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Gap year programs abroad

A gap year abroad is one of the most effective ways to become a global citizen, study abroad and travel the world. Build an impressive set of skills to present to college and university admissions officers or future employers that document your global achievements: language fluency, volunteer service and work internship. Take a look at our gap year programs and get in touch with us.

Gap year programs abroad
EF Language Year Abroad

EF Language Year Abroad

16 + years
6, 9 or 11 months
Abroad
Combine language and academic studies abroad at an accredited EF school to prepare for an international career or degree.
Destination: KoreaFranceSpainCosta RicaItalyGermanyChinaJapanU.A.E.
EF Languages Abroad

EF Languages Abroad

14 - 25 years
2-24 weeks
Abroad
Learn a language faster at an accredited EF school. Choose from 10 languages in 50 destinations. Start your course any Monday.
Destination: KoreaFranceSpainCosta RicaItalyGermanyChinaJapanU.A.E.
EF Languages Abroad

EF Languages Abroad

25 + years
1-24 weeks
Abroad
Boost your global career with personalised language courses in one of the world´s greatest cities. Designed for Adults and Professionals.
Destination: KoreaFranceSpainCosta RicaItalyGermanyChinaJapan
EF Gap Year

EF Gap Year

16 - 24 years
12 or 25 weeks
Abroad
See the world and gain a global edge with travel, language study, service learning, internship, and leadership.

Why take a gap year abroad?

Why take a gap year abroad? Easy, so you can 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.

During a gap year or semester abroad you'll have not only have the opportunity to travel to a new country and make lasting memories, but also have the chance to improve your language skills or even learn a 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.

Gap year programs for everyone

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. Here's an overview of our gap year programs:

  • 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.
  • Volunteering: 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.

Why EF is the best choice to take a gap year abroad

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.

Frequently asked questions

What is 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.

Is it possible to take a gap year abroad during semester break?

We offer 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. A gap semester abroad program enables you to start in either September or January. By the time you finish your semester abroad, you will feel at home in almost any global setting.

How does a gap year abroad affect my future career?

Taking a gap year abroad 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.

Where can I take 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.

Not sure where to go? These are the most popular places to go on a gap year: Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Korea, Japan and Costa Rica.

How do I prepare for a gap year abroad?

Spending a semester or year abroad 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.

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.

How much does a gap year abroad cost?

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 pricier 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 our free brochure for more information.

How do I spend a gap year abroad?

The easiest way to take a gap year abroad is to use an gap year provider such as EF Education First. We can advise you on picking a destination, duration and program type. We also provide information on how to finance your year abroad.

Some people organize their own gap year too. That’s perfectly possible, especially if you’ve been traveling before and have contacts abroad. To do a DIY gap year, you’ll need to find a host family, apartment or hostel and coordinate your gap year program by yourself.

Key considerations for your gap year program:

Where to go – Destination impacts language and price, but it determines so much more as well. Pick a destination that’s suitable for your age and the types of activities you want to do.

How long to stay – The most challenging part of an gap year is the beginning. It’s hard to settle in, even more so if it’s your first time traveling abroad.

What to do – When you’re a long way from friends and family, the days can drag by. Choose an gap year program with built-in structure (language lessons, sport activities, work or internship, etc.).