gap year in israel

Available for 2024-2025


Travel the World

Gain a deep understanding of diverse cultures and the global Jewish community through focused international trips throughout the year.

Discover the World

Complimenting your Israel experience, choose from our menu of international trips. On each trip, you will…
  • Visit the main tourist sites and experience local culture
  • Delve into the Jewish narrative of the country
  • Explore the relationship between Israel and the country
Traveling abroad will also illustrate to participants how much Israel has become their home. In Israel, you will be a part of the Jewish majority surrounded by Jews every day. As you journey off to foreign lands, the contrast will both broaden and strengthen your conceptions of Zionism and Jewish Peoplehood. Each trip provides a fun break from the routine, allowing you to take a step back and gain perspective, reminding you that your gap year is a time for exploring who you are as an adult and as a Jew.
All trips will be led by an Aardvark Israel staff member and professional local tour guides are utilized for some aspects of the trips. While abroad, programming in Israel continues for other Aardvark Israel participants. Although you will miss some volunteering, classes, and activities, you won’t miss any of the program highlights. Students enrolled in courses for academic credit will arrange with their teachers to make up any work they may miss while abroad.
An important part of experiencing each country and its culture is enjoying the local cuisine. There will be dairy and vegetarian options provided for those who observe kashrut. Any student observing a stricter level of kashrut will be accommodated upon request. Trips will be Shomer Shabbat as determined by the needs of the group.
The tuition for each international trip includes round-trip airfare from Israel, local transportation, accommodations, three meals per day abroad, entrance fees to sites, tour guides, insurance, tips, and chaperone(s). The cost does not include visas and immunizations (if required) or personal spending money and souvenirs.
Participants in the Big Idea Program may only choose one international trip per semester.


Spring Semester — 5 Days

Ethiopia, the only African country to have escaped European colonialism, has retained much of its authentic, ancient cultural identity and is considered by many to be the cradle of humanity. Our trip to Ethiopia will combine history, culture, food, and Zionism.

Gap year in israel - aardvarkisrael


Spring Semester — 5 Days

From art to food to politics, Italy’s impact on the world has been immense. A place of olive oil, pasta, wine, mafia, sunshine, Roman ruins, and Renaissance palaces, and a centuries-old Jewish community, Italy is one place you can never forget!



End of Spring Semester — 6 Days

For centuries, the Jewish people had a vibrant religious and cultural life in Poland until the destruction of the community in the Holocaust. This trip will explore that rich history, understand its eventual destruction, and also look at the re-birth of the Jewish community and of Poland itself.

Gap year in israel - aardvarkisrael


Fall Semester — 5 Days

Today, Barcelona is one of Europe’s most exciting cities. From its wacky architecture to its vibrant sidewalks to great Rabbis and to great tragedies, the region of Catalonia is a great destination for learning about the Spanish Jewish community, which experienced both a Golden Age and a brutal inquisition.


United Arab Emirates


The United Arab Emirates (UAE), located on the Arabian Peninsula, opened its doors to Israeli travelers in 2022 as part of the Abraham Accords. The UAE offers a glimpse of the magical places, the mysterious landscapes, and the prestigious buildings of the Middle East, including the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa. Get to know the Arab world through an authentic, innovative experience.