Gap Year Program Information for


Is your high school senior, college student, or recent graduate considering a Gap Year? We know it’s a big decision with a lot to consider. Here is more information about why this is a life-changing opportunity for your son or daughter.
Cross-Cultural Solutions is an American Gap Association (AGA) accredited organization. AGA is a nonprofit recognized by the US Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission as the accreditation and standards-setting organization for Gap Year programs. AGA also reports data showing the significant impacts of Gap Year experiences. For more information, including additional data about benefits and a list of university deferral policies, visit the AGA website:
Personal Development Academic Competitiveness Long-Term Success

Personal Development

  • Two of the top outcomes of a gap year include gaining "a better sense of who I am as a person and what is important to me" and “gaining additional skills and knowledge that contributed to my career or academic major” (Haigler & Nelson, The Gap Year Advantage)
  • Gap year students are perceived by educators to be “more mature, more self-reliant and independent” than their peers (Birch, "The Characteristics of Gap-Year Students and Their Tertiary Academic Outcomes”).

Academic Competitiveness

  • Research shows that taking a gap year allows 'motivation for and interest in study to be renewed’, and that gap year students perform better than their peers during their first few semesters (Sydney University).
  • Students who take a gap year are shown to have higher GPAs. They are also more likely to finish college in four years than those who enroll directly after high school. 60 percent of gap year participants said that their experience set them on or confirmed their choice of major and career (Haigler & Nelson, The Gap Year Advantage).
  • Did you know? About half of all medical students take at least one gap year - that percentage is higher - 60% - for students at high-powered research universities (The Journal Science).

Long-Term Success

  • Students who have taken a Gap Year overwhelmingly report being satisfied with their jobs.
  • 88 percent of Gap Year graduates report that their Gap Year had significantly added to their employability (Milkround graduate recruitment Gap Year survey,

What is Gap Year?

A Rite of Passage

Some college students feel like they’re living in a “bubble” with their peers, not experiencing the contrast that challenges them to make a real impact and that connects them with people from diverse backgrounds. Think of a Gap Year as a Rite of Passage, a powerful experience marking an important transition from adolescence to young adulthood. Arnold van Gennep, the anthropologist who studied rites of passage of different cultures, outlined three necessary phases for this transformation—Separation, Transition, and Reincorporation.

  • Departure (“Separation”)
    Like a Native American setting out into the wilderness on a Vision Quest, a Gap Year initiate will take off into the unknown, immersing themselves in a reality different their own. Living in this new environment and interacting with people from another culture allows them to go through a period of self-exploration.
  • Experience (“Transition”)
    A successful Gap Year program mentors students through this transition without holding their hands. Here are the top three impacts for Gap Year participants during their experience*: “Helped me develop as a person, “Allowed me time for personal reflection,” and “Increased my maturity.”
  • Return (“Reincorporation”)
    When Gap Year students rejoin society, they are different: they have a new empowering story to tell and a stronger sense of responsibility to themselves and the world. They are young adults and global citizens—curious, emboldened, and ready to make decisions that’ll chart the course of their future.

What's Next

Check out our programs and destinations online. Call one of our expert Program Specialists to learn more, answer any questions, and figure out the best gap year program. We can also provide alumni references if you’d like to hear about the experience from someone who has been in your position before!

Contact Us Get alumni references
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