Gap Years are a great opportunity to learn more about yourself and the world. Consider some of these benefits to determine if it could be the right choice for you.
1. Be better prepared for college
Taking and completing a gap year will give you a better sense of self. It will make you more independent and more mature. For many of Global Citizen Year Alums, their gap year helped them figure out what they wanted to study and re-energized them to return to the classroom and pursue their dreams. Many colleges report that students who take gap years are more involved on campus and have higher GPAs.
2. Gain a better sense of self and the world
No matter what you do for your gap year, you will get to know yourself a little better. Taking a break from classroom learning will help you learn more about yourself and what makes you happy. You will also gain a new and different understanding of the world, as you stretch, grow and see new things. The challenges facing the world are global in nature – poverty, diseases, immigration – and we need leaders who are ready to engage with the world to solve them.
On your gap year – no matter what you choose to do – you get to make the world your classroom. And understanding the world will make you a better citizen and community member at home, at college and in life.
3. Colleges and universities like it
More and more colleges are encouraging – and in some cases requiring – taking a gap year. A growing list of colleges, from Tufts University to Harvard University to University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, are providing incentives such as preferred admission, financial aid, and course credit to increase the number of students who do it.
4. Boost your resume
Taking a gap year is a great way to stand out from other applicants. Imagine being able to put on your resume that you’re fluent in another language and spent a year living in another country. By taking a gap year, you will set yourself apart from the pack and show confidence and motivation. It will also give you something to talk about at interviews! You will get to speak about why you chose to do it, why it was the right decision and everything you learned from it.
Additionally, there is a growing sentiment in the business community that a college degree is evidence that someone did their seat time but actually says very little about how competent and capable they are. Your gap year will say more about these skills than where you went to college and what you studied.
5. Expand your network
No matter what you do for your gap year, you will meet new people and expand your network. Whether you take a job in your home neighborhood or travel to a new country, you will make new friends! As a Global Citizen Year alum, for example, you will join a growing network of inspiring and driven young leaders. Our alumni are enrolled at over 200 different colleges around the world, excelling as leaders on campus and in the classroom, and earning recognition as Gates Millennium Scholars, Fulbright scholars, Dalai Lama Fellows, and Davis Peace Fellows.