Gap Year Programs Abroad

Take a Gap Year Between
High School and College with AIFS

Great news for high school seniors! You are eligible for several AIFS study abroad programs during the academic year and the summer. Why not get your first taste of college life on an international campus?

Why take a gap year abroad with AIFS?

  • You'll become a more competitve applicant when you return and apply to colleges in the U.S.
  • You'll earn college credits while abroad that you can transfer to a college in the U.S.
  • You'll become independent and confident in yourself as you navigate new parts of the world, with the support and guidance you need
  • You'll immerse yourself in a different culture and gain a new perspective on the world
  • You can gain fluency in a foreign language by taking intensive language classes in another country
  • You'll gain insight into your academic interests and return to the U.S. with a stronger focus on your college goals

A gap year might be for you if:

  • You have been accepted at a college for the spring semester, and you'd like an academic program to participate on for the fall semester
  • You are undecided on your college plans and want a year to decide on / apply to colleges
  • You'd like an extra year of life experience before attending college
  • You will be at least 18 by the program start date

A list of AIFS programs that accept high school graduates can be found on under Choose your program on this page.

Testimonials from Gap Year Students

Summer Brock – Salamanca, Spain, Full academic year 2011-2012
Studying abroad before college was one of the most thrilling and nerve-racking decisions I’ve ever made. It ended up to be the best yet, allowing me the most amazing adventure and year of my life thus far. I truly think it is important to travel and experience different cultures at a young age. Studying in Salamanca, Spain, through AIFS let me grow into an open minded, independent person. I made friends with incredible people from all over the world that helped mold my thoughts and ideas. I now have a more global perspective that translates into my everyday life. Before I spent my year abroad, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to do after high school – what college I wanted to attend, where I would live, what I would work towards, etc. I couldn’t be more grateful that I chose a different path because now I know what I actually want to do and it is much different than what I had planned before. I think it’s vital to get out and see some more of the world before planning your future. At high school graduation, most students have only lived in one place, knowing the same people for years. It is healthy and ideal to meet others who are different from what is familiar, in order to expand your views and deepen your life. I recommend AIFS with my whole heart for it has let me grow into a more independent and adventurous person.

Sarah Bressler – Salamanca, Spain, Full academic year 2009-2010
Taking a gap year and studying abroad in Salamanca was the best decision I have made in my entire life. I know that sounds like a generalization and an over statement, but there is really no other way to put it. Most of my friends decided to go to college right after they graduated high school, but I knew that I wanted a different experience. Living in Salamanca opened my eyes to a new culture, a new way of life. I got to experience living on my own, traveling on my own, and really got a sense of who I was as an individual. I also learned a new language. All those years of Spanish in middle school and high school were helpful, but I could barely find my way around the country without looking like your typical American tourist. Secretly, I failed out of high school Spanish my Junior year of high school. Now, I am a Spanish major in college! All thanks to my year abroad, I got to see the world, meet new people (foreign and American), try new food, and pursue interests that I wanted to learn more about, like Art History and Architecture. My gap year also gave me direction. I went into college knowing that I wanted to be a Spanish major and a Nursing major. I went into college knowing who I was, feeling confident in my ability to meet new people and to be able to make friends with students who had the same attitude towards life. I would not be the person I am today if I hadn't gone out on limb and tried something different. I strongly believe that everyone should take a gap year, be it studying in Spain, working on a farm in Maine, or mastering yoga in India. Everyone should experience the world.


Call us at (800) 727-2437 or email to learn more about studying abroad with AIFS.