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Pacific Discovery New Zealand & Australia Gap Year Semester
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Pacific Discovery New Zealand & Australia Gap Year Semester

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Itinerary

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Satisfaction

    10

Experience of a Lifetime

After searching through countless gap year programs, I had finally settled on one - Pacific Discovery Australia & New Zealand. I loved the balance it had between service projects and adventure activities. Going into it, I knew I was about to have a great adventure, but I could have never expected the extent to which the program would impact me. It wasn't just seeing new places and meeting new people - it was being in awe of places you couldn't have imagined, finding connections to different cultures, and becoming more aware of yourself in the process. And there would be no better way to experience all this than with the group of people you come to call your closest friends. Going through all these experiences together, growing together, allows you to become connected on a whole other level. The mission of Pacific Discovery really does come to life as the program fosters awareness for yourself and the world around you.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Itinerary

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Satisfaction

    10

Pacific Discovery - Australia and New Zealand Semester

What an amazing program this is. Not only was the program well established and run, the trip itself was great in every way as well. There are many parts that work together to make this trip great, whether it is community service, adventure travel, or urban exploring. And I personally think thats what makes it so great, every single day is different and every day you are pleasantly surprised at what you see at do. I made friends that I know that I will continue to talk to for months to come, saw things that I would only dream of seeing, and had experiences that have and are going to continue to shape me and help me grow as a more aware and global person.
Pacific Discovery is a great program, and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking to travel abroad.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Itinerary

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Satisfaction

    10

Gap Year Adenture

This program is amazing! It far exceed my expectations in every way. I made life long friends with the other participants and our program leader. Our program leader was great about giving us enough freedom to have responsibility and share in leadership rules, but not so much that we were unsafe. The adventures I had on the program were exhilarating. Some times it was challenging however everyone worked really well together to make it all run smoothly. I am very pleased that I decided to go with Pacific Discovery because no other program could have gotten me a better experience for my first time out of the country. The program did a wonderful job of inspiring me to travel more and to be confident in the skills that I got, and worked on during the program. I recommend this program to everyone!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Itinerary

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Satisfaction

    10

Look no further for a gap year adventure of a lifetime

I recently returned from the 9-week Australia and New Zealand trip with Pacific Discovery. The trip itself is fantastic; the travel and sites you get to see on this trip are on point in trying to gain an adventurous and cultural experience of the lands down under: from surf camps to canyoning in Australia, to multi-day hikes and canoe trips, white water rafting and rock climbing in New Zealand. Further, the volunteer conservation projects offer a unique perspective into sustainability and environmental maintenance that is rewarding for any type of traveler. I myself had completed a bachelor's degree and was in the midst of applying to medical school when I decided to join this trip. It was an amazing and inspiring experience that opened my eyes to an entirely different aspect of the world, and reminds us not to overlook the natural adventure all around us. Finally, the coordination of the program is perfected to the tee. The trip coordinator acts as more of a peer than a supervisor, and the trip encourages the participants to take initiative to make the most of the own travel experience. It also promotes leadership and social skills over a number of different tasks, from coordinating bookings, to organizing dinners, or leading expeditions. Not to mention, you'll make some of the greatest friends of your life on the trip, and you'll never want the adventure to end. Quite a life-changing few months for myself, and a re-inspiration about all the amazing things life has to offer.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Itinerary

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Satisfaction

    10

Experience of a Lifetime

I had a few months in between graduating college and starting graduate school, and I knew I wanted to travel abroad. I could have chosen to go abroad with my college program, but I decided to take a risk and go with a group of 13 people from all over the world that I did not know. I am so glad that I chose Pacific Discovery! Thanks to this program, I have made friends all over the world that are now a family to me, and the experiences that we were able to have together were unforgettable. I did so many things on this trip that I never thought I could do, and I feel like a stronger person because of it. Pacific Discovery inspired me to keep on exploring and to seek out adventure, whether it may be across the world or just around the corner in my own town. If I were to do it all over, I would choose Pacific Discovery over any other program because their main purpose is to help you develop as a person by immersing you in different cultures, pushing you out of your comfort zone a little bit, and surrounding you with awesome people through it all. Couldn't be more grateful for this experience of a lifetime.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    0

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    0

  • Community

    0

The most incredible trip I've ever taken

Choosing Pacific Discovery was the best decision I could have made for my gap semester. Every single aspect of this trip was above and beyond what I thought it could be. I had the most incredible time and made lifelong friends. I cannot recommend this program enough. The places we visited, the people we met, our guide (Holly is the coolest person ever), and all of the incredible things we did are experiences I will never forget. New Zealand and Australia are two incredibly exciting and fun countries, and were so much fun to explore and travel through. The entire program was incredible and I would do it again and again if I could.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Itinerary

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    5

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Satisfaction

    6

Inspirational learning from experiences outside of the comfort zone

I had always wanted to go Australia and New Zealand, and this program gave me the amazing opportunity to do so! Going into the program, I wasn't really sure what to expect. The website and pictures I had seen looked amazing, and I expected and wanted to grow as a person from this experience, but how and by how much, I had no idea. From the very start, Pacific Discovery taught us that the greatest learning comes from outside of our comfort zones. This trip was the first time I was continuously pushed out of my comfort zone, whether it was being away from home for 2 months, being with 13 other people from all different backgrounds, abseiling down a 30m waterfall with my heart pounding outrageously in my chest, jumping out of a plane from 13,000 ft and soaring like a flying squirrel, and countless other occasions. I learned that to really make the most of an experience, I have to take what I experienced and internalize it so that I can learn from it and come back to it for future reference. There were ups and downs and ins and outs, but at the end of the day, I'm a physically and mentally stronger person than I was at the beginning of the trip - because I internalized and learned the lessons from experiences outside of my comfort zone, thanks to the way that PD runs the trip.There is so much emphasis on personal growth, learning more about your own identity, and getting the most you as yourself can get out of the trip. Along the way, I met incredibly wise and incredibly eccentric people; I learned about genius designs that revolutionized my view of "eco-friendly," I became aware of so many other lifestyles than mine own, I developed and grew as a photographer, and most of all, I came out of this program with a stronger sense of who I am and how I want to live my life. All of this personal growth in a land that some people only dream of coming to, the beautiful vistas and great cities of Australia and New Zealand. Gazing up at the millions of stars visible in the night skies there, I was reminded of just how large the world is, and how much we all have to learn from different places and from each other, something that this Pacific Discovery program definitely emphasized very well. For that, I thank you so much, PD.

With love,
-Ashley Yu