Gap Semester (Year 4)


GAPSem Colour Long


Rafflesians are encouraged to be open-minded, world-ready, and sensitive to diverse social and cultural perspectives. We also aim to inspire Rafflesians to make a contribution to the global community. To this end, we provide students with the time and space to immerse in a wide range of learning experiences, especially during the GAP Semester in Year 4. 

Year 4 boys will spend the latter half of the year to pursue an exciting, self-directed curriculum, under the guidance of teacher mentors.  This unique portion of the Raffles Programme is aimed at helping students to:

  • Gain perspective and find a direction that will give their next two years in RI (and university life) meaning and focus
  • Develop greater maturity and independence, by joining professional communities as a volunteer or intern
  • Attain a deeper understanding of other cultures and our global society
  • Pursue one or more fields of interest, to test or define a career path

Each student will get to design his own GAP Semester experience by putting together a combination of the following:

  1. International Courses
  2. Work Attachment Programmes
  3. Singapore Courses
  4. Student-Initiated Courses

What is common across our GAP Semester courses is how students will be engaged in a powerful curriculum, where they receive structured mentoring, and gain knowledge of both local issues and global solutions. Through these courses, we hope that they will have fun, learn and grow while discovering what is truly meaningful and significant to them.

Students can choose from Singapore Courses, Work Attachment Programmes, International Courses or initiate their own courses that meet their own learning needs.

Singapore Courses
Below is a sampling from more than 50 courses offered in different disciplines/areas of interest:

  • Advanced Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
  • Basic Video Production
  • Beat Box − All from the Mouth
  • Cold War: Of Powers and Proxies
  • Entrepreneurship Catalyst Programme
  • Deviance
  • Financial Mathematics and Inferential Statistics
  • Food in History: What We Eat and Drink
  • Fun with Logic and Paradoxes
  • Introduction to Pharmaceutical Chemistry
  • Investment 101
  • Journalism: The Power of Words and Images
  • Mangroves − Not a Wasteland
  • Navigate from Cartesian to Polar
  • Rock-Climbing 
  • Shakespeare Films
  • Soar as a Pilot
  • The RI Creative Writing Capstone Programme
  • The Science and Technology of 3D Printing
  • Top Gear! The Mechanics of Remote-Controlled Racing 
  • Transnational Corporations: A Look into Economic Geography
  • Unleash the Sherlock in You − Forensic Science
  • Video Game Programming


Singapore Course – Mangroves: Not a Wasteland


Student-Initiated Courses
Students initiate a course individually or in a group to meet their specific learning needs. These typically take the form of

  • Work experience 
  • Service projects
  • Research attachments
  • Sports attachments 


Student-Initiated Course – Squash Coaching sports attachment 


Work Attachment Programmes
We offer close to 200 vacancies in 70 different attachments to 30 companies and organisations.

  • Attachments to government departments, SMEs and voluntary welfare organisations
  • Shadowing of professionals in their work
  • Hands-on experience in the IT industry and Finance sector
  • Opportunity to experience frontline and support-centre work in the food and beverage industry


Work Attachment Programme – Attachment to F&B partner organisation



International Courses

We offer 12 or more international GAP Semester courses every year. Here is a sampling:

  • A Tale of Two Cities: An Exploration of National Identity in Hanoi and Singapore
  • History and Geography Field Trip to Vietnam
  • Bicultural Programme to China
  • A Sociolinguistic Study of English: Exchange Programme with a High School in Tokyo, Japan
  • Conservation and Community Development in Terengganu, Malaysia
  • Looking Through My Eyes: Photography and Homestay in Taiwan
  • Close Approximations: Comparing Representations of Hong Kong and Singapore
  • The Kobe Science Research Experience in Japan
  • Forests in the Face of Global Change: A Field Research Course in Malaysia
  • Tobacco-Free Generation: Student Ambassadors’ Programme

    Note: The above are examples of GAP Semester courses conducted in recent years. Courses vary every year and may not be repeated. 



International Course – Exchange Programme with partner school in Japan