Summer & Gap Year Program
When the admissions’ rigor rises, families are impacted by struggles. It’s common for the parents to have their kids attend the academic prep programs or test prep courses to pursue stellar grades and scores to achieve their school and college dreams. However, more educational institutions especially the highly selective ones have started to review the applications in a holistic way in which the grades and scores are not that important. The latest admissions trend shows that the personal qualities like passions, self-awareness, independence, responsibilities, collaboration, confidence about the uncertainty, courage to fail, etc. are favored highly in the highly competitive admission process. They prefer those who could not just prove their academic readiness but also demonstrate some of the appealing personal qualities. Excelling in the competitive admission process as a unique applicant, planning an individual and purposeful summer at an early stage is a necessity.

From the camps hidden in the woods for the younger kids to train their outdoor skills, to the well-structured residential summer programs throughout the elite boarding schools for the younger teens to explore their academic interests while familiarizing themselves with the boarding life, or the summer precollege programs widely spread at college campuses for the young adult students to challenge the academic rigors and experience the college life, summer programs vary by ages, locations and expectations. The following goals are atop among the successful summer achievers we advised in the past decade.

  • Improve academic readiness and study skills that are vital to further learning environment
  • Explore the new things and train resilience, independence and confidence
  • Build up meaningful connections with the others in a diverse community
  • Work with the well-established music or art instructors or coaches to hone their artistic or athletic skills
  • Gain the personal experience that lights up their coming applications
Since Project Trust, a non-profit organization in the UK, created the Gap Year program over a half century ago, GY has been a popular lifestyle for the young adults to serve the others while growing themselves through travels. Harvard’s UG admissions Dean William Fitzsimmons’ article Time Out or Burn Out for the Next Generation well address the issue how the gap year program could help the young generation to take their full potential and why the top-rated colleges favor the young adults with demonstrated gap year experience.

Gap Year is a brand new concept to Chinese families. It takes time for the Chinese students and parents to understand and accept it. However, when more Chinese students move to the western countries to pursue education, it’s necessary for them to meditate on Gap Year Programs that have been seconded by hundreds of university presidents, admissions deans and educators. As the first cohort of educational consulting firm in China to provide the Gap Year program counseling service, our students has benefited and excelled from various gap year programs worldwide. We see the Gap Year program may bring the following impacts to the Chinese students.


  • Strengthen self-awareness, independence, confidence
  • Hone the resilient skills to stand out in a new environment
  • Understand and manage their expectation of themselves
  • Expand their knowledge about the diversity of the global community
  • Prepare them for the college life as standouts or leaders
I am convinced that one’s college education is greatly enhanced by the maturity, experience, and perspective a student can bring post gap year.
Fred A. Hargadon, former Dean of Admissions at Princeton University