EF Gap Semester: Customizable 12-Week Program in Multiple Destinations

COVID-19 Program Updates

Due to global health & safety concerns and travel restrictions related to the coronavirus, EF Gap Year has decided to offer flexible booking options for some of their upcoming programs. Learn more about COVID-19 updates to stay tuned regarding program information.

Video and Photos

Every EF Gap Semester starts with a two-week tour of Europe's greatest hits.
Every EF Gap Semester starts with a two-week tour of Europe's greatest hits.
Gain new skills for your future career with an internship in an international city.
Gain new skills for your future career with an internship in an international city.
Discover untapped talents through new activities in every city.
Discover untapped talents through new activities in every city.
EF Tour Directors provide an insider perspective in each city.
EF Tour Directors provide an insider perspective in each city.

About

Embark on a unique global experience in 12 weeks. EF Gap Semester is perfect for students who want to design their own gap experience while making friends and building community. Students get to choose from 21 destinations in Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa, and Oceania.

Every EF Gap Semester begins with a two week cultural immersion in Europe. Students then get to customize their next two modules by deciding how—and where—to build skills in one of three essential aspects of a global career: Language Study, Service Learning, or Internship. All EF Gap Semesters culminate with EF Leadership Academy in an English castle.

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.

Highlights
  • Customize your modules to build your perfect 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
  • Reflect at Leadership Academy in an English castle

Questions & Answers

Reviews

9.75 Rating
based on 8 reviews
  • Housing 9.5
  • Support 9.3
  • Fun 9.9
  • Value 10
  • Safety 9.4
Showing 1 - 8 of 8
Default avatar
Faith
10/10
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!
Default avatar
Abbie
9/10
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!
Default avatar
Dominic
10/10
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.
Default avatar
Nicole
9/10
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.
Default avatar
Hannah
10/10
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.
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
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.