Gap Year Travel – Fall 2021 Update

Photo credit: Eva Ramey. Where There Be Dragons Mekong gap semester.

Regular readers of this space know that we do not “push” Gap Year programs. We believe strongly that travel (domestic or international) and participation in organized travel programs are not necessary for students to have a transformative Gap Year or semester. Nevertheless many of our students do end up traveling on their own or with programs. So educators and families continue to ask about travel restrictions and changes due to the Delta variant.

The following list is not exhaustive, but helps to see that compared to fall 2020, and despite Delta, programs are running:

  • Mainland U.S. – COVID restrictions vary by state, but all programs with which we are familiar are running
  • Hawaii – many programs pivoted from Asia and other locations to Hawaii during COVID in 2020, and those remaining in Hawaii are running
  • Asia (China, Nepal, Tibet, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia) – running
  • Australia and New Zealand – both have instituted strict protocols throughout COVID, including in August 2021 with Delta, that continue to make it extremely difficult to run Gap Year programs in-country.
  • Central America (Mexico, Costa Rica, Belize, Panama, Guatemala) – running
  • South America (Peru, Chile) – running
  • Europe (not exhaustive list) – programs running in Ireland, Italy and Greece. News out of Europe yesterday indicates that the EU is close to recommending that member countries limit non-essential travel from the U.S.
  • Israel – despite news of new lockdowns due to the Delta variant, students are still able to travel to Israel as long as they comply with testing, vaccination and other requirements

In all countries and for all Gap Year programs, situations remain fluid due to the impact of Delta. We find that students are willing to tolerate the testing, vaccination, masking and other conditions for traveling abroad, which makes it easier to follow COVID travel rules. We always recommend that students have a plan B in case of sudden cancellations or other program changes. Feel free to reach out directly to us if you have questions about specific countries.

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