Gap year student and Travel Access Project grant recipient Michelle Zhang used her year to become fluent in Spanish while spending time in Guatemala, Mexico, Columbia and Peru. She began by studying at a language school on the shores of Lake Atitlan in Guatemala and bonding with her host family. She then went on to intern in Oaxaca Mexico with the EnVia Foundation, an organization that empowers women through microloans. As if that wasn’t enough, she then went on to backpack solo for two months in Columbia and Peru, making friends and conquering challenging treks along the way.  Guatemala Spanish..

Ep. 2 Ryan Allen of Irish Gap Year

Ryan Allen spent most of his twenties studying, teaching and traveling abroad (a self-described “gap decade”). A passionate surfer, Ryan chased waves in New Zealand, Norway and elsewhere. He eventually made his way to the famous waves of northwest Ireland, where he went on to found Irish Gap year with his business partner, Killian O’Kelly. In our interview Ryan shares how he came to become an experiential educator and describes the student experience of Irish Gap Year.   University of Canterbury in Christchurch – Where Ryan Studied abroad  The Ashoken Center in New York – where Ryan worked before moving to..

Ep 1. Lily’s Gap Year In Bali

Lily Slaughter graduated from high school in the picturesque town of Stowe, Vermont. Her wanderlust and desire to do good led her to Bali, where a plan to teach English for a couple months ballooned into a eight-month long stay with the community. In this episode she talks to Julia about her experience and how it has changed her world forever. Shownotes: Lily’s mom’s store: Bunya Bunya Resources for ethical volunteering: Learning Service Volunteer in Bali Pinterest as a resource for education volunteers: Teachers on Pinterest WINS Foundation – help Lily send more kids to school! You can email her..

How to Make Your Gap Year Plastic Free

Did you know it’s #PlasticFreeJuly? This challenge focuses on the behavior change needed to turn the tide on plastic waste. It’s especially important to minimize your plastic use on your gap time; many areas of the world don’t dispose of their waste properly, which increases the chances of it ending up in the ocean. Still, we all need to work together to reduce plastic waste, since studies show a ton of plastic waste is ending up in the oceans anyway. Consider adding these items to your packing list so you can avoid extra plastic use on your travels: Steripen: A Steripen is a genius..