Dear Year On community,

As disruptions to daily life due to Coronavirus continue, there is little clarity about how and when the world will see a sustained resumption of travel, communal living, and the other elements that are essential to our program.  While we continue to monitor advisories from the World Health Organization (WHO), CDC, California Department of Public Health, and the City of San Francisco, we have for several weeks been actively developing contingencies for our 2020 programs that take into account the best interests of our fellows’ collective health and safety. 

We recently made an initial announcement about the three different programs we’ll be running this year. They’re quite different and the goal with each is to provide participants more flexibility and more choice in their gap year than ever before. 

1. The first of our programs is the classic Year Experience, which we are reconfiguring by shifting the travel phase to U.S. destinations and also adding a five-week pre-departure experience.

2. In the fall we will also introduce a brand new program - the 15-week Virtual Experience - which will combine intensive personal coaching and skill-building workshops with a virtual volunteer project in one of five areas: health, education, finance, government, and environmental action. Participants will also be matched to an externship with a company in an industry they’re excited about, anything from marketing to venture capital to education to technology.

3. We will also be offering our Semester Experience with no changes to program structure, running from January through early May 2021.

We’re confident that these program configurations will deliver a full, transformative gap year experience for the widest range of students. And as an accredited program accredited by the Gap Year Association, students will have the option to earn a full semester of transferable credit through our academic partner Portland State University.

We understand that families are concerned: about the uncertainty of how societies are re-opening, about the ability of governments and institutions to resume a full range of services, and ultimately about the well-being of their children. We want to make planning a purposeful and structured gap year as easy and anxiety-free as possible, so we’ve added additional flexibility to our refund policy. Any participant whose plans change about participating in Year On in fall 2020 can receive a full refund on all payments made through July 15, 2020.

I and the rest of the Year On team will continue to do our best to keep you informed. We are committed to transparency and, to the greatest extent possible, predictability in delivering powerful and transformative student experiences in our programs. So please reach out at any time by phone at (510) 985-9711 or by email to with questions or concerns. We’re here for you. 


Charlie Taibi, CEO

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