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What is a Gap Year?

Updated on January 1, 2013
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Where Did It All Begin?

The number of people taking a gap year has dramatically increased from its first introduction in the UK in the 1960s. Since then large number of students that have finished school or college have decided that before they go to university that they would like to spend a year away from any curriculum and engage in activities that they otherwise would not be able to participate in. These include travelling, voluntary work, and working abroad.

Do You Think Gap Years Are On The Rise Worldwide?

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Do All Countries Promote Gap Years?

The proportion of students that take part in gap year's vary from country to country. In the UK gap years are becoming more and more common, some statistics state that 2.5 million young people living in the UK are planning their gap year in 2012, and over 3 million will actually participate in one. (Gap year Stats)

Other countries do not as actively promote gap years but it is slowly creeping into their culture.

Why Is It Increasing?

There are a number of different reasons for the increase of gap years. However the main reason particularly for the UK is the increase competition for top university places. Writing exceptional personal statements and achieving three A or A* grades at A level is not enough. Gap Year's provide students with extra value that they can use to their advantage the following year around.

The Advantages Of Taking A Gap Year

An Industry Behind It

Gap Year's have created a unique industry of their own. With dramatic increases in the number of students looking for different experiences companies are beginning to cater for them.

The Year Out Group offers a useful guide to see some of the most popular gap year companies that exist, along with lots of other useful advice.

Top activities include:

-Learning to become a ski and snowboard instructor

-Learning a language

-Volunteering

-Work Abroad

-Gaining work experience

-Travelling

Gap Yah?

The Gap Yah was built from a popular YouTube video that was created by Oxford University graduate Matt Lacey in late March 2010. It gained over 50,0000 hits a day after first publication. It is primarily a 'satire on the great number of people who seem to be leaving these shores to vomit all over the developing world." (Mat Lacey)


Gap Yah

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