Discover Year is an innovative and structured gap year program that helps young adults understand what they want in life and build the skills they need to go out and get it. Our students develop stronger self-awareness, confidence, communication skills and resilience to thrive in whatever education or career path they choose to take, while learning more about themselves and their unique interests, talents and passions...(more)
- Listing Type: Gap Year Programs
- Destinations: Multiple Locations
- Program Delivery: Day
- Credit Awarded: None
- Program Length: Academic Year
- Start Month: July
- Category: Career Exploration
- Selective: No
- Gender: Coed
- Ages: 17, 18, 19+, 19
- Housing: Homestay, Other
- Minimum Cost: $5,000 - $9,999
- Meeting: Schedule a Meeting
Discover Year is an innovative and structured gap year program that helps young adults understand what they want in life and build the skills they need to go out and get it. Our students develop stronger self-awareness, confidence, communication skills and resilience to thrive in whatever education or career path they choose to take, while learning more about themselves and their unique interests, talents and passions.
At Discover Year, we believe that personal growth comes when you step outside of your comfort zone. That's why our program is designed for curious, open-minded students between the ages of 17 and 21 who are interested in stepping outside their comfort zone in order to explore their true interests, gain a clearer sense of direction for their future, and build the skills and connections they need to thrive in adulthood.
Discover Year integrates practical and interactive education, experiential learning, and skill development into a unique and meaningful year away from formal studies. With 50% of the program online and 50% in person, Discover Year follows a structured approach that incorporates five elements of hands-on learning:
- Discovery Days: Every week, students will come together on Wednesdays for "Discovery Days." These days are packed with engaging and experiential learning, including skills workshops, career panels, networking, small group discussions, adventures in the community, and field trips to local campuses, businesses, attractions, and more.
- Work terms: You will complete two 5-month work terms during your Discover Year to gain hands-on work experience and build critical professional skills. Whether you have previous work experience or are looking for your very first job, our team will coach you on how to effectively apply for jobs and connect with potential employers.
- Travel: During the month of February, you have the opportunity to travel anywhere in the world! This one-month independent travel period is intended to expand your worldviews and build your confidence by stepping outside of your comfort zone.
- Community service: Together with your peers, you will lead two community service group projects during your Discover Year, which will give you the opportunity to explore important social issues, build teamwork skills, and support your community in a meaningful way.
- One-on-one mentorship and coaching: At the beginning of your Discover Year, you will be matched with a Life-Path Coach based on your interests, aspirations, and personality. Coaches will then work with you throughout the year to explore your authentic interests, values, and talents.
What makes Discover Year particularly unique is its inspiring, inclusive and supportive learning environment. Our program has one educator for every six students, which helps ensure all students have an engaging and meaningful year. This ratio allows students to be open and vulnerable with one another, form deep and lasting relationships, and explore their strengths and interests without fear of judgment.
Our Discover Year community is also unmatched. With access to more than 100 inspiring mentors, coaches and professionals from a wide range of industries, our students have the opportunity to learn about the working world and get a better sense of the types of careers that interest them the most. The sense of belonging and connection that our community offers is a key factor that fuels the growth and self-discovery of our students.
Discover Year's headquarters are located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada*, with two regional hubs in Toronto, Ontario and Boston, Massachusetts. We also give students the option to complete their Discover Year remotely from almost anywhere in the world, as long as you have a reliable Internet connection. However, because Discover Year blends in-person and online learning, all Discover Year students have the opportunity regularly engage and connect with one another in a meaningful way, no matter where they live.
If you live outside of our three locations (Ottawa, Toronto, and Boston) and would like to move to one of these cities for your Discover Year, you can learn more by exploring the individual location listings in the "Related Listings" section at the bottom of this page.
Our students and their parents consistently describe Discover Year using three words: relevant, engaging and inspiring. Our students leave their Discover Year with stronger confidence, self-awareness, communication skills, and resilience to help them thrive in their next stage of life and throughout adulthood.
While the concept of the "gap year" remains relatively undeveloped in North America, we believe that there has never been a better time for young adults to undertake a structured, purposeful year as a stepping stone to post-secondary education or the workforce.