Top 10 Colleges with Gap Year Programs

Top 10 Colleges with Gap Year Programs
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When students graduate from high school and finally receive a diploma, they may realize that they are not ready for college yet. Some of them cannot decide what to study or what their goals are so they need some time to figure out what to do next. If you’re one of those students, the chances are you will want to take a gap year. Fortunately, there are many colleges with friendly policies regarding a gap year, and is here to help you make the right choice!

Why Choose Colleges with Gap Year Programs?

Gap years offer a great opportunity to take a break and think of what are your life goals before you go to college. Gap years used to be traditionally associated with traveling, however, now they also offer you an opportunity to add something to your resume and to better prepare for college. There are gap year programs that allow students to learn new languages, or to do community services.

A gap year is not a vacation. It’s an opportunity to learn more about yourself and the world you’re living in. If you take your time to figure out your long-term goals and priorities, you can choose the best college that meets your objectives and find yourself in a community of like-minded people.

When you take a gap year, you’ll be able to prepare for college in advance, with no need to collect recommendations or to fill out applications in a hurry.

10 Progressive Universities with Gap Year Programs

Gap years are a common thing in the UK or Australia, however, they are not popular in the United States. Fortunately, there are universities that are not afraid of progressive approaches to education. More and more universities not only start to approve gap years but also offer various programs for students who want to suspend their acceptance. Here are 10 best colleges that offer gap year programs.

1. Tufts University

This university is well-known both in the country and in the world, so there’s no surprise that it has its own gap year program. This “bridge-year” program focuses on community service and volunteering. There are many domestic programs in the US, as well as programs that enable you to travel to Brazil, Ecuador, Nicaragua, or India.

2. Princeton University

This program works on a competitive basis. Princeton University selects students who can participate in a nine-month tuition-free program. To make sure that students will be active participants in the university community, Princeton University offers program locations in Indonesia, Bolivia, Senegal, India, and China.

3. Florida State University

The FSU proves that gap year programs are not only for the Ivy Leagues. This university even encourages freshmen to take a gap year and provides additional funding if necessary. It’s a great opportunity to explore the world!

4. University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

The UNC’s gap year program is somewhat similar to fellowship programs, as students also receive funding for their gap year so they can find a project abroad. Moreover, students have an opportunity to propose their own location in the application, explaining why they are passionate about a certain project.

5. American University

This university doesn’t offer gap year programs abroad, however, you can join a program in Washington, D.C. This program focuses on helping freshmen prepare for the new pace of life in college and to set career goals. You have an opportunity to try internships with such organizations as the Senate Foreign Relationships Committee and the National Geographic Society.

6. Elon University

Elon University allows freshmen to choose a gap year semester so that they can familiarize themselves with the college life beyond the campus. There are various international service and leadership options, including locations in Costa Rica.

7. St. Norbert College

This is a liberal arts college in Wisconsin, and it offers freshmen a Gap Experience program. This program combines exploration, service, and adventure. You can become a volunteer in New Mexico, participate in a Guatemalan cultural exchange program, or go kayaking through Canada.

8. The New School

This is a nonprofit research university in New York City. Its gap program is called Global Immersion and it allows you to study Spanish in Costa Rica. Students can focus on environment-oriented or social justice projects, earning academic credit while learning local culture abroad.

9. Peace Corps

Peace Corps is a well-known program that enables American volunteers to help communities all over the world. This is not a university program but it will certainly be a great addition to your university or job application. Volunteers live in remote areas of countries that experience financial and social problems. Many volunteers describe this program as a life-changing experience.

10. AmeriCorps

If you want to spend your gap year abroad but don’t have enough money for that, AmeriCorps is a great option located in the US. It’s a ten-months program that focuses on volunteer service for small communities. Volunteers get accommodation and a stipend. Moreover, some colleges will match this stipend.

If you’re still not sure what you want to do after high school, these gap year programs offer you a chance to prepare for college while learning something new, helping people, or just exploring new places. Don’t hesitate to apply for gap year programs, remember: the sky’s the limit!

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