We have discussed the so-called "GAP year" here before. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, rest assured that it has nothing to do with trendy, preppy clothing. It simply means that some high school seniors intend to wait a full year after high school graduation before attending college. Some (perhaps the majority) go through the traditional college process during senior year and acquire their acceptances. Then, after choosing their best-fit school, exercise their option to defer attending until fall term the following year. Other seniors may choose to delay their college process until after their GAP year, feeling that using the credibility of their year's "real-world" experience will enhance their college admissions chances. Either approach is valid.
GAP year plans are very flexible. Students can roll their own or take advantage of pre-structured programs. One such program is Projects Abroad, which claims to be "the leading volunteer abroad organization," which offers a diverse range of international service projects, plus the opportunity to become part of one of their overseas volunteer communities.