Programs

Gap Year

Remco Zwetsloot - The Netherlands

Remco Zwetsloot - Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Major: International Relations

"It's been almost two years since I graduated from Green River - enough time to realize the immense impact studying in the U.S. has had on me, both personally and academically. When I first arrived at Sea-Tac, I was a rather shy kid unsure of what exactly I wanted from life. When I flew back to Europe two years later, I was a confident guy with too many dreams to realize in a single lifetime."

Read more testimonials

The Gap Year at Green River provides an opportunity for you to study abroad in the United States during the "gap year" between secondary education and university. Depending upon the courses taken and the policies of the receiving university, some of these courses may be transferable.

Explore New Academic Areas

The Gap Year program is designed to provide flexibility and opportunities for self-discovery and academic development. Your educational advisor will meet with you to plan an individualized course of study based on your academic interests, level of English proficiency, and your dreams and aspirations.

Experience US College Life

We encourage you to participate in a wide variety of campus activities including: recreational or intercollegiate sports, student government, concerts, plays, or KGRG - a real radio station run by students. You can also use any of our campus facilities including the library, bookstore, cafeteria, fitness center, and gym with basketball and volleyball courts and a weightlifting room.

Select from Core Classes

  • English Communication (placement dependent upon assessment)
  • Career Exploration or College Experience
  • Career development
  • Introduction to Art
  • Introduction to Business
  • Personal Computing
  • Drama
  • Radio Broadcasting
  • Mathematics (placement dependent upon assessment)
  • Music
  • Photography
  • Physical Education: golf, skiing, karate, basketball, weightlifting
  • And many more.

Housing

We offer host family or placement in Campus Corner Apartments, Green River's on campus student housing. Go to housing for more information.

Discover the West Coast

Green River's location, only 30 minutes from Sea-Tac International Airport, makes it a great departure point for week-end trips along the West Coast.

  • Los Angeles 3 hours (plane)
  • San Francisco 2 hours (plane)
  • Las Vegas 2 hours (plane)
  • Vancouver, Canada 3 hours (bus/car)
  • Enjoy Seattle and the Pacific Northwest

Student leaders organize a variety of off-campus trips including shopping and dining in restaurants in Seattle, attending professional sporting events like the Mariner's baseball,Sounders soccer, and Seahawks football games, snowboarding, river rafting, overnight stays at ocean beaches, and hiking at Mt. Rainier.

Admission Requirements

  • Completed application
  • Financial statement
  • Secondary school graduate or 17+ years of age
  • English proficiency is required for direct placement into the academic program.
Coen Van Woerkom - Abcoude

Coen Van Woerkom - Abcoude, The Netherlands
Major: Economics

"Because of the Dutch educational system, I was going to graduate from high school at quite a young age. Therefore, I decided that it would be good for me to study abroad for a year.

Read more testimonials

The Traditional Gap Year at Green River provides an opportunity for you to study abroad in the United States during the "gap year" between secondary education and university. You will spend three quarters at Green River Community College in Auburn, Washington. Depending upon the courses taken and the policies of the receiving university, some of these courses may be transferable.

Age Requirement

17+

Estimated Cost

$6,000 per term

Highlights of the program include:

  • All inclusive tuition and housing!
  • Opportunities to participate in over 70 campus activities
  • Campus life
  • Travel
  • Career discover programs
  • Sample academic classes

The Green River's Gap Year program opens individuals to a wider world and new perspectives. It changes lives!

Admission Requirements

  • Completed application
  • Financial statement
  • Secondary school graduate or 17+ years of age
  • English proficiency is required for direct placement into the academic program.
Philipp Hahn - Germany

Philipp Hahn - Dortmund, Germany
Program: Green River to California

"The Green River to California Gap Year is great because I get to experience two different American lifestyles - the Pacific Northwest and California beaches."

Read more testimonials

The Green River to California Gap Year program is designed to provide a nine month (September to May) learning experience at two colleges on the west coast of the United States. Students spend the first quarter at Green River Community College (September - December) and then 1 semester (January - May) at Santa Barbara City College. SBCC was recently named the top community college in the nation by Aspen Institute.

Age Requirement

18+

Estimated Cost

$6,000 per term

Highlights of the program include:

  • All inclusive tuition and housing!
  • Opportunities to participate in over 70 campus activities
  • Campus life
  • Travel
  • California in the winter
  • Career discover programs
  • Sample academic classes

The Green River to California Gap Year program exposes individuals to a wider world and new perspectives. It changes lives!

Admission Requirements

  • Completed application
  • Financial statement
  • Secondary school graduate or 18+ years of age
  • English proficiency is required for direct placement into the academic program.
Maria Johansson - Sweden

Maria Johansson - Sweden
Program: Green River to Hawaii

"Hawaii, Oahu, Honolulu, Waikiki. That's where it all started. On my vacation in Hawaii, in the park at Waikiki beach, I finally decided that I'm going to follow my dream and study abroad. This blog is about the preparation, my time at Green River Community College and my transfer to Hawaii, paradise on earth! Feel free to comment and send questions, I will answer them all. "

Read Maria's blog

The Green River to Hawaii Gap Year Program is designed to provide a nine month (September to May) learning experience at two colleges in the United States. Students spend the first quarter at Green River Community College (September - December) and then 1 semester (January - May) at Kapi'olani Community College in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Age Requirement

18+

Estimated Cost

$6,000 per term

Highlights of the program include:

  • All inclusive tuition and housing!
  • Opportunities to participate in over 70 campus activities
  • Campus life
  • Travel
  • Hawaii in the winter
  • Career discover programs
  • Sample academic classes

The Green River to Hawaii Gap Year program exposes individuals to a wider world and new perspectives. It changes lives!

Admission Requirements

  • Completed application
  • Financial statement
  • Secondary school graduate or 18+ years of age
  • English proficiency is required for direct placement into the academic program.

5 weeks in Melbourne, Australia and 5 weeks in Auckland, New Zealand

Kangaroo on the beach

Winter Quarter
15 college credits
Jan 7 - Mar 15, 2014

Applications are now being accepted - Remember winter here is summer down-under!

The Green River to Australia/New Zealand Gap Year program is designed to provide a ten month (September to June) learning experience in the United States, Australia and New Zealand. Students spend the first quarter at Green River Community College (September - December) and then 10 weeks in Australia and New Zealand (January - March) and then return to Green River for their third quarter.

Age Requirement

17+

Estimated Cost

$7,000 per term

Highlights of the program include:

  • All inclusive tuition and housing!
  • Opportunities to participate in over 70 campus activities
  • Campus life
  • Travel
  • Australia/New Zealand in the winter. Winter in the U.S. and Europe is summer in Australia and New Zealand
  • Career discover programs
  • Sample academic classes

The Green River to Australia/New Zealand Gap Year program opens individuals to a wider world and new perspectives. It changes lives!

Admission Requirements

  • Completed application
  • Financial statement
  • Secondary school graduate or 17+ years of age
  • English proficiency is required for direct placement into the academic program.

Gap Year Testimonials

Our students talk about their Gap Year experience:

Maria Johansson - Sweden

Maria Johansson - Sweden
Program: Green River to Hawaii Gap Year

"My Gap year experience was everything I thought it would be and more. I loved Green River Community College! I really had a nice, calm and fun experience in Auburn where I really stepped out of my comfort zone. My English improved a lot and I felt more and more confident with speaking English every day and I also became more confident about meeting new people. I made a lot of friends in Auburn that will be my friends for life.

"My Hawaii experience and my time at Kapi'olani Community College was also all that I thought it would be - a beautiful campus, perfect weather and many things to do! And the teachers, my classmates and all the people I met really had the Aloha-spirit. To be able to sit on the beach and do homework was a dream come true.

"To be able to study at two different places in America was so much fun! And to be able to study different classes to figure out what I want to do and what I enjoy in my life was a really good experience for me! I got to try a lot of different and fun things that I probably never would have tried in my country.

"All the teachers and advisors I have come in contact with during my year abroad have really been super helpful. The support from them, my family and all the new friends that I met made this study abroad year the best year of my life."

Read Maria's blog

Sander van der Neut - The Netherlands

Sander van der Neut - The Netherlands
Program: Traditional Gap Year - 3 months

Sander van der Neut is from the Netherlands and came to Green River Community College winter of 2014 for a one quarter Gap Year Program. His motto? Have fun!

"I had to pay for this myself. I worked for almost five months, full-time as a salesman trying to get the money I needed. After those five months, I had enough money to go for one quarter.

"After Green River, I will be attending Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and majoring in International Business. Four hundred students apply for only 150 spots. Half go to domestic students and half go to international students. However, because I attended Green River and received an international education for one quarter, I have already been guaranteed admission into VU University Amsterdam.

"If I had this to do all over again, I wouldn't change a thing. I would do everything the exact same way. I would tell my friends you just have to go. This is something you have to experience to see how awesome it is."

Read complete testimonial on Student News

Max DeGraaf - The Netherlands

Max de Graaf - The Netherlands
Program: Traditional Gap Year

Max de Graaf came to Green River Community College fall 2012 for the Gap Year program.

"My agency in the Netherlands told me that that they had only heard good things about this college and the students are really well taken care of. In addition, this was the only college I could attend at 17 and live in student housing instead of a host family. I was ready for some independence.

"I also wanted to travel and see the world. Coming to Green River Community College in Washington State was my first step in my world travels. I have made life-long friends from many different countries.

"Gap year really helped me to make the necessary step between high school and university. I didn't know what I wanted to study when I was in the Netherlands and the American system let me explore my interests. I have grown to really like the American education system because you can pursue your major and study other areas. For example, you can major in history and study psychology too. There are also a lot of clubs and activities that you can get involved in. If the club does not exist, you can create it. In fact, I helped to create the fist European club on campus. It's a wholistic education.

"This fall, I will be attending Roosevelt Academy in Middleburg. I am grateful to Green River Community College for opening my eyes to the importance of a liberal arts education. I am excited about my future and plan to major in History."

Philipp Hahn - Germany

Philipp Hahn - Dortmund, Germany
Program: Green River to California Gap Year

“The Green River to California Gap Year program is great because I get to experience two different American lifestyles – the Pacific Northwest and California beaches,” said Philipp.

At Green River Community College Philipp lived in Campus Corner Apartments. Green River's student housing. He had two American roommates and one from China.

Philipp spent his first quarter working on his English skills by taking Intensive English classes. He also enjoyed working on campus as an International Student Ambassador. ”I helped organize soccer tournaments for students and trips to professional soccer, football, baseball games, and skiing trips to Whistler, B.C.”

He liked the atmosphere at Green River. “I met students from many different parts of the world. It is very different from my school in Germany where there are only a few international students.”

What Philipp liked most about studying at Santa Barbara Community College is the location. The college is very close to the beach. "With the nice weather, you can only be in a good mood," said Philipp.

"I think the Gap Year program is perfect, because you can improve your English, you learn to live two different American lifestyles, and you also make new friends from all over the world...this Gap Year is a lot of fun and if apply you will not regret your decision!"

Katharina Lange - Belgium

Katharina Lange - Belgium
Major: Business - Marketing

I'm very happy I decided to take a gap year and to explore things before going to the university. Next year, I will begin at the local university in Belgium, Katholiek Hogeschool Leuven. Thanks to the great help at GRCC, I know that I would like to study marketing and I feel ready for the next step in my life. I decided to do marketing because I got the opportunity to work at the international office on campus as a student marketing assistant. I loved the whole process of working and I think marketing is something I will enjoy in the future.

Katharina was also one of Green River's Students of the Month. You can read more of her testimonial here.

Julie Heltne - Oslo, Norway

Julie Heltne - Oslo, Norway
Major: Business

"I heard Green River was a very good school and the fact they had soccer was a bonus," Julie said.

Julie was a great addition to Green River's soccer team. She not only brought a European style to the game, she was also one of the leading goal scorers. In fact, thanks to her contributions, Green River set a record with the most wins in a season. Read Campus News article.

Julie lived in Campus Corner Apartments. She said her classes were hard but she liked it here. She made a lot of friends.

Julie's goal was to experience the American culture, major in Business, and transfer to a 4-year university in either Florida or California.

Remco Zwetsloot - Amsterdam

Remco Zwetsloot - Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Major: International Relations

It's been almost two years since I graduated from Green River – enough time to realize the immense impact studying in the U.S. has had on me, both personally and academically. When I first arrived at Sea-Tac, I was a rather shy kid unsure of what exactly I wanted from life. When I flew back to Europe two years later, I was a confident guy with too many dreams to realize in a single lifetime.

My name is Remco Zwetsloot, 20 years old, and I am currently a student at University College Roosevelt in Middelburg, the Netherlands. I did the medium level of high school, called "havo," in the Netherlands before going to Green River for a gap year. Within three months, however, I realized I wanted to stay in America as long as possible: I was on the cross country team and had a great group of friends, fun classes, and a job on The Current, the college newspaper – I had never been happier.

I decided to stay for another year and get my Associate's degree. Life got even better (and a lot busier) when I was selected to be Editor-in-Chief of The Current and started tutoring IESL students. Unfortunately, despite the jobs, I had run out of money by the time I graduated, and I had to return to the Netherlands. There, having become convinced of the superiority of the American liberal arts model of education, I enrolled at UCR, an international honors college of Utrecht University which employs the same model as Green River and other American universities.

There, I have since become actively involved in several student clubs. This year I was elected chairman of the Academic Affairs Council, a position which involves working with the university administration on all matters relating to academics. Last year I was offered a scholarship by The Fund for American Studies to spend a summer in Washington, D.C., enrolled at Georgetown University and doing an internship for a U.S. Senator.

None of this would have been possible without Green River. Not only did my Associate's degree allow me to enroll at UCR (normally Dutch students can only enroll at universities after completing the highest level of high school, VWO), but my two years at GRCC also taught me everything I needed to be successful here. I had learned the value of student life and getting involved. I had gained the academic skills that allow me to be a successful student. I had acquired the writing skills and built up the résumé that helped me get my TFAS scholarship. I had grown into a confident person who easily makes friends.

Looking back on the two years at Green River, I don't think I could have spent them any better. They certainly made a rather sizeable dent in my (and my parents') bank account, but, in terms of life experience, they definitely made me as rich as I could have been.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I have to do to be accepted to a Green River College Gap Year Program?

  • Submit an International Student Application.
  • Provide a Financial Statement from a personal bank account indicating that US $18,000 is available to finance your education
  • Submit a $50.00 dollar non-refundable application fee
  • Submit housing selection and fee
  • Submit a copy of passport

How long will it take to be accepted in a Gap Year Program?

After all required materials are received an admission decision will be made within seven days.

What are the application deadlines for Green River Gap Year Programs?

The application deadlines are as follows:

  • Green River Traditional Gap Year - August 1
  • Green River - California - August 1
  • Green River - Hawaii - August 1
  • Green River - Australia / NZ - August 1

How much does it cost*?

  • Traditional, California and Hawaii: The approximate cost is $6,300 per quarter or $18,900 for the year.
  • Green River to Australia/New Zealand: The approximate cost is $6,300 for fall quarter, $9,300 for winter quarter, which includes round trip airfare from Seattle to Australia/New Zealand, and $6,300 for spring quarter.
  • Travel costs to Green River from home country not included.
  • *These costs are our best estimate of tuition and living expenses. Prices are subject to change.

What about housing accommodations?

  • Green River Community College offers on campus apartments and home stay. A housing application can be found on the student housing website. The $300 dollar placement fee includes airport pickup service and room preparation. The College will confirm housing and airport pick-up.
  • Santa Barbara City College does not provide on campus housing. Green River staff will meet with students transferring to SBCC by October 15th to go over housing options and assist students in selecting an accommodation.
  • Kapi'olani Community College does not provide on campus housing. Green River staff will meet with students transferring to KCC by October 15th to go over housing options and assist students in selecting an accommodation.
  • Australia/New Zealand - Students will stay at the University of Melbourne and will be accommodated in single rooms. These are college dormitories with shared baths and communal eating facilities. While studying in New Zealand, students will live in shared student housing near the Unitec University campus or with carefully selected host families.

What are the approximate living expenses?

Normal living expenses are contained within the costs listed above. Extra travel and special purchases are in addition to normal living expenses.

What will happen after I am accepted into a Green River College GAP Year Program?

You will receive an admission packet that includes your acceptance letter, international student handbook, and a variety of other information. You should receive your admission packet two weeks after your acceptance to a Green River Gap Year Program.

You will receive a date to arrive at GRCC, confirmation of your housing accommodations and an overview of orientation.

What happens during Orientation?

  • We explain important information that you will need during your Gap Year Program.
  • We will do preliminary planning for California, Hawaii and Australia.
  • You will take placement tests in English and Math so you will be placed in the right classes.
  • You will register for classes.
  • You will have the opportunity to sign up for many activity programs.
  • You will take a sight seeing and shopping trip to Seattle.
  • You will attend a Cultural Orientation & Recreation Experience. This is a free overnight trip to a resort camp in the beautiful Northwest environment. The purpose of the trip is to make friends and have fun before classes start.

What if I want to enroll in the Intensive English Program while attending Green River College?

You may enroll in the Intensive English Program if you have chosen to attend the Traditional GAP Year Program.

You will need to demonstrate English Proficiency if you enroll in the California, Hawaii or Australia GAP Year Programs.

TOEFL/IELTS Requirements for admission

  • TOEFL 61/173/500, IELTS 5.5, no band lower than 5.0 = Admission to Academic Program
  • No TOEFL or IELTS for placement in Intensive English Program
  • Secondary Education. Official high school completion diploma from accredited institutions in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, United Kingdom or the United States indicating a passing score in English.
    • Denmark: A minimum grade of 7 in A-level English and 10 in B-level English (new scale); grade of 11 in English in Stream B, Technical Path
    • Finland: High School English grade 8 or higher
    • Germany: Gymnasium/Abitur of 7 or higher in LF classes; without LF, a grade of 10 or higher
    • Netherlands: VWO: 6 or higher; HAVO: 7 or higher; MBO: 7 or higher
    • Norway: High School English grade of 4 or higher
    • Sweden: Upper Secondary School: VG
  • Academic placement on the GRCC IESL Placement Test. A score of 85 or higher on the Multiple Choice section of the IESL Placement Test and an academic level proficiency on both the written essay and oral test is considered an indication of academic-level standing.

Can I work?

You may work part-time on campus as a student assistant. There are a limited number of jobs on campus. The money earned from a part-time job on campus should not be considered a major source of your funding for your tuition and living expenses.