Semester Off Overview

Semester Off is an innovative, group-based, educational enrichment program crafted specifically for college students taking a semester- or year-long leave of absence from college. Drawing from Eastern and Western traditions and the most recent advances in mental health care, the Semester Off curriculum provides students with a supportive and challenging environment where they can better understand what interfered with their earlier attempt, or attempts, at college.

The program integrates academics, career counseling, community service, wellness practices (including yoga, meditation, and cardiovascular exercise), executive functioning coaching, and group team-building. It is specifically designed to be both enriching and fun! In essence, it is a place for students to pause, contemplate, learn valuable skills, and begin mapping a new trajectory for their academic, social, and professional lives.

Our Mission

Our mission is to create a life-changing experience that empowers each student either to complete college or to define another, alternative path which is more in line with his/her talents, future goals, and objectives.

A core belief at Semester Off is that each of
our students has the inner potential to succeed given the right environment.

Our Students

There are many reasons a student may encounter difficulty in college. Students and college administrators most commonly cite basic academic unpreparedness, poor time-management, troubled relationships (including peer pressure), substance abuse, and identity issues (e.g., gender/sexuality or uncertainty about academic and career plans).

About Us

Semester Off was founded by Ilan P. Goldberg, MD, a board-certified, Harvard-trained psychiatrist and medical ethicist who maintains a private practice in the Boston area. Through his work with the college population in his own practice, he came to realize the lack of services available to these students.

Our Approach

Approach and Enrichment Philosophy

A core belief at Semester Off is that each of our students has the inner potential to succeed given the right environment. For some, this means a more compassionate and empathic learning milieu to improve confidence and self-esteem. For others, this means a more structured setting where expectations are clear and concise and high standards of personal and academic conduct are reinforced. For all of our students, we will provide a respectful, nurturing space for learning and self-reflection and create a social latticework within which the student will develop a sense of belonging and connection.