Ways to Save Money

Itching to Travel? Here’s How to Take a Gap Year for Free Before College

June 13, 2014
by Heather van der Hoop
Contributor

Hey, high school students! Did you know some colleges will pay for you to take a gap year to travel and work overseas?

Yes, you heard that right.

While the price tag of a year volunteering abroad often puts such trips out of reach, some colleges now offer to foot the bill for airfare, housing and visa fees — costs that can hit $30,000 or more for the year. (Click to tweet this opportunity!)

Tufts University is the latest college to introduce such a program, Newsweek reports. The Tufts 1+4 Program, which will place about 50 students as volunteers with national and international organizations, goes into effect in the fall of 2015.

Wondering what other colleges offer similar opportunities?

Princeton University

Through the Bridge Year Program, students spend nine months working at community organizations and living with homestay families in either Brazil, China, India, Peru or Senegal. The program covers living expenses and financial aid is available to cover travel, insurance, immunizations and other related costs.

The University of North Carolina

Incoming first-year students can apply for one of seven Global Gap Year Fellowships worth $7,500, which can be used in conjunction with university partnerships in Kenya or Malawi, or as part of a self-designed program.

St. Norbert College

Students participating in the Gap Experience receive full academic credit for a year of outdoor leadership and international service, which replaces the traditional freshman year. Tuition, room and board are the same as regular school fees, so financial aid can help students afford to participate — though they’ll need to fund their own travel costs.

Your Turn: Would you take advantage of one of these funded gap year programs? Know of any others we should add to this list?

by Heather van der Hoop
Contributor for The Penny Hoarder

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