Parzival Academy Curriculum

Steps on the Journey to Self Discovery

More than a fixed curriculum, the Parzival gap year program is a journey.

Inspired by Wolfram Von Eschenbach’s story of Parzival, a youth who ventures into the world, naive yet ambitious and determined to find his place in the world, Parzival Academy seeks to bring consciousness to this quintessential journey of becoming.

As we journey through our lives, we’re constantly meeting thresholds we must cross to move into the next phase of our experience.

Those thresholds are either contractive, sending us into our own inner wilderness to deepen into more of who we are and learn to trust in ourselves, or they’re expansive, sending us into the outer wilderness to explore how we can contribute and trust in our place in the world. Often we’re experiencing both the inner and the outer wilderness at the same time. 

Courses and topics during the Parzival gap year program support you to travel the ongoing lifetime journey of the four cyclical stages of Discovering, Connecting, Envisioning and Creating in alignment with your unique expression in the world.  

Our gap year program focuses much of the learning and course work on project-based learning that will take you through four stages of the Parzival journey. Some coursework is more formal, such as pre-recorded courses that are already structured. Some coursework interactively flows with the projects and/or weaves throughout the 12 week program.

Topics Covered Within Each of the 4 Gap Year Stages

Gap Year Stage 1:  DISCOVER

This stage is ignited by the questions of Who am I? What’s missing? and What can I contribute?

Excavate your strengths,  talents,  and more of who you are. Gather your gifts and wisdom. Learn to meet and overcome resistance, as well as navigate extremes. 

We’ll cover topics and courses such as:

  • Power of Self-Awareness
  • Finding Your Strengths
  • Navigating Extremes
  • Moving Beyond Resistance
  • Enemies of Learning
Beautiful autumnal forest landscape with close up of trees roots. Foggy morning in september in forest.
Birch Sap Tree Trunk

Gap Year Stage 2:  CONNECT

In stage 2, you’ll connect to your core values and sense of purpose. We’ll explore the questions of What matters? and Where can I contribute?

Break through old habits and limiting beliefs while learning to set boundaries, collaborate with others, cultivate trust, and find your effective voice. 

Courses and topics include:

  • Aligning with Values & Purpose
  • Art of Communication
  • Diversity – Equity – Inclusivity
  • Emotions As Messengers
  • Boundary Setting
  • Becoming Effective
  • Cultivating Trust

Gap Year Stage 3:  ENVISION

With a newfound sense of yourself and your values, you’ll begin to envision what’s now possible for you. You’ll steep in the question of how you can make a difference in the world while being yourself.

Cultivate the resilience to embody and activate new ways of living authentically & sustainably, while moving beyond fear & navigating the unknown.  

Topics and courses in stage 3 include:

  • Moving Beyond Fear
  • Life Skills to Support the Vision
  • Managing Stress Effectively
  • Embodying Alignment with True Self
  • Cultivating Resilience
  • Living Authentically & Sustainably
  • Navigating the Unknown
elena-kloppenburg-Pear Harvest Branches

Gap Year Stage 4:  CREATE

In stage 4, you’ll dive into the power of the socio-entrepreneurial spirit, soulful leadership, redefining success, and expressing your unique creative gifts. 

Start manifesting your vision. Align with the creativity and freedom that fuel your future. Experience the integration of trust in yourself and in your place in the world. 

We’ll cover courses and topics such as:

  • Self-Leadership
  • Socio-Entrepreneurialism
  • Strengths & Challenges in Leadership
  • Redefining Happiness & Success
  • Authentic/Holistic Leadership
  • Innovation for a Sustainable Future 


Numerous tools and teachings offer students the ability to meet each stage of the journey with greater wisdom and confidence. 

Gap year students learn tools that will benefit them for a lifetime, including:

  • Living in the Question
  • Gratitude
  • Practicing Trust
  • Choosing Wisely
  • Honoring the Rhythm of the Year
  • Meditation / Stillness
  • And more…


We weave the power of story, artistic expression, embodiment, Nature, values, virtue, purpose, community, diversity, inner wisdom, and the socio-entrepreneurial spirit throughout the gap year journey. Students enjoy group interaction, collaboration opportunities, community connection, and personalized mentoring each step of the way. 

Step into a meaningful and successful future.

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