How do you find the best gap year programs and opportunities after high school? And how do you choose the best one for you? What sorts of scholarships and other funding options are available? Whether you read the news and reviews or you prefer word of mouth, there are many variables that can impact your experience abroad. Knowing what is important can help you narrow down your search and make an informed decision.
In recent years, more and more students have started taking gap years between high school and college. But why? Why take a gap year before starting your university coursework? That is probably just one of many questions you’re considering as you wrap up your high school experience. Fortunately, there are answers to those questions. For starters, a gap year can help you learn and appreciate a culture outside of the United States. It can better prepare you for college or boost your future employment potential. But how? What exactly is a gap year, and exactly what can taking one do for you?
What Is a Gap Year?
By the time you graduate from high school, you’ve been focusing on your formal education for so long that you’re completely burnt out, and yet most students head directly from high school to university courses. It can be healthy to take a break from school for a while to recompose yourself. However, it’s important to continue to focus on your education even if you’re not spending that time in a classroom. As a wise man once said, “Don’t let school get in the way of your education.”
When you take a gap year in a foreign country, you’re accomplishing two goals. First, you are giving yourself the opportunity to breathe a little before you dive headlong into university life. But it’s not just an extended vacation. A gap year provides students with the opportunity to learn in a completely different way. Instead of simply reading about other cultures and places in books, students in a gap year program learn by experiencing those cultures and places directly.
And secondly, a gap year allows students to immerse themselves in a culture that’s completely different than the one they’re used to. Gap year participants are housed with local families, and many even get jobs with local businesses and organizations to take a direct part in the culture they’re exploring. Language, networking, and a new global perspective—and these are just a few of the benefits that taking a gap year can bring.
That one-year gap can also give you the time and experience to make tough decisions, like decide what you truly want to study or what career to pursue. And that’s just the beginning. Check out these 10 gap year benefits to create a fulfilling gap year!
You're faced with a lot of choices for life after high school. With so many routes to take, which one is best for you? Global gap year programs are a wonderful way for post-high school students to explore the world and do something exciting yet meaningful before college, plus they help you develop life skills and a better understanding of yourself. Global Citizen Year's bridge year is a program that allows you to do more than just volunteer or study abroad. With a full eight months immersed in another country, working with locals and participating in the culture and customs, you leave with a wealth of real-world experiences to better equip you for college (and life).