8 weeks focused research, sustainability and leadership

The Gap Year Program at the Cape Eleuthera Institute is an intensive 8-week program focused on leadership, ecology, research, and sustainable development. More than simply a travel or study abroad experience, The Cape Eleuthera Institute’s remote location and intentional community living challenges participants to think about our impact on the environment and uses those challenges to maximize their potential and growth in both education and real life skills!

Our Gap Year program allows participants to take a step back to view the big picture; it is a chance to look at where they’ve come from, where they’ve gone and create a path for where they would like to go. Our program here at CEI harnesses all of the above and helps give young adults the desire to challenge their own thinking, and develop as critical members of an ever evolving global society.

Environmental Education

Our program is an experiential education program where the learning is hands-on and tangible. Our classes in Human Ecology, Environmental Issues and Marine Ecology challenge students to learn by going out in the field using the wonders of nature and the ocean to learn new and challenging concepts. They will learn not only from their experiences, but also from the reflection on those experiences, and gain a broader understanding of place.

Adventure and Outdoor Education

Though our program is an adventure from start to finish, we take pride in offering adventurous and challenging opportunities for huge personal growth. Participants will participate at their own level in activities from plunging into amazing turquoise waters and sandy beaches to kayak trips (including a solo reflective experience), SCUBA Certification or continuation, freediving, cave exploration, cycling and personal exercise challenges in a “challenge by choice” method open to all level of fitness!

Research Internship

Participants have the opportunity to work alongside and learn from an amazing team of Cape Eleuthera Institute researchers doing cutting edge research in areas of Shark Conservation, Turtle Tagging, Invasive Lionfish, Bonefish, Climate Change, Mangrove and Reef Ecology, Sustainable Fisheries, Food Security and Sustainability Initiatives as well as Alternative Energy and Green Design Techniques. Participants will be getting hands-on experience with real science, contributing to current studies and getting involved with a team that is committed to making a difference globally!

Travel and Cultural Immersion

Participants will be exposed to the history, culture, geography and relevant environmental and social issues of The Bahamas and the island of Eleuthera. In a week of travel and cultural immersion, they will travel up and down the island spending time with locals, experiencing their customs and traditions and learning about their island from the farms and beaches to the caves and blue holes, and the mysteries and lore surrounding them. Participants will also have the opportunity to visit local schools and learn and share experiences with our youngest Bahamians.

Personal and Leadership Development

Through working with younger students, taking on responsibilities, and managing freedom in a safe and supervised environment, participants become empowered, capable and self-reliant. Our program will invite participants to be challenged physically, mentally and culturally and through this, they will gain confidence in their own abilities, as well as in the way they work with and support others. Our program provides opportunities for them to learn about themselves, push their boundaries, question their assumptions and learn to solve real world problems.

Dates & Tuition


2017 Fall
2018 Spring I
2018 Spring II

August 20 - October 20, 2017
January 14 - March 16, 2018
April 15 - June 15, 2018



For more information or questions, please contact Karen Knight.