For soccer players, taking a gap year might be the best way to overcome Covid-19


These are challenging times we have to sometimes adjust our lives according to the limited options available to us. As more and more colleges and universities in USA move online because of coronavirus safety, the appeal of an international GAP year has been growing as well. The “new normal” has pushed student - athletes off the path to playing pro soccer and has left many questions unanswered. Skilled soccer players need continuous training-competition to reach higher levels, and thus having an entire season without competition and training is simply unthinkable.

What is a gap year? As Ethan Knight, executive director of the Gap Year Assn., explains it, a gap year is a “semester or a year of experiential learning typically taken after high school and prior to college or post-secondary education in order to deepen one’s practical, professional and personal awareness.” But, what can we achieve from a gap year? In case of a normal student we would say to learn  new skills but in the case of student Soccer Players it would be to get a life changing experience both on and off the field this 20-21 season. Maybe many of us have had big plans for this year internationally and maybe for some, the coronavirus pandemic struck and turned those plans to dust but we are still on time to turn the situation around.

A soccer gap year offers you the opportunity to gain new soccer skills and challenge yourself internationally, while you discover new cultures and even learning a new language in a fairly safe “Covid controlled” environment in Germany. A gap year can also enhance your prospects of higher education studies – if you decide to apply for a University, you could tailor your gap year to relate it to the subject area you plan to study. Admissions tutors know that some students may take a little time to adjust to studying again, but many former gap year students are generally more focused and responsible.

Regarding college soccer players, International Fútbol X-Change (IFX) has been placing gap-year participants into German soccer clubs while they learn from the local culture or even continue or begin their higher education at our partner University. This is a massive opportunity to discover the world and continue growing up on soccer. University registration, Accommodation, Club placement, visa assistance, supporting the Player Transfer Certificate process, and 24/7 support are some of the main features IFX provides participants with. As everyone knows Germany is a global soccer powerhouse delivering high qualified footballers to the international market thus whatever level a player desires and achieves while abroad, there is no doubt he will become more skilled and bring back home a competitive advantage in comparison with his home country peers.

This month, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York released an analysis that said taking a gap year could cost people $90,000 of lifetime earning potential by delaying college, and thus their careers, by a year. However, the analysis didn’t take into account the social and mental benefits of a gap year. Nor did it take into account the fact that you can still make money or earn college credit while taking a gap year.

A gap year  isn’t an option that suits everyone – for some, it may be advisable not to take a break between studies. Here are some pros and cons to consider.


An opportunity to have a break from studying and return refreshed.

Learn from European soccer style, and travel the world. Playing for European soccer club can be valuable on your CV.

Expand your network of contacts within International Soccer market.

Trialing and playing for a German club might be the opportunity you have been looking for and start in your international playing career.

Living abroad on your own will foster  maturity even if you don’t yet feel ready for higher education or work life.


Some people find a year out becomes a distraction from their longer term plans.

It can be harder to return to study after a year-long break.

If you don’t get organized, you may end up spending your gap year just “thinking about it”.

  • According to Temple University in Philadelphia, "those who participated in a gap year on average had shorter times to graduation and higher GPAs compared with national norms. These results appeared long-lasting into adulthood.”

Like all things in life, it’s important to form a plan of what you will do for the year. In this case IFX helps you to structure and get a program tailored to your expectations. Business University programs in Germany are popular but have strict deadlines. We as a program operator deal with registration, round trip tickets, insurance and support with visas, accommodations, school, etc.

There is no soccer player who aspires to reach a professional level that does not want to travel the world playing soccer. This is a great opportunity to discover new cultures, and develop your independent living skills at the same time!

If you have ever dreamed about starting/continuing your education in English AND to play soccer abroad or study at a University and playing soccer in Europe, then please visit here our program in Germany CLICK HERE!

Choose the best international soccer immersion program combining international education and football!

You also might be interested in...