Year On | Year Experience | Gap Year Program

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About

The Year Experience is an 8-month gap year program designed to equip high school graduates with the confidence, clarity, and direction to succeed in college–and beyond. Students have an opportunity to learn by traveling abroad, working with a coach, and focusing on life skills. The program is divided into three phases–an immersive service-learning experience abroad, a skill-building module in San Francisco, and an interest-based project component–each lasting approximately three months.

Year On supports people who want to find direction after high school. We help them develop the skills and habits to learn more about their interests, goals, and place in the world.

By the time the program ends, Year On fellows will have created a portfolio that showcases their skills and abilities, put together a career roadmap, built a network of connections, and developed the skills and habits that will be a foundation for their success in college–and beyond.

Highlights
  • Venture into a new environment abroad, where you will rise up to challenges and step out of your comfort zone.
  • Develop self-directed learning skills and understand yourself better while working with a coach one-on-one.
  • Know and understand your possible career options, and develop a plan on achieving it.
  • Learn and develop skills not normally taught in high school, such as goal setting and dealing with rejection.
  • Apply everything you have learned throughout the gap year program to real world activities, such as completing an internship or a personal project.

Questions & Answers

All gap years cost $19,000 for the entire year. You'll also need to factor in outside costs of your travels. Hope that helps!

Reviews

94%
based on 5 reviews
  • Housing 6.6
  • Support 9
  • Fun 9
  • Value 9.2
  • Safety 9.4
Showing 1 - 5 of 5
Agostina
10/10

Take a year on and transform your life.

This program was one of the best experiences of my life. Is divided into three parts, Voyage, Launch, and Internship. During these phases, you will travel, make an impact and gain the skills and self-confidence that will help you need move forward to the next chapter.
In Voyage, I spent three months volunteering in India. I got to explore the country and learned about its culture while teaching English to a group of women's empowerment. Then in Launch, I embraced my curiosity and explored different areas of interests by creating for the sake of making something new, instead of thinking or worrying about the final product. Some cool things I did were a stop-motion short film and an animated room experience, a collaboration with two other fellows where we projected drawings on three walls. On the last and final part of the program, thanks to the portfolio I created with everything I did during my time in San Francisco, I found an internship for a travel startup and was able to put everything I learned into real-world experience.

Apart from that, I made friends and memories that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Thank you for an incredible year!

Yes, I recommend
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Vahimir
10/10

The Cohort

On the last day of launch, the entire cohort went to golden gate park where we bonded over our experience. We talked about how we regretted not spending more time together so I guess my advice would be to spend as much time with the people in your cohort as possible. Everyone has unique ideas and experience that they bring to the table and to not utilize each other would be kind of a waste. Learn to collaborate early on and you'll gain a lot more from the experience.

Yes, I recommend
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Andrew
9/10

Taking a Gap Year is a Must

Taking a Gap Year was an essential part of my learning and should be a cornerstone of the modern education system. My voyage phase abroad opened my eyes to new cultural experiences and blessed me with lifelong friends and family. I spent two months abroad in Quito, Ecuador where I taught English as a second language and environmental education to around 500 elementary school students a day. Teaching alongside other fellows and volunteers was a fantastic experience for us that created one of the highlights of my life by helping others in an impactful way. I also had the freedom to travel and discover a totally new country with new friends and travel companions. The launch phase placed us in San Francisco, the epicenter of a tech revolution and the heart of entrepreneurship today. Here, we were surrounded by countless opportunities to network and tap into Uncollege's resources. We attended work shops each day that taught us invaluable lessons that are not taught in university lecture halls. Personal finance, negotiation, and how to have difficult conversations were all topics we learned from guest speakers who came in to teach us their expertise from specific fields. Everyone who came in to teach us cared deeply about our success and wanted us to learn that topic because it was of great importance to their career and/or personal life. The launch phase provided the education and the frame work for us to move into our internships and beyond.

How can this program be improved?
The voyage and the launch phase were great, but the internship and the project phase lacked guidance. I wish there had been more interaction between Uncollege and the fellows for the last two phases.
Yes, I recommend
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Alexander
9/10

Learned a lot.

This gap year for me was a great way to get me into the entrepreneurial scene in SF, I have learned a lot through the struggles of starting my startup, F the Line (www.ftheline.com) and gaining momentum. Gabe helped me a lot, pushed me to do the things that I was hesitant about (something like going out and interviewing potential customers and strangers.)

I learned a lot from this gap year, made some lifelong friends, and will continue to work hard on F the Line. Thanks for all the help!

How can this program be improved?
It would be nice if there was a little more interaction with Dale. We feel like we hardly know you despite being in the program for almost a year now. You're the one setting the example for us as unschoolers and we almost never see you during the course of the program.

For the more entrepreneurial fellows in the program would want to be introduced to more influential people and grow a bigger network. I think you guys have the network and we would love to be introduced to more people. At least I know I want that.
Yes, I recommend
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Dawn
9/10

My Gap Year Turnout

Taking a year to get to know myself outside of formal education was/is hard. Proving to myself that I can be independent was a struggle too. By having this year organized in a structured way gave me the chance to jumpstart my self discovery outside of a regular 20 year old person. I mean this wholeheartedly when I say UnCollege is the training wheels to growing up.
I started the Gap Year off by choosing to read the article my Dad gave me that ended up being Dale's program. Eager to have a change from society's norm, and from going back to College undecided, I applied. A few months later, I was in a country I never knew existed before planning. I've met lifelong friends, hung out with elephants for a day, attended and danced my heart out to a local's wedding, ate dog, slept in a cave, taught English to Lao children, climbed one of the many steep karst hills, have a new monk friend and many more beautiful happenings I didn't expect to run into on this "voyage phase" of volunteering. I didn't realize this phase lived up to its title as a true voyage.
The transition from a third world country to one of the most industrialized cities in the US was beyond a culture shock. Spending three months drawing water from a well to having unlimited access any place you walk into has made me appreciate the finer things in life. Another big contrast I noticed is Laos and San Francisco's idea of time management. While San Franciscans have a time-based schedule, Laotians method is to work some, rest some continuously through the day.
Living and learning the different cultures while taking workshops to propel me, and other fellows, towards our interests was an experience of a lifetime. The staff's ways of having 'Friday reviews', coaching and house meetings were executed perfectly to expand our comfort levels of mental and emotional health.
Job shadowing, cold emailing and a few internships later I can say I have not found what I am truly passionate about. What I have found is a better sense of myself and career paths I do not plan on pursuing.
I encourage anyone who is unsure of college, a career path and any questioning on your future to take the next year and discover more of yourself outside of your regular routine. I took the chance to "postpone" a year from college and not only discovered more of who I am, but met amazing, influential people.

How can this program be improved?
I'd encourage Dale to participate more in any of the social aspects of the program: reviews, workshops, overseas skype calls, etc. I feel the fellows would be happier spending the money that they have on this program because the founder is willing to put in a bit more time from a busy schedule for all the individuals who are giving their whole year in his structured curriculum.
Otherwise, I think you guys should keep up the good work. :)
Yes, I recommend

Interviews

Meet the Staff

About Year On (formerly UnCollege)

Year On gives high school graduates the confidence, clarity, and direction needed to thrive in college. We offer year-long and semester-long gap year programs designed to use coaching, guided self-discovery, real-world projects, and peer-to-peer...