Accreditation by the Gap Year Association represents a commitment to the highest standards in safety, quality, and integrity. They have agreed to consistently abide by the Standards of the Gap Year Association, which typically means that a student can count on an experience with the highest caliber of field leadership, the best degree of office support, and the highest standards of safety.
** This list of Accredited Organizations is being updated regularly. The following organizations represent those undergoing the application process, thus demonstrating their commitment to the highest standards in Gap Year Education. For peer-reviews, we have worked with www.gooverseas.com primarily, but because reviews are a critical part of the selection process, we wanted to provide more information of use and encourage looking at two other primary resources for program reviews: www.studyabroad101.com and www.teenlife.com. For more information, visit our Standards web page.
Currently Accredited GYA Members
The following organizations have been vetted by the strictest Gap Year Standards. The process involves both GYA staff and the powerful Board of Advisors to ensure the best in Gap Year education and the highest consistency in programming.
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.
American University’s Gap Program provides students with an experiential education experience in Washington, D.C., focusing on college credit, internships, and service learning. Semester or year-long programs available.
Semester and Yearlong Gap Year internships in Nicaragua. Focus on service-learning with local NGOs and independent projects. In-country training, workshops, excursions and final debriefing included. Rolling admissions with Fall, Spring, and Summer departures.
3 & 8 month Gap Year programs in Central America, South America, India, Southeast Asia, the South Pacific, East Africa, and the Native American Southwest focusing on community, cultural exchange, service-learning, and adventure. Fall and Spring departures.
3 month service-learning Gap Year programs in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Students can visit multiple countries as part of their Gap Year through the Global Gap, Spanish Immersion, and Diversity of Africa Gap Year experiences. Customized start dates and durations also available year-round. Cross-Cultural Solutions is a non-profit organization that partners with sustainable community initiatives, bringing people together to work side-by-side while sharing perspectives and fostering cultural understanding.
Service learning Gap programs in South America, South East Asia and East Africa. Programs run throughout the year and students can choose an experience from 2 to 3-months. Camps International are a Social Enterprise working to empower communities and deliver sustainable community, conversation and environment solutions through their network of permanent volunteer camps in Peru, Ecuador, Borneo, Cambodia, Tanzania and Kenya.
10 month facilitated Gap Year program focused on International Development, apprenticeships, and language-learning. Applications close in May of each year to start in August.
3 month immersive Gap semester programs in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. Gap programs are based on Global Routes' Teaching Internship Program model. Since 1986, Global Routes programs have offered participants an opportunity to immerse themselves into a small rural community, develop long-lasting cross-cultural relationships, and make positive contributions that will last a lifetime. Fall and Spring options. Financial aid and scholarships available.
Traveling through Patagonia and the American West, students embark on a journey that emphasizes developing outdoor skills, leadership, and environmental awareness. With options to choose a rock climbing or wilderness travel focus, students explore these rugged landscapes, investigate critical environmental issues, and gain experience as environmental stewards. Through living and traveling with a small group of peers and instructors, students focus on practicing leadership and the ability to work effectively in a team.
Kivu Gap Year is an 8 month internship and home stay based Gap Year experience at domestic and international locations.
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.
Omprakash Education through Global Engagement (EdGE): 2 - 12 month individual Gap Year programs connecting volunteers with opportunities in 40 countries around the globe. Ongoing departures. Includes comprehensive online training and mentorships.
Featuring 3 month and shorter Gap Year courses. For over 50 years Outward Bound 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 and South America, successfully preparing students to confront the challenges they face today with self-confidence, tenacity and compassion.
Pacific Discovery 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. Programs in New Zealand, Australia, Southeast Asia, South America, Central America, Cuba, Galapagos Islands, India, Nepal, Tibet, China. Fall, Spring, and Summer departures can be taken consecutively for an in-depth and transformative Gap Year experience. Scholarships and academic credit options available.
RIDGE Mountain Academy has semester and yearlong programs designed for male and female student athletes ages 16 to 20 who have a passion for the mountains. Located in Whitefish, Montana, RIDGE is a campus-based academy that focuses on mountain sports, education, and life skills. RIDGE prepares student athletes of all abilities — beginner to elite — to strengthen their training, forge new skills, and discover their true potential.
A variety of Gap Year programs, including the 2-semester Global Gap Year, South America Gap Semester, and Asia Gap Semester combining deep cultural immersion, fieldwork with experts, and engaging readings and discussions. Fall and Spring semester options.
Overland service and adventure programs departing every semester with shorter summer options. These programs include a mix of different project and adventure phases to keep students challenged and motivated travelling around a country as part of a Leap team of volunteers who join together from all over the world. The Leap hires local leaders to avoid the tourist trail while contributing to communities who are trying to improve the quality of their lives. As well, The Leap also offers career-focused internships in medical, law or business. All volunteers/families are appointed their own Leap gap advisor who will make sure they are fully briefed and prepared pre-departure and the families are kept up to date with their progress while they are away. Programs are available across Africa, Asia and South America.
3 month Gap Year programs in China, Tibetan Himalayas, Southeast Asia, South America, West Africa, Indonesia, Central America, and the Middle East. Fall and Spring departures.
Winterline Global Education offers skills-based gap year programs, as well as shorter programs that are offered throughout the year. Students learn a wide variety of skills as they travel to multiple countries around the world with mentors and a cohort of fellow students. Skills learned include wilderness survival, robotics, starting a business, SCUBA diving, horseback riding, digital-storytelling, mixology, and permaculture design.