Gap Year Program Search

Go Overseas is here to take the guesswork out of finding the very best gap year programs.

So, what is a gap year?

A gap year is a period of time when a student, recent graduate, or professional takes time off (a “gap”) from their studies or traditional work to focus on personal growth, gain new skills, explore other interests, and travel.

Also referred to as a sabbatical, a gap year means different things to different people, but is inclusive of virtually anyone looking for a break or change in their life. Your gap year can be however long you want it to be, from a semester to a full year or longer!

Why take a gap year?

There are many reasons why someone may want to take a gap year at any stage of their life!

Not only is a gap year beneficial for those just finishing high school and college students looking to step away from their studies temporarily, it is also worthwhile for people who just need a break from their daily routine to pursue their meaningful travel goals.

Benefits of gap years:

  • Increases self-growth: Many gappers report better self-awareness, increased confidence, elevated interest in other societies and cultures, and the development of new life skills.
  • Helps your resume stand out: Travel experience and a global education can help your resume stand out among a sea of qualified candidates!
  • Provides space to try new things and explore: You’ll have the opportunity to focus on your passions, relationships, wellness & well-being, and/or personal growth.
  • Can learn a new language: Learning a new language strengthens memory, improves self-discipline, and increases cognitive ability, all while promoting cultural understanding.
  • Prepares you for college or career: According to the Gap Year Association, students who take a gap year are more likely to attend and graduate from college, improve their academic performance, and report higher levels of job satisfaction after graduation.

How to spend a gap year

How you spend your gap year is completely up to you!

Travelers often spend their gap year backpacking, visiting multiple countries, seeing more of their home country, volunteering, learning a new language, or working abroad. Since long-term travel can be expensive, budget travel is also common during a gap year, as it helps travelers extend their adventures and immerse themselves in local cultures.

Popular gap year ideas:

Awesome gap year destinations

Popular regions include Europe, Asia, South America and Oceania thanks to the array of nearby cities and countries one can visit on a budget.

Many people also opt for gap years in the United States! A gap year doesn't need to be taken abroad, and many gappers travel within their home countries instead.

Popular countries for gap years:

How to pay for a gap year abroad

The cost of your gap year can vary greatly depending on the program inclusions, length of time abroad, the destination, and the way you budget.

  1. Outline costs and stick to a budget: Opt for budget-friendly countries. You should also outline costs you can anticipate before you leave such as visas and travel insurance.
  2. Get a part-time job or work abroad: Getting a job is a great way to save up for your adventure abroad! Another option is finding work in the country you’re traveling to or looking into work exchange opportunities that may cover your room and board.
  3. Apply for scholarships & grants: To help offset costs, there are also plenty of gap year scholarships and grants available to help prospective gappers fund their travels!

Popular Places to Take a Gap Year

Featured Gap Year Programs

New Work Abroad Jobs

Recent Program Reviews

Epic, 3-in-1, South African Adventure: Road Trip, Safari, and Social Impact.

My experience in South Africa was absolutely AMAZING! I did so many things and discovered so much about the world and myself in only 7 weeks. I gained a lot in maturity and in self-confidence. I met...
Default avatar
Amandine

Life Skills Foundation Course

I decided to take a break from college and work at a ski resort for the season, and this life skills course was a huge help during that time. They break up the course into videos and provided me with...
Default avatar
Jack

Life Skills Foundation Course

During my gap year, I did an outdoor leadership program first and then worked a job back in my hometown to save money and take a break from school. My counselor recommended I do this course while...
Default avatar
Kelsey

Recent Gap Year Articles

Frequently Asked Gap Year Questions

New Gap Year Opportunities

How Go Overseas Works

Go Overseas Reviews

Read Reviews

Ratings, reviews, and personal accounts from program alumni.

Go Overseas Wishlist

Create a Wish List

Save your favorite programs (❤) to inspire your next trip.

Go Overseas Articles

Start Planning

Peruse articles to get answers to all of your pre-departure questions.