Students who have recently completed high school are eligible to spend one or more semesters of their Gap Year at The Oxbow School. Gap students will engage in art and academic offerings and will have the option of submitting a proposal for independent study in an area of their interest. A gap semester at Oxbow is a perfect opportunity to delve deeply into an immersive arts experience. Gap year students at Oxbow learn how to advocate for themselves in an educational setting with a sense of confidence and clarity. Students will create a personalized portfolio of advanced art and academic work.

Spending a semester after high school at Oxbow is a valuable social, academic, and artistic experience. Whether already committed to a specific college, or still searching for the right fit, Oxbow provides a framework for the future. Students who attend semester programs gain the skills to take full advantage of the resources around them. We are now accepting gap applications for the Spring 2021 Semester. Students who have not yet attended college and are 19 and under are eligible.

Students who have not yet applied to Oxbow should fill out the online application below. Those students who may have already attended Oxbow or applied in the past can reach out to us at to learn how to transfer their applications to the Gap program. Please be aware there is no longer financial aid available for the Spring 2021 Semester.

Alex W. Post Grad

What new skills and habits did you acquired during your semester?

"I’ve learned to write and talk about my art eloquently, which is something that I never assumed would be as important as I have learned it is. Since coming here, I have also been using my sketchbook a lot, either drawing or painting each day, and that has allowed me to craft my skills in a more informal way. The journals provided to us were also something that I heavily used, and keeping a notebook regularly is something that I’ll make a regular habit out of after Oxbow. This is a huge step for me, because I’ve always been so horrible about keeping notebooks."

How did you grown as an artist at Oxbow?

"At Oxbow, my subject matter became more personal as time went on. I think that I was able to use this subject matter and the vulnerability that came with it to explore parts of myself and my life that I previously never had. Prior to Oxbow, I only really worked in photography, but over the course of the semester I was really able to try bigger projects in media that I was not familiar in. Over the course of the semester, I completed big projects in painting, in analog slide projection, in video, and in installation – all new media that I have a newfound love for and will continue to explore beyond Oxbow."

Describe how you grew as a scholar.

"I always sort of avoid writing about myself because of the intense and mentally taxing reflection process that it involves, but the regular personal narrative writing assignments really helped me overcome that pseudo-writer’s block that I experienced. In high school, I was so used to writing analytical papers or fiction pieces. I am now much more comfortable with writing about myself and my life, which I am so grateful for."

Ayla K. Post-Grad

How have you changed since you arrived at Oxbow?

"I feel I have changed immensely in self confidence and what I am capable of accomplishing. I also have realized I need to fight hard for what I want in life and keep going."

What was your greatest success?

"My greatest success was applying and reaching out to several jobs I wanted throughout the semester as well as accomplishing several projects in mediums I was unfamiliar with. In particular, I am very proud of my printed map, as that entire process was completely foreign to me."

What new skills and habits did you acquire at Oxbow?

"I've learned to printmake, how to slaughter a chicken, and how to sculpt with natural materials. I also learned to conceptualize art instead of making it just because of looks. I learned basic farming practices, how to advocate for myself, and how to interact with people I am constantly surrounded by."

Describe how you grew as an artist at Oxbow.

"I am far more confident and exploratory in my art. I also have been able to develop conceptual meaning."

Describe how you have grown has a scholar.

"I have been able to explore things I'm really passionate about and see the importance in that instead of just researching topics the teacher presents to us."