Category: Episode

Ep. 501 Katy Oliveira of Collegehood Advice

Ep. 501 Katy Oliveira of Collegehood Advice

Katy Oliveira

Ok, so here’s what we know in September of 2020: There are a TON of students taking a gap year this year! And they are finding creative and meaningful ways to spend their year. We want to help students make the most of their gap year this year- especially if was unexpected.

With that in mind, we invited College Success Expert Katy Oliveira to tell us about skill-building. As the host of the Collegehood Advice podcast, Katy regularly speaks to experts who share tips about how to succeed during college and thrive during life. Katy walks us through the three sets of skills that college students need to be able to thrive on campus and how to build those skills on your gap year.

Show Notes

Skill # 1 Grit & Hope

Companion Episode: How to Grow Your Grit & Hope:

Skill # 2 Project Management and Organization

Companion Episode: How to Organize Your Week in 20 Minutes:

See also: Gap Year Alum Bliss Bean‘s videos on youtube!

Skill #3 Self-Advocacy

Companion Episode: How to Become Your Own Advocate:

Ep. 407 Julia & Margo on Gap Years vs. Coronavirus feat. Drew Beasley

Ep. 407 Julia & Margo on Gap Years vs. Coronavirus feat. Drew Beasley

Today on the pod we are rounding out Season Four of Gap Year Radio with a feature from your cohosts, Margo and Julia. We discuss gap year and college planning in the time of COVID, something we know so many high school seniors are grappling with this year. For the second half of the show you will hear from Drew Beasley, a gap year alumni who started college both with and without gap time, and speaks to the important that time abroad had on his future, and his current work helping to promote the gap year movement.

Also, for all you cool cats and kittens out there planning a gap year (expected or unexpected) check out the affordable Gap Year Association Student membership! You’ll get plugged into forums run by gap year experts, discounts on gap year related experiences and more!

Drew spent his gap semester with ARCC Gap in the Pacific Islands traveling through Sumatra, Bali, and Fiji. He has been working closely with GoOverseas and the USA Gap Year Fairs to help promote the gap year movement. And you can find Drew’s personal compilation of video media on YouTube or on Instagram @drew_beas.

EP. 406 Gary Robinson of P3 on Wellness While Planning For Gap Year or College

EP. 406 Gary Robinson of P3 on Wellness While Planning For Gap Year or College

In this episode, you have the privilege of hearing from our good friend and colleague Gary Robinson of P3 Mental Health Advisors. Gary is joining us to discuss mental health concerns for current/prospective gappers as well as college students, and gives us some helpful tips for how to manage mental wellness during this challenging and unprecedented time.

“[Students] will actually come out of this stronger, more resilient, with more grit and greater ability to go with the flow in the future.”

– Gary Robinson

You can find Gary and his colleagues at P3 Mental Health online at, and on Twitter and Instagram @p3mentalhealth.

Ep. 405 Francesca Eremeeva on Taking a Political Gap Year

Ep. 405 Francesca Eremeeva on Taking a Political Gap Year

Franny Eremeeva’s political journey started when she received an email from Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign asking “Do you want to be a fellow?” She volunteered and interned on Clinton’s presidential campaign during her gap year in addition to traveling to East Africa with Adventures Cross Country and Italy with the American University of Rome. She went on to intern at the Council on Foreign Relations and for Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren (heard of her?). Now, she’s about to graduate from Mount Holyoke College with a degree in international relations and a fire in her belly to change the world. In this episode of Gap Year Radio, Franny shares her wisdom for how to secure positions with election campaigns and cause-based organizations and how to make the most of them once you are there.

For more information and resources for how to get involved in Election 2020 as a young person, visit Election 2020 Gap Year.

Franny’s tasks during her work on Hillary Clinton’s campaign:

  • Phone Banking
  • Canvassing in urban and remote areas
  • Setting up for events
  • Lunch runs for staffers
  • Making copies/admin work
  • Ice Cream Captain (yes, actually a title)

How to get involved in an election campaign without any experience:

  • Think about your personal values and what wakes you up in the morning. Craft a personal story about how you connect to the issue.
  • Create a list of three of those things. Jot down your personal story.
  • Research political candidates or organizations that resonate with you (eg climate justice, immigration, LGBTQ+ etc)
  • Contact your local polittical party chapter
  • NETWORK find ins with personal contacts, email contacts on websites etc
  • Be persistent!!!

Franny’s Words of Wisdom

“If you have a positive attitude and say yes to every and any job you’re given and do those jobs really well, you are guaranteed lots and lots of opportunities.”

“You can and must ask for a meeting with every single person in the organization all the way up to the top…Those people will stay professional contacts for you as you continue in your professional journey.

Fight for something you believe in. “The change you believe in is the right change to be a part of.”

Don’t feel like you can’t do multiple things with your gap time – don’t feel pressured to the things that’s ‘best for humanity’ the entire time…the best thing to do for humanity is to do what’s best for yourself.

Ep. 404 Focusing on Environmental Sustainability with Gap Year Alum Ivy Jones 

Ep. 404 Focusing on Environmental Sustainability with Gap Year Alum Ivy Jones 

Gap year alum Ivy Jones spent her gap year expanding her knowledge and experience in environmental sustainability. She began her year with a Thinking Beyond Borders semester spent in Guatemala and Costa Rica education systems, sustainable agriculture and eco-tourism. Inspired by her experience with TBB, she dove deeper into environmental issues with EcoSwell, a grassroots organization based in Peru. There she assisted the organization in projects to support eco-tourism, reforestation projects and sustainable living. Her gap year informed her course of study at college and changed the ways she lives her daily life in order to have a lighter footprint on the planet. Ivy worked with GYA accredited gap year counselor Marion Taylor to formulate her plans.

Ivy with friend and community member during Thinking Beyond Borders semester

About Thinking Beyond Borders:

Thinking Beyond Borders is an educational institution helping students prepare for careers that improve our world. They believe meaningful learning comes from engaging directly with issues affecting people in the real world. TBB students live within communities, work alongside committed change leaders, develop a deeper understanding of the world, and identify their capacity to create meaningful impact.

About EcoSwell

EcoSwell is a surfing inspired not-for-profit NGO whose mission is to design and develop socio-environmental, educational and infrastructure projects with the purpose of guiding the development of vulnerable communities through a path of sustainability. We improve the lives of those in need and help protect our natural environment. Ivy found EcoSwell via Omprakash, a database of low-cost grassroots volunteer opportunities.

More about EcoSwell from Ivy:

“[In addition to the Surfanomics project] for a while I was in charge of collecting data on a reforestation project (interviewing
people in the community to see how it was going). I was in charge of
the composting toilet and collecting a sample to send to a lab to see
if we could use the compost, and I helped them design a new website.
Another interesting project I wasn’t directly involved in but learned
all about was an ecotourism project to build hiking trails and train
tour guides in a nearby town.”

About Taylor the Gap

Taylor The Gap is a personalized, inclusive gap year consulting service nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, in Boulder, Colorado. Founder and owner Marion Taylor works with young and adult students nationally from all orientations, abilities, and economic backgrounds, and emphasizes student ownership and direction in the design of customized gap experiences based on interests and goals. She distinguishes herself by experiencing and vetting gap programs in an ongoing basis to keep current of gap issues. Marion is fully registered with Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) in case of security alerts or travel advisories. She also serves as keynote speaker at USA Gap Fairs and speaks regularly at colleges and high schools. Time out may be a gap year or semester between high school and college, between college terms, after college, mid-career, or during retirement. This period of self-exploration instills confidence, focus, and motivation for future educational pursuits in younger students, while enabling older adults to find purpose and connection in their later years.

Ep. 403 Disaster Relief Volunteering with Riley and Josiah

Ep. 403 Disaster Relief Volunteering with Riley and Josiah

When disaster strikes, we are all asked to give money to help in the immediate aftermath. But once a disaster zone shifts to a recovery zone, you are also able to donate time and your own sweat. In this episode, we speak with Josiah Johnson and Riley Piva, two incredible gap year alums who dedicated time to disaster recovery with the international relief organization All Hands and Hearts. They open up about the experience volunteering in disaster relief, the mental health benefits of serving others and how you can get involved! 

About All Hands and Hearts:

All Hands and Hearts effectively and efficiently addresses the immediate and long-term needs of communities impacted by natural disasters. We communicate directly with local leaders and community members and then deploy our unique model of engaging volunteers to enable direct impact, helping to build safer, more resilient schools, homes and infrastructure. 

Riley and Josiah mentioned they received free flights to their projects. As of 2020, travel assistance is limited to certain programs for volunteers who can commit to a predetermined length of service. Check out AHAH FAQs for more information on travel assistance.

Interested in volunteering? Check out the All Hands and Hearts active programs here

Ep. 402 Andrew Buchanan on the Morehead Cain Scholarship and his Self-Designed Gap Year

Ep. 402 Andrew Buchanan on the Morehead Cain Scholarship and his Self-Designed Gap Year

Show Notes

Andrew Buchanan joins us on the pod to discuss the various adventures he was able to have during his gap time. Andrew is a recipient of the Morehead Cain Scholarship, a program that provides a fully funded four year undergraduate degree at UNC Chapel Hill, as well as offers funding for a gap year. Andrew was actually the first recipient of the gap year grant through the scholarship program, which provides $7,500 to any student taking a gap year with a significant international component. Andrew walks us through his year long adventures that included both family and solo travels through Latin America, the Caribbean, Oceania, Southeast and Central Asia, to name a few. Not to mention his NOLS course in Patagonia, which is part of a requirement for any Morehead Cain Scholar.

During his year Andrew and his brother kept a shared blog, exploring their creativity in recording their travels through photography, blogging, and videography. To see some awe-inspiring photos and follow along on their adventures, you can check out their website The Buchanan Project here.

Ep. 401 #ExploretheGapYear During Gap Year Exploration Month!

Ep. 401 #ExploretheGapYear During Gap Year Exploration Month!



Did you know that February is Gap Year Exploration Month? There are so many fun ways to explore the opportunities of the gap year option this month. This episode, we chat all about Gap Year Exploration Month events happening every day this month!


USA Gap Year Fairs

The USA Gap Year Fairs travel across the country to educate, inspire, and empower students to look beyond the classroom and pursue opportunities for experiential learning.  Check the schedule to find a fair near you this month!

Streamable U Livestream Events

Streamable U will be hosting over 30 webinars focusing on various topics about gap years, and presented by both GYA member counselors and program providers. Livestream registration and attendance is free and open to any school district / school personnel, students and families.

We are grateful to Streamable U for partnering with us to make Gap Year Exploration Month robust with informational opportunities for educators, students, and their families. Check out the calendar here.

Social Media Events & Additional Online Events

Julia is hosting a Zoom webinar on Feb 13 about planning a low-cost gap year

Check out the Gap Year Exploration Month calendar here for in person and online events throughout February!

Contests & Giveaways

Win a copy of the new edition of The Complete Guide to the Gap Year by Kristin White from Gap Year Radio!

How to enter:

  1. Follow @gapyearradio on instagram
  2. Comment on a contest post with #explorethegapyear

Gap Year Association $500 Instagram Contest

Make a video about your upcoming gap time (if a future gapper) or your gap year experience (if you’re an alum) for a chance to win $500!

Follow @gapyearassociation on instagram and see below for full details!

USA Gap Year Fairs $3000 Ambassador Scholarship

Tell themwhy and you could win a scholarship to make those dreams become a reality! We’ll grant two scholarships to students who demonstrate outstanding motivation to pursue gap year experiences. Apply here.

Deadline: April 30, 2020, Value$3,000

$3000 Travel Access Project Grants

Travel Access Project is awarding as many as TEN $3000 grants for Gap Year travel during the 2020-21 academic year.

ANYONE CAN APPLY! No restrictions on age, or citizenship. We’ve awarded grants to people all over the world!

Each TAP Grant awarded includes:

  • $3000 USD to be used towards travel or educational costs associated with your Gap Year
  • Student membership in the Gap Year Association
  • Support from  Sean, Jenn for TAP Grant Recipients to celebrate and advance your Gap Year plans
  • Setout travel backpack, this is a full sized carry on bag from Tortuga Backpacks, we think it’s the perfect piece of luggage for your gap year!
  • GRAYL GEOPRESS, a large capacity filtering bottle that lets you drink the water, anywhere.
  • Access to special discounts from partner organizations, including Tortuga BackpacksEn Route Consulting, and BootsnAll.

Additional Scholarships

Find additional gap year contests and scholarships on the Gap Year Association financial aid page and keep in mind most gap year programs offer in-house scholarships and financial aid!

Ep. 307 Charlie Taibi of Year On

Ep. 307 Charlie Taibi of Year On

Joining us on the pod is Charlie Taibi, CEO of the gap year program Year On, a three part program that helps students gain the confidence, clarity, and direction they need to succeed in college and beyond. Charlie discusses with us the core principles of the Year On program, how he got to where he is today, and inspires us with his recent working sabbatical. Charlie has big ideas for the future of the gap year and shares his wisdom and dreams with the listeners of the pod.


You can find Charlie and the folks over at Year On by visiting their website at, or you can find them on Facebook and Instagram @year.on. 

Ep. 306 Rough Magic Author Lara Prior Palmer on Horse Racing in Mongolia, Writing a Memoir and Being Brave

Ep. 306 Rough Magic Author Lara Prior Palmer on Horse Racing in Mongolia, Writing a Memoir and Being Brave

Credit: Richard Dunwoody




Today we welcome bestselling author Lara Prior Palmer to talk about the gap year that inspired her book, Rough Magic. At the age of nineteen, Lara Prior-Palmer discovered a website devoted to “the world’s longest, toughest horse race”―an annual competition of endurance and skill that involves dozens of riders racing a series of twenty-five wild ponies across 1,000 kilometers of Mongolian grassland. Lara ultimately became the youngest and first-ever woman to win the race. Margo, Julia and Lara discuss the entirety of Lara’s gap year, what it was like competing as a woman and why she thinks all young people should consider the magical uncertainty of gap time.

***Contest Alert*** We are giving away a copy of Rough Magic!

We are running the contest through Monday, December 16th so the winner will get their copy just in time for the holidays. 


Follow @gapyearradio on instagram and tag someone you want to travel with too. If you already follow us, tag two people you want to travel with and/or who you think should take a gap year. 

Winner will be announced December 17th! 

Credit: Richard Dunwoody

“Think the next Educated or Wild. Palmer’s memoir of beating the odds to become a horse champion is an inspiring saga of perseverance―and a classic underdog tale.” ―Entertainment Weekly

Here are some other reviews of Rough Magic:

The New York Times

The Guardian

The Washington Post


Credit: Richard Dunwoody

Think about ways to tell your gap year story!

Voices Project Live! – Gap Year alum Ambar Khawaja


Writing piece for online outlets or papers about your experiences

Video projects/VLOGs

As Lara says, “If you have any inclination for expressing yourself in words, you just have to write, write, write.”