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TeenLife’s Top 15 Most Popular Gap Programs

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TeenLife’s Top 15 Most Popular Gap Programs

Looking for the most popular programs for your gap semester or year?

Look no further. This article covers TeenLife’s top 15 most popular gap programs for high school graduates and college students, organized by category. They take place in the US as well as other countries around the world.

What Do We Mean by Popular?

We reviewed all gap programs listed on TeenLife and selected the 15 programs with the most page views on our website.

We then broke those programs into categories and arranged them alphabetically to create the list you find on this page.

Academic

American University Gap Program

  • Ages: 16-19+
  • Abroad/Domestic: Domestic—Washington, DC
  • Credits: College

The American University Gap Program offers academic and internship experiences in our nation’s capital, providing the perfect springboard for future academic and career success. While in the program, AU Gap students are fully integrated into the AU community and have access to all campus resources. Single-semester programs include an internship three days a week and a seminar course in American Politics, International Affairs or Global Business. Students will earn 7 college credits per semester. Enroll for a single semester (fall or spring) or a full academic year.

Center for Study Abroad

  • Ages: 14-18
  • Abroad/Domestic: Both
  • Credits: High School, College

Center for Study Abroad (CSA) offers a convenient and low-cost way to study abroad. CSA promotes international education as a bridge to becoming more "internationally minded." All programs are conducted at universities, colleges, and institutes that are fully accredited and provide excellent support services on-site. Students will receive all of the contact information with their confirmation documents, including any emergency contact information for the program office, and housing, if included. Host family details are also sent prior to the start date.

Gap Year at The School of The New York Times

  • Ages: 18-21
  • Abroad/Domestic: Domestic—New York, NY
  • Credits: None

Gap Year at The School of The New York Times is a program for high school graduates, ages 18-21, seeking a transformative intellectual adventure before they go to college or pursue a future career path. During the program, students will connect with great thinkers who are covering important issues across global affairs, politics, finance & economics, science & technology, arts & humanities and more. With New York City as their classroom, Gap Year students leave the program with an expanded worldview, a sharpened perspective on a wide range of topics, and strong critical thinking and communication skills. The School of The New York Times offers both semester-long and 8-week summer programs, respectively.

Adventure/Trips

Journey - A Gap Year Internship

  • Ages: 18, 19+
  • Abroad/Domestic: Both
  • Credits: College

Journey, an 8-month program at Camp Bighorn, is designed for young adults to learn foundations for life and faith and serve the world in tangible ways. Participants will finish Journey with life-long friendships, a sense of identity and belonging and skills to lead others throughout their lives. Every week, participants will learn through service to others or through outdoor adventures, such as rock climbing and white-water rafting. Significant time is devoted to personal and spiritual growth, from one-on-one discipleship with Bighorn staff to extended wilderness trips and cultural trips overseas.

NOLS Outdoor Gap Year

  • Ages: 17-19+
  • Abroad/Domestic: Both
  • Credits: High School, College

National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) is the original wilderness semester where students learn multiple outdoor skills and gain in-depth leadership skills through an extensive hands-on progression guided by instructors. The program prepares students for school, teamwork, and life through a proven curriculum. Using an extensive hands-on approach, NOLS instructors teach expedition skills such as rock climbing, backpacking, sea kayaking, mountaineering, and wilderness medicine, paired with experiential learning in leadership and decision-making. Choose from a classic 30-day wilderness expedition or an immersive semester.

Community Service

A Broader View Volunteers - Gap Year Volunteering Overseas Social & Conservation Programs

  • Ages: 17-19+
  • Abroad/Domestic: Abroad
  • Credits: High School, College

A Broader View is a program designed to give travelers an enriching, life-changing experience while volunteering abroad. Participating in locally-led volunteer work offers the opportunity to experience, learn and contribute to society in ways that traditional travel does not provide. Gap year options include 100% local immersion. Options to live with local host families, or with other volunteers in a shared home are available. Host families come well-screened, have a proven track record for hosting foreign travelers, offer clean lodging, safe food and have a plethora of local knowledge to share with you. Spanish language lessons and cultural immersion programs are available in the Latin American locations, as well as Nepal and India.

Global Citizen Year

  • Ages: 16-19+
  • Abroad/Domestic: Abroad
  • Credits: College

Global Citizen Year is a gap year program that gives students the foundation for greatness in college, career, and life. Embark on a journey of cross-cultural immersion, meaningful internships, and world-class training. Each year, Global Citizen recruits and trains a diverse group of the brightest high school graduates and supports them through a transformative gap year after high school. Through intensive training and immersion in communities across Africa, Latin America, and Asia, students will contribute to local efforts in education, environmental conservation, public health, agriculture, and social enterprise.

Raleigh International - Gap Year and Volunteer Abroad Programs

  • Ages: 17-24
  • Abroad/Domestic: Abroad
  • Credits: None

Raleigh International is an abroad volunteering program, open to all engaging young people from around the world. We believe young people everywhere can change the world. So we empower young people, ages 17-24, with the skills, experience, and connections to be leaders of change. The program engages students in creating long-lasting change through hands-on projects that help to tackle environmental issues, access to education for all, and alleviate poverty. Our volunteers develop themselves, find their people, and get involved in the issues they care about.

United Planet's Gap Year and Volunteer Abroad Opportunities

  • Ages: 18, 19+
  • Abroad/Domestic: Abroad
  • Credits: None

United Planet's Gap Year programs are a unique opportunity to live, learn, immerse and volunteer abroad. As a United Planet Quest volunteer, participants will live with a host family and be paired with projects responding to needs identified by the local community. Participants make new connections, discover differences in values, norms, and practices, find commonalities among new friends and broaden their worldview by engaging in a real way.

Language

CESA Languages Abroad - Gap Programs

  • Ages: 16-19+
  • Abroad/Domestic: Abroad
  • Credits: College

CESA offers high quality language programs for ALL abilities. You can immerse yourself in the language and culture of a country for a few weeks or several months with start dates throughout the year. CESA has years of experience and has built relationships with all of the language colleges. All Gap Programs are held in accredited, quality language schools, providing language tuition for beginner to advanced levels, on courses of 1 to 36 weeks duration.

Language Year Abroad with EF International Language Campuses

  • Ages: 16-19+
  • Abroad/Domestic: Abroad
  • Credits: College

Language Year Abroad is a program that allows students to achieve fluency in a foreign language, see the world, and expand their international network. 6, 9 or 11 month programs are offered and start in April, June, September or January. Studying abroad does not limit students to simply learning a new language, but allows them to become fluent in a new culture.

Special Needs

Gap Year at SOAR

  • Ages: 18-24
  • Abroad/Domestic: Both
  • Credits: College

The GAP Year at SOAR is specially designed to empower young adults ages 18–24 with ADHD or other Learning Disabilities through adventure, travel and independent living. Developed directly from parent feedback, this program meets the needs of those who have graduated from high school but are not quite ready to step into a university or career path. Participants are provided a structured environment in which they may pursue areas of interest and strengths while taking a step back to clearly consider their future and the steps to get there. Gappers will alternate between living at SOAR’s Eagle View Ranch in Dubois, Wyoming and exploring the western United States.

Travel/Culture Immersion

EF Gap Semester

  • Ages: 18, 19+
  • Abroad/Domestic: Abroad
  • Credits: College

EF Gap Semester is a 12-week program that has the flexibility of starting in either September or January. EF Gap students explore several countries, learn a language, volunteer, engage in cultural exchange, intern abroad and develop leadership skills. At EF, advisors work with students to customize a highly individualized program that meets both their personal and professional goals. All programs include an orientation and 2 weeks of cultural immersion in Europe. They all end with Leadership Academy at a prestigious business school in the U.K. and final gala banquet with an awards ceremony.

Year On Gap Year Experience

  • Ages: 18, 19+
  • Abroad/Domestic: Both
  • Credits: None

Year On offers gap year programs to help young adults develop the confidence, clarity, and direction necessary to make the leap from high school to college. Fellows volunteer abroad, gain real-world skills in San Francisco and work with coaches throughout to build a foundation for life. The Year On gap year program is divided into three successive phases — Explore, Focus and Launch. Each phase builds upon the other as fellows learn new concepts and skills and put them into practice.

Thinking Beyond Borders: Global Gap Year and Gap Semester Programs

  • Ages: 16-19+
  • Abroad/Domestic: Both
  • Credits: None

Thinking Beyond Borders’ programs are designed to meet the unique needs of gap year students by providing authentic engagement and meaningful exploration. These programs are about much more than just travel and service. They combine deep cultural immersion, fieldwork with experts and engaging readings and discussions to create an incredible learning environment. There are no grades, no tests, and no essays. Thinking Beyond Borders Leaders are there to support and challenge students in becoming who they want to be.