It’s rare students find the words to describe their international summer service program. We talk about re-entry shock; how difficult it is to feel that people understand the experience you’ve had in such a foreign place. Traveling in Cuba can be particularly eye-opening, in a way that makes returning home a bit difficult. Did you have fun? Yeah. Did you make friends? Yeah. Was the food good? Yeah.
For most Americans, any knowledge of Cuba comes in the shadow of the “red scare,” and with a curious, if somewhat biased interest in an island nation stuck in time since it’s last friendly engagement with the US, whose closest border is a mere 103 miles away.
ARCC has been operating summer volunteer programs in Costa Rica since 1993 and these Costa Rica service programs have continued to be our most popular destination for almost 25 years and it’s for good reason: each year we return to the same communities year after year to volunteer on community-driven service projects. Through the years we’ve built deep relationships through meaningful service and immersion in these communities.
Our domestic service programs are exciting outdoor programs for teens where, in addition to volunteering and earning hours of community service, we explore places like Lake Tahoe, Yosemite National Park, and The Napali Coast while learning to surf and going whitewater rafting. Every year when talking about our Domestic Programs service programs for teens, we are faced with the same question:
What is a gap year program one might ask? Though a relatively new concept here in the United States, we have been excited to see the increase in awareness and interest in gap year programs in recent years. A gap year can be defined in many ways based on the purpose it serves for each individual and can take a variety of forms
California is iconic for its miles of coastline, large number of National Parks, and incredible cities. On our 14-Day Service Program, you will embark on an epic road trip from the Golden Gate Bridge to towering granite cliffs of Yosemite National Park. On the way, you will work to care for the homeless through meal outreach programs in the city
ARCC’s goal on our international summer volunteer programs is to take our students off the beaten path to places seldom seen by just the average tourist. Over the last 20 years or so ARCC staff has spent countless hours trying to uncover the real Thailand. We’ve tried new foods, only to watch locals eat unrecognizable dishes from the same food cart; rode motorbikes over the hills of
Southeast Asia evokes converse images of palm-fringed rice paddies and the cacophony of tuk-tuks flying through the streets; the smells of food carts overloaded with sumptuous treats and hammocks strung on empty beaches; pious monks in orange, walking into ornate temples, clutching their iPhones. This is Southeast Asia.
We are often asked how ARCC’s summer community service programs for high school students and gap year programs for high school graduates were conceived and created. We’ve been running summer programs for teens for over three decades. When we were founded, in 1983…
No traveler ever wants to leave Cambodia. We know this, here at ARCC, because we hear it every summer from every student and every leader who has the opportunity to visit this warm country. Each time a gap semester or teen summer service program ends, we have students and leaders telling us they can’t wait to go back.