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Fall 2021 Gap Programs That Are Still Open

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fall gap year

Gap programs have been gaining in popularity among rising college freshmen ever since COVID-19 forced colleges to go online, and the prospect of potentially losing that in-person, freshman year experience became real.

Fortunately, gap programs have been quick to adapt. The “gap” usually refers to a year but now gap programs can run for a few weeks, three months, a semester, or an academic year. Since COVID-19, many more online programs have cropped up.

A “gap year program” is now a catch-all term that gives high school graduates a chance to choose an option that fits their schedule and budget, and make the most out of the time between secondary and higher education. Their time can be based abroad, in the United States, or online. Whether you want to spend your time scaling mountains, building homes for rural communities, or getting a jumpstart on your career, options exist for everyone.

This blog covers several Gap Programs that are still open for Fall 2021 enrollment. Read the entire list or, if you know what you want, follow this table of contents for easy navigation:

Each category will separate the opportunities by location (International, United States, Both). If you’d like to get more information about any of the gap programs below, use this handy online form to request more information about them.

A Bit of Everything

This category encompasses gap programs that offer more than one opportunity or focus. These programs can include focuses like language learning, community service, outdoor adventure, and more. Check out our international options and both International and US-based options!

International Options

Aardvark Israel - Gap Year Program

Aardvark Israel Programs offers Gap Year programs in Israel for Jewish students aged 17-21 from all over the world. The program allows you to deepen your connection to Israel, explore Judaism, build your resume, learn life skills and independence whilst making lifelong friends.

They have a traditional Gap Year focusing on internships/volunteering, studies, touring around Israel and many other activities. This program is based in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. They have optional special interest add-ons to enhance your experience further, for example, entrepreneurship, sea sports, army, Jewish learning, EMT training, and chances to travel to other countries around the world.

For those looking for a more Hi-Tech oriented experience, check out their Big Idea Gap Year, which trains you in coding and web/app development and then you put those skills to use in a month long hackathon with a charitable organization and get to use them in a startup company. This program is based in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

For those looking for a more volunteering oriented experience, they have their “Year of Service” program, where students spend the year volunteering in the sectors of society that most need their help - health, education and Co-existence NGOs. This program is based in Haifa. All of their programs are focused on independent living in downtown apartments in a supervised structure with plenty of free time to explore everything Israel has to offer.

CIEE: Global Navigator High School Summer Abroad

CIEE Gap Year programs take you to ten amazing global destinations: France, Spain, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia, Japan, South Africa, Costa Rica, Argentina. These short and affordable 6-week programs allow you to fit a study abroad experience in any of your gap year plans.

Depending on your schedule, budget and goals, combine one or more 6-week sessions to discover different destinations or topics: learn a new language, invest yourself in a service project or explore a career track! Blaze your own trail on a Gap experience that fits your goals and interests. Return home with lifelong memories and friends, practical experience, focus and motivation.

College Year in Athens (CYA) Fall 2021 Gap Programs

"Know Thyself" while exploring Greece, volunteering for a good cause, and adventuring on cultural immersion. CYA is offering two opportunities for Gap Year students: those who are passionate about antiquity will benefit from the "Archaeological Field Work: Excavation, Workshops and Digital Technologies" whereas there is "Understanding Activism, Diversity, and Equity: the example of Greece" for students interested in learning more about those issues.

Ideal for high school graduates (over 18 years old) who want to take a break before college/university in order to engage in educational, cultural, and physical activities on subjects of interest to them - an exceptional way to enrich academic and life experiences. 5 students per program. Trips to the island of Aegina, the island of Crete, Delphi and the Peloponnese will allow the broadening of perspective and expansion of worldview.

Students through interactive learning methods will:

  • Understand a different culture
  • Create an e-portfolio to record their experience
  • Participate in field trips that will broaden their perspective, and expand their worldview
  • Enjoy a close encounter with the birthplace of Democracy and the Western Civilization.

Fall 2021 Gap Program accepted students are eligible to apply for a CYA Flight Award!

As the first study abroad program in Greece, College Year in Athens (CYA) has been operating since 1962 and provides English-speaking undergraduates (more than 10,000 to date) the transformative experience to study in Athens and familiarize themselves with the culture and people of Greece.

Fall 2021 Dates: September 16 - November 23, 2021 (10 weeks, rolling admissions).

MYX

Travel, culture, self-discovery, connection. MYX is answering the call of students who know that there is not only one path to the future. This is the time to understand who you are, what you really want from your life, and how you will get there.

Their integrated approach gives you the opportunity to live abroad, immerse yourself in local culture, fuel self-discovery and develop skills that will help you take advantage of every opportunity the world holds – all while continuing your education with higher ed courses from the best universities, professors, and industry leaders in the world.

With locations in Costa Rica, Colombia and beyond, their experiential approach to real world learning includes one-to-one coaching, life skills classes, wellness, impact projects, community building and the chance to build a portfolio of experiences that will set you apart as you pursue next steps in your education, career and life.

Youth International - Nepal

The Youth International Nepal program is an experiential learning travel program in Nepal, beginning with a 1-day orientation in New York. There are still openings in the Fall 2021 Nepal program that will run Nov 28 to Dec 22, 2021.

Information on their application process and program fees are on the "how to join'' page of their website. If interested in joining us, fill out the online application form on their website as soon as possible.

International and US-Based Options

ARCC Gap

ARCC Gap semester programs offer an educational and cultural bridge between high school and college. They are an opportunity to live, work, learn, and explore in some of the greatest classrooms on earth. Designed with a rich educational fabric complementing each and every location, they highlight regional issues that are directly linked to global challenges. With program locations both within the United States and abroad, ARCC Gap programs are designed for 17-to 20-year-old students with the desire to learn and grow in a dynamic environment.

Whether you are college-bound and looking for an experiential break before university or still unsure about what your next steps are, an ARCC semester is the perfect opportunity to explore your interests, identify your passions, learn more about possible majors or career paths, hone your leadership skills, and make life-long friendships on an incredible adventure.

Enrollment for their Fall 2021 programs is open and there are spots available on their Centro-Caribbean, South America, Asia, Hawaii, Northwest, and Southwest programs. They are also actively enrolling for Spring 2022 in all program offerings. Enrollment is on a rolling basis until a program fills.

Carpe Diem Education | Gap Year Programs

Carpe Diem is continuing to accept applications for their Fall 2021 program! They offer semester and year-long programs in 9 different regions around the world for students between the ages of 17 and 22.

Our programs focus on experiential education, intercultural exchange, and community. There are 12 students per group and there are always two Overseas Educators per program. They offer summer, semester, and year-long programs in 9 different regions around the world for students between the ages of 17 and 22.

This year they are offering programs in Italy & Greece, Hawai'i, the South Pacific, South America, Central America, Spain & Morocco, and Southeast Asia.

They are also continuing to accept applications for their year-long program, the Latitudes Year. The Latitudes Year provides students with an immersive two-semester experience that combines a group travel semester and an independent volunteer placement. Applications are accepted until programs are full and space is very limited! Scholarships and zero-interest payment plans are available.

Arts

Gap programs focused on the Arts can widely vary! You can spend your gap year creating your greatest masterpiece or study a new medium to see if you can find your voice. If you want to get your hands dirty or want to broaden your mind, then an arts-based gap program can be right for you. Check out our international options and our virtual option.

International Options

Cow House Studios: FieldWorks Gap Year Art Program

With Cow House Studios' FieldWorks program, a hybrid residency and enrichment program, students will embark on a thrilling, 12-week multidisciplinary course with a particular focus on each participant's individual creative process, where one-on-one tutorials provide guidance for further research. Students ages 18 to 22 have an opportunity to make new artistic works in a remarkable location, all while being challenged to approach their creative practice from new perspectives.

In addition to time spent in the studio, there will be weekly organized trips to Dublin, the West and other points of interest in the Southeast region with a particular focus on artist-led initiatives and studio visits with accomplished Irish artists, designers and curators.

Sotheby’s Institute of Art | London Gap Program

Built around the unrivaled access of Sotheby’s Institute of Art, the Gap program invites curious students to explore London and the art world. Offered as 6-week and 12-week terms in fall and spring, the program is ideal for students who are passionate about the wider arts and want to embark on a journey of self-discovery and cultural immersion. This program introduces students to a world of creativity, culture, business, and opportunity in the heart of London: a historic, cosmopolitan and thriving capital city.

Designed for students aged 18-21, this is a unique opportunity for students to broaden their perspectives, meet new people, develop an intimate understanding of the art world, and discover their place within it. Each week of the program is dedicated to a different focus, giving students the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in diverse areas of the art world and self-exploration.

The financial aid deadline for the Fall 2021 program is June 28, 2021 and the application deadline is August 23, 2021.

Virtual Option

ArtsBridge Gap Year

ArtsBridge GapYear is a 15-week virtual intensive actor training program designed to be a bridge between the high school and the college experience. The program is ideal for high school graduates taking a year off before applying or reapplying for college admission and for college students on leave who either intend to return to their school or transfer.

With a core focus on Meisner technique, ArtsBridge GapYear offers a robust curriculum for acting and musical theater students led by renowned educators with college admission support and guidance by ArtsBridge consultants. Weekly classes include Meisner Technique, Alexander Technique, Storytelling & Text Analysis, Voice & Speech, Monologue Class, private monologue coachings and voice lessons, as well as master classes and workshops with guest faculty. Applications are open through June 15, 2021 and classes run from August 30 - December 22, 2021.

Career Focused

Career focused gap programs give participants a chance to get a “jump start” on their career or future field of interest. Whether it’s a mentorship or an internship, these programs can inspire you and build up your resume! Check out our international options, US-based options, and our virtual option.

International Options

Euroace: Gap Year Internships

Our Gap Year programs in Spain are available in Fall 2021 and provide a diverse range of experiences. Their Gap Year programs offer academic, professional, and personal growth opportunities! And the best part is, their services can be combined to create a tailor-made experience that suits you.

For example, taking your Internship in the mornings, followed by Spanish classes in the afternoons, all while living with a native host family. They have a range of possibilities for you to dive into the Spanish culture and gain a truly immersive experience in Spain!

Maybe you're looking for a trainee internship to grow your career skills? Maybe you want to learn Spanish alongside other international students at their Language School? Or you may want to opt for a volunteer position at a local organization? Check out their website for more information!

Loop Abroad: Wildlife Conservation & Veterinary Semester Abroad

Loop Abroad offers 12- to 14-week structured gap year programs for students interested in veterinary careers, conservation, and animal science. The Thailand Veterinary Semester Abroad offers 20+ college credits and experience with marine life (including a SCUBA certification), elephants, wildlife, and small animal clinics.

The South Africa Wildlife and Conservation Semester Abroad offers 18 credits including field courses with cheetahs, big cats, rhinos, and other African wildlife in zoo and sanctuary settings. Programs are all-inclusive and offer a 24/7 staff and full cultural orientation, transport, housing, and meals. Competitive applicants will have a 3.0 GPA and will have completed AP or IB biology. Virtual alternatives are available as well.

US-Based Options

Internship Connection

For two decades, families have relied on Internship Connection to create personalized and structured educational internships matched to students' interests. Internship Connection understands that students take gap breaks for many reasons. Internships can be remote or in-person and take place during one semester, either spring or fall.

Program components include career advising, resume and interview prep, a match to a mentor in fields such as STEM, Startups, arts, government, law and more. To read about the wide variety of students' personal experiences, they invite you to select an industry by using the drop down menu on the Success Stories page of their website.

The School of the New York Times: Gap Year NYC

Spend 6 or 12 weeks learning about the stories and ideas that help shape their world as you explore your passions in the heart of New York City. Offered in Fall 2021 and Spring 2022, the Gap Year NYC program from The School of The New York Times is designed to help you discover your passions, develop real-world skills and make lifelong memories.

In addition to diving deeply into important social, cultural and global topics with Times journalists and other industry experts, you will explore New York’s iconic neighborhoods and landmarks, becoming fully immersed in the cultural richness of the city. The program is an opportunity for you to live and learn in one of the largest, most diverse and vibrant cities in the world while you plan your next step in life.

The program is open to high school graduates (age 18-21). The Priority Decision application deadline is June 7, 2021.

Virtual Option

Discover Year

Discover Year is a semi-structured one-year career and leadership development program that helps young adults build essential skills through experiential learning, mentorship, and interactive education.

They guide participants through the job process and offering skill-building workshops and over four networking events. If you’re looking for a direction but don’t even know where to begin, then Discover Year could be the opportunity you need!

Climate Change

Climate change is a pressing concern for every living creature on earth. There are many ways to get involved, from recycling drives to contacting your local political representative. Now there are also gap programs that are shaped around the growing issue of climate change. Please note, however, that all of these programs are based in the United States.

Forman School: Ingenuity Year

Climate change is the biggest threat to our shared future. Engage with this global challenge through direct, hands-on experience in Coastal Maine. Explore the lobstering, fishing, and agriculture industries and see how policy and governance are playing into existing and upcoming legislation. Conduct climate research that contributes to their partners' ongoing projects. Equip yourself with the skills needed to succeed in college and beyond.

Ingenuity Year is an endeavor of Forman School, and their session programs are specifically designed for students with Learning Differences and ADHD. Explore who you are as a learner and as a human, and discover what works best for you. Applications are rolling, but apply soon to secure a spot!

Eco-Institute at Pickards Mountain: Rising Earth

The Rising Earth Immersion is a holistic environmental leadership program located on the 28-acre campus of The Eco-Institute in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. A cohort of up to twelve change-makers between 18-28 live off-grid, rustically, and in community while developing skills such as regenerative agriculture, homesteading, contemplative practice, radical self-care, conscious communication, collaborative leadership and activism strategies.

Each week features a healthy balance of workshops, classes, collaborative projects, work in the garden, and mindful moments, all of which color in the daily rhythms of living in a community on an organic farm. You can expect to get your hands (and toes!) in the rich soil, spend time creating personal practices that nourish your spirit, and make heart-to-heart connections with your cohort, leadership team and mentors. Sessions in the spring and fall. Scholarship opportunities available

Western Colorado University: Mountain Resilience Gap Semester

An experiential undergraduate gap semester integrating climate change resiliency, sustainability, alpine ecosystems, wilderness expeditions, and mountain communities in partnership with the Center for Mountain Transitions at Western Colorado University.

Students from across the nation are coming together in Colorado’s mountains to explore this question: what does resiliency in mountain communities look like in the face of climate change? Through this landscape-based experiential immersive semester program students will build community, earn undergraduate credits, explore wilderness, and learn how to take action back in their home communities building resiliency and stronger relationships.

Community Service

Gap programs that are focused on community service offer unique opportunities for participants to give back their community while developing important life skills and (not always) receive a stipend/housing during this time. While these programs can take place anywhere in the world and have many different focuses, these programs still have spots for Fall 2021. Check out our international options and our US-based options.

International Option

Projects Abroad: Gap Year Volunteering Abroad

Attention recent high school graduates looking to volunteer or intern abroad! You should consider a trusted organization such as Projects Abroad. For nearly 30 years they’ve been running culturally immersive, hands-on programs in the developing world. Operating in 26 countries, they offer a wide range of projects in diverse fields such as: Medicine, Wildlife Conservation, Childcare, Teaching, Microfinance, International Development and much more.

They’ve also recently launched a Gap Semester Program in the Galapagos Islands. Typically running from 2 weeks to 2 months, once you complete your project, you’ll come away with a new perspective on life and a resume that truly stands out. Most programs in Latin America and Africa WILL be available this fall. So, now is the time to contact a friendly Project Expert to explore your options.

Raleigh International: Costa Rica Expeditions

They are currently looking for volunteers (17-24) to join their fall volunteering abroad programs for 7 or 10 weeks in Costa Rica. This opportunity is perfect for any young person who wants to make a difference in the world while also equipping themselves with the skills, networks and confidence to become youth leaders.

Joining a Raleigh Costa Rica Expedition is a truly unique and varied experience allowing you to take part in up to three different projects. You will work with innovative young people of Costa Rica, one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, to preserve its natural resources on the environmental project.

On the community project you will join forces with local indigenous communities to improve access to education for some of Costa Rica’s most marginalised children by improving educational infrastructure. Lastly, you will build your skills on the adventure leadership trek. Challenge yourself and help lead your team through a variety of stunning routes that tourists don’t get to access.

US-Based Options

AmeriCorps NCCC - Traditional Corps

AmeriCorps NCCC is a full-time service program that covers lodging and travel expenses, allowing young adults to serve on a team and make an impact in communities across the country while gaining valuable leadership skills. Travel the country, learn new skills, and earn money for school.

The NCCC program is still accepting applications for their fall start dates. Apply by May 31, to serve as a team leader from Sept. 2021 - July 2022. Apply by June 30, to serve as an AmeriCorps member from Oct. 2021 - July 2022.

Camphill Communities Gap Year

Camphill offers Gap Year experiences in their artistic, sustainable, therapeutic schools and communities where they live and work alongside children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (like autism and Down syndrome). A Camphill experience provides an opportunity for you to discover and grow your potential as you:

Develop lifelong friendships with interesting people from many different countries, backgrounds, and abilities. Build new skills and creative capacities, from biodynamic farming and gardening, to holistic special education and therapeutic practices, to woodworking, weaving, artisan baking, and so much more. Impact the lives of the people around you and experience incredible personal growth in return.

During the day, you will help support activities like biodynamic agriculture and forestry; cooking; artisan crafts; classroom education; drama and music; and other activities. At home, you will have a private room in a beautiful environment, enjoy (and learn to prepare) nourishing, mostly organic meals, and be part of a warm household community.

In the house, you will join other live-in volunteers to help with the care, beauty, upkeep, and running of the home. You will also help with the health and care needs of the people with whom you live. There is no cost to participate in the program. Camphill provides free room and board, a modest monthly stipend, and many other benefits tangible and intangible.

HistoriCorps

Do you love history? Travel? Camping? Want to learn how to use traditional and modern tools, or gain a deeper understanding of historic preservation? Do all of this with HistoriCorps: the Workforce for Saving Places! HistoriCorps is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that teams up crews of volunteers from all walks of life with their expert field staff to learn historic preservation skills and put those skills to work saving historic places that have fallen into disrepair. More than 600 volunteers join a project every year in locations across the USA.

Almost all projects are on public lands, like National Forest and National Park Service sites, and all their projects serve the public benefit. Join us for an adventure in the great outdoors this season! Help us bring historic buildings back to life.

It's free to volunteer with HistoriCorps, and they provide all meals, tools, training, equipment and a campsite. Volunteers are required for their own transportation to the campsite, as well as their personal camping gear and work clothes. No previous construction experience is required – just a positive attitude and strong work ethic.

Faith-Based

Religious individuals may want to take a gap year between secondary and higher education to realign themselves with their faith. A faith-based gap year can range from a purely spiritual focus to mission trips where participants go overseas to reach out to underserved communities. No matter what it might be, if you feel like you can benefit from a faith-based gap program this fall, then check out the two opportunities below.

Denver Gap Year

Denver Gap Year is the most affordable Christian Gap Year in America. It is designed for those that want to grow in their faith and make a difference in the world around them. Their 4 and 8 month options include life changing discipleship classes, monthly adventurous outdoor excursions, international service trips to Spain and the Philippines, curated opportunities to serve the local community and a vibrant community house.

If you want to join the full eight month program (runs from August 30th to May 2nd), then send in your application by August 16th, 2021. The four month fall program runs from August 30th to December 17th and applications for it must be in by August 16th. The four month spring program runs from January 5th, 2022 to April 29th, 2022 and the application deadline is December 19th.

Link Year

Link Year is a Christian program on mission to develop dynamic Christian leaders through life-changing experiences, Godly relationships, and spiritual training. It is a place to rediscover the foundations of your faith, to understand how God has wired you and seeks to work through you.

This program equips you to do more than go to a university and return with a degree – it encourages you to go and be an influencer for your generation. They believe after eight months with us you will have a clearer vision for your future, humble confidence in who God made you to be, and be able to articulate why you believe what you believe.

Language

Language-based gap programs are unique opportunities for participants to fully immerse themselves in another language and culture. The best and fastest way to learn a language is to live and work alongside other native speakers. Here are some Fall 2021, language-based gap programs that are still open for enrollment (note that they’re all international programs and do not take place in the United States).

Academic Programs Abroad: Paris Gap Year

Improve your French language skills in the heart of Paris. Over the course of three months, gain hands-on experience in French artisanry, learn about art history alongside the artwork in museums, and gain a better understanding of French civics and economics all while mastering the language.

A dedicated on-site staff are available 24/7 for questions big and small. Live with a homestay and take advantage of included cultural activities that showcase the beauty and richness of French culture such as touring Monet's gardens at Giverny.

API Abroad: Gap Year in Spain

Get the jump on college and career with API! Study abroad in Granada, Spain and hone your advanced Spanish language and culture acumen while earning 12-20 college credits. Not ready for the advanced-language option? No problem! There's a second program in Granada that is ideal for students who are looking to just improve their level of Spanish, while also taking culture and other elective courses in both English and Spanish.

Why Granada? First, it's a mid-sized, easy-to-explore town that sits at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, and yet, is only one hour from the beach! While there, you can also visit the Alhambra - also known as the “Pearl of Andalusia” - is the most visited monument in all of Spain. Granada is also a university town that embraces students - which may be why it's also the city of free tapas!

CET Academic Programs: Gap Year

CET Academic Programs is a study abroad organization that has been developing and operating innovative educational programs abroad since 1982. CET gap programs focus on intensive language study or an international internship experience. No matter which track you choose, you can expect a well-rounded and immersive experience, engaging curriculum, and a program that challenges you both inside and outside of the classroom.

Supportive staff also ensure you’ve got the tools to navigate and thrive in a new country and culture. Offered in six locations abroad and virtually, all CET gap programs have optional college credit.

In response to COVID, CET has developed a plan for specific on-site changes to protect the safety of students, faculty, and staff abroad. They are also offering flexibility for Fall 2021 program commitment and payments that allow students to withdraw from their programs for any reason until the day before the arrival date with a full refund. Spaces for Fall 2021 are still open in CET's Global Virtual Internship and Gap at CET Jordan programs!

EF International Language Campuses

Study abroad for 6, 9, or 11 months and learn more than just a language. Become fluent in a new culture. Prepare for an official exam, gain international work experience, and expand your network. College credit also allows you to make progress towards a current or future degree while abroad. Who would most benefit from their program? Students aged 16 and up who are passionate about launching their global future.

EF offers fun and interactive language courses abroad for students of all language levels. Their program destinations are: Paris, Nice, Malaga, Barcelona, Costa Rica, Berlin, Munich, Rome, Singapore, Tokyo, and Seoul. They offer rolling admissions.

ID Languages: Spanish Gap Year

Spain by Train is a 12 week program where you will get to tour all the different regions of Spain, in the most sustainable form of travel. You will learn Spanish by living with local Spanish people, cycling the Camino de Santiago, cookery workshops in the Basque Country, surfing in Asturias, history & architecture tours in Barcelona, art workshops in Madrid, organic agriculture in Valencia, flamenco music and dance in Andalusia and many more wonderful cultural experiences. You will also take home a certificate of Spanish from the University of Salamanca (the oldest Hispanic University in the world), which will grant you 6 US College Credits.

During the program you will acquire communication and self-reliance skills that will stand for you for the rest of your life. You will always be near their expert counsellors and local guides who will help you with everything you need in both English and Spanish.

Don’t forget that Spain is not only the cradle of European culture but also one of the safest countries in the world. Before you travel to ID Languages, you will have the opportunity to attend a set of group meetings and individual interviews so you can ask all the questions you may have.

Taipei National Taiwan University: Chinese Gap Year

Set on the beautiful campus of National Taiwan University in the heart of Taipei, Chinese Gap Year (CGY) in Taipei is a 3, 6, 9, or 12-month gap year experience for pre-university students who want to rapidly improve their Chinese, immerse themselves in local culture and society, and experience the freedom to grow and make friends. Applications are open for their fall quarter - apply today and they’ll see you in Taipei!

Outdoor Adventure

Whether you want to scale a mountain, backpack through the wilderness, or just get back to nature, a gap program that focuses on the great outdoors might be what you’re looking for! Here are some open gap programs focused on getting back to nature. Check out our international options, US-based options, and those that are available in both.

International Options

The School for Field Studies

SFS is a different kind of study abroad program! They’re empowering a generation of environmental leaders on programs that help students develop practical skills through hands-on, experiential learning – while exploring incredible ecosystems, from the African savanna to the glaciers of Patagonia. This fall, they’re offering programs in 5 countries across the globe – Chile, Costa Rica, Kenya, Panama, and the Turks & Caicos Islands. Learn about the environmental issues facing these countries and conduct a real field research project.

SFS programs are academically rigorous offering college-level courses. Programs are available for gap-year students 18 years or older who have demonstrated academic excellence in the environmental or biological sciences. There is no application deadline; however, they recommend students apply as soon as possible as space is becoming limited. Visit their website to learn more about SFS and their programs, contact an SFS Admissions Counselor, or review their COVID-19 program operation policies. Where will your next adventure take you?

Summit Adventure

Trek through Patagonia, explore the Andes Mountains, summit peaks over 16,000+ ft, backpack and climb in Yosemite, visit the coastal beaches of California, immerse yourself in Ecuadorian culture...all these things and more you'll get the chance to experience through Summit Adventure's Study Abroad Program!

If you want a break from the traditional classroom this fall, then join them for an adventure-based semester of learning and exploring in Yosemite, Ecuador & Patagonia. Gain 16-18 college credits while acquiring outdoor skills in backpacking, mountaineering and rock climbing (no prior experience necessary). Application deadline for Fall 2021 is June 30th.

US-Based Options

Calleva Gap Year

Calleva offers two distinct Gap Year tracks for high school graduates: Semester of Skills & Wilderness Film Intensive. Each offers hands-on skills development with experienced mentors in: architecture, construction, mechanics, culinary arts, film making, sound/lighting engineering, and more.

The core programming is paired with outdoor adventure & leadership training with Calleva program directors. Each cohort's capstone experience is a 10-year outdoor adventure planned and executed by the students. This is a semester-based program and students can elect a single semester experience or join for a full year.

Calleva encourages Gap students to live on-site. Group living arrangements are set in Calleva-owned apartments, which provide a communal living environment conducive to sharing responsibilities with their cohort and engaging regularly with their staff to build life skills and embrace an attitude of life long learning. Weekend workshops and excursions provide a holistic experience designed to teach the benefits of a balanced life, spark curiosity, and inspire self confidence.

Deer Hill Gap

Deer Hill created the Gap Year to allow participants to be fully immersed in the Southwest landscapes by discovering the mountains, canyons, rivers and people who call this place home. The 70-day program deepens on historic Deer Hill programming by combining service learning, wilderness exploration, and group living with curated lessons that integrate multiple themes and perspectives into a critical examination of the American West.

Participants will learn how geology, topography, geomorphology, and climate have shaped the region’s history and contemporary public policy. Participants will gain skills, certifications, and credits for prior learning during the program. Students who come on the Gap Year need to be prepared to engage in course curriculum in a mature and motivated manner. Attendance, attention, participation, and cooperation are essential to student success. The fall gap program runs from 8/30/2021 - 11/7/2021.

DownWest Semesters

DownWest offers two and five-week backpacking and bike touring programs throughout the West, and in Alaska. No prior experience is necessary. Their experienced DownWest instructors teach students everything they need to know and the trips include a leadership curriculum and a sense-of-place curriculum, with a focus on issues like conservation, native history and public land use, so their students leave knowing more about the areas they've experienced!

Their focus is on leadership and personal growth, and students have loved the mentorship from their instructors and the opportunity to challenge themselves alongside peers. They accept students on a rolling basis until courses are full, and each course consists of 10 students and 2 instructors. They're accepting applications for their five-week Colorado & Utah fall backpacking program departing August 29th.

SEA Semester Gap Year

SEA Semester offers two gap year programs for Fall 2021. Ocean Exploration, which offers 17 semester hour credits from Boston University, begins on August 30th with a 6-week shore component on SEA’s campus in Woods Hole on Cape Cod. An alternative, non-credit-bearing gap program, Atlantic Odyssey, begins September 20th with a three-week shore component.

Then, from Oct. 8th to November 16th students from both programs sail on an epic blue water passage to St. Croix aboard SEA’s flagship, the SSV Corwith Cramer. These are great opportunities for students interested in the oceans and in studying the marine environment through the disciplines of science, maritime history & culture, policy, and leadership.

International and US-Based Options

Alzar School + Gap

Alzar provides high school graduates with life-changing experiences while offering tangible leadership training in world-class destinations in Patagonia, Chile, or American West. If you are seeking something more from your traditional university experience and are excited to learn more about yourself, gain a broader world view, and make authentic connections with diverse people in wild and untamed parts of the world, then Alzar Gap is your next step! They are currently accepting applications through July 1st, 2021.

Amigos de las Americas: Gap Programs

If you're interested in diving deep into conservation and the environment, AMIGOS Gap Programs are for you! Accredited by the Gap Year Association, their programs focus on actions local communities are taking to address issues like climate change, sustainable agriculture, wildlife conservation, and environmental protection.

Earn 140 service hours supporting these efforts! Both sessions are eight-week pod-based sessions with limited enrollment. July 15 is the deadline to apply for the fall semester and open locations are Costa Rica and Colorado.

Special Interests

These unique gap programs don’t really fall in any particular category as they offer a unique program that is either based on interests, location, or the type of opportunity. These unique programs are still accepting applicants for Fall 2021. Check out US-based option and our virtual options.

US-Based Option

Living City Project

Looking for a meaningful and exciting Gap Year experience in New York City? The Living City Project's CityGAP is an outdoor, city-based, experiential learning program for college-aged students in the fall and spring. In CityGAP, they engage with New York as a classroom, laboratory, studio and community, wrestling with the urgent challenges facing the city at this critical moment.

Participants will work on both group and individual projects, producing a portfolio of creative and original work in a variety of media. They spend most of their time outdoors in the city, working with partners in the city government, the arts, community organizing and activism, and more. Their program is for students who want to connect with the world, explore their passions, master life skills and do relevant work with a supportive group of peers.

Virtual Option

Global Citizen Year Academy

Global Citizen Year Academy is an empowering leadership experience (delivered virtually) that brings together determined young changemakers worldwide to build leadership skills for solving global challenges.

The Academy is designed as a 7-10 hour per week commitment that adds an enriching layer of purpose to high school, college, gap years, or work. Students from 80+ countries enroll in their signature leadership course, join conversations with today’s most impactful changemakers (like Melinda Gates, Jay Shetty, and Adam Grant), and receive one-on-one mentorship.

At the end of the 12-week semester, students have confidence in the values that drive them and clarity on how to connect their purpose with the change they want to see in the world. For motivated changemakers (ages 17-21) who care deeply about our world and its challenges, apply now to join a community of determined young leaders like you from around the world!

Applications are now open for the Fall '21 semester of the Academy! The early deadline is June 17th and the regular deadline is July 23, 2021.

University of Pennsylvania Online Certificates

Penn LPS Online certificates are short, focused programs of study designed to develop your skills and knowledge in specific subject areas such as applied positive psychology, climate change, creative writing, data analytics, leadership and communication, neuroscience, organizational anthropology, and professional writing.

Take four or more accelerated courses to complete a certificate or select individual courses from a broader range of subjects. Penn LPS Online courses are credit-bearing; please note that credit transfer is granted at the discretion of your home institution. The deadlines to enroll for Fall 2021 are August 15th (Fall 1) and October 1 (Fall 2).

Looking for More Information?

Ready to learn more about the above gap programs? You can request more information about these programs, including their future sessions and other opportunities (including summer options).