- Listing Type: Gap Year Programs
- Destinations: Chile
- Program Delivery: Residential
- Credit Awarded: College
- Program Length: Two Months, Semester, Other
- Start Month: January, September
- Category: Travel/Cultural Immersion
- Selective: No
- Gender: Coed
- Ages: 18, 19+, 19
- Housing: Cabins, Dorm, Homestay, Other, Tents
- Financial Aid: Grants/Scholarships
- Minimum Cost: $10,000 - $20,000
The Patagonia Exchange Gap Program from Alzar Gap allows high school graduates to find their place in a diverse and globalized world through outdoor adventure, authentic cultural exchange, and working with inspiring community leaders in one of the most beautiful, and highly coveted, adventure destinations in the world: Patagonia, Chile.
You will find ample adventure in your journey from the glaciated peaks to the pristine rivers of Chilean Patagonia. Our team of highly-skilled instructors and local partners will guide you through multi-day backpacking, rafting, and whitewater kayaking experiences while you learn the skills to plan your own exciting adventures around the world. As you gain leadership experience, you can expect to shoulder more responsibility during these expeditions, learning to pick routes, set the daily itineraries and motivate your peers towards a common goal. You are not required to have experience backpacking or kayaking before you join us. We would love to teach you! Each semester is a mix of students with varying experience levels in the outdoors which promotes peer leadership and collaboration. There is no shortage of opportunities to push yourself and explore one of the most beautiful adventure destinations in the world!
Cultural exchange is at the heart of the Alzar Gap experience. We create opportunities where you can reach across borders, feel the power of human connection and appreciate the beauty of diversity. Our gap students have the opportunity to engage with host families, take Spanish classes from native speakers, explore quaint Patagonian towns, and learn how to live in the breathtaking Patagonian countryside from real gauchos. We help students develop cultural competence and authentic relationships as we navigate the language, history and traditions of Southern Chile.
As we travel through Patagonia, you will have the opportunity to meet and work alongside inspiring community leaders that have created NGO’s, eco-businesses and community action groups in Chile. The community leaders that we work with are thrilled to discuss the skills and experiences that have allowed them to positively impact their local communities. Although entirely optional, we encourage you to use this experience to create your own project to implement in your home community with support and guidance from our dedicated team.
The program will be split between front-country and back-country environments. While in the front-country, gap students will have the opportunity to stay at our very own Base Patagonia, selected homestays, hostels and front-country campsites. In the backcountry, our students camp along sandy beaches, beautiful forests, alpine meadows, and ranches. Imagine falling asleep under the southern sky, after paddling on a crystal clear Patagonian stream!
"I applied to Alzar because I wanted to experience new cultures and adventures. At Alzar, I became more confident, more adventurous, more motivated, and I made life-long friendships that I am so grateful for."- Carly, student - May 28, 2019