"In the fall of my senior year, I contacted the Center for Interim Programs, a company that arranges gap-year programs for students.I knew I wanted to go to a country where I hadn’t been before, and I designed a program with its help. I spent the first half of that year helping villagers in Ghana and the second half studying art history in Italy. My four months in Ghana turned out to be a defining experience. It introduced me to the field of international development."
"That experience was the biggest challenge I’d ever had — emotionally, intellectually and physically, but it was also the most rewarding.
After Ghana, I went home for a month and then studied art history in Venice for three months. I was glad for the opportunity, but art history was more an avocation. I wasn’t drawn to it the way I was to the work in Ghana."There are other ways to take a gap year (this way, obviously has costs involved). AmeriCorp or the Peace Corps are others.