International Experiences » Gap years

Gap years

Have you heard of a gap year? Some students choose to take a semester or a year after high school and before their next stage of life, whether it's college, the workforce, or other training and pursue a special interest that might involve travel. 
 
There are endless ways to structure a gap semester or year, including, but not limited to:
  • working to save money 
  • an internship or Americorps year
  • training in outdoor/wilderness skills
  • independent travel
  • use of a licensed gap year program provider
  • more than one of the above - for example, work one semester, travel the next
 
If you hope to take a gap semester or year, the most important thing is to set goals for what you will do with your time. A gap year should be "a year on," NOT "a year off." Taking a year off can become something indefinite and long-term if you don't have clear expectations for what you plan to do!
 
If you are interested in exploring options, a great resource is the Gap Year Association. Also recommended is this planning guide they have created to help students families plan a gap year.