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Gap Year

Expand your horizons

Is a Gap Year Right For Me?

For many, a gap year is a time to focus, recharge, and learn about themselves before starting their academic journey. So if you’re thinking about a gap year, we want to help. From understanding our deferral policy, to hearing from students who made the most of their gap year, to connecting with programs around the globe, we want you to have every resource possible to inform your choice.

This Colby Life: Gap Year Stories

A gap year offers a unique opportunity to enhance individual learning experiences prior to coming to Colby. Students who have taken a gap year have challenged themselves around the world and right at home, bringing new perspectives to Mayflower Hill. 

Teaching in Nairobi and swimming with sharks: Aanavi Patodia ’19

Patodia had intended her gap year to focus on service work. Her journey instead took her to a second-grade classroom in Kenya and the cerulean seas of Indonesia, leading her to study environmental policy at Colby and pursue a teaching career.

Working two jobs to challenge herself before Colby: Fini Just ’19

After leaving high school in New Mexico, Just went back to her native Austria to work and earn before coming to Colby—learning in the process about resiliency, independence, and how to put academic and social demands into perspective.

A year in a unique immersive experience abroad: Emma Hofman ’20

Enrolling in a program that placed her in public housing in Jerusalem, Hofman immersed herself in the culture to help her neighbors and learn a new way of life.

Getting outdoors in Utah and in the Patagonia: Topher Wang ’20

Following a half-year of service work, Wong had the experience of a lifetime in South America.

Resources for Pursuing a Gap Year

Structured or unstructured, with a group or on your own, there’s no template for a gap year. These agencies and organizations are only a sample—the rest is up to your imagination, drive, or desire. Learn More

Colby College - Global Citizen Year

Applicants to Colby College who are interested in pursuing a pre-college gap year are encouraged to consider the following opportunity.

Colby College collaborates with Global Citizen Year to offer an 8-month global immersion and leadership training program in one of the following four locations: Brazil, Ecuador, India or Senegal. Global Citizen Year Fellows live with a host family and apprentice to a local organization working in education, health or sustainability. This approach is aligned with Colby’s mission to educate and inspire engaged global citizens.

If you are interested in applying for this opportunity, please consult Global Citizen Year’s website for application materials and upcoming deadlines. If you indicate on your application that you are also applying to Colby College, Global Citizen Year will fast track your application, guarantee you a final interview, and consider you for their available pool of need-based financial aid. They will also inform Colby Admissions when your application to Global Citizen Year is complete.

If you are accepted to both Colby College and Global Citizen Year, our Admissions team will defer both your admission offer and financial aid package for one year to allow you to participate in this transformative year of cross-cultural immersion and self-discovery.