Not every student is prepared to start college as soon as they finish school. So rather than wiling your time away, why not take a gap year and gain some skills?
In this article, we will tell you all there is to know about the gap year and how you can choose a program based on your interests and capabilities.
What is the gap year?
A gap year is like taking a year off between crucial stages of life. This time can be used to travel, volunteer, learn a new language, or participate in any number of opportunities that can help in personal growth. Typically, students take a gap year after graduating from high school and right before they start college.
Why should you take a gap year?
There are many good reasons why you should consider taking a gap year. However, one of the most common arguments for doing that is the opportunity to explore other interests and find a purpose for your life. Students will see that taking a break from studies and focusing that time on life’s experiences will help them in all their future endeavors.
It doesn’t matter what you choose in terms of gap year programs abroad. Whether you are travelling or working or volunteering or even doing all of them at the same time, you will realize that after completing your gap year, your return to academic world is rather refreshing and enriching. According to experts, students who take a gap year are able to do better in college as they become capable of handling pressures, become more focused, mature, motivated, and committed to their goals.
Most importantly, many students believe that by taking a gap year, they are able to help others by participating in volunteer programs. As a result, they are able to experience a cultural exchange at the root level and also make some real difference in people’s lives.
Gap Year Options
The good news for students looking to take a gap year is that there are no rules! The possibilities are endless and adventures are unforgettable. You can choose from any area of interest such as animals, archaeology, human rights, journalism, sports, business, etc. Find what motivates you and let your instincts guide you from there!
Things to Keep in Mind
As exciting as it may sound to take a year off before college, it does require intense discipline and clear focus to make it work for you. Here are some things you must consider before you pounce at that opportunity.
Choosing between a self-designed program or an established organization:
This is something that most students do not even think about when planning a gap year. While it is exciting to self-design the entire program yourself, it can also be risky to do everything on your own in a new country. If you are still testing waters, then it is recommended that you work with an experienced provider who can handle all your logistical and safety concerns.
Did you know that if you had already secured a spot in a college during your senior high school, you can defer your admission until next year? This gives you the freedom to enjoy your gap year in peace, knowing that you have an admission in place.
Take time off to improve your scores:
A gap year is not always about travel. You can also take some time off to improve your grades to get a better shot at college applications next year. This is also a good time to take on new skills and learn new things.
Define your goals:
When you are planning a gap year, you should consider how you are going to use this time to learn about the world and yourself. Defining your goals and a plan will help you stay focused and make sure that you don’t waste a year off in doing things that do not amount to anything. You should use this time for personal growth as well as work towards future success.
Participate in college bridge year program:
While gap year has only recently gained traction, some leading colleges across the world have been offering fellowship programs to new students who want to defer their college start date to explore different opportunities abroad. So be sure to look into that.
When people talk of gap year, it is often mistaken simply as a time off between high school ending and starting undergraduate studies. This break from the study can be so much more than that. Now that you know all that’s on offer, make a wise selection based on your comfort levels and expectations from life. Use the tips in this article to educate yourself about the process so that you can make a wise decision.