Gap Semester


100 Days of open-ended adventure.

Starting in January means CGS students have a gap semester to work, travel, volunteer, or take a class or two.


Push Yourself to Your Limits

Miles Jones decided to spend his gap semester taking an epic outdoor trip with the National Outdoor Leadership School. He spent 32 days mountaineering, 32 days kayaking, prepared food, and took a medical course.


Think about doing what you love or what you are passionate about.

Miles Jones ('19)


Follow your passions

Bruce Dennis (’19) worked at a clothing company and an ice cream store during the gap semester. He took some time to pursue his interest in fashion and built his professional network along the way.


Use this time to really do something you want to do. Just spend time on yourself if you want to read, watch movies, draw, take pictures.

Bruce Dennis ('19)


From filmmaking to fashion to family

The 2018 gap semester produced some eye-catching student projects. One entering freshman snared a spot on the Boston Celtics dance squad. Another screened her short film on the film festival circuit. And Tess Pollins wound up with a new little sister.


I am so thankful that I had this time off from school to focus on my own personal interests.

Guenevere Dunstan ('20)


Collaborate with your CGS academic advisor

Your partnership with your advisor starts right after you accept your admission. Collaborate with them to discuss your dreams, goals, passions, and plans for your gap semester.

Our academic advisors can give you tools for self-reflection, help you decide which classes are right for you, and give advice on how to make the most of your gap semester. Visit this section to hear from our advisors. This list of recommended gap semester programs may be a helpful starting point for your conversations.


Get to know other cultures and places

Climbing Mt. Fuji, taking an immersion course overseas, hiking the Swiss Alps, or spending time in the rainforest—just a few ways CGS students have spent their travels.


Spend more time with the people you love

Whether you stay at home or go far, you can use the gap semester to visit family, spend more time with loved ones, or travel to see friends.


Build professional skills with a job or internship

Get work experience before you go to college. Work in a field you want to pursue, do an internship, or build your professional skills in the gap semester.


Make a difference—at home or around the world

Whether you travel through a volunteer program, give back in your spare time, or choose an internship that does good for the world– the gap semester is a chance to focus on others.

Focus on you

Pursue a passion or learn something new

A gap semester can give you the space to try something new, reflect on your identity, pursue a hobby or a passion project, or just spend more time doing things that you love and enjoy.


Set goals and practice self-reflection

Phoebe Bobola (’18, CAS’20) used the gap semester to set daily goals for herself, do yoga, work, and get out into nature. Her advice: “Take that gap semester and use it to self-reflect.”


Traveling from Chicago to Asia and back

Graham Rodes (’20) managed to work, take an online class, and leave the continent for the first time for a trip to Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam.


Bringing a sustainability project to life

Madeleine Salman (’20) volunteered at her high school and brought a local sustainability project to the finish line during her gap semester.