I have noticed a steady increase in interest in Gap Year programs, as more students want to take time off before they begin college. The gap year has become very popular for American students, and companies are responding with organized programs for students, primarily ages 17-22.
There are more programs and opportunities than I can list here, but they usually fall into these categories: service opportunities in developing countries; immersion experiences including homestays; outdoor leadership and domestic service programs such as Americorps.
Students have more choices than ever before and the Gap Year Association offers loads of advice and resources.
Please take a look and contact me if you have any questions.