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Sustainable Learning, the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that runs Sustainable Summer, also operates Sustainable Semester ‘gap year’ programs. Our semester-length gap year programs are for students in between high school and college. These programs are scheduled to launch during the 2016-2017 academic year. Enrollment is limited to 12 students.

The tentative course itinerary for Fall 2016 is:

Sept 7 – Oct 31: Ecuador
Nov 1 – Nov 30: Costa Rica
Dec 1 – Dec 15: Cuba


Sept 7 – 15: Orientation, Tumbaco, Saquisilli & Chugchilan
Sept 15 – Oct 15: Organic Farming and Permaculture Course at Rio Muchacho
Oct 15 – Oct 21: The Galapagos
Oct 21 – Oct 31: The Amazon

Costa Rica

Nov 1 – 8: Travel within Costa Rica (Arenal, Saripiqui, Pacific Coast)
Nov 8 – Nov 30: Natural Building and Renewable Energy Workshops at Rancho Mastatal with Homestays


Dec 1 – Dec 15: Havana, Vinales, Cienfuegos, and Trinidad

A sample of course segments includes:

  • Food & agricultural sustainability
  • Natural building and sustainable architecture
  • Water & natural resource management
  • Development economics & public policy
  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Organizational theory
  • Principles of sustainable development
  • Urban sustainability
  • Globalization
  • Spanish language immersion
  • Leadership

Broadly speaking, students will be engaged in field-based coursework at environmental learning centers Mondays through Friday for three weeks of each month, with short trips and excursions scheduled for most Saturdays and Sundays. One week of each month is designated for travel and expeditions into other regions within the country (for instance, a trip to the Galapagos while in Ecuador).

The first gap-semester program will run from early September to mid-December in fall 2016. The program is tentatively priced at $10,000, not including airfare (estimated at $1950 for all international flights). This is a significantly reduced rate for our first cohort of students. Please contact us if you’re interested in learning more about our Sustainable Semester programs.