When it comes to choosing the best gap year program for you, you need to think about your goals. Are you looking for work experience that will set you apart in your career? Are you trying to support yourself by teaching a language or skill abroad? Would you like to get immersed in a language or launch a new educational path? Depending on where you want to end up, the top gap year programs for you will be completely different. (intro taken from Goabroad.com)

These three sites give great overviews and offer many different programs.

We particularly like these organizations

High Mountain Institute. Traveling through Patagonia and the American West, students embark on a journey that emphasizes developing outdoor skills, leadership, and environmental awareness.

BroadFutures is a workforce development program dedicated to working with young people who have learning disabilities (LD) and/or attentional issues.Operating out of the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area, the mission is to enhance the inherent potential of young adults with LD in the workforce through partnerships that foster independence, self-advocacy and successful employment. Students combine training with mentoring and paid internships focusing on professionalism, communication, and stress tolerance.

Amigos offers cultural immersion experiences through summer volunteer and gap programs in Latin America. “Our programs give you the opportunity to gain essential education and life experience, leadership training, and an entirely new network of friends by living and working in amazing communities throughout Central and South America.”

Rustic Pathways hosts 3-month and shorter, gap year programs in the Fall andSpring. All programs feature community service, cultural immersion, and adventure through travel. Most programs visit three to five countries over the course of the semester and include up to 16 students traveling with two RusticPathways Program Leaders. Rustic Pathways gap year programs travel to LatinAmerica,Eastern Africa, Southeast Asia, and the South Pacific.

ARCC Gap semester programs that focus on living locally, working, learning and exploring in some of the greatest classrooms on earth. Designed with an academic fabric that complements each and every location, ARCC Gap programs highlight regional issues that are directly linked to global challenges.

Featuring 3 month and shorter Gap Year courses.For over 50 years OutwardBound has been a premier provider of experiential and outdoor education programs for youth and adults. Outward Bound offers courses in some of the most spectacular and inspiring settings in the United States and in Central andSouth America, successfully preparing students to confront the challenges they face today with self-confidence, tenacity and compassion.

The National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) is the leader in wilderness education. Whether through field-based courses or classroom-based courses,NOLS offers a focus on leadership and outdoors skills in some of the most awe-inspiring locations in the world. Emerge an active leader with lifelong skills.

3 month Gap Year programs in China, Tibetan Himalayas,Southeast Asia, SouthAmerica, West Africa, Indonesia, Central America, and the Middle East. Fall andSpring departures.

PacificDiscovery offers semester and Gap Year programs abroad since 2001.Programs are overland journeys combining authentic immersion, meaningful service, and wilderness adventure-fostering empathy for other cultures, ethical and sustainable travel practices, and awareness of international issues. Students leave with a deepened sense of their identity, passion, and purpose. Programs are a 10 week journey with an optional 3-week independent extension to apply newly developed travel skills.

Warriors Academy offers 4 quests of 7 weeks each, starting in February and ending in October. With a focus on experiential education and personal development short-courses, throughout South Africa, Mozambique, andSwaziland. Each Quest is a stand-alone program and participants can choose the combination that suits their individual agenda. Quests are a blend of flagship activities, and a wide range of supportive tasks, ensuring a dynamic and adventurous experience delivered by highly qualified facilitators.

Focusing on experiential education, community, and intercultural exchange, students can choose either a three-month or year-long gap year adventure withCarpe Diem Education. Offering three-month semester programs in Spain &Morocco, India, Southeast Asia, East Africa, Ecuador & Peru, Central America,South Pacific, and Cuba. Students can extend their learning journey on CarpeDiem’s year-long Latitudes program by choosing a group semester in the Fall, followed by a three-month focused volunteer placement in the Spring.

Omprakash Education through Global Engagement (EdGE): Gap Year opportunities to volunteer with 180+ vetted grassroots social impact organizations in 40+ countries around the globe. Omprakash does not sell volunteer or internship ‘placements’; instead, volunteers will be able to connect directly with host organizations and will not pay a fee to volunteer. Omprakash Partners offer individual programs with customizable departure dates, and lengths of stay ranging from 3-12 months. Grants and scholarships are available to offset the cost of EdGE tuition and subsidize the costs of travel and living abroad.

An experiential, place-based semester located in New Hampshire and focused on teaching skills to craft a hand-made life. Gap at Glen Brook takes place in local forests, fields, and farms, all in view of Mt. Monadnock—a fine classroom for learning the breadth and depth of your consequence, and for apprenticing in the art of responsibility. Students engage their bodies, hands, and minds while stewarding cultivated and wild land, building naturalist and expedition skills, and practicing the alchemy of cooking.