Youth International is an experiential learning program that combines authentic international travel, cross-cultural exchange, home stays, community service work, and outdoor expeditions. Through a balanced combination of experiences, Youth International team members are set up for an intense and dynamic first-hand education about the region in which they are traveling. At the same time, they are presented with a unique environment for self-discovery.
Youth International has been sending groups on learning adventures abroad since 1997, and offers single-country programs of approximately one month in length. Trips run twice each year starting in late November and late April. Teams of fourteen peers between the ages of 18 and 25 travel with two group leaders, exploring the cultures of either Nepal, Kenya, Ecuador (and the Galapagos Islands), or India.
Youth International is accredited by the Gap Year Association and affiliated with Western Colorado University.
► Read our COVID-19 program and booking policy updates here.
Live in homes with local people. Understand their life by living it yourself. There are normally two home stays in every country, and sometimes more. Participants typically exeriencec at least one urban home stay and one rural home stay. On average, you will live with host families for about one third of the trip. Conditions in some home stays are very basic, especially those in remote villages where there may be no electricity, running water, or other basic amenities. Accommodation will also include hostels, camping, sleeping on trains, in temples, and more!
Lend a hand, give back, and make a difference. Those who participate in our gap year travel programs become personally involved in the issues and needs of the communities which they visit. This turns the travel experience into a two-way street of give and take. And, at the same time it is a path towards the richest understanding of a culture. Typical community service projects include: helping to build or renovate schools and homes in needy communities, teaching English and running educational workshops for children, doing conservation work in the Ecuadorian rainforest, and constructing tanks for clean drinking water in Kenyan villages.
Experience adventures in some of the world's most dramatic landscapes and diverse ecosystems. Go trekking across ancient pathways connecting tribal villages in the Himalayan Mountains of Nepal, or through the Ecuadorian Andes. Take off on camel back across India's Thar desert and sleep in sand dunes under the stars. Circumnavigate a volcanic crater in Kenya's Rift Valley. Raft the rapids through a Himalayan or Andean Mountain valley. Sail, hike, and swim through the Galapagos Islands. Paddle down a river as you penetrate the jungles of the Amazon Basin. Search for wild animals on a safari in the African savannah. A new adventure awaits around every corner!
Experience first-hand how people live, work, eat, and play. Participate in tribal rituals. Embark on a spiritual journey. Visit ancient temples, ruins, and a long list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. Explore some of the world’s greatest cities, such as Kathmandu, Pokhara, Delhi, Jaipur, Quito, Cuenca, Nairobi, Mombasa and more.