Students who want to take a gap year are typically interested in finding one that is both educational and will help them see the world. To find a gap year program, you need to know what you’re interested in and how you want it to help you in the future. Whether that’s college or your career.
There are a few ways to go about finding a gap year program. We put together some tips on how to get started and what matters most in a program.
Ask Program Alumni or Students
The best place to start is to ask people you know who took a gap year. What program did they enroll in, or how did they go about structuring their time? Getting tips and insight from someone who has been through it is a huge help.
You can usually reach out to programs you’re interested in to see if they can connect you with alumni. If not, ask family or friends, or even hop on a Reddit forum.
Consider Your Interests
Sit down and write out what you want to accomplish during your gap year. Are you interested in traveling? Do you want to start working towards your career? What is your budget, and how do you plan to support yourself?
Understanding where you’re going and how you’re going to get there can make choosing a program a little easier. You’ll already know what type of program to search for and whether or not you have the budget to go.
If a program ends up not being right for you, maybe a fellowship or internship program is. They allow you to go abroad and, in some cases, even pay you and provide housing.
The most important thing you can do is be honest with yourself about what you hope to accomplish and your resources. Set clear expectations, then begin your search.
Research Gap Year Programs
Now that you know what you want and what your budget is start researching programs. There are sites like Planet Gap Year and Thinking Beyond Borders that can help give you ideas of various programs, what’s included, and what to expect.
Once you have a better sense of what programs are out there, you’ll be ready the choose the one that’s right for you.
Taking a gap year is a fantastic learning experience and a stepping stone to resume building. Do your research and choose something that makes sense for you.