EF Gap Year

EF Gap Year

About

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, nationalities and backgrounds.

Only EF Gap Year offers students the ability to explore several countries in depth, learn a language, volunteer for a good cause, engage in meaningful cultural exchange, gain international work experience, and develop leadership skill. Our programs are fully accredited so that our students can place out of classes and earn advanced credit toward graduation.

America’s most prestigious colleges and universities—Harvard, MIT, and Stanford to name but a few—now actively encourage accepted students to defer enrollment to take a gap year. Recent studies show that gap students actually perform better in college, get better grades, and take on more leadership roles.

Website
efgapyear.com
Founded
1965
Headquarters

Two Education Circle
Cambridge, MA 02141
United States

Reviews

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Hannah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.
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Helen
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I was a student in EF Gap's first-ever cohort in 2018-19, and it was an unforgettable experience. I was fresh out of high school, tired of classrooms, and just wanting to be different, so I decided that a gap year was what I needed. However, there are SO many types of programs out there that I couldn't decide what I wanted. I chose EF because of the huge variety of experiences, including service-learning, internship, language study, and pure travel. The highlights of my trip were our time spent at the beautiful Ashridge Estate near London, celebrating Loi Krathong with my amazing group in Chiang Mai, Thailand, my social media marketing internship in Milan, Italy (looks GREAT on my resume), and of course the MANY great friendships I made with my cohort. When you're traveling so much and frequently moving from place to place, the people you are with become your home. Yes, there will be ups and downs, but that is inevitable when traveling. I am a confident traveler now, and I even spent 3 weeks after the trip solo-traveling. The EF staff are very helpful and reliable and have proven to be great connections to have upon my return to the US. If you're hesitating to decide on an EF Gap Year, trust me, do it. For the money, this program is the most cost-effective of all the programs on the market, by far! EF will not let you down.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Be present, take a million pictures, keep an updated journal, get to know your cohort, and do whatever it takes to make the most of your trip.
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anna
7/10
No, I don't recommend this program

The introduction to the program and the closure in Hult University in the U.K. was very good. The tours were good, the hotels ,mostly well located. The housing and assistance could greatly improve, I will give my comments on the three areas. LANGUAGE ( 6 WEEKS) ROME: The Academy was in the best area in Rome, two blocks from the Trevi Fountain. I petitioned to stay in the Residency which was next to EF. I was told to stay with a host family in order to better immerse myself in the culture. I was assigned an apartment with a landlady who rented rooms, no family experience, pasta for dinner every day, we were not allowed to store any food, in a very remote insecure area of the city. After several weeks of asking for a change, I was assigned to stay in a B&B near school, but this is not the experience I was looking for ( I was not living with students and not living with a family). I was sick for a week and one came to see me, call me or sent a Dr. ( WE ARE ALL 18 , MANY HAD NEVER BEEN ABROAD). SOCIAL SERVICE ( 6 WEEKS) TANZANIA: The Safari was the best experience I have had. The social service program did not give me any sense of accomplishment, for we were not involved in "real" program ...we stayed a week in each place... not enough time to get involved.... the last place I stayed was really awful, but since it was located in a beautiful beach resort I was able to take advantage of this. INTERSHIP ( SIX WEEKS) MADRID: After making a point that location was important I was assigned an apartment in a nice location but not a good street.... a street full of bars open until dawn...not the best place for 4 young girls to stay. The apartment was bare...no headboards, nightstand....one pair of sheets..one towel...no cleaning utensils provided...the small washing machine never worked....very bad rating in AirB&B.... that for the lodging...regarding the Intership we were not assigned to work in a company related to our interests... it was more like a part time job you can get back home. in a store at the mall... in contrast with my cousins that got internships this last summer in great companies. I think EF has a great platform with all the Ef Academies it has worldwide...but they have to be more conscious for the other services they are providing.... there is no one to in direct contact to make sure all is fine...and when we have a petition, comment, etc no one comes to really supervise what is happening and how to best solve your needs.

What would you improve about this program?
Better housing, have a "counselor " to be in touch , have a 5-6 week social service program with one ONG, have more contacts in companies to make the intership more enriching. Ef has great facilities for their language program, they need to work on their Social Program and Intership in they want their gap year to be successful.
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Maddie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The EF Gap Year transformed me into a world traveller and gave me more confidence and knowledge to take on college. My fellow gap year friends are like my family, and I now have friends all across the globe. This experience shaped me into a different person than I was before my gap year. My language study (Barcelona) and internship (Madrid) gave me the confidence to live in another city alone, learn to speak another language, and be able to adjust and develop a community. My favorite parts were Volunteer Service (Thailand) and the Australian Immersion program. Those modules I became very close with my cohort, and had the most fun! Although, it isn't always fun and can be hard and lonely at times (especially away from your family), however, I grew the most during the hardships and it became so much stronger in the long run. I can't wait to travel abroad again. I loved the EF Gap Year, I wish I could do it again, and recommend everybody to do it!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Most important: Have an open mind. You will be experiencing new cultures and new life-styles as you travel, and it is important to keep an open mind and to try new things while you are on this adventure. Write a journal and take more pictures than you think you want! Take videos if you want to put together an end of year video. Keep packing as organized as possible (PACKING CUBES!) and don't forget to have fun. Only get to do this year once!
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Cormac
10/10
Yes, I recommend this 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.

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