The Gap Experience is an adventurous way to start your college career.

The St. Norbert Gap Experience

Looking for an adventurous way to start your college career? St. Norbert’s Gap Experience is a full year — with full academic credit — held completely off campus during your first semester on sites across the country and in St. Lucia.

An Adventurous Start to Your Degree
If you’re not sure what you want to major in, this is a perfect way to explore who you are and see the needs within our global society that you may be able to fulfill.

This program can provide you with both the time and life experience to learn more about how your gifts and talents align with the needs of the world — while still staying on track with your college degree plans. You’ll further develop your personal leadership skills within a cohort of no more than 20 adventurous St. Norbert students who are looking to begin their college career in a unique and challenging way. 

Leadership, Service & International Travel
You’ll begin with an outdoor leadership adventure along the Canadian north shore of Lake Superior, followed by travel to various service sites throughout the country, then wrap up your first semester with an amazing international travel opportunity on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia. Not a bad way to begin college!

This isn’t a glorified vacation, though. You’ll have rigorous academic requirements. In fact, you’ll achieve sophomore status when you complete the experience, just like any other first-year student. And you’ll be on track to graduate in four years, backed by our four-year graduation guarantee.

Gap Experience Distinctions
You probably have a number of questions about how the program works. Here’s an overview of what makes this program unique. You can find more details in frequently asked questions.
  • Cost Students participating in the program are responsible for their travel costs to the starting location, and to fly to and from St. Lucia. All other costs are included in your St. Norbert tuition, room and board. Any scholarships, academic awards or financial aid that you’re offered are applicable.
  • Eligibility Once you apply to and are admitted to St. Norbert, you’ll need to complete the online application for the Gap Experience. A maximum of 20 students are admitted to this unique program. The program is organized and facilitated by full-time, professional St. Norbert staff, so you’ll be considered fully enrolled as a St. Norbert student and earn credits equivalent to full-time status.
  • Financial aid from SNC You’ll qualify for a financial aid package that helps to finance this opportunity. Just as financial aid helps offset the costs of tuition and fees for a student on campus all year long, your financial aid package will help cover the cost of the program for your Gap semester as well as your J-term course and spring tuition and fees.
  • College credit toward your degree Because the Gap Experience is run by St. Norbert College, we’ll make sure that you’re not only earning college credit, but that these credits will satisfy core curriculum requirements at SNC and you’ll be at the same place as your peers on campus  on track to graduate in four years, guaranteed.
  • Character-building leadership You’ll not only see what you’re capable of, but what kind of leader you can be. You won’t learn about leadership in a vacuum; you’ll put those ideas to the test as you push yourself physically and mentally.
  • Experiential service learning See what it’s like to walk a mile in another’s shoes. You’ll learn, first-hand, about the challenges that so many in our country face every day. You’ll work to make a positive change in the lives of others as well as in yourself. We encourage all of our students to connect their passions with the needs of the world  at these service sites, you’ll do just that.
  • Faculty, staff and student support Make lifelong connections with other SNC students (especially your Gap Experience cohort) and SNC staff. St. Norbert College faculty and staff who facilitate the program will make sure that you have all of the help and support you need during the Gap program and as part of our on-campus community.
Timeline of GAP Experience
June 2014
Summer Orientation with special Gap Experience sessions
Aug. 20 - Sept. 14
Outdoor leadership adventure — an immersion experience like no other, along the Canadian north shore of Lake Superior
Sept. 15 - Oct. 15
Wind your way across the country and learn about St. Norbert College’s culture of community engagement as you spend four week-long intervals assisting those in need.
Oct. 16-22
Fall Break
Oct. 23 - Dec. 5
Overseas Adventure: St. Lucia
Dec. 6 - Jan. 3 Winter Break
Jan. 4, 2015 
Move in to your assigned campus housing. Students return to St. Norbert College for J-Term (3-week intensive study during January). Welcome back banquet with program staff and faculty.
Jan. 5
Begin J-Term course and Gap Week-of-Welcome orientation to campus. Choose spring courses with program adviser.
Jan. 23
J-Term ends
Jan. 26
Second semester classes begin. Gap students will enroll in a cohort class along with other spring courses.
March 14-22
Spring Break
March 23
Classes resume
April 3-6
Easter Break
May 8
Second semester classes end. Gap program wrap-up with director.
May 11-15
Final Exams