Why Take a Gap Year?

Wander. Explore. Learn. Lead.

Why should you take a gap year?

A gap year is an opportunity for young adults to take a break from traditional education in order to learn more about themselves and the world, while clarifying their goals before their next step. According to the 2015 National Alumni Survey conducted by Temple University and the American Gap Association, students have reported real benefits from taking a gap year, particularly geared towards personal growth.  Of the students surveyed, 98% of participants said their gap year helped them develop as a person, 96% found it increased their self-confidence, and 93% agreed that it increased their communications skills.

Our gap programs are designed to allow participants to discover new interests and passions under the mentorship of inspiring program instructors and community leaders. Students can expect to learn about critical global and local issues, gain insight into another culture, and find a new sense of confidence through a life changing experience.  Having spent a gap program maturing and broadening perspectives, Alzar Gap students are better prepared for life after high school.

Hear from one of our recent Alzar Gap alumni’s in the webinar recording below:


The Alzar Difference

“Alzar was a transformative experience for me because it made me more confident in myself by pushing me out of my comfort zone. I created life-long friendships and have memories of adventures I will never forget. Alzar helped me shape what I wanted out of college and what kind of college I wanted to go to which was extremely helpful. If you are even considering applying to Alzar, do it! It was one of the best decisions I have ever made.”  – Emily Caton Santa Clara University

A Personalized Experience

Alzar Gap is an intentionally small Gap Year program which allows us to provide a personalized experience and unmatched support for our students and families. With just one gap program running at a time, our team truly gets to know and meet the educational needs of our students and families throughout the Alzar experience. 

Through Alzar’s alumni support programming we enable students to make the most of their gap experience. After our program concludes we assist students in launching their careers, establishing meaningful community outreach as part of the student’s culminating leadership project and connecting students with our expansive alumni network.

Stay on Track on an Accredited Program

Alzar Gap is accredited through the Gap Year Association (GYA). GYA holds our program to the highest standards of risk management and student support in the gap year industry. In addition, our accreditation allows Alzar Gap to offer college credit on our semester-long programs which allows participants to stay on track with their educational career.

A Commitment to Cultural Exchange

Alzar has been running programs in Chile since 2007, and has built up a robust network of alumni, staff, and friends of the organization that continue to live in-country. In 2018, Alzar built our 360 acre Base Patagonia Campus, and hired a full time in-country Director of Chilean Programming in order to strengthen our commitment to running quality programs in Chilean Patagonia. With this longstanding history, strong network, and in-country support, Alzar is able to provide an international experience in Chile unlike any other program.

We Welcome a Wide Range of Outdoor Abilities/Experiences

Alzar’s programming is built with all experience and comfort levels in mind. We invite students from a variety of backgrounds and experiences to each program. Most often, the majority of the group is at the beginner or intermediate level with a minority of students coming in at an expert outdoor level. Alzar has an intentional blend of programming on our campuses prior to taking on our outdoor expeditions to support our varying levels of experience in each Alzar Gap cohort. Alzar makes it easy to be a beginner with our supportive staff and our orientation programming at the start of our programming.