Step away from your everyday life, discover what’s important to you, and develop the skills and confidence you need to succeed in college and beyond.
Begin your Year Experience by setting out to one of our international destinations to volunteer and immerse yourself in a new culture. Choose one of five exciting countries to spend your Explore phase: Tanzania, Mexico, Peru, Indonesia, or India.
Tanzania, Peru, India, Mexico, or Indonesia
Live in a volunteer house with peers, and work on a service learning project to help the local community.
About other cultures, peoples and places.
Mérida is the starting point for a series of journeys into Yucatán and its archaeological treasures. It’s also a thriving town with plenty of good eats, bustling markets, music, dance, peaceful streets, and parks. Mérida offers a small, safe community setting with a wide range of service learning projects available. This location is great if you already know some Spanish and are looking to improve your language ability.
Perched in the misty highlands beneath the Himalayas, Dharamsala is a market town, lush farmland, and spiritual retreat all in one. The area is influenced by Tibetan Buddhism; the Dalai Lama resides in the next town over. In contrast to the bustle and crowds of most Indian cities, Dharamsala serves as a serene retreat where you can meditate, practice yoga, and make a difference in the community while exploring northern India.
Sitting in the shadow of Africa's tallest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro, Moshi is a small, clean, and vibrant market town. Tanzania's natural beauty is easily accessible from Moshi; you can go on safaris, visit nearby national parks, go mountain climbing, or check out the local hot springs and waterfalls. The city itself is low-key and provides a safe environment to volunteer with locals from the Maasai and Chagga tribes.
Bali is a tropical island paradise with white sand beaches, rice paddies, coral reefs, lush jungle, and volcanic mountains. You’ll stay in a small remote fishing village where you’ll interact with the local community and culture daily through your volunteer activities. In your free time, you can make the most of the warm weather, friendly locals, and laid-back lifestyle by exploring ancient temples, taking a yoga class, or hiking waterfalls.
Huanchaco is a quaint and relaxed beach town on the coast of northern Peru with a history dating back to the original Peruvian civilizations. Once the home to indigenous fishermen, it is now a World Surfing Reserve known for its traditional reed fishing boats, long calm waves for surfing, and ceviche. The surrounding area is still in need of much development and you can assist in a variety of volunteer projects.
Perched in the misty highlands beneath the Himalayas, Dharamsala is a market town, lush farmland, and spiritual retreat all in one. The area is influenced by Tibetan Buddhism; the Dalai Lama resides in the next town over. In contrast to the bustle and crowds of most Indian cities, Dharamsala serves as a serene retreat where fellows can meditate, practice yoga, and make a difference in the community while exploring northern India.
I've gained so much in such a short period of ten weeks that it feels unbelievable. I would have never imagined even in my wildest dreams to go to Africa one day and take part in doing something good for the community. I'm very grateful for the opportunity I was given as I got to experience a whole new culture, took up a new language, met a lot of amazing people with different personalities, backgrounds, skills and abilities. I learnt something new from each of them. I was also pushed to go out of my comfort zone all the time which made me stronger and more independent.
Live in San Francisco in our dorms, work in our co-working space in downtown SoMa, and explore the city by the bay. During this time you'll work with coaches and peers to help you gain a better sense of who you are and where you want to go, while developing the skills to get there. You'll also connect with our network of professional advisors who will help you prepare for what's next.
Work with a coach. Narrow your focus. Gain new skills.
Skills and habits to help to you find confidence, clarity and direction.
Learn by doing. Work on projects that you want to work on to help narrow down your interests.
Learn the skills they don't teach in school, such as time management, public speaking, and managing your finances.
Meet professionals who can help you learn more about your career aspirations.
Have a coach with you every step of the way to help you build on your strengths and identify areas of improvement.
Launch into the world, with the help of your coach. Use the skills you built during the Focus phase to launch a business or project, take a class, or get a part-time job or internship. The choice is yours.
Anywhere you want!
Build your portfolio. Score an internship. Apply for college.
How to apply the skills you've learned in the real world.
“At the end of the Focus phase, I launched a business called Zorm Ballz. The product was a really cool stress ball in which you could break the inside of the ball and then it would reform within a minute. During the Launch phase, I continued to work on Zorm Ballz full-time. The next steps were pivotal; I taught myself CAD, got myself a 3D printer, and the toys and games have been rolling out ever since! Right now I’m working on licensing some of my toys to larger companies, as well as starting my own toy company!”
Zorm Ballz, Founder & Maker
San Francisco, CA
"During my time in Launch, I spent my time working on logos and packaging design while learning more about the startup and tech scene. For my internship, I needed some experience and something to focus on, instead of the broad spectrum of graphic design. So I found a bootcamp in Toronto called Brainstation. Brainstation’s full-time UX program is a 10 week immersive course in which students learn everything from the strategy and planning behind designing an app or website to the UI. We learned mainly by doing instead of listening to lectures. By the end of the program, we all presented our own app concept that we had created as our final project."
Brainstation Bootcamp, UX Design
"At Fjord, my initial job description was, 'Interaction and Service design Associate.' However, my in-house name transitioned to the Fjord Artist in Residence. I’ve had the opportunity to work with big clients—they’re impressive—and for the past three months I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by different designers, all of them great at what they do. I sit in on meetings with clients and I am starting to have a firmer understanding of design thinking—literally, the way designers think. Most importantly, I’ve been able to try different design roles within Fjord to see which one I really take a liking to."
Fijord, Artist in Residence
San Francisco, CA