International Studies Abroad ®est. 1987

Gap Programs

What is ISA Gap?

ISA Gap programs are designed to offer high school graduates the opportunity to study abroad before entering their freshman year of college.

ISA Gap programs give students the chance to break out of the traditional school cycle and explore their interests. Ivy League universities have all encouraged gap years in their high school applicants, and studies have shown that Gap Year students find higher satisfaction in their careers and life choices long after college.

ISA Gap programs range anywhere from one month to a full year in length, and students can choose either service-learning or academic programs. Students will participate in weekly cultural activities, travel on unbelievable excursions, and come to better know and appreciate cultures that differ from their own in the process

The world awaits…

Why Participate on an ISA Gap Program?

Explore your interests:

  • Explore the world, test yourself, and see things you never thought possible.
  • Why wait until college to practice another language? Gap programs can drastically improve your ability with a foreign language (something that looks very good on a college application or a resume).
  • Help other communities and learn about social issues around the world.

Earn college credit:

  • ISA Gap programs give you the opportunity to earn college credit before you even get to school. Not only do you get to travel the world and gain valuable life experience, but you can also get a head start on your way to a degree. The universities ISA works with are top notch, and the course selections offered in ISA Gap programs cover virtually every discipline out there!

Start diversifying your college application and building your resume:

  • In today's world, experience studying and working abroad is becoming more and more valuable as many companies are looking to hire new employees with some form of international experience. With the world becoming increasingly globalized, having the ability to speak another language or understand the perspective of a client from a different culture is becoming a widely sought after skill.

Gain self-confidence and independence:

  • A Gap program will challenge you in ways you might not expect. Whether it is figuring out how to order a cup of coffee in a restaurant in Shanghai, or navigating the Subte metro system in Buenos Aires, dealing with these issues(and eventually conquering them), will instill a newfound confidence and strength that is difficult to find elsewhere.

Immerse yourself into another culture:

  • One of the most important goals of any Gap program should be cultural immersion. What is the point of traveling to a different country if you don't intend to learn anything about it? ISA has the strong belief that students will most benefit from their study abroad programs if they are as immersed in the host culture as possible. Therefore, we have gone to great lengths to provide countless cultural opportunities for our students in homestays, partner language exchanges, local cultural activities, excursions, and more.

Where Can I Go?

Academic: Available Gap Programs

Service Learning & Internships: Available Programs

It is important to note certain Gap sites have different eligibility requirements for entrance into their programs. Some sites have strict age requirements or other prerequisites that might affect a student's eligibility for the program. It is therefore important to check the requirements on each program page before applying.

Why Choose ISA?

One of the first impressions that we hope students will have of ISA is our service-oriented attitude towards study abroad. We are here to help each student throughout the entire study abroad process. From a student's initial contact with an ISA representative, we hope that he or she will quickly realize how important each individual is to us. We take each student's requests very seriously, and we are able to be flexible in order to meet his or her specific needs.

Our commitment to each student distinguishes ISA among other study abroad providers. We are available to assist students, parents, and university faculty and advisors throughout the study abroad process, from choosing the appropriate program for your level and interest to completing the application process and participating successfully in the study abroad experience. In addition to our ISA team in the U.S., ISA offers students the support of our qualified, full-time resident directors in each of our program sites. They are committed to maximizing each student's study abroad experience, both academically and culturally, and are well trained to guide our students through any situation that might arise while abroad.

So Where do I Start?

It's important that you do your research and choose the program that best fits your goals.
Follow these steps to get on the right track:

1. Think about where you want to go, what you want to do, and for how long you want to go.

2. Consider what type of city you want to live in; some program sites are amongst the largest cities in the world, while others are smaller college towns.

3. Once you have an idea of what type of program you want to do, then you should start searching through the different Gap programs we offer. Visit and look into the courses tab inside of each program page. Some programs might be specialized for certain areas of study while others might focus on an entirely different discipline, so it is important to look into what courses are offered where.

4. To help you along the way, we have a team of Outreach Associates who are trained to advise you through the program selection process and answer any questions you might have. You can get in touch with us by calling the ISA office at 512-480-8522 or by sending an email to

To learn more about the host country culture, visit the 'culture corner' tab which you can find on the left hand side of each program page. This will help you get a feel for what the city or town is like to live in: how big it is, what the cost of living is, cultural activities you can do, transportation, etc.

How to Apply?

Apply Online

If you need anything or can't find what you're looking for, you can contact ISA Gap Programs via: or by phone at 512-480-8522.