The transition from high school to college is one of the most important ones we ever make. In the face of big life decisions ahead, the most precious resource we have is time: time to grow, explore, and figure out what we’re really working towards before taking on our futures.
Enter: the gap year. Rather than being an alternative to college, a gap year is about preparing yourself to make the most of college—and in many ways, the rest of your life.
Explore new passions
Pursue interests that can’t be explored within the walls of a classroom. Taking a gap year gives you the opportunity to work on skills and projects that are meaningful to you.
Become your best self
Grow into a more confident, independent and resilient version of yourself. 96% of students who took a gap year reported feeling more confident and mature.2
Gain a competitive edge
Enter college a stronger applicant: more socially and academically prepared, with life experiences under your belt. Gap year students earn higher GPAs, take on more leadership roles, and graduate faster—compared to national averages.1, 2
Define your life path
Gain perspective and greater clarity about your goals and inner compass. 60% of gap year alumni say their gap year helped define their career path, and 77% report finding their purpose in life.1
A word from our alumni
Here are some of the reflections our alumni students shared about why they took a gap year, how they've changed, and the friendships and memories they've made.
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).
Learn how to chase curiosity rather than a need for approval, value process over results, and see challenges as growth opportunities.
Empathy & Awareness
Gain personal skills essential for success—such as communication, teamwork, and adaptability.
Lay the foundations of adulthood, from building good habits to developing a clearer sense of self.
Acquire the intercultural skills highly sought after in today’s global economy.