Gap Year

What is a Gap Year?
Quite simply, this is a year off from studying. It has been common practice for students in Australia, England and other European countries, as well as many leading prep schools in the U.S. to take a year off between the time they finish High School and before they enter college. Some students take a year off during their college years and others take a year off in the period after completing college and before continuing with higher educational programs. “ Gap Years” and “ Gap Year Programs” are now becoming the trend in the U.S. They are becoming increasingly popular with students, parents and colleges.

Why take a Gap Year?
Students take “Gap Years” for a variety of reasons but the most common reason is that they feel they are not ready for college. They don’t feel that their high school experience has prepared them adequately for college life. Completing a “Gap Year Program” can be a very rewarding experience for a student and can do wonders for their personal development and growth. It gives them the time and opportunity to gain the state of preparedness for college that they previously lacked.

Parents naturally want the best for their children and want to provide them with the best education possible. Sometimes it feels like we live in a very fast paced society where the pressure is to rush our children through high school and college as quickly as possible. Perhaps that became acceptable as the “norm” because everybody else was acting in the same manner. Unfortunately, this does not help with an indidual's personal development and may be quite damaging. Every year this causes many high school students to inform their parents that they are not going to go to college. While this may be very disappointing for parents to hear, at least now they can sit down with their children and discuss an appropriate “Gap Year Program,” and have peace of mind in knowing that their children will be able to acquire the necessary self preparedness for college, and that they will in fact attend college next year.

It is interesting to note that the trend among many top universities, including Harvard, is to encourage students to take a year off and complete a “Gap Year Program” before entering their first year at university. Students who explore and experience the world more before going to university or college, tend to be more self aware, more mature and focused than their peers.

Island TEFL Gap Year Program
Become a volunteer,” Travelling Teacher” in a tropical paradise in Thailand
Thailand is often referred to as “the land of a thousand smiles”

This program was originally designed to offer “Gap Year” students the opportunity to make a difference by volunteering to provide English language instruction to Thai students in poor schools throughout Thailand. It has since been expanded to offer English language instruction to people employed, or hoping to gain employment, within the Travel and Tourism industry in Thailand. Most of these people do not have access to English language instructors.

The vast majority of Thai schools do not have foreign English teachers. Thailand has an urgent and constant need for native English speakers and you can help immediately. Wherever you choose to be of service, your students will have two things in common. First, they will have tremendous gratitude for your time and attention. Second, they will only have a very basic level of English language skills, so don’t worry if you have never taught before, or if you have never taught English before!

Island TEFL provides Gap Year Students with three broad options.

Option 1

Gap Year with Island TEFL
Gap Year students have the opportunity to travel to Thailand to gain an internationally recognized teaching certificate after completing a one month Island TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) training course at any of our locations. That training will be followed by a month long teaching assignment at the same location. Students have the choice to teach in schools or in hotels, resorts and other businesses. This is the same as our Package B offering (see our home page for more Package B details). The cost for the two month program is only about $2,100 and accommodation is included.

After the two months are completed students have the option of completing subsequent monthly volunteer teaching assignments at the same location, or they can opt to travel to one or more different Island TEFL locations to do their subsequent monthly volunteer teaching assignments. In addition to the Island TEFL locations listed on the website, volunteer teaching positions are also available in the Central region of Thailand, in the cities of Nakhon Nayok and Subhan Buri, in the Northeastern region of Thailand (Isaan), in the provinces of Nakhon Ratchasima, Udon Thani and Khon Kaen and in Northern Thailand in the province of Chiang Mai.

At every location students decide to volunteer they are assigned a mentor, who is fluent in both Thai and English. Mentors are there to help students with lesson planning, teaching and any problems that they may encounter during their stay in Thailand.


During these subsequent volunteer teaching months, students have the option of staying at the same accommodation facilities that we use for our other Island TEFL course students or they can stay with a Thai host family who will become their friends and support group. Each student will have their own bedroom. One member of the family will be a teacher or staff member at the school where the student is volunteering.

The cost per student for each subsequent month of volunteer teaching under the Gap Year program is only $780. This includes accommodation and meals when you stay with a host family but it does not include transportation costs from one Island TEFL location to another, if the student chooses to do volunteer teaching placements at more than one location.

Option 2

Gap Year with Island TEFL

This option provides Gap Year students the opportunity to "Team Teach" in the same volunteer placement locations listed above, without doing a TEFL training course. The only requirement is attending an orientation meeting. Gap Year students will assist a teacher in the classroom in the school they are volunteering. The teaching schedule is quite flexible. You may choose to "Team Teach" as little as two hours a day, one day a week. We recommend that you do not exceed 4-one hour classes per day. All the other details remain the same as Option 1. The monthly cost for Option 2 is only $780. You may find your volunteer teaching experience so rewarding that you want to stay in Asia longer as an English Language Instructor. If so, our TEFL course is always available to you.


What do you get for $780 per month?
* Free transfer from the airport
*An orientation meeting where you will meet fellow Gap Year Students, your Placement Coordinator and your Coach/Mentor
*The choice of monthly homestay accommodation with a Thai family, one member of which will be a Teacher or Staff member at your placement school, or your own private accommodation
*Meals provided by your host family and free lunch every day at the school.
*Reasonable access to the internet (depending on location)
*A coach/mentor who is a native English speaking teacher and will meet with you weekly


Flexible teaching hours and days, up to 4 hours per day; 4 days per week – providing up to 60 hours of practical teaching experience with the same groups of students


Letter of Appreciation from your host school’s Director confirming teaching hours delivered and levels taught (excellent addendum to your CV or Resume!)

Ongoing support and assistance from your Placement Coordinator and Coach/Mentor for the duration of the volunteer placement

Mobile phone with international SIM card, allowing you to stay in touch with family and friends
*The fun of exploring a new culture
*The privilege of being of service
*The possibility of a new career

Option 3

Gap Year with Island TEFL
Option three offers the opportunity to participate in some exciting educational programs in Thailand through Island TEFL's partnership with "Asian Gap Year. Please visit for more details

For more information on Gap Year Program please contact