Gap Year Testimonials

Student Reviews on
Taylor The Gap Services:

"My gap year was, and will always be, the greatest year of my life, and I have Taylor The Gap to thank for all of it! Her recommendations were superb and I loved the helpful advice she emailed me along the way. She is well informed and easy to reach, and her first priority was for me to enjoy my year as much as possible."

From Melanie who spent her gap year in Panama, Costa Rica, and France.

"It was such a pleasure to work with Marion on my gap year plan as she efficiently demystified what could have been a very confusing, stressful process. She paid attention to my specific desires and goals and showed me a a wide range of options. Marion used her own experience and knowledge to encourage me to take my gap year somewhere where I had never been before, and her consistent communication, both with me and with the leaders of the programs, made me feel like I was on top of it all."

From Audrey , a student who explored global issues in Bolivia and Ecuador and studied Spanish in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

"Marion was a joy to work with and gave me insight into the structure of various gap programs. She put me into direct contact with program directors of prospective opportunities and without her, my gap year would have turned out vastly different. She is eager to work with you; her services are thorough; and she cares to find the right gap year for you. I recommend Taylor the Gap because she is an expert in the field and will connect you to the people you need."

From Andrea who volunteered in a conservation program in New Zealand, traveled in Southeast Asia, and both worked with women in cottage industries in Katmandu, and trekked in Nepal.

"Marion Taylor knows nearly everything to know about gap years. If you have any anxiety for you or your child's gap year, she is a great resource and she will steer you in the right direction."

From Seth who traveled in Southeast Asia, Panama, India, and backpacked independently in Eastern Europe.

"Marion took time to get to know me well before recommending specific gap companies based on a best-fit methodology of conversations and questionnaires. She was always easy to reach and aided me with every step, allowing me to balance my gap year planning with school, college applications, standardized tests, and extracurricular activities."

From Brad who traveled in Argentina, Baja, and Indonesia.

" Marion walked me through all of my dreams and examined every possibility, giving each the attention and care it deserved as a real opportunity. Throughout the whirlwind of potential gap experiences, she always remained focused on me as an individual. She adroitly selected the programs that would allow the most growth while having me explore a very different culture and experience the greatest adventure."

From Larkin who studied theater in England, trekked in Scotland, and traveled in Indonesia.

Parent Reviews on
Taylor The Gap Services:

"Marion's assistance with selecting a gap semester for my daughter was invaluable in navigating the various programs. Marion was conscientious about my child's particular needs and desired outcome. I was confident that my child was going to have a safe and exciting cultural immersion experience."

From Suzanne whose daughter spent a gap semester in Peru and Ecuador.

"I hired Marion to help my struggling niece who lived out of state and was a senior in high school. She was conflicted on whether she should apply to art school or college or go traveling after high school. Marion worked with her via e-mail and Skype and helped my niece explore various Gap Year programs. I'm happy to report my niece ended up doing two different linguistics programs in Prague and Russia last year. She is starting college this Fall in Arizona and will be studying Linguistics and Art."

From Georgette, the aunt of a young woman who studied in Prague and Russia over the course of her gap year.

"Despite knowing that our high school graduate needed additional time and a focused experience before heading to college, we were immobilized with these concerns and fears.

In return for what we thought was a very reasonable consultant fee, Marion met with our son to interview him, understand his passions, concerns and fears, and suggest a variety of vetted programs for him to further research. At subsequent meetings, they worked through his shortlist to select the (truly!) perfect program. She continued to be a resource with applications, deadlines, and now upon his return, she has been very helpful through the not-always-easy process of applying for college credit at the home university.

Marion comes with my highest recommendation for her knowledge, empathy, energy, and follow​ ​through. She made a daunting and complicated process vastly easier, taking our parental stress level down several notches. What a great resource!"

​​From Arthur, whose son traveled in Peru and Ecuador with a structured gap program in the Fall, and volunteered at an animal sanctuary in Costa Rica in the Spring.

"The options and information about the possible gap pathways is completely overwhelming for kids and their parents. Without ​Marion's ​help and advice about specific opportunities and programs, we ​might​ still be ​g​oogling options.

​Our daughter​ had a wonderful year. The variety of places she went and experience​d​ have helped her to mature in countless ways. One particularly memorable story​ while visiting our daughter​ in Tanzania. It was a brutal amount of travel for a pretty short stay. But, we'll never forget glancing at each other over and over during our trip with 'Who IS this lovely, capable, culturally sensitive, worldly​,​ young woman?!' She​ shepherded her parents through eastern Africa with great ease!"

From Becky, mother of a student who combined various gap experiences in Nepal, Wyoming, and Tanzania.

"Taylor the Gap took a lot of the worry out of our daughter's gap year. We knew the programs she was considering had been vetted by Marion and would deliver what they promised. When our daughter decided mid-year to change her plans, Marion responded quickly to help her find alternative programs on short notice."

From Susan, mother of gap year student who traveled in Borneo and volunteered in Thailand and South Africa.

"Marion has worked with ​us and our ​son to design a Gap Year within our budget and the experiences that were important to us all. Marion’s assessment questionnaire, personal meetings with our son,​ and years of experience have made the process of planning a gap year seamless."

From Dale and Susan, parents of a student who studied Spanish in Argentina, sailed and sea kayaked in Baja, and explored the islands of Indonesia.

"Marion took on the challenge of helping our daughter structure her gap semester and handled everything with grace and expertise. She swiftly got to know our daughter and her ideas and goals well, while hearing and respecting our parental concerns and boundaries. We are deeply grateful for Marion's help and guidance."

From Currie, mother of a student who joined a Shakespeare theater program in England, trekked in Scotland, and studied environmental conservation and climate change in Indonesia.

 

Student Perspectives on
Gap Year Experiences:

"My gap year will help me so much in college. I've been through the independence-shock, the loneliness scare, the 'something in my life is missing,what do I do? anxiety. I can't wait to funnel all my attention and passion into my classes and clubs and grow myself into the individual I know I can become. Taking a year off of structured school really excites you to start studying again. All of these are things I would have NEVER said straight out of high school"

From Melanie who spent her gap year in Panama, Costa Rica, and France with a variety of gap programs and independently.

"When I was first told I was going to be missing a semester of college, I felt like I was falling behind the rest of my classmates. But now that I am a sophomore, I realize that my fears couldn't be further from the truth. Traveling through Asia and meeting so many incredible people along the way has not only humbled me, but also provided incredible personal inspiration. After spending a week in Ko Lao, Thailand, building a community center for the displaced Moken People, I was moved to pursue social entrepreneurship, which I am now studying at college."

From Cody who spent the fall semester with a structured gap program volunteering and traveling in South East Asia.

"It made me realize what my parents have done for me and allowed me to figure things out on my own and gain real life experience. It made the world smaller and at the same time bigger. It was by far the best experience I've ever had."

From Sam who earned money working in his hometown to pay for both a semester with a mountaineering program in India and his airfare to New Zealand, where he worked at a ski shop in Wanaka.

"I made incredible friends, connected with families in villages I plan to return to in the future, picked up a new language, and learned more about my values and beliefs than in all of my years in high school. Most importantly, I now have an idea about what I am most passionate about and want to pursue in college and even past school. Choosing to take a gap year is incredibly difficult and intimidating, but taking the risk and embracing a year of surprises and uncertainty creates possibilities to learn about yourself and the world"

From Liza who combined gap experiences involving a rugged immersion program in Indonesia in the fall followed by an internship in Cape Costa, Ghana, West Africa.

"The experiences that I gained and the things that I learned about myself were invaluable. It is not a year off; it is a year of life experience and a year to grow"

From Connor who interned in London, England, for the U.S. Embassy and taught in indigenous communities in Peru and Ecuador, South America.

"Taking a gap year was the best decision I ever made. I learned more about myself and life than I ever thought possible. I am forever grateful for this gift of time and feel better prepared for the next chapters in my life."

From Schuyler who combined a rigorous outdoor wilderness program in the South Island with a work placement on a sheep farm in the North Island of New Zealand.

Parent Perspectives on
Gap Year Experiences:

"Sending our 20 year old son on a GAP semester in Southeast Asia turned out to be a great decision. He came home with life-long memories and friends. He also went back to college with a new focus and a clearer direction of where he wanted to go in his life. A good investment!"

From Claire, whose son Ben spent ten weeks in South East Asia.

"We encouraged our son to take a gap year so he could hit the "pause button" and redirect his learning through life experiences. Initially, he thought it would be awkward to go in a different direction than all his friends heading to college, but once he set out on his journey, he never looked back nor questioned this decision. Allowing more time "to bake" with a gap year, our son gained an array of life tools and skills which include maturity, independence, perspective, appreciation, ability to overcome challenges, knowledge,confidence, and happiness."

From Sarah a parent whose son spent his gap year in New Zealand followed by employment in Colorado.

"We planted the gap year idea in our son's head during his sophomore year of high school; so by the time he was a senior, it seemed like a reasonable idea to him. The combined experiences overseas taught him to become comfortable living on his own away from home as well as to become independent in time management and budgeting. In his freshman year at college, he is much more mature in managing his life than I think he would have been without his experiences in England and South America."

From Kathi a parent whose son combined working in England and South America over the course of his gap year.

Adult Perspectives on
Gap Year Experiences:

"The thought of taking a significant break from my job to pick up and travel the world for almost a year seemed incredibly daunting, yet I was at a point in my career where I felt I needed a fresh perspective, not only on my job, but on my life.

Traveling for nine months through Australia, India, Istanbul, England and Iceland afforded me a wonderful first-hand perspective on the world.

Standing out were the people I met in my travels, many of whom are now life-long friends. They opened to me new ideas, new cultures, new world-views, and an opportunity to share their joys, struggles, and life stories which were so different from mine. Every encounter was a learning experience and an opportunity to share our common humanity, no matter what language, religion, or culture."

From Susan who after working for 15 years in the same job, traveled for 9 months throughout Australia, India, Turkey, England, and Iceland.

"Africa is my passion. And over my lifetime, a few countries had still eluded and constantly intrigued me. As age 60 approached, I felt a sense of “now or never” in terms of choosing and carving out an ideal time.

Volunteering in Tanzania and Rwanda in different settings reaffirmed my ability to travel independently, to problem solve, to learn an uncommon and difficult dialect, to make friendships within two different cultures, and adapt to and overcome both physically and emotionally challenging situations. Having lived so comfortably in the United States, I was constantly reminded of our high standard of living and the many freedoms we take for granted. As an "older" adult, I often drew from my range of life skills to cope-problem solving, perspective, humor, and resilience."

From Marion who after sending the fourth and last child off to college, volunteered with women in Tanzania and Rwanda for two months.