ARCC’s Western U.S. Gap Semester provides access to some of America’s most beautiful and remote landscapes ranging from the jagged peaks of the Grand Tetons to the depths of Utah’s most spectacular canyons to the expansive deserts of Arizona and the dazzling turquoise waters of Hawaii. Explore some of the most pristine wilderness of the West and partner with local conservationists to understand threats to native species, ecological systems, and our waterways. Building upon our 40-year history of running domestic programs in the U.S., this semester provides hands-on opportunities and access to areas usually unavailable to the everyday traveler. The newfound insights gained from this in-depth look at some of the most famous landmarks of the American West leave our perspectives and appreciation for our own backyard changed forever.
Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, Hawaii
September 1 - November 9
*SCUBA E-Learning and flight to Hawaii are additional
- Travel to Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and Hawaii
- Participate in a Multi-Day Rafting Trip through Pristine Desert Landscape
- Explore the West’s Most Spectacular National Parks, including Yellowstone, Arches, Zion, and the Grand Canyon
- Work alongside an Organization Building Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Housing
- Earn Your PADI SCUBA Certification on Hawaii’s Colorful Reefs
- Study Grizzly Bears, Bison, and Grey Wolves in Montana and Colorado
- Learn about Immigration Reform and Social Justice Initiatives along the Southern Border
- Build a Toolkit of Medical Skills Through a Wilderness First Aid Course
- Learn about Sustainability Principles through hands on learning at a Permaculture farm in Hawaii
The West’s Best National Parks & Monuments
Explore many of the West's Best National Parks and Monuments. Hike the famous “Narrows” trail in Zion, spot wildlife in the Grand Tetons, and take in the enormity of the Great Sand Dunes. Visit and hike the Unique Landscapes of Canyonlands, Arches and Volcanoes National Parks. Engage with Indigenous guides while exploring Bears Ears National Monument.
Earn your PADI SCUBA Certification on Hawaii’s colorful reefs. Develop your outdoor adventure skills with a Wilderness First Aid Course, designed to prepare you for safe outdoor exploration. Raft class III-IV rapids in pristine desert landscape and spend multiple days on the river, camping under a “gold tier” dark sky.
Ecological Restoration and Conservation
Study grizzly bears, bison and wolves in Yellowstone, the world’s first national park, and discuss the impacts of climate change and human impact on wildlife. Work directly with a NGO focusing on wolf rehabilitation and conservation. Discuss water issues within the Western US while rafting and seeing the issue first hand.
Explore the causes and challenges of migration, as well as the impact that U.S. immigration policies have on individuals and families while working with a local organization that raises awareness around immigration issues. Work alongside an organization building sustainable and eco-friendly housing for the native Navajo population and learn about the ethos of this industrious and inspiring community.
Have questions? Speak to one of our Program Directors, give them a call at (415) 332.5075 , they love talking about their trips!