Gap Year Programs Abroad

Gap Year Programs Abroad

A gap year or semester abroad is one of the most effective ways to become a global citizen and travel the world. During your gap year, you can build an impressive set of skills to present to college admissions officers or future employers that document your global achievements: language fluency, volunteer service, work internship, and leadership skills. While you are taking a year abroad, you can also explore multiple fascinating countries, engage in meaningful cultural exchanges, and forge lasting friendships. Regardless of whether you choose a gap year or semester abroad, you will learn more about yourself and the world, and become a better independent thinker, problem-solver, and cross-cultural communicator.  

Please choose your age

EF Gap Year

Individual travel programs between high school and college

Get more out of college with an academic year or semester abroad that includes educational travel, language study, volunteer service, a work internship, and leadership development.

Destination: France, Spain, Costa Rica, Italy, Germany, China, Japan

EF Language Year Abroad

16+ yrs
6, 9 or 11 months

Combine language and academic studies abroad at an accredited EF school to prepare for an international career or degree.

Destination: Korea, Portugal, Russia, Mexico, France, Spain, Costa Rica, Italy, Germany, China, Japan, United Arab Emirates, USA, United Kingdom

EF Languages Abroad

16+ yrs
2-24 weeks

Learn a language faster at an accredited EF school. Choose from 12 languages in 54 destinations. Start your course any Monday.

Destination: Korea, Portugal, Russia, Mexico, France, Spain, Costa Rica, Italy, Germany, China, Japan, United Arab Emirates, USA, United Kingdom

What is a gap year?

What does it mean, to take a gap year? A gap year is a period of time usually taken after graduating from high school or before starting college to go abroad to travel the world, participate in volunteer work and gain work experience. There are various different opportunities for designing a gap year, as well as its duration. Depending on your personal preferences, you can take an entire year off or opt for a semester or even just a few months abroad. 

Gap Year Programs abroad for 2020

A gap year offers a unique opportunity for a much-needed break abroad, which many take after graduating from either high school, college or university. But what can you do in between these stages of life?

Whether you will decide on learning a new language, discovering new cultures, gaining work experience, or volunteering, with EF's help, you can combine these opportunities with a gap year abroad. What are you waiting for? Step out of your comfort zone and book your gap year trip with EF!

Gap year or semester opportunities

A gap year abroad focuses on personal development and preparation for the future. Whether you want to learn a new language during a gap year, immerse yourself in a foreign culture or meet new friends from all over the world, with our EF Gap Year Program you will surely find something suitable to your own needs. 

We offer a variety of personalized gap year and semester program options to meet your academic, career, or personal goals. A full academic year abroad can offer you two action-packed semesters of travel, study, volunteerism, internship and leadership. A gap semester abroad program might provide you with a more focused international experience in fewer areas of interest, but enable you to start in either September or January. 

There are also academic year or semester abroad of intensive language study at fully accredited schools located in dozens of exciting cities. Study one of the world’s most widely spoken languages, learn from highly skilled teachers and meet students from different countries and cultures. By the time you finish your gap year or semester abroad, you will feel at home in almost any global setting.

Why take a gap year?

During a gap year abroad you will have not only have the opportunity to travel to a new country and make lasting memories, but you will also have the chance to improve your language skills or even learn a completely new language. With EF, you can choose between different course intensities and terms. Our effective learning methods and modern schools will ensure that you reach a new language level every 6 weeks during your language gap year abroad.

Thanks to our wide variety of leisure activities and industry-specific electives, you will not only progress rapidly but also use your newly acquired language skills in everyday situations. This will grow your self-confidence and make learning a new language even more fun. Whether you opt for a mini gap year or a longer year abroad, we offer a variety of gap year ideas that will not only help you to improve your language skills but also immerse you in other cultures.

Popular options for taking a Gap Year abroad

Language gap year travel

Opt for this option and travel to a new country to learn the language while participating in a variety of leisure activities to fully immerse yourself in the local culture of your host country.

Internship abroad

Add value to your CV by choosing to work while you are on a gap year abroad. An internship will give you the ideal opportunity to explore different professions while earning some money at the same time.


If you want to use your gap year to support social projects (such as charities, children's homes, or animal welfare), volunteering abroad is the ideal option for you.

Sabbatical year

If you have already started your career and you would like to take a break from work, then a sabbatical (which you can use to travel, volunteer or broaden your academic knowledge and skill sets) will meet your needs.

Study abroad

If you would like to use the time abroad in order to further your education, then studying abroad for a gap year is particularly suitable. Where you would like to immerse yourself in a new culture or prepare for an academic future, EF offers numerous study abroad options for a gap year. 

Travel the world

Many people opt to take a year off and decide to travel the world as part of a gap year. This is often combined with the option of work and travel, whereby you will participate in numerous smaller jobs which will help you improve your travel budget and in return finance a longer stay abroad. 

Infos and prices for our EF Gap Year

Popular places to go for a gap year abroad

If you decide to take a year off and do a gap year, the next big decision is where to go. At EF, we offer a wide option of different gap year packages that allow you to not only visit one but multiple countries during your time off. 

Choose to go on a year off abroad with us and you will learn a wide range of languages in the most beautiful destinations and experience the traditions and customs of the culture up close. This will make your gap year abroad a truly unforgettable experience that will shape you for the rest of your life!

Not sure where to go? These are the most popular places to go on a gap year:

Why take a gap year program with EF?

With over 50 years of experience in planning and executing trips abroad, we at EF can provide you with the right support to help you achieve your personal dreams and goals. Our tailor-made offers include 11 languages in 19 countries and a total of 52 amazing destinations. 

So far we have helped over 16 million people achieve their dream of traveling abroad to learn a new language or receive an academic degree. Our innovative learning techniques, such as EF EFEKTA, will help you get ready to study abroad during your gap year or prepare you for an international career. 

All of our accredited EF institutions are located in beautiful locations in the most exciting cities and countries worldwide. We offer a varied program of courses, which are taught in an open and dynamic learning environment and paired with extracurricular activities to help you not only learn a new language but to also live it. 

Gap Year: More than just learning a language

Spending a gap year abroad could be one of the most memorable experiences in your life. If you decide to travel abroad for a year with EF, you will participate in exciting excursions and tours, which will allow you to immerse yourself into the local culture and gain a new perspective of your host country and its people. 

During a gap year, valuable friendships are formed that will often last a lifetime. Living in one of our EF accommodations, such as a host family or on campus, will only further enrich your gap year. In addition, thanks to our large selection of indoor as well as outdoor activities, you can also explore new interests to broaden your horizons and make unforgettable memories.  

Infos and prices for our EF Gap Year

Gap Year abroad as a career opportunity

Taking a gap year will not only give you a personal advantage, but it will also boost your CV. Stand out from the crowd and show your future employer that you are willing to take risks and interested in foreign cultures by taking a gap year. During your time abroad, you will not only get the opportunity to discover a new country and culture, but you will also get more confidence, gain valuable intercultural competencies and social skills.

Use your gap year to gain some international work experience, which will give you the chance to enter the international workplace. Further, by speaking two or more languages fluently you will gain a competitive advantage and possibly benefit from better salaries and more promotions during your professional career.  

Get the best gap year preparation with EF

Spending a year abroad or even taking two gap years is not an easy endeavor. Hence, the right preparation is the key to making your year abroad a success. EF is the right partner to help you organize your trip abroad. From choosing the right course option for your gap year to finding the perfect destination and booking the flight - trust in our 50 year experience. We will help you get the visa you need for your gap year exchange program and will continue to stay in touch with your during your entire stay. 

Infos and prices for our EF Gap Year

Gap Year prices 

Deciding to take a year after school or going on a gap year to travel not only requires the right preparation, but also the necessary finances. At EF, we will help you with the planning and will find a gap year trip that will suit every travel budget, depending on what you want to do, where you want to do it, and how long you want to go for. 

Be mindful that the duration and location are a key when it comes to prices. Certain destinations within Europe might be pricer than Asia or South America. One option to help you budget the costs for a gap year abroad is by planning to work while you are away. Another great option is to apply for a gap year scholarship. If you are unsure how much a gap year will cost, contact one of our experienced EF employees or download one of our free brochures for more information.