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Gap Year

Enjoy a meaningful and fun process of growth

Dates for the next academic year

Fall: September 2nd-December 12th, 2024

Spring: January 13th-May 1st, 2025

Free Spirit Gap Year: An international experience of adventure and growth

·      Experience community life at an Israeli Kibbutz

·      Travel throughout Israel, to the desert, Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv and more

·      Sail on the Mediterranean to Cyprus on a yacht

·      Spend 4 weeks in Italy, exploring Rome, Florence, Napoli, meeting locals your age and trying various work experiences

·      Build your ideal internship for the second semester 


Free Spirit offers a full gap year (September to May) as well as a one semester experience (starting September or January), designed for Young Adults, ages 18-24. 

We designed the ideal gap year experience, transitioning from more structure and support to greater independence and self-reliance. Our participants are seeking a successful transition into young adulthood, without missing out on great fun experiences in the real wide world. 

We invite Young Adults to join our community, build and maintain relationships, and have an opportunity for self-exploration and an in-depth therapeutic process. Our emerging young adults gain and develop executive functioning and self-regulation skills, independent daily living and social skills, and various hard-skills. They often describe this experience as filled with life-changing adventures. 

Who will Free Spirit Gap year work for?

  • Students graduating high school in search for a smoother transition away from home

  • College students who want to step back and re-establish a sense of confidence and purpose

  • Teens graduating from residential programs and need guidance in transitioning away from structured environment into independent life

  • 18-24 year-olds who wish to experience the world while figuring out who they are and what they want out of life 


What will we do during this year?

Throughout the year, the participants alternate between our main campus in a Kibbutz environment in Israel and various facilities and internships around Israel and Italy, around Rome and Tuscany.

The core components of the program are: 

  • Community based living with diverse intercultural encounters

  • Individualized strength-based programming, addressing one's interests and needs 

  • Guided group dynamics that encourages social engagement and participation 

  • International travel in Israel and Italy - focus on arts, history, food, sailing and other outdoor activities  

  • Volunteering and internship opportunities in Israel and Italy

  • Collaborations with Education Consultants for college preparations


Program overview and roadmap      


Step 1: An eight-week session in Kibbutz Hazorea, Israel

The first step is designed to facilitate group forming and a successful launch into the entire year. Through mutual learning, we assess each participant's needs, wishes, and strengths while allowing them to acculturate into our program and culture and set their goals and expectations. Another main focus is independence and responsibility, learning and developing executive skills such as time and budget management. This period includes a week long hike through Israel, and our hallmark sailing expedition to Cyprus.


Step 2: A four-week session in and around Rome, Italy. By Kamaleonte-KARE, our sister organization. 

A step up in self management and independence, the group transitions to living in an incredible village south of Rome, starting with short crash-courses in the fields of arts, cooking, language, outdoor activities, and more. Touring Rome, Tuscany and Florence, Napoli, and more, gives you an incredible opportunity to meet locals your age and learn to get around and travel the world. We focus on exposure to opportunities and potential interests for pursuit.   


Step 3: A three-week session in Israel

We summarize and reflect on the first semester. During this period, during and after a unique tour through the beautiful Israeli desert, participants have a chance to look back on the past few months, and also to look ahead for the next step, individually and within the group. This session includes a workshop in Israel, in the areas of awareness and self-development, helping the participants take action towards their 2nd semester.

Winter break and holiday - We encourage participants to spend time with their families in this 2-3 week holiday season. It is a great opportunity for a family session, led by our staff, either in Israel or in Italy, as well as the chance to travel together as a family. 


Step 4: Second semester: Individual internships (about 12 weeks)

Think of what you always wanted to learn or to do, and do it! We offer a variety of options in Israel: Participants can take advantage of the vital start-up nation and find an internship that incorporates technology, business, military basic training, agriculture, and more. 

We also offer a wide range of options around Rome, the eternal city: From learning the beautiful Italian language, through exploring the history and arts, to learning culinary arts in one of the world most famous cuisines. 

This part is mainly about autonomy, as we encourage the participants to direct their life and make healthy choices almost entirely independently. Our familiarity with each participant allows us to guide and structure each internship according to various needs and levels of support. It is also about finding a purpose and following through on your decisions, making the most out of this experience. We support the participants throughout this time, both locally and from a distance. 


Step 5: Saying goodbye

This is high time to summarizing the entire year experience. Gearing up to the next year is an important part of the process, as well as saying goodbye and bringing closure to the year. This process includes much self-reflection and mutual feedback among staff and participants. 

Click here to see what a 'typical' day in the program looks like.

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