The Gap Year

A GAP Year is a break taken by a student between leaving high school and embarking on another four years of formal education. More students are choosing to take this time to learn more about themselves and explore the world around them. Students who opt for a GAP Year generally emerge with more maturity, motivation and focus.

A substantive GAP Year will have a structured plan in place. The year is often broken into two semesters or three trimesters, with some programs even offering college credit. Students of all ability levels and interests will find endless GAP Year opportunities such as language immersion programs, volunteer service, environmental conservation, internships, work or travel and adventure programs.

Students who plan to pursue a GAP Year should still apply to college as a senior. Many colleges recognize the benefits of a GAP Year for their freshman students and will allow accepted students to defer matriculation for a year of planned activities.

Overall, a GAP Year can provide many benefits for students not ready to take the traditional steps from high school and going directly to college. Below is a list of organizations that offer GAP Year programs. Additional information and resources are available in the College and Career Resource Center.

Adventures Cross Country American Field Service
Amigos de Las Americas
Anake Outdoor School

Audubon Expedition Institute
Au Sable Institute for Environnemental Studies

British American Education Foundation
Bridges: Study Abroad
Broad Reach
Center for Interim Programs
Carpe Diem Education
Earth Watch
Elcasal Barcelona
Global Citizens Year
Habitat for Humanity
ICA Journeys
Global Routes
Map the Gap
National Outdoor Leadership School
NACEL Open Door
Outreach360 Caminos Long Term Volunteer Internship
Outward Bound
Oxford Advanced Studies Program
Pacific Discovery
Peace Corp
Rotary International Exchange
Rustic Pathways
Sea Mester
Student Conservation Association
Studio Art Centers International Florence
Up With People
The School for Field Studies
Where There Be Dragons
World Learning-The Experiment in International Living
Youth For Understanding