Gap year

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Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, & narrow-mindedness. ~Mark Twain
~ 2.2 percent of students in the U.S. took a gap year before college... By contrast, 15 percent of Australian students & over 50 percent of students from Norway, Denmark, & Turkey took gap years. ~Psychology Today
Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience. He that travelleth into a country before he hath some entrance into the language, goeth to school, and not to travel. ~Francis Bacon
For always roaming with a hungry heart, Much have I seen and known. ~Alfred Tennyson
An increasing number of students are choosing to break up their studies by travelling overseas for extended periods... ~The Irish Examiner
After graduating high school... Wolfe embarked on his first journey out of the country... This experience abroad awakened him to the fruitful world that exists beyond the farm lands of his hometown. ~TheSlateOnline
An increasing number of students are questioning whether they are ready to dive straight into four more years of classroom lectures, research papers, and cramming for exams... ~Psychology Today
There is one thing I regret, a sadness that passing time has actually increased rather than diminished. I wish I'd taken a gap year between finishing school and starting university. ~ ABC Life, Rebecca Huntley
18-year-old Prince William...was hell-bent on taking a gap year. Though normally that’s a fine thing to do, Prince Charles wasn’t exactly thrilled... ~Travel & Leisure

A gap year, also known as a sabbatical year, is typically a year-long break between high school and college/university. During the gap year a student normally travels and/or does some type of regular or volunteer work. Students who take gap years typically undergo a growth in maturity and are better prepared to benefit from higher education or decide the form of education they wish to pursue. Some students also take gap years after graduating from undergraduate study and before entry into graduate school. Most young people return armed with significant work and life experiences, and broader world outlooks. Studies indicate that students who take a gap year perform better academically than those who do not.

Quotes[edit]

  • Executive Summary... this study represents the most comprehensive exploration of gap year experiences of Americans to date. Highlights Include:
  • 81% of all survey participants said they were very likely to recommend taking a gap year to someone considering it;
  • The general experience of “being in a new and different environment” was the most meaningful element of the overall gap year experience;
  • Having a wide range of experiences was also important;
  • Gappers experienced the greatest impacts related to their personal growth and development;
  • Those who participated in a gap year had, on average, shorter times to graduation and higher GPAs as compared to national norms;
  • Gappers currently experience higher levels of job satisfaction and civic participation as compared to national norms...
  • An increasing number of students are questioning whether they are ready to dive straight into four more years of classroom lectures, research papers, and cramming for exams. Many are exhausted and burned out, eager to refuel their curiosity about the world through the kind of learning that won’t appear on a transcript... Record numbers of students are contemplating a gap year before college...
  • Over the past five years, many college-admissions offices have adopted policies that allow students to defer their admission offer for one year. The gap year has become increasingly popular... A gap year designed with purpose and intent is a journey of personal growth that helps students successfully transition to college....
  • Key characteristics of a transformative gap year: It is purposeful and practical, involving some element of service to others; it takes students out of their comfort zone, challenging them to learn new skills and try on new perspectives; it offers the right balance of autonomy and mentoring to help students build self-confidence and a sense of purpose; it is accessible to students from all economic backgrounds.
  • An increasing number of students are choosing to break up their studies by travelling overseas for extended periods... But while a freewheeling attitude and sense of adventure are key to successful backpacking, careful planning is equally essential... There are so many places to visit in the world and there’s no pressure to see them all at once.
  • For those who are thinking about taking a gap year, regardless of what stage in life they’re at, Amar encourages them to take the opportunity and go for it. “It can be difficult to make decisions about your career or indeed your life at 18 when the majority of your life experience has been in your hometown,” he says. ” Taking a gap year gives you a much needed break from education and allows you to re-charge and re-focus giving you a better and more rounded perspective on what you want to do... this applies to everyone.”
  • The most important reason, at least for many students, for taking a gap year is to give students the opportunity to explore their personal interests and find out more about what they want to do with their future. Students often don’t know themselves when they get out of high school. Their brains haven’t fully developed, and even though many may think they know what they want, it’s not uncommon for students to change their minds multiple times during college about what exactly they want to do with their lives.
  • Gap years are becoming increasingly popular among high school graduates. Former President Barack Obama’s daughter Malia took a gap year after graduating high school and before attending Harvard, which brought gap years into the news. But even before that, Prince William and Prince Harry both took gap years before attending college. Many colleges in the U.S., some of the most prestigious Ivy League schools included, are even starting to support the idea of taking a gap year before attending college.
  • The wealthiest one per cent of families are taking gap years with their children as they want to show them “how real people live”, a travel agency has revealed. [A]... London-based travel agency, arranged 80 sabbatical trips lasting at least one month over the past six years, with a significant jump in bookings last year. The exclusive trips are becoming even more popular amongst wealthy families, who want to take their children all over the world and show them a simplistic way of life “from a bygone era”... Snow leopard spotting in India, living with the Sān people in Botswana and diving with sharks off the coast of South Africa.
  • For one jet-setting family... a three-month trip across Africa for two teenage children and their parents, who were joined by a tutor for the whole journey. Jack Ezon... said: “It’s a way to restart or refresh your life.... it is often when their kids are about to go on to college or high school, and they suddenly think ‘I need to really be spending time with them.’”
  • So you've decided you want to take a gap year, and that you want to spend it travelling. Brilliant! Now to decide what to do, where to go and how to plan your route. If you're overwhelmed with destinations and don't know where to start... have figured out the most popular destinations, based on hashtags.
  • They looked at the top 10,000 Instagram posts tagged with #gapyear, and matched the locations in the snaps to destinations around the world, to find out which location is the most popular with those using social media to keep a photo diary of their trip. So if you're after grid goals and an exciting year abroad...
  • Students selected as Global Gap Year Fellows will have two tracks that they could pursue...a "self-design" gap year which allows students to spend six to nine months abroad completing a service-related experience of their choice with the guidance of GGYF staff and mentors. The second track is a community immersion with Global Citizen Year for students who prefer a more structured experience abroad in Ecuador, Brazil, Senegal or India for eight months. Both tracks are service-based.
  • Students who go abroad as Global Gap Year Fellows gain skills like time management, flexibility and confidence that are useful when they return to campus... Thomas Elliott, senior political science and contemporary European studies major, went on a gap year with GGYF to South Africa where he worked for a professor of social ecology from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg to research the impact of HIV/AIDS on individuals from rural South Africa.
  • The Gap Year Association today announced the start of Gap Year Exploration Month. Taking a gap year is a growing trend and the Gap Year Association is excited to announce Gap Year Exploration Month celebrated annually in the month of February, as a shared initiative of educators, experiential education experts, program providers, industry groups and others who understand the benefits of a gap year. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, fewer than 40 percent of students enrolling in college in 2019 will finish their degrees within four years. For this reason, more and more students are deferring their college enrollment for a year of travel, personal growth, and professional skills development.
  • In the year 2000, a fresh-faced, 18-year-old Prince William had just graduated high school and was well on his way to attending the University of Saint Andrews in Scotland. But, before he started his freshman year of classes, William was hell-bent on taking a gap year. Though normally that’s a fine thing to do, Prince Charles wasn’t exactly thrilled with the idea...
  • William and Charles agreed his gap year should be “vocational, educational and safe.”...Prince William.. went on to travel through Kenya, the Indian Ocean island of Rodrigues, and volunteered in Patagonia, South America... He then went on to attend Saint Andrews, where he met his future wife, Kate Middleton.
  • Because of comfort, some people will only live in the realms of what they know. Maybe they will stay in the same town or work in the same job for their entire life. Others, however, will grow to feel confined by living life within the limits of comfort, and break free from its mold... Shawn Wolfe grew up in Annville, a township in Central Pennsylvania, where miles of rolling farmlands are a familiar landscape for its nearly 5,000 residents. After graduating high school in 2014, Wolfe embarked on his first journey out of the country, spending his summer before college in Germany. This experience abroad awakened him to the fruitful world that exists beyond the farm lands of his hometown.
  • The gap year may be a solution for some students to grow socially and emotionally, to gain maturity, or to get a stronger financial footing...Even decades ago people took gap years for a variety of reasons... According to data from the freshman class of 2015, 2.2 percent of students in the U.S. took a gap year before college... By contrast, 15 percent of Australian students and over 50 percent of students from Norway, Denmark, and Turkey took gap years. Students participated in a variety of activities including work, service, travel, and learning a new language.
  • There is one thing I regret, a sadness that passing time has actually increased rather than diminished. I wish I'd taken a gap year between finishing school and starting university. At the time it never occurred to me to take a break, even though other friends from school were doing so... For whatever reason, I started on campus as soon as I could and studied, almost without pause, for over a decade to obtain three degrees.
  • If I had a chance to say anything to my 18-year-old self, I would tell her 'take your time... Pull beers in a pub, meet different people, read novels you don't have to write essays about, and rethink whether you really want to do that law degree as an undergraduate... Sometimes I fantasize about taking that forsaken gap year right now.
  • A gap year is really a year to yourself, a celebration to the years that you have spent in academia. You have the utmost power on how you wish to spend it... During the gap year, you have the opportunity to tinker with new... [ideas], sprinting from your never changing pursuit of science to a short detour of non-science or vice versa. Read the papers of renowned scientists or... perhaps, develop a habit of reading books... it is also important that you enjoy it. If an internship isn’t your thing, then try a hand in volunteering. The future is not predictable, nor should your experiences be.

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