Gap Year Programs Abroad

Who are CET Gap Students?

They are motivated, hardworking high school graduates looking for an immersive challenge abroad for a semester, academic year, or summer. Whether it’s Japanese in Osaka, Arabic in Amman, Chinese in Beijing, or Italian in Siena, gap students dive into academically rigorous programs and learn alongside college students from prestigious universities across the US. Apart from language acquisition, gap students are also interested in taking on a foreign culture, and building cultural competency and independence.

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Eligibility & Inclusion

To be eligible for a CET Gap program, you must:

  • Be 18 or older at the time of program participation (or earlier, in some cases, due to visa requirements)
  • Have a high school diploma but are not yet enrolled at a college or university degree program

We believe in making study abroad accessible to all students. We recruit and actively support academically qualified students of all races, religions, origins, abilities, gender identities, and sexual orientations.

Application Process

Applicants are generally expected to have a cumulative high school GPA of at least 3.0. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis until the final application deadline. The online application requires:

  • An application form including short essays
  • An official high school transcript
  • Transcripts for any college-level courses taken
  • One letter of recommendation from a high school teacher or college professor

CET Financial Assistance and Scholarships

We are committed to increasing access to study abroad for gap students. CET has a financial assistance pool for students who demonstrate family financial need. Award amounts usually range from $250 to $2,000.

It’s easy to apply. Fill out the Financial Assistance Application in your CET account and submit the required financial information. We’ll notify you about financial assistance shortly after your program application has been reviewed.


A program deposit of $500 is required within two weeks of acceptance to confirm a space in the program and is applied to the program fee. Final payment is typically due several weeks before departure. The exact due date for payment will be posted in your online account. Payment can be made by check, credit card, or money order. There is no surcharge for using a credit card.
Laurie Black
Laurie’s career in international education spans 25+ years and has focused on strategic partnerships, marketing and enrollment, program development, and grants management. Her first professional position in the field was Study Abroad Advisor at the University of Vermont in 1992. She then joined the School for International Training, serving in a variety of roles before becoming Dean for External Relations & Strategic Enrollment Management for the high school, undergraduate, and graduate programs. Laurie earned her BA in Sociology/Rhetoric & Communications at the University of Virginia, and her MA in International Education at SIT Graduate Institute. She has served on the Forum on Education Abroad Council, worked actively for access and inclusion in education abroad, and presented on numerous topics at national conferences.

Laurie Black

Director, High School & Pre-College Division

202.750.8070   [email protected]

Tess Cannon

Tess discovered the personal and academic impacts of cross-cultural exposure and exchange firsthand as a Rotary Youth Exchange Student during her junior year of high school. Later, she studied abroad in Italy, Germany, and Macedonia as an undergraduate at Seattle University, where she graduated as a Sullivan Scholar with a BA in International Studies and minors in Global Politics and International Economic Development (2010). Tess earned her MA in International Education at the George Washington University (2016). Prior to coming to CET, she was a Fulbright ETA, and worked at Amazon.com, Seattle University, and the George Washington University. Tess is from Juneau, Alaska and enjoys cooking good food, visiting new cities, and snuggling with her cat, Jobi.​

Tess Cannon

High School & Pre-College Manager

202.846.7661   [email protected]