Overview

Free to Roam Adventures designs a gap year to match your unique interests and goals. Many clients combine travel, internships, volunteer experiences, and work opportunities in the U.S. and abroad. We recommend quality experiences, help build structure into the gap year, and offer comprehensive guidance and support.

Founding Director, Susan Staley, is a passionate advocate of the gap year as a foundational experience that allows students to develop greater self-awareness, deepen cultural knowledge, and step into the next phase of life with confidence and a sense of ownership over their lives. She takes pride in being one of the few gap year consultants who has both taken a traditional gap year and directly supported students in international education as a gap year program leader and director of study abroad.

After an initial free consultation, Susan works one on one with students to help them define their gap year intentions, and then recommends worthwhile experiences that will help students realize those goals. She aims to design a gap year that allows students to be challenged, explore their passions, build real world skills, and ultimately step into the future with greater confidence and clarity of their next steps in life. Susan supports families throughout the entire gap year planning process, stays in touch with students during their gap experience, and works with students upon their return to debrief their experiences and discuss how they might build on their new skills in college.

1 Participant Review

Write a Review
Susan is fantastic!

Susan is fantastic!

5
Reviewed on 2/5/2018 by

Our family used Susan Staley and Free to Roam Adventures to plan our daughter’s gap year travels (between sophomore and junior year in college) in South America. It was a wonderful experience working with Susan. She is knowledgeable and super friendly. Easy to talk with and a good listener; she gave us some really fine program suggestions. Her vast experience traveling in South America is evident. Her follow-up was quick and she kept my daughter on task about visa, vaccines, etc. I would definitely work with Susan again.

Testimonials

Working with Susan was an amazing experience. When I made the decision to take a year off from school I was really nervous and unsure about what I wanted to do. When I found Susan and started working with her I felt so much relief. She takes the time to get to know you, and what you are interested in so that she can help organize a gap year experience that will be just right for you.

- Jane Shanley - May 15, 2018

My experience getting to talk with Susan last September before I embarked on my three-month journey and still talking with her today has been great. Susan not only talked me through the different program options, but she took plenty of time to sit down with me and list out the pros and cons for each one. She asked me great questions like what I wanted to get out of a program and how long I would wish to be away from home. I loved every single minute of my trip. I know I chose the right program for me and I couldn’t have done that without her help. I have one more thing I’d like to add. Susan and I still talk to this day and catch up with each other occasionally. This goes to show that following up with people, even after they return home, is a great quality of hers. If you read this, I highly recommend using Susan Staley as your gap year coordinator!

- Nick Flohr - Feb. 15, 2019

We are unequivocally happy about Robert’s gap year experience!

- Parent - May 15, 2018

More than anything this trip has given me the opportunity to find a different side of who I am and discover what is important to me. My experience abroad has been truly invaluable thanks to Free To Roam.

- Chelsea Howe - Nov. 11, 2015

My family and I highly recommend Susan Staley and Free to Roam Adventures in planning a gap year or semester. She takes ample time to get to know the student with written questions and casual conversations and finds the perfect fit for the for the person and intention of the trip. She has vast personal experience traveling on her own and leading groups abroad and she is exceptional at preparing the student for what they may encounter, whether it’s logistics or different social/cultural norms in the area of travel. She remains available while the student is abroad, in case any problems arise. We felt very well-prepared and cared for during the time she was assisting us. Thanks to her knowledge and resources, we were able to learn of possibilities for our daughter that we simply would not have discovered on our own. Considering the potentially life-changing experience of such a journey and the impact it can have on an individual’s path, having Susan’s help has been absolutely invaluable to us. Should our second daughter chose to have a gap experience, we will hire Susan again in a heartbeat!

- Elizabeth Strohm - April 29, 2020

1 Participant Review

Write a Review
Susan is fantastic!

Susan is fantastic!

5
Reviewed on 2/5/2018 by

Our family used Susan Staley and Free to Roam Adventures to plan our daughter’s gap year travels (between sophomore and junior year in college) in South America. It was a wonderful experience working with Susan. She is knowledgeable and super friendly. Easy to talk with and a good listener; she gave us some really fine program suggestions. Her vast experience traveling in South America is evident. Her follow-up was quick and she kept my daughter on task about visa, vaccines, etc. I would definitely work with Susan again.

Testimonials

Working with Susan was an amazing experience. When I made the decision to take a year off from school I was really nervous and unsure about what I wanted to do. When I found Susan and started working with her I felt so much relief. She takes the time to get to know you, and what you are interested in so that she can help organize a gap year experience that will be just right for you.

- Jane Shanley - May 15, 2018

My experience getting to talk with Susan last September before I embarked on my three-month journey and still talking with her today has been great. Susan not only talked me through the different program options, but she took plenty of time to sit down with me and list out the pros and cons for each one. She asked me great questions like what I wanted to get out of a program and how long I would wish to be away from home. I loved every single minute of my trip. I know I chose the right program for me and I couldn’t have done that without her help. I have one more thing I’d like to add. Susan and I still talk to this day and catch up with each other occasionally. This goes to show that following up with people, even after they return home, is a great quality of hers. If you read this, I highly recommend using Susan Staley as your gap year coordinator!

- Nick Flohr - Feb. 15, 2019

We are unequivocally happy about Robert’s gap year experience!

- Parent - May 15, 2018

More than anything this trip has given me the opportunity to find a different side of who I am and discover what is important to me. My experience abroad has been truly invaluable thanks to Free To Roam.

- Chelsea Howe - Nov. 11, 2015

My family and I highly recommend Susan Staley and Free to Roam Adventures in planning a gap year or semester. She takes ample time to get to know the student with written questions and casual conversations and finds the perfect fit for the for the person and intention of the trip. She has vast personal experience traveling on her own and leading groups abroad and she is exceptional at preparing the student for what they may encounter, whether it’s logistics or different social/cultural norms in the area of travel. She remains available while the student is abroad, in case any problems arise. We felt very well-prepared and cared for during the time she was assisting us. Thanks to her knowledge and resources, we were able to learn of possibilities for our daughter that we simply would not have discovered on our own. Considering the potentially life-changing experience of such a journey and the impact it can have on an individual’s path, having Susan’s help has been absolutely invaluable to us. Should our second daughter chose to have a gap experience, we will hire Susan again in a heartbeat!

- Elizabeth Strohm - April 29, 2020

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