A gap year is a designated period, usually lasting for a year, where individuals take a break from their formal education or career to engage in alternative experiences. It presents an opportunity to accumulate valuable life experiences, explore personal interests, and cultivate new perspectives before committing to higher education or professional pursuits. Gap year programs exist to provide structured avenues for individuals to optimize their time during this break. These programs offer a diverse range of experiences tailored to different interests and objectives. Whether it involves volunteering abroad, learning a new language, or participating in outdoor adventures, there are numerous gap year options available to cater to a variety of passions and aspirations.
Gap Heroes, a proud member of the Southwestern Family of Companies (www.southwestern.com) founded in 1855, specializes in gap year, gap semester and high school summer programs worldwide.
The leadership team of Global Educational Concepts (www.gecexchanges.com), our sister company, founded Gap Heroes with the goal of helping young people develop the skills and character they need to achieve their goals in life and make a positive contribution to the world.
As a designated visa sponsor for the U.S. cultural exchange programs, GEC sponsors thousands of exchange visitors from various countries each year in six different Bridge USA program categories, which include summer work and travel, trainee, internship, high school exchange, camp counselor and teacher.
At Gap Heroes, we strive to provide the best possible service and support to the young people who participate in our programs, while adhering to the regulations that govern these programs.
- We are committed to promote the value of diversity and cultural exchange.
- We strive to increase awareness of the importance of sustainability.
- We INVEST in building people. We INSPIRE people to achieve their goals in life. We positively IMPACT the world.
All Gap Heroes students are subject to Essential Eligibility Criteria (EEC). You can read our EEC here.
Each program offered by Gap Heroes features various elements such as physical challenges, wilderness expeditions, and service learning projects. These programs are carefully crafted to expand your comfort zone and provide a deep and meaningful experience. By combining a variety of activities, our programs allow students to delve into unique topics and build a deep connection with the world around them. We encourage you to thoroughly read the program descriptions and sample programs for the programs you are considering and choose the one that excites you the most!
If you are having a hard time deciding, we encourage you to give us a call for personalized assistance in choosing the ideal semester. Feel free to schedule a call with us by following this link.
Yes, you can! We embrace cultural exchange and diversity and are always happy to work with participants from around the world. Please remember that different visa requirements may apply to non-U.S. citizens. Also see “Do I need a passport or visa?”.
No. Prior language study is not required to join Gap Heroes programs.
Because the group experience is one of the most important components of our programs, we strongly encourage friends and siblings to enroll for separate programs. To ensure the best possible experience for all participants and to build a positive group dynamic where everyone feels welcome and included, we strongly discourage exclusive relationships between group members. Please note that accommodation will be rotated throughout the program, so you will spend an equal amount of time with each member of your group.
Our minimum group size is 8 students and our maximum group size is 14. Each program offered by Gap Heroes, consisting of 8 to 14 students, is supervised by two instructors. To ensure optimal safety and instruction, we collaborate with local guides and expert partners for service and educational programs, as well as adventure activities such as rafting, surfing, sailing, and SCUBA diving (SCUBA).