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The benefits of taking a Gap Year include personal growth and these breaks have also been linked to higher retention and college graduation rates. In a national alumni survey by American Gap Association and Temple University, students gave the following reasons for the benefits of taking a gap year:
- Gain life experiences and personal growth (92%)
- Experience other cultures (85%)
- Take a break from studying (82%)
Half the respondents also felt that they wanted to volunteer and explore their academic options prior to going to college. What is a gap year? Keep reading to learn more.
This article answers the following topics:
- What is a gap year for?
- What is a college gap year?
- Should I take a gap year after high school?
- Why should I take a gap year?
What is a Gap Year For?
A gap year, according to U.S. News and World Reports is a semester or year in which students focus on experiential learning. Gap years are typically taken after high school and before the freshman year of college. It allows students to deep in their personal experiences so that they can better determine what they want to do with the rest of their lives. This, in turn, helps them decide what danger to take or at least what college to attend.
What is a College Gap Year?
Also called a sabbatical year, a gap year gives students a break between 13 years of education and at least four more years of attending a baccalaureate program. A college gap year allows students to engage in developmental activities such as volunteering, travel or work opportunities. Even though students are taking a break from formal education, there are many programs that help students map out what they will do with their year between high school and going on to an associate’s, bachelor’s, or another degree.
Students can take self-directed or planned programs. The Gap Year Association rates programs and accredits ones that meet a list of goals, including a focus on animal welfare, ecology, coding, language studies, cultural immersion and other opportunities.
What is a gap year? For many students taking a gap year can help them prepare for college. It also provides a break from the rigors of studying to give students an opportunity to reflect on what they would like to achieve in their postsecondary education.
Should I Take a Gap Year After High School?
Ultimately only the individual student can determine whether a gap year will help them solidify their plans for the future. In fact, some students would just like a break and use the gap year to explore different interests and to deepen their personal growth. For example, students often travel to another country to learn other languages and experience different cultures. This helps them better understand people from around the world.
Students who participate in structured gap year programs typically live with local families in foreign countries. This gives them the opportunity to network and learn another language as well as achieve a global perspective. These are just a few of the benefits of taking a gap year and spending it productively.
Why Should I Take a Gap Year?
What is a gap year and what are the main benefits? Now that you know what a gap year is, it’s time to determine whether you should take one. There are many benefits of taking a gap year before college.
The benefits of a gap year before college include experiencing a different culture. Imagine a year-long vacation that allows a student to immerse themselves in a new culture. The benefits of taking a gap year before college also include learning a new language. Even if the student has studied the language in high school, it’s a whole different experience to communicate with native speakers. After all, the best way to learn a language is to speak it all day every day.
Among other benefits of taking a gap year, students learn to develop new life skills. Students who choose work experiences may learn how to become an entrepreneur and adapt quickly to challenges. Some students on a gap year discover a hidden passion such as organic farming or writing. Sometimes, this experience can determine a student’s future career.
One of the benefits of a gap year before college oddly enough is preparation for college. While on a gap year, students often become more mature and independent. This can help learners make the transition from high school to college more smoothly. Students who display passion and perseverance can stand out when applying for colleges and don’t feel burnt out from rolling from high school into an institution of higher learning. Diligence and hard work often define structured gap year experiences. This is great preparation for the heavy homework load experienced in most universities.
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Aya Andrews is a passionate educator and mother of two, with a diverse background that has shaped her approach to teaching and learning. Born in Metro Manila, she now calls San Diego home and is proud to be a Filipino-American. Aya earned her Masters degree in Education from San Diego State University, where she focused on developing innovative teaching methods to engage and inspire students.
Prior to her work in education, Aya spent several years as a continuing education consultant for KPMG, where she honed her skills in project management and client relations. She brings this same level of professionalism and expertise to her work as an educator, where she is committed to helping each of her students achieve their full potential.
In addition to her work as an educator, Aya is a devoted mother who is passionate about creating a nurturing and supportive home environment for her children. She is an active member of her community, volunteering her time and resources to support local schools and organizations. Aya is also an avid traveler, and loves to explore new cultures and cuisines with her family.
With a deep commitment to education and a passion for helping others succeed, Aya is a true inspiration to those around her. Her dedication to her craft, her community, and her family is a testament to her unwavering commitment to excellence in all aspects of her life.