Get your questions answered at our live info session!

Show them the world

Our gap year, semester, and summer programs abroad will help your child discover their goals, while equipping them with the confidence and skills to get there.

Benefits of a gap year abroad

For over four decades, top schools like Harvard have encouraged students to defer admission in favor of gap years. Between 200,00 and 250,000 students each year in the UK elect to take a gap year.1

By entering college more socially and academically prepared, gap year students are less likely to change their majors and have higher GPAs on average.2, 3 Did we mention EF Gap Year offers college credit?

  • A chance to set themselves apart

    The straight-to-college path doesn't stand out on a résumé. Gaining the diverse skillset needed in today's global economy will help your student distinguish themselves.

  • Self-awareness and confidence

    This time on their own helps them grow into more confident, independent, and resilient versions of themselves. 96% of students who took a gap year reported feeling more confident and mature.3

  • Tools to make the most of college

    Gap year students enter college with perspective and clarity, earning higher GPAs, take on more leadership roles, and graduate faster—compared to national averages.2, 3

  • An expansive approach to learning

    Students know how to learn in a classroom—but they won't be in a classroom forever. They'll acquire real-world skills like cross-cultural communication and adaptability.

Our programs

On a customizable EF Gap Year, Semester, and Summer program, students can learn a language, participate in service learning, do an internship, and travel around the world.

Our educational philosophy

EF Gap Year prepares students for success in our increasingly globalized world. Our educational philosophy celebrates travel as a pathway to understanding and self-discovery, focusing on these four key outcomes. Learn more here (PDF).

  • Growth Mindset

    During each of their program modules—Language Study, Service Learning, and Internship—students learn to value process over results, and view challenges as learning opportunities.

  • Empathy & Awareness

    We help students develop empathy and awareness skills such as communication and teamwork—some of the most highly sought-after soft skills in today's workplaces.

  • Life Readiness

    By navigating the experiences on our program, students gain maturity, confidence, and independence, which prepare them for success in adult life.

  • Global Skills

    Students gain the skills needed to thrive in today's global economy, such as intercultural communication skills, self-awareness, and tolerance for ambiguity.

We're the world leader in international education

When you travel with EF Education First, you travel with a global organization that has been in operation since 1965. EF’s mission has always been to open the world through education, and we’ve delivered on that promise for millions of students.


Years of operation


Countries and regions


Offices and schools


Staff, faculty, and teachers


Whether everyone in your family has taken a gap year or you just found out it’s an option for your student, you probably have questions about gap years.

We’ve heard them all, so we’ve compiled the questions we receive most often for you here. Our team is also available to answer any questions you have here.

We're here to help

Taking a gap year before or during college is an incredibly worthwhile experience. It can also be a complex decision. Our Gap Year Consultants are ready to answer any questions you have and to help find the perfect program for your family.

    By submitting your information, you agree to allow EF to process your personal information in accordance with EF’s Privacy Policy and to allow the use of your data for direct marketing purposes. By entering your mobile number, you agree to receive recurring text messages about upcoming offers from EF Gap Year at the number provided and you understand that consent to receive marketing text messages is not a condition of purchase. You agree to all EF Texting Terms and Conditions.

    1. Study published by the British Journal of Sociology of Education 2. Recent survey conducted by the American Gap Association 3. Recent Middlebury College/UNC Chapel Hill study