University Experience Year

Higher Education With Kaplan International

University Experience Year

Kaplan’s Academic Gap Year

Learn English and study at an American university

Structured like a typical academic year, Kaplan’s University Experience Year is designed to introduce you to life in a real American university while studying English at Kaplan.

Over two semesters (32 weeks), you will build advanced fluency in English, strengthen your critical and analytical thinking skills, gain in-depth experience of a real-life English-speaking academic environment, and achieve valuable academic credits from one of our prestigious American university partners.

You’ll take English classes at a Kaplan school during both semesters, and in semester two you’ll also attend additional credit-bearing classes at one of three prestigious university partners.

After Kaplan’s University Experience Year, you’ll be more than ready to reach for your goals – you’ll be on your way there.


Simplified Admissions

As a student of the Kaplan University Experience Year, you’ll only need to apply for your F-1 visa once and can use your Kaplan I-20 for both Kaplan and the partner university.


Using your new English skills you gain from studying in a Kaplan school, in the second semester you will study alongside American students and build lasting confidence, independence and self-belief.

Specialized language training

Achieve advanced fluency and learn the specialized vocabulary you need to write sophisticated essays, join debates and deliver presentations in English.

Transferrable credits

Gain 3 – 6 credits from an American university in semester two and use them to support a future degree application.

Three Prestigious Universities

Take your credit-bearing classes in semester two at one of three highly renowned university campuses, each located close to your Kaplan English school.

Kaplan's Partner Universities

UC Santa Barbara
Pace University
George Washington University

Course Overview

35 weeks (including study break)

Pre-sessional English Classes

If you haven’t yet reached an Intermediate level of English, you can choose a package of pre-sessional English classes before your first semester begins.

Semester 1

English training and orientation

Intensive English training at your Kaplan School will help you reach the advanced proficiency you need to thrive in an English-speaking academic setting. Ahead of semester two, you’ll receive specialist preparation for your college experience, including campus tours and help completing the enrolment process.

Our university partners recognize Kaplan’s English levels. You’ll begin college classes with the equivalent of TOEFL level 80 or above, but you won’t have to sit a separate TOEFL exam in order to start your classes.


Study Break for 3 weeks

After a semester of intensive English training, you’ll reach the required level of English proficiency to begin college classes.

Semester 2

Kaplan Advanced Classes

Continue to fine-tune your English skills with a range of English course options, including working towards Proficiency English, test preparation classes for TOEFL or iGrad, and English for Academic Purposes.

Credit Bearing Course

In addition to your English lessons at your Kaplan school, you’ll also attend credit-bearing classes in your chosen subject alongside students at your selected university.

Prices & Add-ons

University Experience Year

This fee covers your Kaplan tuition in all locations, and includes:

  • English tuition – 21 hours per week
  • Complementary K+ Online and K+ Learning Clubs – 5.25 hours
  • Orientation of the school, city and partner university campus
  • University Admission Application Sessions – one-to-one (Semester 1)
  • Academic Support Sessions - one-to-one (Semester 2)
  • Access to K+ Online Extra, during your studies

* Other options available:
Additional one-to-one lessons, test preparation upgrade, intensive upgrade (6 extra hours language training per week), medical & travel insurance, airport transfers

Partner University Courses & Accommodation

There are a range of courses and accommodation options in each city. Prices are in addition to your University Experience Year Fee and will vary depending on your choices.

U.C. Santa Barbara Pace University George Washington University
Credit bearing course
(per unit)
$281 - $335
Credit bearing course
(per credit)
$1016 - $1700
Credit bearing course:
(per credit)
From $1,690
Homestay (per week)
Residence (per week)
$600 - $990
Homestay (per week)
Residence (per week)
Homestay (per week)
Residence (per week)

* You can take one college class for three credits, or two classes for six credits. All credits are transferrable. Please talk to one of our advisors to confirm exact prices.

How does it work?

Kaplan's University Experience Year offers you world-class English language training alongside tailored academic support. We'll help you navigate the American college experience with ease.

What to expect

Semester 1

Intensive English Training

26.25 hours of intensive English tuition, including Specific Skills sessions and access to K+, our bespoke learning materials.


Orientation sessions include a campus tour of your chosen university, a walking tour of the city, and group seminars introducing you to the US classroom experience.

Admission counselling

Individual guidance to help you through the process of choosing your credit-bearing course and enrolling at your chosen university, including assistance with application forms and help meeting deadlines.

Semester 2

Advanced English

Continue to fine-tune your English skills with a range of English course options as you continue to study in your Kaplan school, including working towards Proficiency English, test preparation classes for TOEFL or iGrad, and English for Academic Purposes.

Academic support

Personal support to help you get the most out of your studies, including assistance with the vocabulary of your course subject, guidance on academic writing and lecture comprehension, and project coaching.

Academic credentials

At the end of your course, you’ll gain a Kaplan certificate to formally recognise your achievement in English (accepted in lieu of a TOEFL score by several universities around the world), as well as 3 – 6 credits from one of our partner universities.

* Each week you receive
20 English lessons (15 hours)

Master difficult grammatical structures, fine-tune your pronunciation, read complex texts and build a large working vocabulary.

8 specific skills sessions (6 hours)

Eliminate your weaknesses, explore your interests or prepare to achieve the qualifications you need.

7 K+ sessions (5.25 hours)

Our exclusive K+ Online and K+ Online Extra materials help you reinforce progress made in class and provide instant feedback, while our teacher-led K+ Learning Clubs allow you to socialize and practice your language skills at the same time.

What to expect

Simplified admissions

When you choose Kaplan’s University Experience Year, you’ll benefit from world class tuition without having to go through the highly competitive admissions process. You won’t need to sit any additional tests to begin your college classes: your Kaplan certificate will be accepted in lieu of a TOEFL score.

Your college transcript

When you complete your University Experience Year, you'll receive a transcript from a prestigious American university, recording your classes, grades, and credit hours. If you’re planning to take an undergraduate degree in the US or Canada, you can use your transcript both to support your application, and to count towards your eventual degree.

Enrolment requirements

The credit-bearing course fees range from $281 to $1,690 per credit. This amount will vary depending on the university partners and the course availability, as well as other additional fees applicable to each university.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. Our University Placement Service offers personalized guidance to help you find the right subject and university, along with practical help and advice throughout the application process. You’ll receive a Conditional Letter of Acceptance from your chosen institution, and our free English pre-arrival test and study plan will help you understand the requirements and prepare you to meet them.

There is no need for F1 students to return to their home country between the end of the University Experience Year program and transitioning to a university if:

  • The transfer I-20 is requested no more than 60 days after you complete your University Experience Year.
  • There is no more than a five-month gap between the completion of your University Experience Year and enrolling as a university student.

You can take one college class for three credits, or two classes for six credits. All credits are transferrable.

No. You do not need to take a TOEFL test to begin the University Experience Year course, or to progress to your university classes in semester two.

If you wish to continue your studies after your University Experience Year, your Kaplan certificate will be accepted in lieu of a TOEFL score by many partner universities in Kaplan’s University Placement Service network. If you’d like to apply to a university outside of the UPS network, it’s likely that you will need an English test score from an external provider.

We’re so confident in our teaching methods that we’ll make you a promise. Provided you meet all attendance and study requirements, you’ll reach the equivalent of TOEFL 80 in time for your college classes – or we’ll offer you four weeks of extra tuition for free.

If you’re unable to start your credit bearing course, we’ll assess how much of the additional University Experience Year services you’ve benefited from and discuss with you how we can help you reach your English proficiency goals.

Kaplan fees:
The University Experience Year fee of $14,999 will need to be paid upon completing your application and before your course begins. This fee will cover your Kaplan tuition services, K+ learning materials, university orientation, enrolment support and academic support sessions. The price is the same for every Kaplan destination.

University fees:
You will need to make the payment for your credit bearing course and university fees directly to the university of your choice before your second semester begins. The exact price will depend on your chosen university extension school, your selected course and the number of credits you decide to take.

Additional fees will apply if you make any additions or upgrades to your course. These include type of accommodation, one-to-one lessons, test preparation upgrade, intensive upgrade (6 extra hours language training per week) medical & travel insurance and airport transfers.

We do not currently offer discounts or scholarships. Students should have their own funding arrangements in place throughout their University Experience Year program.

No, your English classes will be at your Kaplan school in both semesters. In semester two, you’ll continue with your English studies at Kaplan, and you’ll also take additional classes in your chosen subject on the partner university campus of your choice.

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