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Gap Year – A Great Opportunity to Learn in the School of World

Updated on September 20, 2014

The guy who found out the concept of gap year is amazing! A gap year is a superb opportunity for a student bored with the routine studies, exams and school’s disciplined environment to explore the “real” world from her/his own perspective, enjoy going to various places on the Earth and earn a hard cash all by themselves alongside. Though there is a basic difference in the concept of a gap year in the US and that in the UK and Europe – that, US students spend the gap year working and earning, while European students spend it more like a holiday – in any way it is spent, the gap year is definitely an enchanting period spent all on one’s own, independently, just like an adult – something which a teen desires a lot!

Gap Year – A Great Chance to Be On Your Own

Gap year or gap time is a period a year long or a semester long wherein students who complete their school education take off from studies instead of enrolling immediately for college studies. But though these students take such a gap, they don’t spend it leisurely at home; instead they work, intern, volunteer or take up an extra-curricular course. The concept of gap year has arisen out of the need of taking more experience of life and getting prepared for the college education.

Jason Sarouhan who is a counselor at a reputed gap year consulting firm named Center for Interim Programs, says that a gap year makes youngsters easy for gaining more self-empowerment and independence. According to Jason, the period between high school and college is like a natural opportunity to relax and recalibrate one’s true centeredness and focus. He also adds that youngsters can benefit from the well thought-out time away from school or work.

Is Gap Year Really Beneficial?

According to Robin Pendoley, the co-originator and CEO of Thinking Beyond Borders – a gap year program – students taking a gap year gain experience which helps them making the college studies easier, because they can better connect things taught in college with what they have experienced actually. He adds further that because students taking a gap year tend to own their college studies and experience, they get a lot more from the time, money and energy they invest in college.

According to Sarouhan, gap year is intended to revitalize one’s mind – to stay safe from the exhaustion that can come with taking on more rigorous assignments immediately. Gap year is an opportunity to reconnect with the passion of learning and the curiosity about the world.

How Can A Gap Year Bring About Growth?

Pendoley says that a well-designed gap time helps youngsters to find direction, aim and love for their learning. They can arrive back to school with a clear perceptive of the opportunity it offers to become an expert in a field they are truly in love with and committed to.

In whatever way gappers spend their time during the gap year, they are bound to get a better idea of how they wish to plan the rest of their life. High school seniors who volunteer at home or travel abroad emerge as persons with a broader world view from their gap year.

Expenses of Gap Year – Can You Afford Them?

If you plan to spend your gap year working full-time at home, you apparently need not worry about your everyday expenditure. But what if you plan to fly to Peru to learn Spanish, or to Indonesia to learn scuba diving?

Gap year consultants like Pendoley are of opinion that expenses should not come in the way of decision of taking a gap time. Gap year programs generally cost far less than the fee of one year at a university. Although the cost for a full year gap time program designed by a gap year firm may range between $10,000 and $15,000, less pricey programs are available too. And after all, you can gather money through overseas working holidays during your gap time for your future college education.

How will You Face Criticism?

The idea of gap year is not yet deep-rooted. People may not understand the meaning and importance of taking a gap instead of taking the routine path of getting enrolled for college studies. Even your parents may get worried about your decision of travel to a foreign country or work in a hotel. They also may get afraid that you may lose interest in studies after the gap. In such a case, how will you fight the opposition? The easiest way is to do thorough research and answer all their skepticism and clear misconceptions.

According to Pendoley, as many as 30% of college students have been seen failing to graduate according to studies and it has also been seen that an undergraduate career lasts merely over 5 years on an average. So, any investment parents can make to help their children gain a direction and purpose they will need in the college is good.

The thought of a gap year may not attract every pre-collegiate – reason might be anything ranging from lethargy and lack of adventurousness, to fear of open world to shortage of money. However it should be remembered that a gap time is going to show you the world you have to face in future as a grownup. And thereby, it will definitely expand the horizons of your knowledge, understanding and insight, making you a better human and also a brighter student!


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