Photo by Hannah Norman, Nepal Semester.
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Do Gap Year Programs Look Good for College?

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Kimberly Manning

A Dragons participant explores the monastery during a meditation retreat in Nepal. Photo by Erin King.

In short, yes! Gap year programs look good for college and can offer great benefits to anyone considering an educational travel experience. Gap year programs for new or returning college students are a great alternative to traditional schooling to help avoid burnout, broaden perspective, and develop important life skills. Traveling abroad can truly be life changing for many. 

Gap year programs deepen understanding of the global experience from large cities to rural communities throughout the world. Students gain a perspective of both the global and local impact of art, culture, religion, environmental issues, social justice, and beyond. 

When traveling abroad for a gap year program, students step away from their daily lives and habits and into a world that may feel brand new. New experiences, new ways of learning, and new perspectives are among the biggest benefits to going on a gap year program.

Do Gap Year Programs Look Good for College?

Whether you’re taking a gap year after high school before you start college studies or in the middle of your college years, it can offer a multitude of benefits when you return to the classroom.

You can earn college credit.

You don’t have to miss out on earning college credits if you go on a gap year program., With Dragons, students can earn college-level credit through Portland State University or Naropa University. There are various course offerings to consider, including language study of Mandarin, Nepali, and Spanish. 

You can gain confidence and clarity.

Going on a gap year program can offer students the opportunity to gain confidence in themselves as they learn and grow. Students will disengage with electronics and familiar creature comforts in exchange for engaging conversations, skill building, language study, learning service, backcountry experiences, and more. 

Impromptu teaching in the Himalayas

Impromptu teaching in the Himalayas. Photo by Arvin Dang, Instructor.

You return to the classroom with a new perspective. 

Academic burnout is real and can have a lasting impact on a student’s success and mental health. Learning while abroad can open up new possibilities, new potential career paths, new goals, or new intentions. Students step out of their comfort zone and harness the power of immersive experiences. 

Why Where There Be Dragons Gap Year Programs?

At Where There Be Dragons, we strive to be responsible travelers as an organization and encourage our students to share the same values. Responsible travel is to explore the world with an understanding of the social, economic, and environmental impact on a location and have intention to reduce the impact.

It all starts with adapting to the culture for an immersive experience and creating a deeper understanding between people throughout the world. When traveling, it’s important to consider each decision and the greater impact on the community and our own learning. We believe that responsible travel leads to compassionate travelers and citizens of the world.

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