We know the gap year from all sIdes

Meet your J2Guides: Jason and Jane Sarouhan

Professional Gap Year Consultants: Jason leaning against a door frame of an orange door

Jason Sarouhan

"In early 1998 my life imploded. A third year at UC San Diego, I was a burnt-out biological anthropology major..."

Read Jason's Story >
Professional Gap Year Consultants: Jane at a glacial bay in Iceland

Jane Goldstone Sarouhan

"I traveled around the world for 9 months when I was an anthropology student at Boston University..."

Read Jane's Story >

(Sarouhan is pronounced "suh-roy-en")

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Professional Gap Year Consultants: Jane & Jason Sarouhan

We, Jane and Jason Sarouhan, are Professional Gap Year Consultants accredited by the Gap Year Association. We have met rigorous, national standards and demonstrated excellence in ethical, responsible, and risk managed advising in gap year education. Additionally:

  • We are Gap Year Association board members and co-chair the GYA Alumni (Jane) & Standards (Jason) Committees 

  • We have been keynote speakers for the USA Gap Year Fairs since 2011.

  • We advise organizations on best practices in quality gap year programming.

  • We represent the gap year on a national level for conferences, publications and press.

  • For 30 years we have mentored thousands of students who, like you, are ready for new skills, perspectives and opportunities.

  • We directed a national nonprofit that took 350 volunteers overseas annually.

  • We each spent a decade guiding students on wilderness and cultural programs worldwide.

  • We develop experiential programs, workshops and curriculum for students and professionals.

What the above doesn't say is that we strive to live a life that aligns with our values. We believe in experiential learning not just because of the tremendous outcomes we see in our students, but because of what we see in ourselves, too. We know that new experiences and environments keep us engaged with our interests, abilities, and even limitations. We see ourselves at our best, and sometimes at our worst ... each of which helps us to define (or refine) our values and aspirations.

You don't need to be halfway around the world or on a gap year to have a shift in perspective or a development of a skill. We strive every day to meet our relationships, work and recreation as if each was a unique opportunity for learning and connecting, and we call it living with a #gapyearstateofmind.

If you are here then you are thinking about a gap year. And if you are thinking about a gap year then you are someone who is ready to question, to learn, and to grow. If along the way you are looking for compassionate, enthusiastic, experienced and authentic gap year mentors, J2Guides is the right place for you.

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We can guide you through this process.

Schedule a free meeting with Jane or Jason.

Jane and Jason worked for Global Routes (an organization I co-founded) for nearly 15 years, as field staff, then as program managers, and ultimately as executive directors. They both demonstrated the highest degree of professionalism, capability, compassion and excellence in every aspect of running an educational non-profit. When they moved to gap year advising, that knowledge of the industry, their compassionate caring, their willingness to advocate for clients really held sway. So much so that my wife and I called upon them when our son was looking to deep-dive into an interest of his. They directed us to two experiences, both of which were critical in the development of his interests and more importantly his sense of self. I can’t recommend Jane and Jason more highly.

Kenneth Hahn

Founding director of Global Routes; Parent of a Gap Year Client

J2Guides warmly welcomes all people, regardless of their age, ability, religion, culture, ethnic origin, nationality, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status. J2Guides is committed to making gap year advising accessible to all families; please inquire about our scholarships.

Though we have long-standing relationships with organizations all over the world, our top priority as gap year counselors is referring vetted opportunities that best fit each student's budget, abilities and goals. We work with intention and integrity when it comes to our referrals. To this end, we do not:

  • support opportunities that exploit vulnerable people, wildlife or environments;
  • make placements in fields where you may not possess the proper experience or training;
  • accept commissions from organizations for our referrals.

Essential Eligibility Criteria (EEC)

The well-being of gap year students is paramount to our goals, as well as to your successful gap year. As such, all J2Guides' students are expected to meet our following EEC which ask that you be an informed, responsible, respectful, engaged and transparent participant in all aspects of your gap year.

Education & Engagement

  • Students are expected to be active participants in the planning of their gap years, and in the research and final selection of their gap year placements.
  • Students are expected to engage in all aspects and activities included in their gap year placements.
  • Gap year students willingly accept the inevitable uncertainties, challenges and changes that come with experiential learning opportunities such as those presented in a gap year.

Health & Safety

  • Students are expected to be fully transparent with J2Guides and all gap year placements about their mental and physical health, including any recent injuries, interventions and prescription medications.
  • Students are expected to be able to meet the emotional and physical requirements of each specific placement.
  • Students traveling away from home - whether independently or on an organized program - must be able to manage their basic needs (e.g. food, sleep and hygiene) as well as exercise good judgment, decision making and communication skills.

Respect & Responsibility

  • Gap years by nature introduce students to new peers, supervisors, cultures, rules, ideas and experiences; gap year students are expected to be open-minded and respectful of all differences.
  • Students should adhere to all gap year placements' rules and expectations, and accept any consequences (e.g. dismissal, no refund) should they be in violation of any of those agreed-upon rules.
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