Associate Gap Year Consultant – Boston, MA
My family has always been passionate about travel, but when I discovered studying abroad wasn't an option with my university and neuroscience major, I knew I needed to take a gap year.
I come from a prominent Italian family–my grandparents live in Naples and my mom spent her childhood in Italy–so my number one goal was to travel there and learn Italian. I wanted to be able to connect and communicate with my extended family because the language barrier had strained my whole life, so when I found EF and realized I could immerse myself in Italian culture, focus my semester on language learning, and make such lasting friendships with my cohort, I knew I needed to jump on the opportunity.
I arrived at my host family’s and quickly realized my three years of high school Italian classes weren't cutting it–I had a lot to learn. Throughout that semester, I was able to level up my Italian and built a strong relationship with my host family, who I have stayed in touch with to this day;. I also decided to extend my trip and lived with my grandparents in Naples for almost two months. For the first time ever, I was able to truly communicate and connect with them in a way I had never been able to. It was an extremely impactful experience.
Once I finished my gap semester, I knew I wanted to stay involved with EF Gap Year as much as possible and continue to share how meaningful my experience was. I helped at student orientations, on alumni panels, and I even got the chance to travel to our Ashridge Campus to help with Wrap Up. After graduating college, I flew directly to Rome to work as a Student Life Coordinator on one of our short-term programs; from there, I decided to take a full-time job with EF Gap Year.
After spending a Gap Semester in Italy with EF, where in the world would John for for his global Gap Year?
I'd choose to go to Malaga to study Spanish and add another Romance language to my toolkit (while also enjoying the beautiful beaches and delicious seafood along the coast).
Stockholm would be the perfect place to gain professional experience in such a dynamic entrepreneurial environment while utilizing and putting into practice the skills and cultural knowledge I've amassed from my time in Spain and Peru.
I'd choose to do service in Peru to enhance the Spanish I learned in Malaga, while living and serving in an area so richly filled with amazing culture and incredible biodiversity.