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Gap Semester
Creating Sustainable Social Change

Fall or Spring

8 weeks in Europe  -  5 weeks in Africa

European Experience

You will be based in Lugano, Switzerland, located in Canton Ticino -- the only Italian speaking Canton in Switzerland. You will live in local apartments with other participants.

For the first 8 weeks, you will work Monday through Thursday towards obtaining a Leadership in Social Change Certificate from Franklin University Switzerland, an international university with US and Swiss accreditation. Franklin is the only university in the world that places academic travel at the core of its curriculum.

You will have Friday through Sunday to explore the surrounding areas of Europe each week. Lugano is on a major rail line between Italy and the rest of Europe. You can reach many wonderful cities in a few hours. Many students visit Rome, Florence, Venice, Paris, Barcelona, and Munich.

Africa Experience

You will spend the second part of the program participating in an experiential learning project in Ethiopia, Rwanda, or Kenya.

Your project will depend on the needs of our non-profit partner organizations in Africa.  Students will collaborate with local schools and non-profit organizations to develop, implement, and deliver curricula in areas such as:​

  • ESL (English as a second language)

  • Cultural exchange discussions

  • Basic computer skills

  • US culture

  • Professional development

To learn more about the Africa experience, check out our Service Learning and Impact pages.

You will also go on a safari excursion and a weekend reflection retreat. You will then return to Lugano for about one week to complete your project and reflect on your experiences. 

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