How do you want to remember your gap year: anxiously trying to put a plan together without fully knowing where you’re headed OR knowing exactly what you’re working towards, how you’re going to get there, and where to start - backed by a community of other gap year students and experts rooting you along on your journey?
The truth is, you’ve got one year (or one semester!) to make the most of your gap. And sometimes, that can put some serious pressure on you as a recent grad or unfulfilled post-secondary student.
There’s so much to consider:
What goals do I want to accomplish?
What plans will I set in motion?
How will I build my resume along the way?
How do I create accountability and consistency in my schedule?
Where can I meet other Gappers experiencing something similar?
Remember how fast last year slipped by? Guaranteed your gap year will go even faster.
That’s why optimizing the your gap year can make all the difference in where you end up 6, 9 and 12 months down the road (and the following years to come!).
The Gap Year GPS is a 12-month program that helps Gappers (that’s what we call gap year students!) make the most of their gap year.
With clear goals and plans, community activities and experiential learning opportunities that help you lead a truly uniquely gap year, not only do you learn to take the steering wheel of your life, you’re also showing the world your potential as you build your resume.
So, what does the GPS look like?
The Gap Year GPS is a 12-month program providing support throughout your entire gap year (or join in whenever you find us).
No, it’s not a 40 hour per week program, but it is meant to be done alongside all of the amazing things you plan to do, like travelling, working, or volunteering.
We provide you the structure to stay motivated and on track to achieving your goals with enough flexibility to fit in all your gap year goodness. Think of it like a gym membership - something you can do a little bit every day or once a week depending on what you want to get out of it.
The program runs both virtually and in person. In-person events are available in the GTA, Vancouver & Calgary and are contingent on a minimum of 10 registrations from that geographical region. Other in-person locations could be possible with a minimum number of registrations.
September - November
Meet your GPS mentor, coach and cohort for a 1-day orientation that focuses on connecting with your cohort and prepping your gap year plan. You will identify your gap year goals, research potential activities and connect with resources and ideas to make your plan come alive
Following our orientation, you will meet your mentor in-person/online bi-weekly to keep up momentum as you fall into the rhythm of your newfound schedule and design what your year will encompass.
Each month, you will also get access to a workshop hosted by our team of Gap Year Experts on a critical theme to your gap year success. We introduce you to gap year hacks that will make sure you are having fun, getting a better understanding of who you are and where you want to go in life while gaining real-world adulting skills. Isn’t that what your gap year is all about?!
In-between each session, ask questions, use our resources and chat with your mentor, coach and peers through our 24/7 chat platform - As part of GPS, we’ve got your back at all times!
Orientation: Saturday, September 30th, 2023 (in-person), Sunday, October 1st, 2023 Virtual
Bi-weekly Meetings: TBD with cohort - 1 hour every other week
Workshops: The Last Thursday of each month at 8:30 pm EST/5:30 PST
Gap Year Grad: Virtual Event June 26. 2024
December - April
After 3 months of more instructional support, it’s time to take the lead on achieving your gap year goals and working towards your gap year badges.. To support your ambition, you’ll meet bi-weekly with your mentor to ensure you’re on track for success (and to help you put up the guardrails if you find yourself steering off track). Our monthly workshops continue to enhance your gap year experience.
Readiness & Reintegration
May - August
In our final months together, you’ll cross that finish line feeling excited, accomplished and ready for your next steps! Along the way, we’ll be celebrating your achievements with our annual Gap Year Grad. We’ll also get you set up to confidently take on your new post-secondary step with concrete planning, including updating your kick-butt resume and LinkedIn profile!
Sign up before September and receive our 4-Step Gap Year Planner and attend our exclusive Gap Year Planning Workshop for FREE (Planner - $29 value, Workshop $50 value)
What does this EPIC 12 month journey include?
Here’s the thing: a gap year takes work. To be honest, it can be more work than college or uni. You see, when you’re in school, someone else provides structure, discipline, and goal oriented tasks making it much easier to know what’s going on and where you’re headed.
A gap year is quite the opposite. You no longer have teachers telling you what to do, you build your own schedule, you set your own goals and work at your own pace - and sometimes, that can be extremely challenging when you’ve never had to do it before!
The Gap Year GPS gives you the structure, access to unique opportunities, actionable advice, emotional support, community, and tools needed to set yourself up for independence, success, post-secondary and career readiness, and all those other things that life throws at you as you begin “adulting”.
A few highlights Gappers LOVE about the program:
Get connected with a crew of creative, ambitious, and diverse Gappers in your small cohort AND our larger forum of gappers from across the country.
Kick off your year with Gap Year Frosh Week and the GPS Orientation with your cohort of Gappers and wrap up with Gap Year Grad.
Get to know YOU outside of the classroom, understand what shapes who you are, what you value, and prioritize wellness in ways that make sense for your needs.
Give your career a head start by diving into key skills like financial literacy and project management as you apply them to your own REAL projects in the REAL world.
SMALL COHORT COMMUNITIES
Work with gap year alum/mentors and your peers to craft your goals, a gap year plan and hold each other accountable. Get inspired by others’ plans or make plans together as you navigate this year with your new gap year besties. Get tips on the goals you’re working towards, how to take action towards your goals, how to get unstuck when you, well, get stuck along the way.
Use our 24/7 chat platform to access your mentors, coaches, fellow gappers and a ton of activities to help you maximize your year or overcome challenges that come up along the way.
ACCESS TO ALUM AND EXPERTS
As a member of the GPS program, you get assigned a mentor to work with throughout the year. These are recent Gap Year Alum who can lean on their lived experience and the CanGap training they receive to support you on your journey. They host bi-weekly meetups and are available on our chat platform to answer your questions.
CanGap Gap Year Experts with experience in international travel, project management, entrepreneurship, social justice and career and educational planning are also available through the chat platform and deliver monthly workshops so you can level-up your gap year game!
What kind of Gappers love this program?
If you’re all about meeting new people, exploring your potential, and grabbing opportunity by the horns, this is the program for you.
More specifically, if you’re:
Worried about how you’re going to make the most of your gap year
Anxious about all of the unanswered questions about your gap year
Nervous about making decisions on your own and would benefit from coaching
Looking for cool new opportunities that you never knew existed
Curious about trying new things
Wanting to explore existing and new passions
Then this is exactly the space you want to be in for your gap year.
What Gappers are saying about spending
their gap year with CanGap
Ready to launch into a gap year of absolutely awesome-ness?
Does Gap Year GPS sound like the PERFECT program to support your gap year, but you require financial assistance to access it? Please fill out this bursary application.
Did you know you can pay for CanGap programs by converting your loyalty points (i.e. Aeroplan and American Express) into HigherEdPoints? Click here to learn how!
We got answers!
Q: Do I need to know what I’m going to do on my gap year before enrolling?
A: No! In fact, the first step inside the portal is to help you understand your options and create your gap year plan (so it’s almost BETTER if you’re not sure what you want to do yet!).
Q: Are there any age restrictions?
A: Nope! We welcome gappers at all ages and stages. About 70% of our gappers come right out of high school but 30% have completed some (or all) post-secondary. The content is very mature and relevant to anyone getting ready to 'adult.'
Q: How much freedom is there to do what I want within the framework of the program?
A: Tons! The GPS isn’t about telling you what to do – it’s about opening your eyes to what’s possible and providing the framework and support for YOU to decide which direction to go.
Q: Is the Program for Canadians only?
A: No! Though we are a Canadian non-profit, we welcome participants from around the globe.
Q: Can I get one-on-one help if I need it?
A: Yes! GPS includes 12 months of 30-minute one-on-one mentorship. If you require additional support, we recommend you enroll in one of our gap year coaching programs.
Can't wait to see you inside the GPS!
Q: What measures are in place to keep participants on track?
A: There are lots of ways we keep participants motivated and moving forward including scheduled live (online) events, check-ins and encouragement through our online community and automatic reminders when you haven’t accessed the course in a while or hit a particular milestone.
Q: My parent is going to sign me up. How do I provide you my information once they do?
A: It’s often parents who do the actual enrolling – which is just fine. They should input their own information and yours during the check-out process. Once that’s complete, you'll receive details to your email about how to access the GPS and next steps.
Q: Is this program for me if I don’t want to travel or need/plan to work on my gap year?
A: Absolutely. Whether you plan to travel, volunteer, work – or some combo of these, the GPS is ideal for you.