EF Gap Year Consultant – Boston, MA
Apart from a few family trips here and there, my first true travel experience was when I studied abroad during my junior year of college in Sydney, Australia. It was amazing to explore an entirely different part of the world, gaining new experiences and this amazing newfound independence; I later went on a Semester at Sea and traveled around the Mediterranean and Northern Africa. Not only did I come out of these trips more tolerant and understanding of other people, places, and cultures, but I also realized that I wanted to spend my life traveling as much as possible.
I have seen and felt the impact that travel has on young adults, and whether you're traveling for a week or a year, that trip will be lifechanging. I was once told, “Having traveled and been places will always give you a seat at the table.” I really live by that and have seen it in myself from my time abroad: travel will always allow you to participate, contribute, and make connections—that's why my own daughter will be taking a gap year.
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!
You might be wondering, Where in the world would Marissa do her EF Gap experience?
The food, the culture, the people, the history, the way of life—everything about Rome is so amazing! Italy is one of the few places that can get me to get on the plane and go, plus the ease of getting to other places in Italy is amazing! I appreciate that it is very accessible to explore other parts of the country.
I like the ease of getting around Stockholm, and the outdoorsy-ness of the Swedish culture: of hiking, of being outside in nature, of taking the time to know your neighbors and be in the flow of a routine. It feels like a really safe city.
The ability to be so far out of your comfort zone, to experience such culture shock, and to learn so much history in such a hands-on way... wow. [The Thai] way of life and doing things is so intertwined in their beliefs, which is really special to be a part of and learn about. Getting to experience living in Thailand–I mean, there's only so many windows in your life that would let you do things like that. Plus, the elephants, duh.