The transition from high school to college is one of the most important ones you’ll ever make. In the face of big life decisions ahead, the most precious resource you have is time: time to grow, explore, and figure out what you’re really working towards before taking on your future.
You can extend and invest in this transition by taking a 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.
The Future Is Constantly Changing
The job you were born to do probably doesn’t exist yet. Getting a top-tier technical education will prepare you for today’s world — but what about tomorrow’s?
Though the technical skills you’ll need for the future may change, skills you can master now like adaptability, teamwork, and communication will remain important, as will your sense of direction. Discover who you are, what fulfills you, and how you want to contribute to the world on an EF Gap Year.
EF Gap Year programs are designed to maximize your understanding of who you are and who you want to be. You can learn a language, participate in service learning, do an internship, and travel around the world on a customizable gap year program. EF Gap Year provides the framework — you decide which destinations for each module suit you best.
EF Gap Year’s 25-week program equips students to experience three parts of the world in depth over the course of three modules: language study, service learning, and an internship. On a 12-week EF Gap Semester, students can mix and match any two modules for a unique global experience. Check out its program itineraries at www.efgapyear.com.
Leaving Your Comfort Zone Gives You a Competitive Edge
Taking a year, semester, or summer gap helps you gain the skills you need to enter college more socially and academically prepared. Traveling the world does more to prepare you for college than providing incredible fun facts for ice breaker games. An EF Gap Year prepares you to succeed in every facet of college life.
Gap year students are already used to living independently away from home, acclimating to new environments, and communicating thoughtfully with people from other backgrounds and cultures. Passion and real-world interests can drive their academic pursuits because they have had the opportunity to work on skills and projects that are meaningful to them.
By taking a gap, you can enter college as a stronger student with lots of interesting life experiences under your belt. Gap year students earn higher GPAs, take on more leadership roles, and graduate faster — compared to national averages. EF Gap Year takes you out of your comfort zone and gets you to try new things in new countries and cultures, which makes you more resilient and confident as you take on college.
The Experiential Education Philosophy
A classroom isn’t the only place to advance your education — it’s also not the only place you can earn college credit. Through EF Gap Year’s educational partner Southern New Hampshire University, EF Gap Year students can earn up to 3.0 credits per module.
EF Gap Year’s educational philosophy celebrates travel as a pathway to understanding and self-discovery, focusing on four key outcomes. The first is growth mindset, which is the process of learning how to chase curiosity rather than a need for approval. When you adopt growth mindset, you see challenges as opportunities for growth rather than as setback and value the process over the results.
The second outcome is empathy and awareness. Gaining personal skills like communication, teamwork, and adaptability are essential for success in college, your career, and the rest of your life. With its third outcome, life readiness, EF Gap Year lays the foundations of adulthood, from building good habits to developing a clearer sense of self.
The final outcome is global skills, which means you’ll acquire the intercultural skills that are highly sought after in today’s global economy. Studying abroad had a positive impact on 14 of the 15 skills most valued by employers in the U.S. and Europe, according to the Institute of International Education’s Generation Study Abroad Initiative.
Become Your Best Self
You’re not missing anything by taking a gap year — you’re extending and deepening your education. For the first time in your life, you get to decide where you live, what you learn, and how you grow. Make this your year.
For more information about EF Gap Year programs and scholarship opportunities, visit www.efgapyear.com.
Sources: Recent survey conducted by the American Gap Association and Recent Middlebury College/UNC Chapel Hill study.