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The Best Gap Year Options & Programs for High School

How do you find the best gap year opportunities and programs after high school? And how do you choose the best one for you? Whether you read the news and reviews or you prefer word of mouth, there are many variables that can impact your experience. Knowing what is important can help you narrow down your search and make an informed decision.

Finding the Best High School Gap Year Opportunities for You

best gap year program senegalWhat makes a gap year program the best one for you? Consider these 6 key factors

Price

The cost of high school gap year opportunities can vary greatly, with some costing upwards of $10,000 for a three month program. Likewise, scholarships and financial aid offerings vary quite a bit. But don't let initial sticker shock deter you from applying. Certain programs offer significant financial aid and may even cover your full program costs!

Destination

Are you passionate about spending a year in a specific place? If so, look for the gap year programs after high school that offer that destination, keeping in mind, of course, that you're avoiding tourist spots in favor of real life experiences

What you'll be doing

You may already have a good idea of what you'd like to do during your gap year. The best program for you will give you the opportunity to pursue something you're passionate or curious about. If you're unsure, read what other gap year participants are doing to get a taste of what is available.

Living situation

How deeply would you like to be immersed into the culture? Living situations in gap year programs can vary from hotels full of tourists to living with local host families. To make the most of your gap year, look for programs offering a fully immersive situation where you can truly maximize your time and learn the culture, language and customs around you.

Duration

Not all gap year opportunities after high school last a full year. Look for one that fits with your intended timeline, but also keep in mind that shorter programs might not provide you with as many experiences.

College credit

A gap year doesn't mean you're falling behind, it means you'll be better positioned for success when you get to college. Many programs allow you to earn college credits during your experience. Even if college credit isn't an option, you'll maximize your college experience by developing independence, leadership, focus and grit before you even step foot on campus. 

These categories are the big items you should consider when finding the best high school gap year program for you. But, this is just the beginning. The key is to ask yourself what is important, and find the program that best fits those requirements. Start by considering a bridge year with Global Citizen Year and discover the most beneficial high school gap year program that may just become one of the best years of your life.

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Sources:
New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/05/your-money/an-often-costly-year-to-bridge-the-gap-between-high-school-and-college.html?_r=0

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