If you’ve almost done with high school, you may have started to hear more and more about something called a gap year. But what is a gap year? How does it affect you? Is it mandatory? Let’s find out! In this blog post, we will show you exactly what is a gap year and then tell you more about gap year programs and opportunities. Also, we will discuss if it’s a good idea to take so much time off school. Five ideas of what you can do during this year are also presented towards the end of the post. To learn everything there is to know about the gap year, read on!
Let’s Find Out What Is a Gap Year
The first thing we want to explain is the exact meaning of a gap year. Remember that it is also called sabbatical year. Sabbatical and gap years are basically the same thing. It is basically a break between high school and college; a break that lasts for one full year. Yes, that’s a lot of free time! The reason behind taking this year off school is that students typically experience a growth in maturity. This makes them better prepared for getting bachelor’s degree. And truth be told, in most cases students really deserve a break. Also, it’s worth noting that you can get a gap year after college, before you enter into graduate school. Now that you know what is a gap year, it’s time to talk about the pros and cons of getting one.
Should I Take a Gap Year: Pros and Cons
You are probably interested in a gap year. But did you consider the pros and cons of it? The truth of the matter is that even though gap years have clean benefits, they also have several cons. Let’s start with the gap year benefits:
- The first benefit of taking a gap year is the fact that it will give you plenty of time to pursue all your passions. Otherwise, you may not get this time if you go straight to college or graduate school.
- This break allows you to work, of course. This means you can save some good money; money that you will probably need during college.
- To be honest, this year can be an once-in-a-lifetime experience. Gap year statistics show that over 80% of high school graduates would be thrilled to get a full year off school.
- The experience will better prepare you for college, especially if you take on a full time job.
There are many more benefits, of course. However, here are just three of the major cons of the sabbatical year:
- You will, in most cases, lose all your academic momentum. This does not apply if you follow an educational program.
- You will, of course, be a year behind your peers.
- A gap year can get very expensive, depending on what you want to do.
Should I take a gap year? It’s up to you! And remember that you can mitigate most of the cons with a program. Yes, there are plenty of gap year programs that you can follow. So, what to do during a gap year?
Any Interesting Gap Year Programs?
The reality is that you can do a lot of things in one year. You can try new foods, learn new skills, work to save money, travel anywhere, and even experience new, thrilling things. But did you know that there are plenty of programs that you can follow? You will not only do a lot of interesting things during the year, but also study to keep yourself in shape. Here are the top 5 gap year programs for 2019-2020:
- Sea|mester Study Abroad at Sea – you will study while taking various ocean voyages.
- Projects Abroad – you’ll do community service and volunteering (from South Africa to Peru).
- Winterline: 9 months. 10 countries. 100 skills – you will visit at least 10 different countries and build various skills.
- International TEFL Academy – you can get your TEFT certificate and teach English abroad.
- Pacific Discovery – You will volunteer, travel and do all sorts of travel activities.
These are just some of the dozens of gap year opportunities.
What to Do in a Gap Year: Other Interesting Ideas
But I don’t know how to plan my gap year! Don’t worry about it! Here are some excellent gap year ideas:
- You can circle the world (it may be quite expensive)
- You can volunteer for climate change
- Visit Africa (some gap year programs after high school can get you there cheap)
- Become a zoo assistant
- Work and study something else
- Teach English in Beijing
Try any of these activities if you don’t know what to do in a gap year. However, keep in mind that a program is safer than planning and doing these activities on your own, all by yourself. Some countries are not very tourist-friendly. But whatever you choose to do, have fun at it!