Nuria Aceme Labrador

Nuria Aceme Labrador

Gap Year vs. 4-Year Degree in the U.S.: How to Choose?

If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you’ve been thinking about studying in the U.S. But you aren’t sure if you’d like to commit to four years to get a bachelor’s degree or test out the experience by doing a Gap Year. 

Well, we’ve got good news for you. You’re in the right place to get all your questions answered. 

You shouldn’t worry if you’re feeling confused and doubting if this is the right decision for your future. It’s completely normal and you will have an exciting and unforgettable experience no matter which program you choose. 

But the best choice will depend on what you’re looking for. 

Taking a Gap Year

If you want to have experience studying at an American university, learning about other cultures, and being part of a different education system, a Gap Year is the right choice.  

You never know when you will discover what you are passionate about. That’s why immersing yourself in American culture could be an experience that opens your mind to new possibilities. 

College campuses are filled with students from different states and different countries, which will expose you to many different cultures in one place. Living on campus also means that you will be surrounded by hundreds of activities you can try every day. 


Source: University of North Carolina Greensboro


If you are imagining yourself spending your year on a college campus, these next steps will help you prepare for it.

Whether you’ve already graduated high school or you’ve already started taking college classes in your country, you should keep the following things in mind: 

  • If you’ve just finished high school, you will start at a U.S. university as a first-year student (a.k.a freshman). Taking your first college class in the U.S. means you won’t have anything to compare it to, making it easier for you to adapt to the U.S. university system. 
  • If you’ve already taken college classes, you will be considered a transfer student (a student coming from another university). As a transfer student, you will have some extra requirements: 
    • Many universities don’t automatically accept all courses that are not from an American University. So we must review your profile carefully before starting the application process.  
    • You will need to provide official English translations of your transcripts so that universities can review your courses and grades.
    • Because there is no guarantee that the university will accept all the courses you have already taken, you may have to take some courses again. (This is also true the other way around. Universities in your country may not accept all the classes you take in the U.S.)
    • One major advantage of doing a Gap Year is that when it’s over you can go back home or stay in the U.S. and take more classes if you loved the experience. 

If you still aren’t sure about the process, we used Julia in an example below to show you how the process works.


Julia has just finished high school in Spain. She loves marketing and communication and she’s  thought about studying in the U.S. a lot. But she thinks that the only way to go to the U.S. is to study a 4-year degree. And she’s not sure if she wants to stay in the U.S. that long. 

Julia decides to get in contact with Epro 360 to get more information. We tell her about the different options she has and one of them is doing a Gap Year in the U.S. She can use this year to see if she likes the American college system and how she adapts to living in another country. 

After spending one year in the U.S., Julia can go back to Spain or stay in the U.S. to get a bachelor’s degree. If she decides to go back home, she will have to give the Spanish university her U.S. university documents to see if they will accept the classes she took. 

Studying a 4-year Degree in the U.S.

Are you one of those people who has always dreamt about studying in the U.S. and has made it part of your career goals? If the answer is yes, then getting your bachelor’s degree in the U.S. is the right choice.

If you decide to study in the U.S. for 4 years, it will be a unique experience full of opportunities like becoming an ambassador for your university or playing on the football team and playing in championship games. 

Universities in the U.S. are committed to students who invest in a college education. And they make an effort to give students resources to make your time on their campus worth every penny.


Source: University of Colorado Denver


Universities also put a lot of money into research. So a U.S. college campus is the perfect place to come with a head full of ideas. 

Below are some things to keep in mind about studying a bachelor’s in the U.S.  

  • The admission process is less complicated than for transfer students. And universities try to be as helpful as possible. (Learn more about admission requirements here.)
  • If you work hard, get good grades, and are active on campus, you can apply for competitive tuition waivers and scholarships that can help lower your tuition costs in your second, third or fourth year.
  • If working in the U.S. is one of your goals, studying in the U.S. is the perfect way to network and find out about new job opportunities. (Learn more about work opportunities with CPT and OPT.)
  • You will have more time to visit different cities and even join in on different trips organized especially for international students.

It’s also true that when you’re finishing up your degree, you will start thinking about what you want to do once you graduate. 

If you decide to go back to your country after you’ve graduated, you should organize all the documents you will need to validate your degree and diploma. 

But if you want to continue your professional career in the U.S., you should do research on what options are available for international students (like OPT). 

Here at Epro 360 we always offer personalized attention to our students and are invested in helping our community reach their goals.

So, if you are thinking about doing a Gap Year or getting your bachelor’s in the U.S. to fulfill your dream, get in contact with us here for a free one-on-one consultation

Follow us on social media, too, to learn more about our Epro 360 Community and their success stories!

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