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High School & Teens

Gap Year and Pre-College Programs Abroad

Gap year and pre-college programs taking a variety of forms are now increasingly common and seen as very valuable by very presitigious academic institutions in motivating students to expand their experience and horizons. Many gap year programs are taken after high school graduation. Some gap year programs for high school students take place over the course of the summer before beginning college as a form of preparation. Indeed the advantages of taking a gap year before and during college are now well-documented by the American Gap Association.

Students may study language, academic subjects, work, volunteer, enjoy learning adventures, or participate in exchange programs in any combination from reputable organizations.

Most students return from such an experience abroad changed and extremely motivated to learn. A far greater sense of clarity regarding educational goals is common on the part of students after such experiences in completely new surroundings while involved in new or intensive activities.

Featured Articles on Gap Year and Pre-College Programs Abroad
The Allure of the Gap Year: Expert Guide to Programs Between High School and College by Susan Griffith
Gap Year Essentials: A Student Perspective by Isabel Eva Bohrer
Exploring Gap Year Options Abroad by Volker Poelzl
Take Time Off Before College: A Gap Year Abroad Offers an Unforgettable Education by Mira Murphy

Where There Be Dragons Summer & Semester (Gap Year and College Study Abroad) Programs in Asia, Africa, and Latin America
Mapmakers once drew Dragons to represent lands unknown. Those who ventured beyond the map's edge were said to go, "Where There Be Dragons." At Dragons, we learn by doing. We travel like locals, live with families, apprentice with artists, and learn from scholars, sages, and community leaders. We access phenomenal beauty, engage deeply with local communities, and ignite our own curiosity. THE LEADER IN CROSS-CULTURAL + EXPERIENTIAL EDUCATION SINCE 1993. Visit our website to learn more.
WhereThereBeDragons Contact: Where There Be Dragons, 3200 Carbon Place, Suite 102, Boulder, CO 80301 – USA
Toll Free: 1-800-982-9203. International: 001-303-413-0822.

Global Gap Year Volunteering
Projects Abroad is the world ’s leading short-term international volunteer organization including the innovative Global Gap Year. 
Choose from 30 exciting countries around the world: Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Cambodia, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Ghana, Italy, Jamaica, Kenya, Madagascar, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Peru, Philippines, Romania, Samoa, Senegal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, and Vietnam. Volunteer projects start year-round and last from one week to a year. Opportunities exist in teaching, child care, social work, conservation, community development, medicine, human rights, journalism, international development, language courses, and more! Programs are for ages 16+.
Projects Abroad Global Gap Year Contact: Projects Abroad, 80 Broad St, Floor 32, New York NY 10004.
Tel: US Toll-free 1 888 839 3535.

ARCC Gap Semester Programs: Meaningful Service. Real Connections. True Adventure
ARCC Gap Semester offers an educational and cultural bridge between high school and college. The ARCC Gap Semesters are an opportunity to live, work, learn, and explore in some of the greatest classrooms on earth. On an ARCC Gap Semester, students immerse into the culture through homestays, service work, teaching, and exchange. ARCC offers semesters in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Gap Year Programs ARCC Contact: ARCC Programs, 242 Redwood Hwy, Mill Valley, CA 94941
Tel.: To get more information or request a brochure call our headquarters at 415-332-5075

Gap year in China with purpose and fun — Go Abroad China
Seeking meaningful activities that you can take on during the all too important gap year? Join our program at Go Abroad China. We have solid experience in helping students make informed decisions and research about the next step in their career, as well as providing exciting opportunities for them to explore! We support international participants seeking valuable and practical ways to spend a gap year by providing a selection of the following programs: internship in China, Mandarin study, Volunteering, Study & Tour program. What you will get from us is a highly personalized gap year that suits all your needs.

Gap year in China Contact: Go Abroad China. 
Tel: 86-15611618596 

Learn Spanish and Volunteer in Spain
We offer immersion Spanish courses all year round at special prices, jobs in hospitality management all around Spain, affordable internships in different cities throughout Spain, culinary arts in top hotels, field trips for schools and colleges, unpaid volunteer programs, Spanish online courses, and Dele preparation exams.
Volunteer in Spain Contact: Instituto Hemingway, Bailen 5, 2 Dcha. 48003 – Bilbao, Spain.
Tel.: +34 94 416 7901. Fax: +34 94 416 57 48

Global Routes
Global Routes is a pioneer in the world of value-driven, experiential-based, international programming for high school and gap year students. We believe that authentic, fun and impactful programs abroad are directed by service, deepened through immersion, broadened with adventure and contextualized by leadership. Through this unparalleled combination, participants gain profound perspectives of another country, cultures, the world and themselves. Since 1967 we have partnered with over 10,000 volunteers throughout the world.
Global Routes Address: Global Routes, One World Way, Windsor, NH, 03244 USA
Contact: Adam Aronovitz and
Tel.: 413-585-8895

Abbey Road High School Western Civilization History Program
This program is a unique educational journey in time that gives our students the opportunity to explore first-hand the origins of Western Civilization, political thought, history, culture, and art, starting with Ancient Greece (Athens), to Ancient Rome (Rome), to the Renaissance (Florence) and the French Enlightenment (Paris).
Students will stay in centrally located 3 star hotels, sample authentic local cuisine, participate in discussions with their instructors and peers, and have a wonderful time traveling and making new friends. We utilize a unique educational method, emphasizing experiential, hands-on learning; and a great balance between safety, supervision and freedom for our students.

AIFS Gap Year/High School Programs Abroad
High school students the opportunity to experience an international educational program, giving them a taste of university life and helping strengthen their prospects for acceptance at a leading university through foreign language study or liberal arts courses abroad. Program locations are worldwide, many during the summer.

CIEE: Gap Year Abroad Programs for High School Graduates
Gap Year Abroad with CIEE offers college-bound high school graduates an opportunity to acquire a broader global perspective, foster independence, and gain self-knowledge in nine countries. Our programs offer accelerated language growth through classes and immersion into a foreign community, the opportunity to live with a host family, and experience abroad participating in organized volunteer work in the local community. Included in the CIEE program are day and weekend excursions of cultural and historical importance that will provide an important dimension to understanding of the host country.

El Casal
Gap Year in Barcelona
El Casal seeks to provide a challenging and rewarding atmosphere for personal and intellectual growth in a program for young people who are taking time off between high school and college. The program strives to develop creative and critical thinking, tolerance, self-confidence and a deep appreciation of the host culture.

High School Study Abroad Service Learning Programs
GVI’s Study Abroad Service Learning Courses take classroom research and curriculum learning and introduce those theories into real life services. All the work performed benefits the local community or environment and these real-life experiences enhance students’ academic studies, increase their personal growth and interpersonal skills. Emphasis will be placed on relating our long-term goals with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals and engaging in daily reflection surrounding the experience. All our Service Learning Courses are led by qualified group facilitators and allow students to gain an increased cross-cultural awareness and understanding.
Educational Pre-College Programs Abroad
GVI’s Educational Pre-College Programs Abroad offer students a chance to engage in educational pre-college programs abroad. These valuable programs take learning outside the classroom and into real life services. All the work performed benefits the local community or environment and these real-life experiences enhance students’ academic studies, increase their personal growth and interpersonal skills. Our programs help young adults gain a better understanding of the world and are also seen by universities and employers as something that sets the individual apart from other applicants. All our courses are led by qualified group facilitators and allow students to gain an increased cross-cultural awareness and understanding.

ISA (International Studies Abroad): Gap Year Experiences
Programs include gap year experiences in Spain, Italy, France, U.K., Dominican Republic, Mexico, Costa Rica, Argentina, Chile, and Australia. There are a few exceptions that do require college time.

Outward Bound Costa Rica
Outdoor Adventure Programs in Costa Rica and Panama for Gap-year and High School Students
Students ages 14+ can join us for a summer course or students ages 17+ for a gap-year or semester abroad challenging themselves through outdoor adventure activities as well as service learning projects in Costa Rica and Panama. Outward Bound courses also teach its participates to develop leadership skills, focusing on character development, compassion for the environment and teambuilding.

Putney Student Travel
Pre-College London
Join us in London for an insider’s experience of England on this Pre-College summer program for high school students. Broaden your horizons and prepare for college with in-depth, field-based seminars as you become part of an inspiring and supportive community of staff and students from around the world.
Our London campus is situated in the heart of the city, with easy access to many of it’s most famous landmarks, and ideally located for day trips to the surrounding countryside.
Pre-College Barcelona
Join us in Barcelona for an insider’s experience of Spain on this Pre-College summer program for high school students. Broaden your horizons and prepare for college with in-depth, field-based seminars as you become part of an inspiring and supportive community of staff and students from around the world.
Our Barcelona campus is a private residence hall just steps from the beautiful Born district and a short walk from the beach.

The School for Field Studies
A wide variety of programs in environmental studies in Australia, Bhutan, Cambodia, Chile, Costa Rica, Kenya, Panama, Peru, Tanzania, and Turks & Caicos.

SEA Semester for Gap Year Students
Summer field programs in marine and environmental studies are available to high school graduates seeking a gap experience.

United Planet: Gap Year Volunteering Programs
United Planet offers tailored virtual gap year, volunteer, and internship programs abroad.

Youth International: Experiential Gap Semesters in Asia and South America
Youth International gap semesters bring together teams of peers (ages 18 to 25) on rugged educational journeys through Asia and South America. Programs include home stays, a wide variety of immersive cultural experiences, volunteer work, and outdoor adventure. Optional college credit is available.

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