Gap Year FAQ


Interim defines the gap year as a focused, finite period of time in which an individual deliberately takes a break from his or her current academic or professional path in order to explore other interests and skills.

Art history program in ItalyIt is an opportunity to gain life experience, travel new parts of the world, and consider how certain pursuits may fit into a longer-term plan of school, profession, or personal enrichment. It is a rite of passage into the next chapter of life, a chance to ask: “Who am I?”, “What is important to me?” and, “What do I want to create for myself?”


Waterfall in Bali
Anyone who is interested can take a gap year. Interim works with individuals of all ages, interests, and backgrounds: straight-A high school seniors accepted into top colleges of choice; students simply eager to explore the world before college; students weary of the academic process or who did not receive hoped-for college acceptances; students with learning differences; and college students and graduates questioning their majors and/or job prospects.

We also counsel mid and post-career adults, from young professionals considering a career change, to retirees curious to further explore their interests and the world.


Making music in EuropeA gap year can be taken after high school, during college, or at any break between life’s major chapters. It is for anyone, at any age.

Gap year does not mean that one has to plan a full year of activities. Individuals can take a summer, semester, six months, or even more than a year of gap time.


One of the challenges in creating a great gap year is figuring out the correct combination of vetted experiences to meet one’s goals, budget, and timeline.

Learning outside of the classroomThere are thousands of options, both in the U.S. and abroad, that one can engage in during a gap year including: group travel programs, volunteer placements, internships, apprenticeships, language schools, wilderness courses, academic semesters, research trips, skill-building classes, and much more.

Many gappers also incorporate time to travel, visit friends or family, as well as stay home to take classes, apply to school, and/or work to save money. The reality is that your gap year can and should be tailored to whatever time, resources, and goals you have to work with.

Is A Gap Year Expensive?

Welcoming visitors at a butterfly center in Costa Rica
It doesn't have to be! If you are creative, flexible and prepared to work hard, there are many exciting and affordable gap year opportunities out there for you. Families with modest budgets can create wonderful gap years, and we at Interim are very committed to supporting them. We offer a free 90-minute consultation, need-based scholarships, strategies for budgeting, and referrals to programs with scholarships as well as low cost and work exchange options.

What Other Questions Do You Have?

Is a gap year safe? What do colleges think of a gap year? Is a gap year for me? Why use a gap year counselor? More FAQ, Facts & Figures, and Testimonials should provide many of these answers, but please do not hesitate to contact us with your specific questions.

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Fill out our Interest Sheet for a free 90-minute consultation or Contact Us with general inquiries.
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