The 14-week Gap Experience begins with three and a half weeks at the National Outdoor Leadership School in Lander, Wyoming. Students explore the wilderness while camping, refining leadership skills, and examining environmental ethics.
Gap students earn four credit hours: two credits in Natural Resrouces Learning and two credits in Wilderness Studies during their National Outdoor Leadership School expedition. Credits for NOLS will be granted through the University of Utah.
Service-Learning: South Dakota
The Gap Experience continues with four weeks of service-learning at locations across the country. Begin by traveling to Eagle Butte, South Dakota to learn about the Oglala Lakota tribe and serve on the Cheyenne River Reservation.
The second week of the service-learning experience takes students to Gateway Greening in St. Louis, Missouri where they focus on increasing access to fresh food for inner city neighborhoods.
Service-Learning: West Virginia
For the third week of the service-learning, we’ll travel to Mullens, West Virginia in the Appalachian Mountains. Here we’ll serve with the Rural Appalachian Improvement League, an organization dedicated to enacting positive social change for community members in the Southern West Virginia coalfields.
Service-Learning: North Carolina
The fourth week of service-learning brings students back to Alamance County, North Carolina where they’ll be able to connect what they’ve learned in South Dakota, Missouri, and West Virginia with social justice issues in the greater Elon community.
The Gap Experience concludes with six weeks in Spain. Students live with a local family while studying in Alicante.
Students will earn four credit hours toward their Core Curriculum Requirements in Spain, two in Spanish Language and two in Spanish Culture and Society. All levels of Spanish language will be offered.
Students must carry private insurance or be covered under the policy offered through the university.
Due to the strenuous nature of the NOLS program and travel schedule, students with disabilities are encouraged to fully consider their participation and the associated risks. Students are welcome to contact Susan Wise, coordinator of Disability Services with questions. NOLS provides additional information on the Student Essential Eligibility Criteria document. (In section 2 of the document, only 2.a. Wilderness Hiking Course applies to the Elon Gap Experience activities).
Students must complete the normal health and immunization forms required of all Elon students. Acceptance in the Gap Experience is contingent upon submission of health forms by June 1 and subsequent acceptance by Elon and the National Outdoor Leadership School.