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2019-11-07 00:13:40

TOP-3 kinds of a gap year for international students

TOP-3 kinds of a gap year for international students

When graduating from high school, students think about which college to enter and which way to choose. Since the 1970s, the Gap year program has been gaining popularity - the ability to take a break from studies lasting up to 1 year. After many years of difficult education, preparation for obtaining high scores at final exams, volunteer work, choosing a  graduates tend to stop and choose a one-year break before starting the next stage.

Gap Year will allow you to get life experience outside the classroom, see the world, survive adventures before continuing your studies. The technical definition for a gap year is "the period of time, usually the academic or calendar year, when a student takes a vacation - after graduating from high school, before entering a college."

What varieties of Gap year exist?

Gap year will prepare you for entering a university and for the life of the real world: this time is usually used for traveling, getting your first work experience, and self-development. Participants in the program become competitive candidates when entering a university, because a break in studies, work experience or independent life expands the students' worldview.

Varieties of Gap year


Break before continuing education

A pause after school can be used to explore oneself, the world, to recognize or narrow down professional and personal interests before choosing a career path. This gives students the opportunity to learn the world, explore it on their own and overcome the fear of studying at the university.

Holidays during college, university, break after undergraduate

University students take a one-year break in the middle of university studies, which will allow them to gain work experience, life abroad. You will finish your studies a year later than fellow students, but gain practical experience before you begin your “adult” career.

Break after college, year pass for adults

After 4 or 6 years of college, it sometimes takes a year to explore the world and what you want from it. Vacation will allow you to take time to reassess priorities and choose a profession.

There are many different values of Gap year, it is not necessary to choose the most energy-intensive route and travel to 30 countries in 12 months or spend a whole year on vacation - the program adapts to a specific participant.

Views of the Gap Year

  • Solo travel

If you are independent, looking for yourself, then a year of traveling alone will allow you to get time and experience for self-determination. This type of program requires the most thorough preparation, but to set off on your own - an experience that allows you to see the sights, immerse yourself in the culture and history of the places where you go.

  • Year Travel Programs

If you want to structure your vacation and not travel on your own, choose organized student travel programs. You will join a group of like-minded students on trips to one or several countries, participate in short-term programs or programs for a year - it depends on your budget.

  • Volunteer programs Gap Year

There are programs that focus on volunteering while traveling. Teach English in Peruvian rural communities, study and work in Kenya's wildlife conservation, work with women in India, or find another activity that you enjoy! Helping others, the student himself is changing for the better: he sees how other people live, what difficulties they face.

  • Internship programs

A job or internship abroad during a one-year break will allow you to get an addition to your resume and valuable work experience. Even before entering the university, the student gets an idea of the real working world, helps to decide what you would like to study, what career you would like in the future. When applying for a university, the year spent on professional development will be an advantage for the selection committee.

Gap Year Language or Cultural Programs

A one-year journey is a life-changing experience that immerses you in the local culture. Homestay or immersive language programs allow you to learn about the traditions, customs, language and life of other people abroad. You will develop language skills, become a versatile person, feel yourself part of another lifestyle and local community.

Gap year disadvantages

  • Gap year requires significant material costs
  • It requires absolute independence
  • Student may lose the moment to continue further studies
  • It’s easy to feel that you are behind your peers
  • Difficult to keep in touch with friends
  • Gap year require additional planning.

A break between high school and college may seem like an adventure, but it will require concentration, responsibility and courage. Entering the big world is frightening: students sometimes feel left out, estranged from friends who are preparing to go to college in autumn. Surviving is normal! The cultural shock, stress from fees and the difficulties associated with traveling abroad alone will make participating in the Gap year a life-changing experience - but certainly useful.

Gap year budget

The first thing you need to do if you decide to get the Gap year experience is to budget your trip. It depends on where you are going and how long you plan to be absent, includes travel, accommodation, food and entertainment expenses plus insurance. The total amount is usually up to $ 3,500: you will need at least $ 25 per day for food, accommodation and transportation costs, but the price will vary depending on where you go. If you plan to work during the holidays, you will need to include the fare to the planned destination and the means to hold out until the first payment is received. Be realistic about the amount you spend on the trip - consider the fact that almost everyone spends more than they plan, so put aside funds just in case.

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Egor Eremeev
Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Westminster University (Business & Management), London.
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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