from the city limits. This is where humanity began, with a geography that is vast and includes scrublands in the interior, the Namib Desert in the northwest, and tropics in the southeast. Until 1994 the country was ruled by a white minority government through an Apartheid system which negotiated itself out of power after decades of international isolation, opposition and mass protests. Today, South Africa’s successful struggle for freedom and democracy is one of the most dramatic stories of our time.

TOP HIGHLIGHTS
Immerse yourself in Cape Town, regularly heralded as one of the most beautiful cities on the planet and a place where Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu and traditional African beliefs coexist peacefully.
Engage in a capstone internship, alongside South African peers in one of several environmental, human rights, public health or social justice organizations to enrich your professional perspective and experience.
Visit Robben Island (a World Heritage Site where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for twenty-two years), the District 6 Museum and attend Gospel church in the local Township where you’ll learn directly about the role music played in the anti apartheid movement.
Climb Lion’s head, learn to surf and explore the rich landscapes and diverse wildlife that the country has to offer on the Garden Route Tour, where we’ll travel the coastline, visiting some of the country’s most spectacular natural sites and learning about conservation efforts in the region.

"Cape Town is truly one of the greatest cities on this planet. It has this energy that inspires you to get out in the world and make the most of each day. It will make you fall in love with the city and it’s a feeling that will stay with you long after you leave. Words cannot express how highly I recommend going to Cape Town."

Dan B., from Madison, Wisconsin

The Takeway

With the support of skilled program leaders, site based staff and rich experiential and integrated curriculum QUEST 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 the 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.

TUNE IN

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 experience in Cape Town and back home.

UP YOUR SKILLS

Spend your days exploring new cultures, learn to life and travel well with your group 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.

HAVE FUN & ADVENTURE

Let’s face it, this stuff is really fun and a 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 Cape Town, our 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.

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.

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 QUEST we see this unique period as a modern day right 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.

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 Citizenship as a result of their program.

*According to the American Gap Association National Alumni Survey conducted in 2015, the most conclusive to date.

Recent Feedback

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

When you tell people you’re going to live in Cape Town there are certain reactions you get that will start to build your expectations: 'I’ve heard it’s the most beautiful country in the world!' 'My daughter studied abroad there and absolutely loved it!' 'What an incredible experience, you’re never going to want to leave!' However, nothing you hear or read about Cape Town will ever live up to the actual experience of working there as a traveler—because mark my words, it will be the best experience of your life.

Mia H.from Amherst, Massachusetts

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

Cape Town is truly one of the greatest cities on this planet. It has this energy that inspires you to get out in the world and make the most of each day. It will make you fall in love with the city and it’s a feeling that will stay with you long after you leave. Words cannot express how highly I recommend going to Cape Town.

Dan B.from Madison, 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

Never before have I experienced such amazing energy from a single place and its people. Cape Town has totally blown me away (literally). One of the many wonderful travelers I’ve met on my adventure once told me her theory of the “Mother City” energy: When the waves and the wind crash into the mountains of Cape Town, energy showers over the city and the people. It’s totally got to be why everyone here is so happy and enthusiastic.

Julia B.from Orchard Lake, Michigan

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

My four months in Cape Town has been the most incredible part of my life to date. In this short time, I have been immersed in a new culture, explored the most breathtaking nature, met beautiful people from all over the world, and truly grew immensely as a person. I am incredibly thankful for my experience here–from providing short but impactful glimpses into South African culture to creating an extensive international community for participants to call home during their time here.

Julia L.from College Park, Maryland

EXPLORE | EXPERIENCE | IMMERSE | ENGAGE | BECOME

Excited to get started on your journey? Speak with one of our advisors today or apply now!

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