Max De Graaf came to Green River Community College fall 2012 for the Gap Year program.
"My agency in the Netherlands told me that that they had only heard good things about this college and the students are really well taken care of. In addition, this was the only college I could attend at 17 and live in student housing instead of a host family. I was ready for some independence.
"I also wanted to travel and see the world. Coming to Green River Community College in Washington State was my first step in my world travels. I have made life-long friends from many different countries.
"Gap year really helped me to make the necessary step between high school and university. I didn't know what I wanted to study when I was in the Netherlands and the American system let me explore my interests. I have grown to really like the American education system because you can pursue your major and study other areas. For example, you can major in history and study psychology too. There are also a lot of clubs and activities that you can get involved in. If the club does not exist, you can create it. In fact, I helped to create the first European club on campus. It's a holistic education.
"This fall, I will be attending Roosevelt Academy in Middleburg. I am grateful to Green River Community College for opening my eyes to the importance of a liberal arts education. I am excited about my future and plan to major in History."