When French-Swedish national Adèle Fensby and her twin sister graduated from high school in France, they didn’t know what they wanted to study or which career path to pursue. So at 17 years old, with their parents’ financial support, they planned a gap year in Sweden studying English at the University of Gothenburg.

A gap or bridge year is an experiential year – which can involve volunteering or traveling – that some students take before college. For prospective international students, this is also an opportunity to determine whether studying overseas is really right for them.

At Gothenburg, Fensby says she and her sister interacted with international students of all ages, cultures and backgrounds and grew their English and Swedish language skills. After the gap year, her sister returned to France to study law while Fensby chose to study political science at Uppsala University in Sweden.

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