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Magazine

Taking a gap year is a big decision. Deciding whether to defer college is one of the most important choices you’ll make about your…
It took Ilana Hamer, of Belmont, California, a while to decide whether to defer her first year of college to take a gap year.…
Gaining a global perspective should be something you do when you're 18, not 67. Seriously. Think about it. Why wait until you're retired to explore the world? If you travel after graduating from high school, you'll not only be able to apply what you experience to the rest of your life, it will shape who…
Ten years after traveling with Rustic Pathways, we caught up with Rustic alum Heather Lyon to find out how traveling as a teenager forever changed the trajectory of her life. In 2006, Heather traveled to India and participated in two programs with Rustic Pathways. She enrolled in two more programs the next summer in Peru, including Sacred Valley…
Sharif Campbell was the first member of his family to go to college. But he didn’t rush off to Tufts University, where he’s currently a sophomore studying international relations. Instead, Sharif took a gap year. Many universities allow students to defer their first year of college as the practice of taking a gap year becomes…
Alex Biddle, a Rustic Pathways program manager in the Dominican Republic, uses her Spanish on a daily basis. While she manages service projects and oversees adventure programs, she frequently has to think on her feet and switch between two languages. Alex hasn’t always spoken Spanish, though. She began to learn the language during a ten-month…
Last Spring, Malia Obama announced that she would defer her Harvard acceptance to take a gap year. We’re on pins and needles to learn how she plans to spend her time away from the classroom and excited for her to join the thousands of other young adults annually who elect to take a gap year.…
We are proud to announce our recently approved status as an accredited member organization of the American Gap Association!  As gap years become more widely accepted by students and universities in the United States, Rustic Pathways Gap Year is especially excited to be one of the organizations at the forefront of helping students create purposeful…
Hannah Repke graduated from high school outside of Washington DC. She was accepted to the University of Virginia, but something about going straight to college didn’t feel right. Hannah recognized she was burned out, and decided to look into other options—which is the moment she fell in love with the idea of taking a gap year.…
Supporting your child in their choice to take a gap year isn’t always easy. You might be worried they won’t return to school, nervous about them traveling abroad, or wondering if the investment is really worth it. We understand taking a gap year is a big decision for both our students and our parents. However,…
Name: Max Veenema Gap Year Program Leader: South Pacific Service and Ocean Skills How did you begin working for Rustic Pathways? I started working with Rustic in the Fiji Islands. I had come from California, where I spent much of my time in the Pacific Ocean. I wanted to experience a new culture while still…
Why does someone choose to take a gap year? What do they really learn about themselves and about the world? Hear three of our alumni, Kelsey, Sharif, and Lance, speak about their gap journeys. Check out our newest video: The Impact of a Gap Year [rustic_video_embed id="14211"]
You want to take a gap year. You want to explore, learn outside the classroom, and gain real life skills. You’re ready to go, but there’s one small step left—you have to convince your parents. If you’re nervous about broaching the subject, have no fear! A little research goes a long way, and there are…
Allison Kuney has been a Program Leader for Rustic Pathways since 2014. She has led programs throughout Fiji and the South Pacific and is currently leading gap year students on the South Pacific Service and Ocean Skills Semester. Read on to learn more about Allison! Tell us how you became a Rustic Pathways Gap Year…
If we had to guess, we’d say about 95% of high school seniors aren’t totally sure what they want to do, where they want to study, or what career path they want to follow. (We’re pretty sure many adults are not so positive either.) If you’re reading this, saying to yourself, “I think I fall…
Lance Oppenheim is a talented photographer and videographer who was awarded one of our Gap Year Global Ambassador Scholarships. While traveling throughout Southeast Asia and India, Lance was captivated by the beautiful landscapes and unique cultures he encountered. He was also surprised by the prevalence of cameras and phones, and questioned the significance of these…
It's probably pretty obvious how we feel about taking a gap year, so we thought for this post we would let a Rustic alum tell you why you should consider world travel over a college classroom. Here is what Aline Aronsky has to say about taking the plunge and choosing gap. I didn’t know I would…
While the data on students taking a Gap year is sparse, one thing is clear—more students are choosing to take a Gap experience, and the number grows every year. It allows students to explore their options and find their focus before committing to four years of university, setting them up for success. Students can tell…
Happy Thursday! Since our Gap Blocks and Semesters kicked off on February 1st, we thought we would check in with a former Gap participant and ask about their experience. Enter Brooke Cornetet. Brooke traveled with us in 2013 on the South Pacific Service and Ocean Skills Semester and then again in 2014 on the Golden Lands…