Transforming Education

International Education | Transforming Education | International and Domestic Study Programs | Student Internship


The times we live in demand a new kind of education. This need is described eloquently by Bill Plotkin, in his book Soulcraft:

"Contemporary society has lost touch with soul and the path to psychological and spiritual maturity, or true adulthood. Instead, we are encouraged to create lives of predictable security, false normality, material comfort, bland entertainment, and the illusion of eternal youth. Most of our leaders - political, cultural and economic - represent and defend a non-sustainable way of life built upon military aggression, the control and exploitation of nature's "resources," and an entitled sense of national security that ignores the needs of other species, other nations, tribes, and races, and our own future generations. These value do not reflect our deeper human nature. Successful navigation of this most perilous time in human history requires psychologically and spiritually mature men and women who can engender a mature human species."

LEAPNOW’s purpose is to offer transforming educational programs. So rather than just taking you to another country or on an adventure, our programs help develop the whole person and lead you toward psychological and spiritual maturity - or true adulthood. To do less, in these times, would imply an abdication of responsibility. LEAPNOW aspires to keep our programs on the cutting edge of human evolution. We feel that we can have the most positive impact on the world by working in the area of education – which ideally is concerned with transforming and expanding the consciousness of our students.

LEAPNOW is unique in that our programs bring together three things that aren't usually found together, but which we feel shouldn't be separated:

  • A focus on the inner person. The quality of our relationship with ourself determines the quality of our outer relationships, and provides depth in our life. Our Self - body, mind, spirit, emotions, personality - are the context in which we live our lives. It makes sense to know our Self well, or.....the unexamined life is not worth living.
  • The World - Planet Earth. This planet is the outer context for this human journey. LEAPNOW gives you unparalled access to the world, through an amazing database of over 6,000 internships and learning opportunities in the U.S. and 126 other countries. Learning from real life experience in a time when our experiences become more virtual.
  • Academic Credit. College Credit through Naropa University is fully integrated into our LEAPYEAR program, and Academic Credit are available for our internship programs. High School completion can also be facilitated through each of our programs.

LEAPNOW provides students with access to thousands of diverse international and domestic learning experiences in 126 countries, and offers transformational teachings that give students the opportunity to empower themselves to “be the change that you wish to see in the world (Gandhi). ” Cultural immersion, study abroad and work abroad are our main vehicles for learning about ourselves and the world. Intense work and study experiences abroad are complemented with contemplative learning retreats at our northern California campus that serve to teach students how to wholeheartedly participate in the world and live passionately without leaving any parts of themselves out - mind, body, spirit, soul, emotion, etc. We call this way of learning, “Transforming Education.”

  • Be an antidote to problems that afflict us in the postmodern world: indifference, ironic detachment, political impotence, virtual reality, and the mistaken conviction that true power lies somewhere outside of ourselves
  • Reawaken the learner who has been lulled into a trance by sitting passively for many years in classroom, and keep us learning in ways that are “juicy” and inherently meaningful to us.
  • Help us find the creative source within so that we can remember and fulfill our life purpose.
  • Affirm the basic underlying unity of life and the wholeness of the individual – breaking down boundaries within one’self and between nations or cultures.
  • Remind us that the “winged life” is within reach of anyone who is willing to do the work of re-imagining their life

To these ends we focus primarily on our LEAPYEAR and LEAPYEAR:Two programs.

LEAPNOW was founded in 1994. A dedicated staff of 10 bring decades of experience to our daily goal of providing learning experiences that astonish.

The amazing LEAPNOW Advisory Board keeps us inspired and focused. We have placed over 1,700 people in service and environmental internships abroad, sent over 65 guided groups of young people to Central America, South America, India, and Africa, and run 17 cycles of our LEAPYEAR program and 3 cycles of our LEAPYEAR2 program. Our students have given over 632,000 hours of their time to service, environmental, medical and wildlife organizations around the planet.