Gap Student Resources
Steps to Acceptance
Adventures Cross-Country is currently accepting applications for the Fall 2013 Semester. Space is limited and we encourage you to begin this process as early as possible.
Adventures Cross-Country offers gap semesters in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. All of our programs are designed for students who are engaged, motivated and excited for the new experiences that await them, whether it’s living with a family in a homestay, conducting interviews with local villagers, or transitioning and adjusting to cultural norms unfamiliar to them at home. Students are often faced with new challenges and opportunities for growth during these semesters, and should come ready to step outside of their comfort zones and be open to all that lies ahead of them. That being said, Adventures Cross-Country goes to great efforts to ensure that our program is the right fit for you. Adventures Cross-Country gap semesters are designed for students ages 17 – 20.
The Steps to Becoming an ARCC Gap Student
- Submit Enrollment Application under “Enroll Now” at www.arccgap.com
- Submit $800 deposit to secure your spot. Deposit can be made over the phone with a credit card, and is fully refundable before June 30th for the fall semester. Please note that the deposit is also fully refundable in the event that the applicant is not accepted into our program.
- Submit ARCC Gap Application and Two References. Once a deposit of $800 is made, download the full ARCC Gap Application. Included in the application will be two references, one based on character, the other based on academics. Applicant must complete the application and can email or mail it to the ARCC office. Reference forms should be passed on recommenders and can be emailed or mailed to ARCC.
- Gap Admissions Interview with an Adventures Cross-Country Gap Director via Skype. Once the application and both references have been received, a Gap Director will contact applicant to set up the admissions interview.
- Final Decision. Adventures Cross-Country will notify applicant of final acceptance within two weeks of the interview.
Application and references can be emailed to email@example.com or mailed to Adventures Cross-Country, Attn: ARCC Gap, 242 Redwood Highway, Mill Valley, CA 94941
Pursuing Academic Credit
The supported academic curriculum is designed to facilitate experiential learning in a multitude of studies throughout each location on the Adventures Cross-Country Gap Semester program. Activities, readings and exercises develop each student's individual learning experience while also providing them with the option for college credit.
During the Gap Semester, students have the option to earn up to 20-quarter hours of college credit through Seattle Central Community College (SCCC). SCCC is accredited through the Northwestern Association of Schools and Colleges which is widely accepted throughout the country at both public university and private institutions. SCCC was also named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 best institutions in the U.S.A.
SCCC offers a number of courses designed to allow students to earn academic credit for international study or volunteer experience. The courses do not require you to go to Seattle, and there is no physical classroom. The course meets electronically by email, mail, phone or fax. Reading, journaling and paper-writing are an integral part of the curriculum. There is a high degree of latitude for you in determining what you would like to study within each course – you can focus on the aspects of the region or culture that are of most interest to you, and all three courses fit into the structure of the ARCC Gap Curriculum.
- EDU 291: Using the World as a Classroom (5 or 10 credits)
- Research outside the classroom is now a reality. Students will pick a travel destination, select a research topic, gather research data, and combine them all into a learning experience. This is a self-paced course designed to maximize learning and travel experiences.
- SSC 297: Travel/Study Experience (5 or 10 credits)
- Designed to provide hands-on learning opportunities for students and other individuals who undertake domestic and/or foreign travel. It offers the participant an opportunity to learn outside the classroom by taking advantage of cross-cultural activities and events, historic sites, geologic formations, museums, etc. -- activities that are available through travel.
- ITL 197: International Cooperative Education (5 credits)
- Provides students with an opportunity to earn college credit for work experiences, internships, or volunteer service in an international setting.
The cost per credit for non-residents (of Washington):
5 credits $445.00
10 credits $890.00
All fees for college credit is paid to SCCC (Seattle Central Community College), not Adventures Cross-Country.
The following is a list of colleges and universities that have accepted Seattle Central Community College's travel/study credit. Please be advised that these schools do not automatically accept the credit, nor is it a complete list. In some instances, certain programs within a university will accept the credit; others will not. Check with the universities you plan on applying to in the future to ensure that they will accept the transferred credit from SCCC. Students who plan to use the travel/study courses to fulfill specific curriculum requirements should discuss transfer options, and if possible, obtain written approval from a counselor, department chairperson, or study abroad advisor at their "home" college/university PRIOR to enrollment in our courses.
- American University (Washington, D.C.)
- Arizona State University
- Arkansas State University
- Austin Community College
- Bard College
- Barry University (Florida)
- Baylor University
- California Polytechnic
- California State University - Los Angeles
- California State University - Northridge
- Cerro Coso Community College
- College of Charleston
- College of Wooster
- Cuesta College
- Emerson College
- Evergreen State College, The
- Fullerton College
- Green River Community College
- Hobart & Wm. Smith (Massachusetts)
- Louisiana State University
- Michigan State University
- Mount Holyoke College (Massachusetts)
- Nazarine University
- New School University (Texas)
- Northeastern University (Boston)
- Orange Coast College
- Oregon State University
- Point Loma College
- Portland State University
- Purdue University
- Regence (Colorado)
- San Diego State University
- San Francisco State University
- San Luis Obispo
- Santa Rosa College
- Seattle Pacific University
- Southern Oregon University
- Southwest Texas State University
- St. Edwards University
- St. Martin's College
- St. Mary's College (Maryland)
- Stanford University
- Sweet Briar College (Virginia)
- Texas A & M
- University of Arizona
- University of Arkansas
- University of California - Berkeley
- University of California - Irvine
- University of California - San Diego
- University of Colorado
- University of Dayton
- University of Florida
- University of Hawaii
- University of Massachusetts
- University of New Hampshire
- University of North Carolina
- University of Oregon
- University of Pittsburgh
- University of Texas - Arlington
- University of Texas - Austin
- University of Washington
- Western Kentucky Govcher College
- Western Michigan University
- Winona State University
For more information, including a detailed syllabus and or to register for credit through Seattle Central Community College please go to: http://www.seattlecentral.edu/coop/travel_courses.php.
If you have questions, you can email Karen Kato at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at (206) 587-6998. The Adventures Cross-Country office is also available at 800-767-2722.
Choosing to do an ARCC gap year is a big decision and we’re glad you’re considering us! The semester you take with us is no doubt going to be a life changing one full of new cultures, friends, experiences and accomplishments. As you prepare, something we don’t want you to be discouraged by is the price tag that accompanies a gap year.
It’s going to take some hard work, persistence and creative thinking, but you can raise the funds you need to take what will undoubtedly be the best semester or year of your life. We are always here to help with suggestions, ideas and to help you come up with the best fundraising campaign you can. Here are just a few options to help get you started:
Scholarships and Grants:
- Start at school. Go to your college or guidance counselor and see what scholarships are available to graduating seniors. There may also be options for students taking a gap year or scholarships willing to consider gap year students as well. Keep checking in.
- Have you applied to college and want to defer? Check with your college about scholarships available to incoming freshman. The study abroad or global education office is also a great place to check for any additional funds.
- www.fastweb.com: Scholarship search engine. Create a profile and have access to all sorts of scholarships. You can even receive daily email alerts.
- http://testdriveyourfuture.com/gap-year-scholarships/: The scholarship aims to award students who want to “test drive” their future choices through a gap year experience. You will need to read the book “Test Drive Your Future” and complete and essay to qualify.
- http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/financial-aid-scholarships/859899-scholarships-gap-year-students.html: an online forum for you to talk to other gap year students and share ideas on how to raise money and find scholarships for your gap year.
- www.fund-raising.com: Another online forum for sharing fundraising ideas as well as helpful tips.
- www.scholarships.com: General scholarship database full of useful information.
- www.studentaid.ed.gov: US Department of Education Financial Aid Information.
- www.nelnet.com: Financing site with scholarship search as well as education planning.
- www.scholarships.goabroad.com: Study abroad scholarship database.
Letter Writing Campaigns:
Start at home. Your closest resources of funding are family, friends and community members. Drafting a letter that specifically states your goals for choosing a gap year and sending it to personal contacts as well as community organizations, such as Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions, Elks, Knights of Columbus, Circle K and Junior League can go a long way in helping you raise the funds you need for your gap year.
- Part One: Create Your Mailing List. You can start with family and friends, but be sure to include everyone. Utilize your resources and reach out to anyone you can. Suggestions include: Friends of your parents. Members of any religious group you belong to. Professional acquaintances of both you and your parents. Known donors at your school. Your friends’ parents. Members of social, charitable or professional organizations in your community. Be sure to start formulating your list as soon as possible and don’t be afraid to ask. A gap year is a truly rewarding experience and if you express that in your letter, people will more than likely want to help you achieve your goal.
- Part Two: Writing your Letter or Email . The most important thing to remember when writing your letter is to keep it concise. Make your point in a persuasive and emotional way. Be sure to: Describe ARCC to your donors. Explain the personal reasons you want to go on an ARCC gap year. What you hope to gain from your ARCC experience. Emphasize what you will learn and accomplish on this program.
- Keep the letter simple and to the point. Reach out to your donors on a personal level and avoid using data or facts. Share your enthusiasm and drive for choosing a gap year and what projects ARCC participates in, but avoid sounding preachy. Don’t be afraid to ask for a specific dollar amount to help ensure you will reach your goal and be sure to tell them how to contribute, ie. Having contributions sent directly to you.
- Part Three: Follow up with your donors. If you don’t hear from them after a couple of weeks, follow up with an email. Do they need more convincing? Ask if they want to meet so you can talk to them in person more about the program. Be prepared to answer questions about ARCC and the program. Some people may not be able to contribute financially. Be sure to thank them anyways as they may still be supportive of your goals even if they can’t contribute.
- Part Four: Send Thank-You's and Updates throughout your Journey. This is probably the most important step. Be sure to send a personal thank you note to everyone who contributes to your fundraising goal. Sending a handwritten note immediately upon receipt of a donation shows your donor that you are grateful and appreciative of their contribution. This is also great opportunity for you to let donors know how they can follow you on your journey. If you plan on keeping a blog, give them the address. In addition, you may want to send all your donors a letter upon your return letting them know about your experience, the impact it had on you and how grateful you are for their contributions as it helped make your program possible.
- When reaching out to local clubs, organizations or businesses, be prepared to give a presentation or write an essay. Be sure to follow up with phone calls or emails until you hear back from someone. If you have to give a presentation, make sure you’re prepared, you practice and make it personal. Much like personal donations, always send a thank you and let them know how much you appreciate the opportunity to present your goals to the group.