Entries by Sophia Weeks

The Power of Experiential Education

Imagine waking up at 4 A.M. and feeling the sun on your face as you look out to expansive views of the Pacific Ocean, the highest peak in east Bali, and thousands of acres of lush cashew farms. Envision sitting between two batu candi (lava stone etched into ornate temple structures) admiring the strength of your group and the beauty of the world around you. Experiences like this can be ordinary occurrences on a gap semester with ARCC in the Pacific Islands. Being taken from the comforts of your home upon signing up for such experiences will open your mind and heart to new ideas, perspectives, cultures, and people.

Questions to Ask Your Students When They Return from Their Gap Years

As a former gap program leader, I remember the conversations I had with parents over our graduation weekend. They had so many questions about how to interact with their son or daughter after such a transformational experience. During a debrief session with just parents, one mom turned to me and said: “I spent 18 years with [my daughter] and thought I knew her well. But I can already tell she is a different, more mature person. You now know her better than I do and that makes me both happy and a little sad. What can you tell me about her and the things that influenced her growth?” In just a few hours, she had noticed a difference in her daughter and understood that I had been witness to much of that change.

Gap Alumni Spotlight: Becca Solot, Drew Beasley & Nicole Dhar

One of the biggest perks of working in the gap year field is the opportunity to get to know our students. These young adults are not only willing to buck the trends by stepping off the traditional educational treadmill for a semester or year to do something drastically different, but are doing so with an eagerness and earnestness to see the world, gain new perspectives, give back through hands-on service, form deep and intentional friendships, develop skills and hone their passions during their gap year. There’s no better way to learn what the ARCC Gap Year experience is all about than to learn from those who have gone before.