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Some students opt to defer college enrollment for a year after graduating from Hotchkiss to work, study abroad, or do a service project. Many gap year participants speak enthusiastically about what they gain through these experiences. A few commonly cited benefits are:

  • The maturity that comes from a year of living independently and taking responsibility for their choices
  • Renewed enthusiasm for academic challenges and an eagerness to begin college
  • Greater exposure to career possibilities — as well as other cultures, people, and languages
  • A deeper understanding of themselves and the world

For these reasons, and in support of Hotchkiss’s commitment to responsible global citizenship, the School encourages its graduates to consider a gap year. The learning that takes place in this year differs from a traditional academic experience. But in planning and living a gap year, students acquire invaluable skills for lifelong learning. Past gap year experiences include volunteering for political campaigns in rural Missouri, working for aid agencies in Cambodia, and teaching English to the children of artisans in a village in India.

The Gap Year and the College Process

Typically, students complete the college application process during their senior year, then apply for a deferral from the college they select. Most colleges will grant deferments as long as the student provides a clear, thoughtful plan for the gap year. If students decide to apply to colleges during a Gap Year, they will need to adhere to any policies regarding the deferral. Most colleges prefer that students not apply elsewhere during their gap year; unless otherwise indicated by the institution itself, students should plan to withdraw at the college to which they deferred enrollment before submitting other applications.

Gap Year Options

The English Speaking Union

United Kingdom

Hotchkiss receives a student from an ESU school each year, and our students also have the opportunity to spend a year at an English boarding school between graduation and college. Students apply in the fall of their senior year and must defer college acceptance in order to attend. Click here to learn more.

Ahilya School English Teaching Apprenticeship

Maheshwar, India

Richard Holkar ’62 is the head of the Rehwa Society, which supports a historic hand-weaving center in central India. The Rehwa Society founded the Ahilya School in 1989 and hosts Hotchkiss graduates who want to spend a semester or year teaching English in the school. Click here to learn more.

Round Square School Gap Programs

Australia, Canada, England, India and Thailand

An association of more than 55 schools on five continents, Round Square is founded on six core tenets — internationalism, democracy, environment, adventure, leadership, and service — also known as the Round Square "IDEALS." Hotchkiss grads can apply for gap placement at other Round Square schools for an academic semester or year in which they can support a school’s co-curricular program, help with classes, or provide leadership in the dorms.

WISER (Women’s Institute for Secondary Education and Research)

Muhuru Bay, Kenya

WISER is the first girl’s secondary boarding school in Muhuru Bay, Kenya. Gap year students can apply for positions with the WISER programs, including WISER Bridge and WISER Social Entrepreneurs.

Kaiserin Friedrich Gymnasium

Bad Hamburg, Germany

Kaiserin Friedrich Gymnasium, located in Bad Hamburg, Germany, is a public school with which Hotchkiss has partnered for cultural exchange. Gap year participants will live with a German host family, study German language, and teach conversational English classes to younger students.

Additional Gap Year Options

Each winter, Hotchkiss hosts a Summer and Gap Year Opportunities Fair, where students can learn about many other options. Below are sample programs that represent a range of options to help students begin their exploration. These programs are not officially endorsed by Hotchkiss.

African Leadership Academy
Johannesburg, South Africa
http://www.alagapyear.org/

Art History Abroad (AHA)
http://www.arthistoryabroad.com/

Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE)
Chile, China, Dominican Republic, France, Japan, and Spain
http://www.ciee.org/

El Casal
Barcelona, Spain
http://www.elcasalbarcelona.com/

Global Lab
China, India, Morocco and Greece
http://www.global-lab.org/programs/

Map The Gap International
Italy, Mexico and Nicaragua
https://www.mapthegapinternational.com

Thinking Beyond Borders
Cambodia, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, India, Peru and South Africa
http://www.thinkingbeyondborders.org/

Where There Be Dragons
Bolivia, Cambodia, China, Guinea, India, Laos, Nepal, Peru, Senegal, Tibet, Vietnam
http://www.wheretherebedragons.com

AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps NCCC, AmeriCorps VISTA
United States
http://www.americorps.gov/

City Year
United States
http://www.cityyear.org/

Global Citizen Year
Brazil, Ecuador, Guatemala, and Senegal
http://globalcitizenyear.org/

Global Routes
Costa Rica, Ecuador, Ghana and Tanzania
http://www.globalroutes.org

Omprakash Foundation
Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, Uganda, Afghanistan, Cambodia, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand, Tibet, Argentina, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic and Israel
http://omprakash.org

Projects Abroad
Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Cambodia, China, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Fiji, Ghana, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Peru, Romania, Senegal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, and Togo
http://www.projects-abroad.org

NOLS

Alaska, Australia, Brazil, India, Mexico, New Zealand, Pacific Northwest, Patagonia, Rocky Mountain, Scandinavia, Southwest, Teton Valley and Yukon
http://www.nols.edu/

Semester at Sea
Pacific Rim, Latin America and North Africa/Europe
http://www.semesteratsea.orgback to top

Earthwatch Institute
Worldwide
http://www.earthwatch.org/

School for Field Studies
Costa Rica, Turks & Caicos, Kenya, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and Bhutan
http://www.fieldstudies.org/

Student Conservation Association
United States
http://www.thesca.org/

Woolman Semester
Nevada City, California
http://www.woolman.org/index.cfm

Office Contact Info

Office phone:

(860) 435-3180

Office fax:

(860) 435-3157

EMAIL:

collegeoffice@hotchkiss.org

Richard Hazelton
Director of College Advising

Betsy Beck
Senior Associate Director

Annie Hall
Associate Director

Elizabeth Young
Associate Director

JoAnne Lakin
Office Manager