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Key Components of the Program

No two gap years are alike. That said, our programs all include the same key components to make sure you maximize this critical opportunity in your life and personal journey.

An All-Immersive Experience

Whether you’re with an authentic host family on a Language & Culture program, a local nonprofit on a Service & Leadership program, or a corporation on a Global Internship program, your gap year abroad should be about accumulating real-life experiences outside the classroom.

Cultural Activities

Cultural activities are worked into your schedule on any of our programs: Global Internship and Service & Leadership programs offer one activity per week, while Language & Culture programs offer two per week.

Whether you learn to make sushi in Japan, take a bead-making workshop in Ghana, or visit the Louvre in Paris, be ready to get up close and personal with your host culture!

Global Competence

Interpersonal and intercultural skills — such as communication or empathy — are some of the keys to success in the 21st-century global economy. That’s why we make sure all of our gap year abroad programs integrate our exclusive Global Competence course, to help you step back and appreciate how your experience abroad will change your outlook on the world and your relationships with others.

Reflective Time

Because learning abroad is so experiential, we provide you with opportunities throughout to reflect. That process will not only help you appreciate your time abroad, but will also ensure that what you learn will stick with you for years to come.

Opportunities to Travel

Let’s face it: a gap year abroad is also about discovering the big world out there. So our programs allow for plenty of independent travel time, and they offer packaged excursions (in every location!) to give you the opportunity to see the best sights in your host country. Most programs include two daytrips and one overnight excursion, with a few offering only daytrips. Visit the specific program pages to learn more!

Spending the year in Valparaíso and always dreamed of visiting Patagonia? Heading to Ferrara with hopes of seeing the Roman Colosseum for yourself? Your local CIEE staff is available to help you explore your host country!

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