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API gap year study abroad programs offer recent high school graduates the opportunity to complete college courses abroad prior to beginning an undergraduate program at a university in the U.S. Students will receive extensive support and guidance before traveling abroad, and they will be integrated with API university program participants and other local students on-site. Throughout their program, students will have support available from the API on-site Resident Directors and Coordinators. Students may choose to study for a semester or full academic year.

API gap community service programs offer recent high school graduates the opportunity to explore their strengths while contributing to community organizations and programs. Through their community service work, students will gain new perspectives, learn about the value of teamwork, and witness how sharing across cultures can have a positive impact on all involved. Students may choose to serve for one, two, or three months in each location.

API internships provide unique opportunities for gap students to explore an area of professional interest in several exciting fields and destinations. API internship programs offer a number of career and cultural resources to help participants maximize their personal and professional development. API works with students pre-departure to find the best possible internship placement to meet their learning objectives and future career interests. Students choose to stay for just eight weeks or as long as three months. Internship placements are customized based on each applicant’s interests and skill set. Past interns have been placed in a broad variety of disciplines, including accounting, communications, education, engineering, hospitality, social services, and more.

Why Do a Gap Year with API?

Now more than ever, it is important to become a citizen of the world. API’s gap programs provide opportunities to develop global awareness by building students’ confidence and comfort in their host culture through language learning opportunities and tutorials, cultural events and outings, community volunteer activities, and integrated classrooms alongside host country students, as well as other international students. The integrated classroom experience with professors and students provides opportunities for robust dialogue and exposure to diverse thought as students see the world through new perspectives. In addition, program participants are empowered to become independent in their host city but also have the support of caring, trained Resident Directors and Resident Coordinators to assist with cultural adjustment and provide guidance navigating through bureaucratic procedures in the host country.

For many, an API gap semester or gap year program may be a student's first opportunity to travel abroad. Traveling and living abroad challenges students to expand their understanding of the world away from the comfort of their own culture. The experience compels students to apply lessons outside of the classroom or internship placement, gain new perspectives with every conversation and observation, and question who they are and what they want to become.

Every day represents a unique opportunity for personal growth, developing new strengths, new skills, and new languages, that will help to prepare students for future successes in an increasingly global economy.

Language acquisition and sensitivity to host cultures are essential components of API’s core values. Therefore, all students participating in study abroad programs where English is not the native language have the opportunity to take language classes in order to better understand their host country. In many programs, language courses are required. In others, they are offered as electives. In addition, Resident Directors and Coordinators offer informal language tutoring each week and many program sites offer participants the opportunity to be matched with a local student for friendship and language exchange.

The world is a big place, and there is a lot to discover out there. You've got so much to learn about yourself, and even more that you can give. Not everything worth learning can be learned within the walls of a classroom; sometimes the best way to learn is to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. With API's international programs, participants will engage directly with the global community and learn useful skills with real-world applications. They will contribute to tangible improvements in other parts of the globe that seem far away at first.

Through their internship work and study experiences, participants realize that other cultures and communities are not that different from their own. Their world will become significantly smaller. Students also learn the value of teamwork and the real impact that goodwill and coordination can have on a local community. All the while, they will be fostering better relationships with their fellow program participants and the local community while gaining international experience.

You're interested in studying abroad. Now what?

The first step to discovering the world is finding the program that's perfect for you. That's where our program finder can help. Explore our programs today.

Ready to apply? Or maybe you have a few questions about the application process. We've outlined the steps of the API application from picking your program to what to expect before acceptance into the program. Check out our "How to Apply" page for more information. If you have any questions beyond that, feel free to give us a call at 1-800-844-4124 to speak with one of our program advisors!

Financial Information

Financing your API program is one of the most important parts of study abroad, and it can also be one of the most stressful. API encourages students to start planning EARLY.

Below is a list of the most frequently asked financial FAQs.