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Kyle Lightner

EF Gap Year Consultant - Boston, MA

Join me on a flashback to my senior year of high school: back then, I was interested in so many things that I wasn't sure how to narrow them down for college, which I assumed had to be the immediate next step. After a tough freshman year, I realized that in order to feel connected to my community and choose the right academic path to pursue, I needed to learn through experience and gain new perspective.

I decided to do a gap program in Chile: I left the U.S. for the first time on a wilderness education experience and backpacked, kayaked, and mountaineered my way to a new understanding of myself. The power of gap years lies in out-of-classroom experiences that prepare you to be your best self when you return to them. I believe the world would be a better place if more people took some time to grow and learn about themselves before college.

I know talking on the phone isn't anyone's favorite thing to do, but here's why calls are part of our process: taking a gap year is an incredible, life-changing decision—one that you'll feel way more confident about after talking it all over with an expert who can guide you through the process of building your perfect gap. Baby steps, though, so feel free to start by texting me!

Kyle's Ultimate Gap Year

My ultimate gap year would be about seeing as much of the world while doing as many outdoor activities as possible. It was so hard to narrow down my list, but I chose locations where I could improve my Spanish skills while biking, swimming, surfing, and hiking in the most awe-inspiring spots possible.

Language in Málaga, Spain

Málaga is the perfect size: it's super walkable, and the vibe is fun and easygoing! I'm not sure what I would throw myself into first: mapping out all of the incredible hikes in the Montes de Málaga, my EF Málaga coursework, or an enormous vat of paella.

Internship in Sydney, Australia

The combination of size, accessibility, and outdoor activities makes Sydney a hard city to pass up. I love being near the ocean and having the chance to recharge with some sun; Sydney's business culture is definitely my speed too, but I won't be leaving our Boston office anytime soon.

Service Learning in Costa Rica

After leveling up my Spanish in Málaga, I'd want to push myself to test it out in another culture: Costa Rica. The beauty and biodiversity of Costa Rica are stunning, as are the outdoor adventure activities. Working in local communities, helping endangered sea turtles, and visiting the cloud forest would be right up my alley—plus, getting to travel all around the country would be pretty sweet too.