With six years of experience supporting gap year students and managing study abroad programs, Free to Roam Adventures offers unique expertise by bridging gap years to higher education. Free to Roam Adventures offers gap year program design services for institutions seeking to develop their own gap year program; as well as exclusive gap year planning and mentoring to individual cohorts of incoming students.
Services for Institutions:
Program Design and Best Practices
Individual Student Mentoring
Identifying Vetted Local Partners & Placements
Risk Management Advising
Facilitating Pre-Departure Orientation, Mid-Trip Reflections, and Post-Trip Debrief Sessions
Post Program Follow-up & Support
Benefits of Offering a Gap Year Program at your institution:
Well-planned gap years develop globally minded young adults with grit and resilience, prepared to succeed in college and beyond.
Institutions with existing Gap Year Programs affirm they have proven important tools in recruiting top-tier students who were also offered admission to other institutions of similar size and ranking.
A Gap Year Program allows your institution to admit more students during the fall semester without the pressure of having to house those students on campus. Single semester gap year cohorts arrive on campus for the spring semester, when housing tends to be more available.
According to informal Gap Year data, students who have a global experience early on positively impact an institution's rankings in terms of graduation rates, average GPA, and level of civic engagement. A survey run by the Institute for Survey Research at Temple University of approximately 1,000 American Gap Year students and alumni reported:
83% of respondents indicated a GPA of 3.0 or higher. 42% reported a GPA of 3.7 (or higher)
The median time to graduation was 3.75 years
89% reported participating in community service in the last month
Respondents are almost twice as likely to vote in national elections
86% indicated they were satisfied or very satisfied with their jobs
Institutions may elect to recruit first-generation, low-income, or minority students who are traditionally under-represented in education abroad.
Research indicates that the earlier in their college career students have a global experience, the more time students have to integrate their knowledge into their course of studies, both inside and outside the classroom.
Students who have an international experience early on are likely to develop a sustained interest in global learning and seek out more immersive, student-directed study abroad or research opportunities later in their undergraduate careers.
Participation by faculty as leaders or onsite instructors ensures that the Gap Year Program aligns with your institution's unique culture, and provides opportunity for faculty to develop mentoring relationships with students.
An interdisciplinary approach to the academic structure makes the program accessible to students with diverse academic interests, and encourages students to approach learning with a multidisciplinary lens.
Mentoring is a crucial aspect of the gap year experience. We offer expertise in facilitating reflection through group debrief sessions and written pieces (blogs, journals, and other reflective writing exercises).
A Gap Year Program allows students to cultivate global competencies that they will utilize throughout their academic and professional careers. In addition to gaining cultural fluency, we intend to develop students who are dynamic and innovative, who demonstrate resilience, and are not afraid to take risks. Our student-focused approach to gap year programming allows us to create programs with long-term benefits for students.