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Gap Year Programs After High School

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Kimberly Manning

Gap year programs after high school offer unmatched experiences for students seeking a break in their traditional education. Whether you’re feeling burnt out after graduation or simply want to see more of the world before starting college, a post-high school gap year is a great opportunity to gain a multicultural perspective, learn new skills, and uncover hidden passions. 

West Africa Semester, Photo by Christy Sommers

Benefits of Gap Year Programs After High School

Students who strive to be global citizens will find a gap year to be life-changing. Where There Be Dragons programs are rooted in authentic travel and immersive courses where students gain a unique understanding of the world. Taking a semester or year of experiential learning is beneficial for personal, educational, and professional reasons.

Alleviate Academic Burnout

After four years of high school, it’s common to experience academic burnout. A post-graduation gap year can help alleviate the stress of traditional schooling. However, you will still gain new skills and immerse yourself in new experiences that spur personal development, growth, and inquiry. 

West Africa Semester, Photo by Somba Sow

Explore Environmental Sustainability

Experience the impact of climate change throughout the world and gain a new understanding of the global scale of environmental issues. Learn what quality of life means to different cultures and challenge your expectation of sustainability and environmental justice. Opening up perspective to the global impact of shifting climate patterns is crucial to creating change. 

Gain Cultural Perspective

As you graduate high school and venture out into the “real world,” you may start to shift your overall view of the world. Gap year programs offer exposure to diverse cultures through language learning, stays with local families, and adoption of day-to-day cultural norms. Students learn how to be a global citizen while understanding class and privilege. 

West Africa Semester, Photo by Christy Sommers

Experience the Beauty of the World

Only living and traveling within close proximity of home is a reality for many kids and high schoolers. Unfiltered travel experiences expose students to breathtaking landscapes throughout the world. Whether summiting a mountain, traversing down a river, or swimming in a waterfall, nature’s wonders are found all over the world. Gap year travel programs unlock the potential for students to see natural elements that they would otherwise not have known. 

Uncover Social Justice from a Global Perspective

There’s nothing like stepping out of your comfort zone to truly understand the scope of social injustice throughout the world. In gap year programs, students engage in meaningful conversations about equity and justice with local activists. Students are encouraged to inquire within and understand how to truly live responsively.

Going on a gap year program after high school and before college may challenge traditional beliefs and understanding of the way the world works. Students can expect exposure to local religious and spiritual traditions, a broadened understanding of global sustainability and social justice, immersive language learning, and so much more. 

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