Gap Year Admissions

Our Selection Criteria

ALA Gap Year Student Gaciru Matathia discusses her Gap Year experience

Gap Year and Term Abroad applicants are evaluated using the same selection criteria applied to our general applicant pool. We look for candidates that meet our selection criteria with superlative flair. The criteria are as follows:

Academic Achievement

To succeed in the rigorous and challenging ALA curriculum, students must have demonstrated mastery of the subject matter taught at the school they attended before entering the Academy. We expect each applicant to be ranked in the top of their class academically. Our selection committee will closely review each applicant's school reports. Finalists will also write an entrance examination. 

Leadership Potential

Strong, ethical leadership can transform organizations, communities, and countries. At African Leadership Academy we seek young leaders with the potential to transform Africa. Have you taken on leadership roles in your family, school or community? Is your advice sought when others make important decisions? Do you assist peers or family members when they need help? If so, then African Leadership Academy might be a good place for you. We think of leaders as 'agents of positive change'. If you have taken concrete steps to change something in your family, school, or community for the better, then you are already acting as a leader. We encourage you to share with us the activities in which you participate and the leadership roles you assume at home, in your school, or in your community, and we hope you will think critically about what "leadership" means to you.

Entrepreneurial Spirit

Entrepreneurs identify needs in the world around them and take action to alleviate those needs. They start businesses, health clinics, youth organizations, and social movements. They bring new products and ideas to the world. Their efforts create value and improve lives. Do you often think about how you can improve the world around you? Do you act when you see a need in your community? Do you enjoy thinking about new ideas and creating new products? If so, African Leadership Academy might be a good place for you. We encourage you to celebrate your entrepreneurial spirit and share your entrepreneurial ideas with us. 

Dedication to Public Service

When leaders use their skills for the benefit of their communities, we all benefit. Are you passionate about uplifting your community? Do you dream of a world in which all people are able to realize their dreams? Have you demonstrated this passion at school or in your community? If so, then African Leadership Academy might be the place for you. We hope you will share with us how you plan to give back to your community and the world.

Applying to the Gap Year Program

Click here to download an application form.
African Leadership Academy seeks dynamic, motivated 17-19 year old leaders from around the world who have completed high school and are thrilled at the prospect of an intense, 10-month pre-university program in which they would build lasting friendships with Africa's future leaders, engage in deep study of the African continent, and design and implement a community service project that will have a lasting impact on a community in need. 
ALA accepts applications to the gap year program on two timelines as described below. Applicants complete a multifaceted application process and are evaluated on five criteria: Academic Achievement, Leadership Potential, Entrepreneurial Spirit, Passion for Africa, and Commitment to Public Service.

Early Submission: 

Students applying in the early round must submit preliminary applications and a school report by April 1, 2014. Finalists will be asked to submit a second-round application and invited to interview with ALA in late April, and will be notified of their admission in May. Students are encouraged to apply in the early submission round to maximize their likelihood of acceptance. Students may choose to apply the late submission round, with preliminary applications due of June 1, 2014. These applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis, and students are encouraged to apply early to maximize their likelihood of acceptance. Admitted students will be notified by July.


June 1, 2014 (Late Submission Gap Year Applicants & Term 1 Abroad Applicants)

August 31, 2014 (Term 2 & 3 Abroad Applicants)