Best year of my Life, felt like a dream. Take me back Past Review

By (Tufts University) - abroad from 09/09/2018 to 03/23/2019 with

Thinking Beyond Borders: Traveling - Global Gap Year

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I grew as a person. I explored the world. And I was able to become better prepared for college

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The only reason why this review gets a 4.5 stars in terms of educational experience is because it lists academic rigour as one of the characteristics and such is not the case. With TBB there are Readings, research, field interviews with members of the communities, and a Presentations of Learnings but these are not graded, these are done and completed only if a student is motivated and has a passion for what you are doing. Leaders will never be on you asking if you did the readings it is all based on cultivating curiosity.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I was part of the Global Gap Year program (GGY) with Thinking Beyond Borders (TBB), and with such program I travelled to 5 different countries ;Guatemala, Thailand, Cambodia, Ghana, and Morocco and we always taken care of appropriately.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Staying with members of the Community was one of the biggest learining experiences one could have. We are staying with them as part of the family. Our weekend plans were done together, we had breakfast and Dinner together. They were always very sweet with us and wanted us to feel welcome.

* Food:

The culinary aspect of this Gap year was very important. I believe that part of a culture is defined with what you eat and in the five different countries we were able to appreciate different flavours and ways of living. With that being said be careful with what you eat from the street while abroad, some things at public markets are not properly washed and might get you sick. TBB always had the best chefs in the home bases and they were always careful with hygiene. The trip is also safe for people with food allergies, we travelled with a student allergic to peanuts and arrangements were always done for her with ease.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Living with families that were part of the community was always a big bonus in terms of Social and Cultural Integration.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Travelers D is a certain thing to happen while living abroad for 7 months, medicine and clinics were always available.

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

It was the best decision in my life, we worked on core topics in every country but also worked on personal and emotional wellbeing, we did weekend excursions, hiked volcanoes and swam in lakes in Guatemala, explored the Sahara on camel, taught english in Thailand, worked at a Clinic in Ghana. I want this to be my life.


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Once on the trip everything was payed for by TBB

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Nothing, it is all included. if we went out as a group we would be given money


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

In Guatemala SPANISH Classes were part of the weakly activities

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Fluent
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Fluent
How many hours per day did you use the language?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Travel
  • Excursions
  • Work
* What could be improved?
  • Get more international students
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Get ready to learn about the world but most importantly, yourself.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.