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Gap Year Programs: How They Can Help Students

Gap Year Programs: How They Can Help StudentsA gap year program is a year off from school, usually after high school or before college. These programs have gained popularity in Australia, United Kingdom and the United States. Students may decide to go on volunteer holidays or participate in a volunteer exchange program for their gap year.

While some parents are a bit skeptical about allowing their children to take a gap year, there are families and various universities that support these. For them they consider gap years as a great opportunity students can take advantage of to help them in their studies, their career and their future.

But how beneficial really is taking a gap year? How can it help the students’ future if they take a year off from school?

1. Take a well-deserved break

A student’s life is packed with mountains of books, exams and reports. At the end of high school they also spend a good amount of time preparing for college. This can take a toll on them and a gap year might be the break they need before they start college. Taking a productive break before starting school again will give students a fresh start.

2. Experience a different culture

For students volunteering abroad for their gap year, they’ll meet new people, see new places and learn a new language. They will be immersed in a different culture that will give them a new perspective in life. These students will be exposed to new experiences and through these they’ll be more aware about the world around them and not be boxed up in student life.

3. Develop life skills

There are things you can’t learn inside a classroom. There are things you can only learn if you go out into the world and experience things for yourself. Doing overseas working holidays for the gap year can give these to students. They’ll be immersed in real work problems and be exposed to real life issues. By experiencing these they’ll learn how to deal with them and they’ll eventually develop life skills. These students will also gain confidence, develop independence and be more mature.

4. Reflect on career path

Some high school graduates are yet to figure out what they want to pursue as their career. Most students go to college just for the sake of it even if they haven’t figured out what course they really want to take up and what they really want to do after college. These students end up wasting a year or two in college with their parents spending thousands of tuition money for their soul searching. Going to a gap year will help students reflect on their career path. Experiences brought about by the program can help them decide what they want to do after school.

5. Gain greater focus

A fresh new start after taking a break, a new perspective after experiencing a different culture and developing life skills, and new resolutions formed after adequate reflection of a career path – all these can give someone greater focus. The person who has this will then know what they want in life. Students who develop this will know how to go about their college years to reach goals they have set. Gap year programs1 can provide all these. After being immersed in real issues outside school life, students will begin to have a new appreciation of the life they have and the opportunities they are provided. These experiences will also increase their passion for education as they gain greater focus.

gap year

Instead of letting high school graduates wander off to college without a real goal and without a clear focus on their career path, it will be good for them to undergo a gap year program. Instead of wasting dollars on tuition fees, a year of going to school half-heartedly can be spent wisely and with more purpose taking a gap year.

Students can volunteer abroad to help a community and learn things they can surely use when they come back and return to school. Gap year programs can steer them in the right direction of their career path and help them gain a greater focus on fulfilling their goals.

Debra Wright2 blogs about a plethora of topics including overseas working holidays in Business and Education and other fields. Wright considers My Gap Year as one of the leaders in organizing gap year programs.

1- http://www.mygapyear.com.au/
2- https://plus.google.com/116937065016873018663?rel=author 

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