EF Gap Year

Program Reviews

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Mia
5/5
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!
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Jim
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing experience!

The four week program to Costa Rica through EF was amazing! Staff from the very beginning are friendly and professional, and everything was very well organized. We weren’t just sightseeing, we were doing a lot of learning about Costa Rica culturally as well as learning about sustainable agriculture and doing service work. The team dynamic was amazing. Our tour guide and our EF team lead helped create such a great team environment. I made excellent friends that I am keeping in touch with. We all felt grateful for our chance to be there to connect with people as well as each other. Thank you, EF!

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Annabella
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

EF review

I was so worried about college and my next steps in life after I graduated high school in 2022. I decided I wanted to take a gap year and see where life takes me. In the fall of my gap year, I found EF’s website and fell in love. I decided on the European discovery since I always wanted to go to Europe especially France and Italy! I worked and saved the next few months and in April of 2023, I finally flew to London and met my fellow travelers. And I can’t put into words how amazing it was. I had a great group and tour leaders who made the experience so much better! I felt supported 24/7. It was affordable with insurance plans, a phone bill plan and great hotel/hostel accommodations! I felt safe at all times. We had amazing dinner reservations, wonderful tour guides in the cities we were at and special activities such a cheese factory, a cooking class and more!
I will be returning to EF on my next trip!

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hampton
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Incredible (:

I loved this program! It was great for developing independence while still having group events, and access to guidance and support. I also loved taking Spanish classes at EF Malaga; the teachers teach in spanish regardless of your level, which at first made me nervous but actually, I loved! I learned soo much in the short time being there, and am definitely more confident with my Spanish skills. I also loved how we got to travel to Madrid, Sevilla, Valencia and Barcelona! Overall great and would definitely recommend!

Pros
  • lots of free time
  • meet lots of new people
  • get to travel to the must-see locations in Spain!
Cons
  • Not much time in other cities like València and Barcelona
  • Not as group oriented so you have to kind of plan your own outings if you don’t want to join the language schools excursions
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Chloe
5/5
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.

Pros
  • Explore
  • Try New Foods
  • Meet new people
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Hampton
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

A wonderful experience!

I would 100% recommend this experience to everyone. I took gap year and wanted to do something outside of my comfort zone that would allow me to go out and see the world and most importantly grow as a person and find myself before going to college. The European Discovery was perfect for this. EF was so helpful the entire time, and the experience was amazing; it was the perfect balance of structure and independence. I met so many wonderful people and am even looking at doing another trip in the spring!

Pros
  • Gaining confidence
  • Gaining independence
  • Seeing different cultures and locations
Cons
  • Fast paced travel
  • Not enough time in certain locations
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Alex
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

European Discovery

Overall pretty good! Not the best choices with food, not a lot of variety, but other than that, everything was pretty good! Loved being able to actually go out drinking and have fun with friends, the tours were amazing, loved walking around the cities and learning about the history. The hostels we were in were pretty decent, of course theyre hostels so they're not going to be five star, but they got the job done. Great chance to make friends cus you'll be rooming with different people, its all really fun.

Pros
  • Everything is planned out for you
Cons
  • Not a lot of food variety during group dinners
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Grace
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Spanish language gap year experience!

This program is unlike any other and it made me into the best possible version of myself! I chose Costa Rica, Peru and Madrid for my 3 modules because I wanted to improve my Spanish and I am nearly fluent now! I did some of the coolest things I’ve done in my whole life all throughout my gap year. I scuba dived in the Great Barrier Reef, lived in my first apartment in Madrid, jumped the highest cliff jump in the world, held a koala, volcano boarded, snorkeled in Panama, went to the Sydney opera house and so much more. I met some of the coolest most unforgettable people of my whole life and they are all likeminded people who love to explore and travel so it makes it way more fun. If you are on the fence about choosing college or a gap year, take a gap year! Life will start to get busy and you won’t want to regret it if you don’t go when you have the time! You’ll have so many stories to share and memories to cherish and nothing really compares to that.

What would you improve about this program?
There were some tours that were very boring and they were really strict on attendance but other than that, they give you a lot of slack as to how you spend your time on your gap year
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Faith
5/5
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!
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Abbie
5/5
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!