What is a Gap Year?
An experiential semester or year, typically taken between high school and college in order to deepen practical, professional, and personal awareness.
Before we tell you what we do to provide the best Gap Year Adventure for a teen or young adult, we want you to know that there things that won’t work in having this adventure unless they are designed specifically for what the person needs. Everything we do here we believe in and we challenge the status quo of those Gap Year Programs that are too traditional and ultimately boring. We believe in thinking differently when it comes to providing a Gap Year Adventure.
The way we challenge the status quo is by making our Gap Year Adventure services beautifully designed for each individual person, family or group.
We just happen to be Gap Year Advisors, however, unlike others, we believe our services are unique in every way possible.
Want to use our services?
“Learning outside the classroom helped me fall in love with learning again.”
~ Karen E., Class of 2011, University of California
There are countless ways to spend a gap year.
Deciding what you want and need, what to do, where to go, can feel overwhelming.
At Horizon Family Solutions, we are proud of the quality and positive impact of the GAP Year programs we have recommended over the years.
We know that not every Gap Year Program is a fit for every student. That is why we are very detailed in assisting each family and student with their specific and unique needs.
Determining the right fit starts with determining each student’s needs and interests. As a family (and possibly with your school guidance counselor), we discuss the ways you may need to grow to be prepared to take full advantage of college.
Will it take “real world” experience, social or academic confidence, inspiration, or a combination of all of these? What types of experiences and supports will help ensure this growth?
We assist you in making a list that is as specific as possible. Then we start preparing programs for you to look at. There are LOTS of them out there. We help you find the options quickly and narrow the choices to those that look like the best fit. Ideally, you’ll have a shortlist of 2-4 programs. The final stage of choosing the right program is determining which among your finalists is the highest quality.
There is not currently an organization that ranks programs based on quality and safety. However, we know what to look for. The we will set a phone call for you to have with each of your top choice programs. This will help you and your family understand which will be the safest, highest quality, and best fit for you. There are many gap year options, and the best fit for you may charge tuition or a fee. While money is a factor when comparing programs, it’s important to not let it limit your search. Ultimately, you want to find a program that is both affordable and the right fit for what you want to learn and gain.
Even in a struggling economy and with the price of higher education climbing every day, it’s important to remember one thing: EVERYONE CAN AFFORD A GAP YEAR. In fact, some would argue that you can’t afford not to do a gap year. It’s a bold statement, but consider these two things:
- Gap Years Can Help Pay for College – There are a number of gap year options that will pay students both a living stipend and an education award. Many colleges around the country will augment that award, sometimes even doubling or tripling its value.
- Students Who Take a Gap Year Get More Out of College -Bob Claggett, former Dean of Admissions at Middlebury College and TBB Board Member, was quoted in Time Magazine in September 2010 saying that the gap year was the single best indicator for success of students on his campus. Gap year students widely report being more focused, driven, and directed during their college years. With as many as 50% of students dropping out of college before graduation, a gap year may be the best way to ensure the money invested in college tuition will be well spent.
There are many gap year options, and the best fit for you may charge tuition or a fee. We take this into consideration when assisting your family. Ultimately, you want to find a program that is both affordable and the right fit for what you want to learn and gain.
Your learning needs to be about more than getting good grades to get into college. It needs to be about gaining the experience and knowledge you need to address critical global issues. You’ll learn to travel with cultural sensitivity, communicate across language barriers, and immerse yourself in a new culture.
Travel to Addo National Park for a safari.
Travel to Cambodia and visit Angkor Wat.
Travel to Peru and hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
Travel to Udaipur and Pushkar on India’s famous railroads.
While traveling the world teaches many things, the greatest lessons are those we learn about ourselves.
You’ll explore the relationship between the US and the rest of the world.
“Had I not taken a gap year, I feel that my life would have been created for me, not by me.”
~ Timothy E., Class of 2005, Iowa State