Gap Year Programs

It's Time to Grow

Get ready for a journey of self-discovery with ISA's immersive gap year programs in Italy or Spain that pack a world of experience into 12 weeks. After a year of staying in, it's time to get out and explore your options, gain life experience, and begin uncovering what you want to do and who you want to be. See new places, try new things, meet new people, and have some fun too.

Each program blends the freedom and adventure of a gap year with just the right amount of structure, support, and learning, setting you up to reach your full future potential while discovering all that Spain or Italy has to offer.

Even better, you'll get time for yourself to reflect on the past and ponder the future. To discover more of your world. To not only survive but thrive. To grow.

Personal Renaissance: Florence Gap Year

What better place to go through your own personal renaissance than the center of the Italian Renaissance? Florence's rich history, architecture, cuisine and lively university scene make it ideal for self-discovery. Live with a local family, travel to come of the region's most famous cities, improve your Italian, take courses at Florence University of the Arts (including one that will completely immerse you in Tuscan cuisine!), volunteer in the community, and fall in love with la dolce vita.

Culture, Community & Churros: Granada Gap Year

Spend your mornings sipping cafe con leche with a side of hot churros, then wander through the ancient city's picturesque streets to your Spanish class before making plans with new friends on where you'll explore in the evening. With it's intriguing Spanish Moor history, mesmerizing architecture, and refreshing student community, Granada offers countless discoveries. Live in a homestay, travel to nearby destinations like Morocco, take a course at the Universidad de Granada, volunteer with a local organization, and sink into Spain's deliciously slower pace of life.

What We Offer


Arrive a visitor but leave a local in Granada, Spain or Florence, Italy


Live in a homestay with a local family or in student accommodations


Learn to say more "hello" and "thank you" from the start of your stay


Connect with the community, culture and location while giving back.


Earn college credit as you travel toward your future transcript

& Excursions

We'll show you all the coolest places - Morocco! Seville! Siena! Rome!

Career Options

Get a feel for university-level classes in culture-focused courses.


With support when you want it. Experience the perfect mix if structure and solo exploration.

Ready to grow?

Apply by June 1 to begin your adventure of a lifetime.

Program Inclusions

Comprehensive Advising and Support

Comprehensive Advising and Support

A team of helpful ISA staff members guides students through the entire study abroad process from application through reentry. The Program Advisors help students with choosing a program to best fit their academic and cultural objectives. Once a program is selected, students then work with the talented team of Program Managers for the application and financial logistics while the seasoned Site Specialists guide students through academic, cultural and functional aspects of their programs.

The personal and individual nature of advising is supplemented by plentiful web-based materials. The ISA online orientation is a fresh, user-friendly layout that assists in program preparation specifically tailored to each program location. Students can further develop personal and academic goals by viewing the ISA student blog, :60 on Study Abroad Video series or the Culture Corner on each city specific page of the website.

Additionally, the ISA Student Portal, an online interface allowing students the ability to upload supplemental program documents and receive valuable information regarding their study abroad program, was developed to assist students with program expectations and includes important pre-departure information on various topics related to their experience abroad.


Airport Reception

Ground transportation is provided from the airport for students who arrive during the ISA designated arrival date and time and at the appropriate airport.

Airport reception is not provided for Intensive Month or J-Term programs.
Housing & Meals

Housing & Meals

The amount of meals and frequency of laundry services vary per location. Meals and laundry services are provided with most homestays. For more details, please refer to the housing information for that particular program.

Tuition at the Host University

Tuition at the Host University

Tuition and administrative fees at the host university are included in the program price. Classes are held at the host university and are taught by local and/or visiting faculty. Some classes will have additional fees that are not included in the program price.


Official Transcript

Upon completion of an ISA program, the student's host university will issue an official transcript with all coursework taken abroad. ISA's Academic Records Department will process and forward the official transcript to the appropriate office at the student's home university, and a photocopy will be sent to the student's permanent home address for their records. Additionally, ISA will provide a cover letter to accompany the transcript with important academic information, including: the host university's grading system and recommended U.S. letter grade equivalencies, translated course titles, and credit conversion recommendations.
Excursions &

Excursions & Cultural Activities

Organized excursions are included with each program to complement the academic component of the student's study abroad experience. These complementary experiences are designed to engage student learning outside of the classroom in the five areas of the Discovery Model. Transportation and guided tours are included as well as hotel accommodations and breakfast during multi-day excursions. Additional optional excursions may be offered during each program that are not included in the program cost, but provide students other opportunities for discovery.

*Excursions are not included for Intensive Month or J-Term programs.


A Blanket Accident and Sickness Policy is included in the price and covers the program participant while abroad for the official on-site period of program. This is not an optional benefit; every ISA participant will be covered by this policy. A full description of coverage can be found on the ISA website.

We recommend that all program participants maintain comprehensive health insurance while abroad. This is particularly important if you have any pre-existing conditions, but is also beneficial if you have an injury or illness while abroad and require further treatment upon your return home. Consult with your current insurance provider to confirm coverage policies while traveling abroad.

On-Site Staff

On-Site Staff

The full-time resident staff assists students with all aspects of their experience abroad. The resident staff provides support during official course registration and arranges the Bridging Cultures Program orientation, excursions, weekly meetings, cultural activities, and much more. Staff members are trained to ensure the well-being of each program participant and are dedicated to facilitating a positive and meaningful study abroad experience.
On-Site Offices

On-Site Offices

Students will have access to many of the resources and facilities at the host university. ISA resident staff members will hold office hours either at the host university or at another pre-determined location in the city each week.

Orientation: Pre-Departure, On-Site & Academic

Orientation: Pre-Departure, On-Site & Academic

The Bridging Cultures Program (BCP) encompasses the ISA on-site orientation delivered to all students in the first days of their ISA program, with key improvements in areas related to goal setting, intercultural awareness, diversity and professional development. For a number of reasons, the first days that follow a student's arrival on site offer us some of the best opportunities to effectively transmit information to program participants. While the pre-departure orientations that students receive from ISA and their home universities are also important, students are typically more ready to focus on their study abroad experience when they arrive at their host country. The BCP is designed to help ISA make the most of this important opportunity to educate students, and to give students the tools that will facilitate discovery and learning during their program. The BCP is an important introduction to a new culture, a new home and a new experience. The BCP is designed to prepare students for a successful, positive and rewarding experience that will influence the rest of their lives. 

24-Hour Emergency

24-Hour Emergency

Health, Safety and Security (HSS) for ISA students is jointly managed by our resident staff and HSS team. This team works to monitor risk at program locations, respond to any crises that may arise and develop policies to further ensure the health, safety and security of students abroad with ISA. HSS also facilitates an in-house on-call system with a U.S.-based employee and manager who are on-call and available in case of emergency 24-7.

ISA regular office hours are Monday through Thursday, 7:00am - 7:00pm and Friday, 7:00am - 5:00pm Central Time. For students or parents who need assistance in an emergency situation outside of the regular office hours, please call the ISA office at 512-480-8522 to access the ISA emergency contact information for that particular week. Students who experience an emergency while abroad will also have access to on-site staff 24-hour emergency assistance. 

Hey parents! Read this.

We get it - seeing your senior put college on hold to go explore the world can feel like a big unknown. Don't worry, this program bridges the best of both worlds (complete with university courses and credit) while setting them up to reach their full potential. A Gap Year program allows your student to see new places, meet new people, and collect new life experiences that will then help them focus on what they want for their future.

But what about going back to school?

According to the Gap Year Association's Gap Year Alumni 2020 Survey, taking a gap year or break from higher education does not change the likelihood of completing a bachelor's degree. In fact, 44% of survey respondents said it actually increased their likelihood of beginning or going back to college, and 83% of respondents enrolled or continued their higher education immediately following their gap year.

Visit the Program Finder
to Explore ISA Gap Programs 

Get More Information!

I provide my written consent for ISA to contact me using email or telephone—including the use of automated technology and pre-recorded messages for calls to any wireless or residential telephone number I provide. This consent is not required to purchase goods or services.


This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some are essential to make our site work; others help us improve the user experience. By using the site, you consent to the placement of these cookies.

Read our Privacy Policy to learn more.