Multiple Locations +15
  • Thailand
  • Iceland
  • South Korea
    • Seoul
  • Japan
    • Tokyo
  • France
    • Nice
    • Paris
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Spain
    • Barcelona
    • Madrid
    • Malaga
    • Seville
  • Sweden
    • Stockholm
  • Australia
    • Sydney
  • Peru
  • Costa Rica
  • Switzerland
  • Ecuador
  • New Zealand
4 - 12 weeks

Program Details

City Exploring Hiking Snorkeling
Fall Spring
Apartment Host Family Hostel Hotel
Primary Language
Age Min.
Age Max


Starting Price
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Airfare Domestic Airfare Airport Transfers Some Meals Tour Guide Transportation
What's Not Included
Some Meals Travel Insurance Visa
Sep 21, 2023
Jan 29, 2024
89 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

An EF Gap Semester is perfect for students who want to live in different parts of the world while gaining valuable life skills, discovering their passions, and building community. Destinations include Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Oceania.

Combine guided travel, language and cultural immersion, service learning, or an internship in different countries to build essential skills for your global career, creating a semester as unique as you. Choose from a variety of programs that best match your personal goals, travel style, and destination dreams.

With the opportunity to earn college credit and place out of language classes, students return home with an advantage as they start or return to college. EF Gap Year is part of EF Education First. With more than 50,000 staff members and 600 offices and schools around the world, EF Gap Year offers unparalleled international support 24/7.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Choose the perfect program for your gap experience
  • Learn a language at a fully-accredited EF Campus
  • Help a community in need through service learning
  • Find an internship that prepares you for your career
  • Travel, make an impact, and come back ready for whatever is next

Popular Programs

Language study in Europe and service learning in Thailand

Create community, make an impact, and return home with a deeper understanding of the world and your place in it.

Your semester starts out with an immersive two-week tour of Europe’s most iconic cities. After that, you’ll move into a homestay in the city of your choice for an immersive language experience. Your journey will then take you to Thailand where you’ll make an impact alongside NGOs and community members

Get hands-on experience all over Latin America

The Changemaker is designed for the impact-driven adventurer who wants to experience sustainable lifestyles all over the world. Travel to Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Peru, Ecuador, and the Galapagos with a cohort of motivated students.

Learn about the UN Sustainable Development goals as you travel through Latin America. Work with locals on these global challenges and explore the ecosystems and communities they are trying to conserve.

Dive into life all over Europe

The Pathfinder is perfect for the hands-on learner who can’t wait for their next step but is still trying to figure out where they’re going. Travel to six countries, explore major international cities with plenty of free time, and get introduced to majors and career options that will help you choose your path forward.

Spend your semester diving into subject matter from environmental science to food and fashion. Return home with confidence in your direction and a passport packed with stamps.

A beautiful road in New Zealand with an impressive backdrop.

Spend four weeks getting to know the Asia-Pacific region. Experience the lush environments of Australia and New Zealand, get your hands dirty working with a Thai NGO on an elephant conservation project, and explore the way culture and religion connect in Japan.

Stockholm, Sweden.

Build the foundation for a fulfilling career while interning and living independently in Europe (Switzerland, Italy, and Sweden).


Spend eight weeks learning about language and culture in Spain and exploring different parts of the Iberian Peninsula.


Experience authentic cultural immersion while completing eight weeks of language classes in Tokyo and exploring other cities in Japan.


EF Gap Year Awards

EF Gap Year has awards of up to $5,000 for students in their gap year and semester-long programs. Various scholarships are available for leadership, blogging, videography, and photography. Over $50,000 of funding is available every year.

Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 10 reviews
  • 5 rating 100%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Housing 4.8
  • Support 4.7
  • Fun 5
  • Value 4.9
  • Safety 4.8
Showing 1 - 8 of 10 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A Priceless Opportunity :)

During my EF gap semester, I was able to travel to some of the most beautiful places in the world, meet some of my best friends, and work on environmentally-focused projects in several different countries, all while improving my Spanish and learning new words in Quechua. I also had the opportunity to do this program under a Digital Media fellowship and my EF experience allowed me to get a taste of the life of a traveling videographer/documentarian, which I am eternally grateful for. The whole experience is one that I will happily and gratefully carry with me for the rest of my life.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Be ready to be uncomfortable in the best way. While the program has plenty of locations on the itinerary that are perfect for lounging on the beach/hotel or at a spa, you will also be whisked away to the high Andes where it's very cold and showers are scarce, or deep in the Amazon rainforest where long hikes are humid and muddy. You will be in countries and communities that speak Spanish (and/or Quechua) so coming prepared to speak the language to the best of your ability will be really helpful!
8 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A million times yes!

I attended the EF Gap finder as a fresh college graduate and this program was everything I could've wished it could be. Although many of my fellow travelers were recent high school graduates, we all came from many different walks of life. This program was perfectly structured to ensure we saw the many highlights that the various European cities had to offer. From seeing the Northern Lights, to taking a cruise along the Seine river overlooking the Eiffel Tower, to tasting authentic Parmesan cheese in the Parma Region of Italy it was perfect. Not only did I learn so much about all of these amazing places, I made incredible lifelong friends who I continue to keep in touch with and am making plans to see again very soon. EF took care of everything so I could sit back and enjoy my trip knowing that everything would be taken care of. The trip was a perfect combination of structured activities and free days, in which you can spend how you choose, which included for me a trip to Stonehenge and a day trip to Dresden in Germany. I would absolutely recommend this trip to anyone wanting to travel, even if they had no real prior travel experience. I would relive my gap semester again in a heartbeat.

  • Explore
  • Try New Foods
  • Meet new people
54 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing experience

My case is a little unusual, I decided to take a gap year after already completing a year of college. I didn’t know what I wanted to do until I stumbled upon this program and knew it was something I needed to do! I met so many amazing people, not just in my cohort, but around the world. I got to learn Japanese and experience Japanese culture. I traveled through Europe for the first time, and got a chance to Australia for my internship. Even though the program was cut short due to the virus I’m so glad I got to experience what I could! If you’re considering doing this, definitely go ahead and sign up.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
If you’re thinking about doing something, just go ahead and do it!
136 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A life changing experience

My gap semester was tailored to my interests and exceeded every expectation I had of living and studying abroad! I went into the semester not sure where my path after high school was headed, and left the program with a new mindset and confidence of the way I wanted my future to look! Living in a new place without your family for the first time can be a scary thing, and it was for me, but the growth that occurred because of it changed my life and I am so glad I took this opportunity to grow, learn, and see new amazing places. Leaving the program I have so much more confidence in myself as well as independence and I know I’m ready to take on this next chapter of my life! I would recommend a gap year to anyone who feels they need some time to grow and decide their next step, as well as anyone who loves to travel and see the world! I’ll never forget the places I’ve seen, the people I’ve met, or the things I’ve learned.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
The most unfamiliar thing I ate on my gap semester would definitely be raw herring in Amsterdam. My group got the chance to try it and I couldn’t pass up the cultural experience even if I knew it would taste awful (which it did) because I don’t like raw fish. Still worth it though!
138 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Best experience of my life.

If you have ever thought about studying abroad. I recommend to put aside your fear of change and long distance, to give it a try. I have always known there has been a bigger world out there but to go out and see it for myself is an experience one can barley put into words. To see how people live everyday, on the other side of a planet will give you a whole different view on life. EF gap is a program where anyone can experience the world, no matter where you come from. They make you feel like a person and make sure you are taken care of the whole time your living your best life. If one could rate EF gap higher than 10, but still keep the limit at 10, I would rate it at 100/10. EF gap taught me one thing, be greater than great. It’s one thing to stay home all your life and live your life. But it’s another thing to see the world and see how others live while you do the same. That is greater than any lifestyle one can choose from their small town in the states.

What would you improve about this program?
Would definitely improve the culture difference orientation before one leaves for the trip. It’s a whole new world over there and I fee students could be more educated before they go than I was. Not to say I wasn’t, but the fine lines, in my opinion.
139 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Life changing

I decided to go on EF's gap semester because I wanted to find myself, while also growing up. I’m from a small sheltered town, and have traveled, but not alone where I’m responsible for my personal items and such. Going on EF's gap semester program really changed me, I met friends form around the globe, made some amazing ( and also not so amazing ) memories, but most of all found who I really was, and didn’t lose sight of it. If you are considering taking a gap year or semester, take one!! You will learn so many valuable life experiences while being able to travel around the world!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The most nerve racking moment for me was definitely getting on the plane form my hometown to Terry town.
127 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

EF Gap Semester

I am incredibly grateful for the travel, service, and educational opportunities that EF has provided for me. I chose to do service learning in Tanzania and an internship in Sydney, Australia for my two modules. In Sydney, Australia, I interned at a non-profit organization called Our Big Kitchen (OBK). In Tanzania, I did service at the School of St. Jude in Arusha, Tanzania and at Mnarani Marine Turtles Conservation Pond, an NGO based in Zanzibar, Tanzania, that focuses on the rehabilitation of sea turtles. My Gap Semester with EF helped me develop a deeper appreciation for diversity and knowledge and pushed me to expand my horizons. My trip with EF taught me that no path in life is linear, and I flourish the most when I am paving my own. Thanks to our caring mentors and the focus they placed on professional development, setting realistic goals, and career trajectory, I have been able to thrive in college so far.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
I grew up believing there was a linear path that I needed to follow if I wanted to live a successful life. Thanks to my gap semester with EF, I now know that isn’t always the case. It is important to remember that success is measured by one’s ability to achieve personal milestones and positively influence the people and environment around them.
125 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
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.
135 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers