EF Gap Semester: Custom 12-Week Program in Multi-Destinations

Video and Photos

EF Gap Semester Service Learning in Costa Rica
EF Gap Semester Service Learning in Costa Rica
EF Gap Semester Leadership Academy
EF Gap Semester Leadership Academy
EF Gap Semester Rome
EF Gap Semester Rome
EF Gap Semester China
EF Gap Semester China

About

EF Gap Semester is 12-week program that allows students the flexibility of starting in either September or January. The semester begins with a group orientation and 2 weeks of cultural immersion of Europe. Students then personalize their program with two 4-week modules enabling them to combine their choice of language course, volunteer service or internship. Students regroup for Leadership Academy and gala banquet before graduation.

Students are able to earn college credit, place out of language requirements, and return home with a portfolio of certificates that document their achievements. Students can even round their gap experience with an optional college application and essay writing seminar.

EF Education First is the largest private global educational company in the world with over 52,000 staff through 612 offices and schools in 50 countries.

Highlights
  • Experience a great tour of Europe with your cohort
  • Have the option to learn a language at a recognized EF Campus
  • Help a community in need through service learning
  • Get work experience with an internship in one of the world's best cities
  • Attend a Leadership Academy at an English castle

Questions & Answers

Reviews

100%
based on 5 reviews
  • Housing 9
  • Support 8.4
  • Fun 10
  • Value 10
  • Safety 9.6
Showing 1 - 5 of 5
Default avatar
Cormac
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Wonderful, Growing program

My EF Gap Semester was amazing. My cohort was fun and had an incredibly diverse set of personalities and backgrounds. Our Europe tour was probably the most fun two weeks I had ever had, the cohort grew super close as we traveled around the highlights of Europe cities. My actual semester was spent in Berlin. The EF school in Berlin is extremely well run and well staffed, I had a wonderful experience learning there. Moving over to my internship was easy and Johan, the internship director, was helpful and responsive. One of the issues that I experienced during the semester is that if I had an issue, I didn't know wether to reach out to my EF school or the gap semester program because each seemed confused about to work together to solve my issue. Another comment would be to spice up the pre-trip and post-trip orientation and de-brief. While the sessions we had were informative and interesting, they were not super applicable to the actual experiences we had during our semesters and they slipped into feeling dry and boring often.

What was your funniest moment?
Every Wednesday, the EF Berlin school takes all the kids to a bar or pub and we practiced our German over a Belgian or German beer or two. Every time, it was a memorable and extremely fun time. These were my highlights from my semester by far.
Default avatar
Annabel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Out of My Comfort Zone, Into my Future

I can’t imagine who I’d be right now if I hadn’t taken a gap year. EF’s gap year program allowed me to accomplish so many goals of mine, whether it be to learn fluent Spanish or to go bungee jumping in a foreign country. I studied Spanish in Costa Rica, completed Service Learning in the Dominican Republic, and interned in Madrid, Spain. My gap year took me out of my comfort zone so many times that I don’t even know what that means anymore - and my life is better because of it. Now, as I head off to college, I am able to focus on my excitement rather than feeling nervous, because I have built so much confidence within the past year. If anyone is searching for a path to follow, a way to achieve their goals, or even just who they are, they need to take a gap year.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The most nerve-racking moment I experienced was meeting my host family in Costa Rica. These were the people who I would be living with for the next 6 weeks, and I really wanted to make a good first impression. I didn’t know whether I should be trying to speak Spanish or just speak English or what... I was seriously so nervous. But they welcomed me with open arms (and a generous meal!).
Default avatar
Ellie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Growing Experience

Overall I had a fantastic time on the trip. I did the first semester abroad, traveling to Barcelona for my language module and the Dominican Republic for my service module. The tour guides were great for both the welcome tour and the Dominican Republic. I loved living in Barcelona and the amount of freedom we had to explore the city. The organizations we worked with in the Dominican Republic were amazing and overall taught me so much. While my language skills only minorly improved, I feel as if I gained so much independence and confidence because of this trip. The EF staff were also very caring and good communicators, consistently checking in with all of us individually. I think this program though is really about what you make it. I believe that it is important to push yourself and actively participate.

What would you improve about this program?
I think we were all a little bit overwhelmed when we were taken to our various cities and all separated after the welcome tour. I think prior to being dropped off for our first module we should be better educated about the transportation system and where we will be living.
Default avatar
Eliza
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Semester!

I truly enjoyed my travels with the EF Gap Semester. The staff were all fantastic, especially my tour director of Europe. I went to Barcelona to attend Language school and to the Dominican Republic for service, and I loved them both. Living on my own in Barcelona was a highlight, as I learned a lot about living on my own as well as public transportation. I also learned more Spanish than I could’ve even imagined! When I first got there, I could hardly form a sentence and could only speak in present tense. By the time I left, I was able to have casual conversations and order in Spanish. I gained so much from both experiences, as well as my time on the Welcome Tour and my time at Ashridge. Each piece was very well thought out and I felt safe the entire time, but the directors also weren’t overbearing, we had a lot of freedom! It was an amazing experience! I had trouble adding photos to this, but you can check out some photos from this trip on my gap year instagram @travel.gapyear

What would you improve about this program?
It was the first year, so there were some kinks that could be worked out, particularly with the meals on the welcome tour, but overall it was a fantastic experience.
Daniel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Gap Year Internship at an EF Office

I did an internship with EF at one of their offices during my gap year. It was an amazing opportunity to travel, learn, and to meet new amazing people with different backgrounds. The internship was structured very well and gave me a broad range of professional and life experiences that has helped me grow as a person. EF does a great job motivating each individual to push themselves beyond their comfort zones and to be their best self.

I would recommend anyone to take a gap year with EF as it is a great and unique chance that will be very rewarding in so many ways.

About EF Gap Year

EF is the world's largest private educational organization with 46,000 staff throughout 51 countries. We provide life-changing education for global citizens. For over 50 years, our mission has been to give confidence and freedom to people of all ages...