Is high school over but you don’t feel the same excitement about going to college that your friends do? Plenty of students finish high school and feel like they need a break from formal education, need to recharge their batteries and get focused for the next part of their life, or maybe want to get some work experience under their belt, earn money for college, or just explore an interest that they have and gain more direction in their life before committing to college. If this sounds like you, a gap year experience may be just the thing. These experiences range from spending a post graduate (PG) year at a boarding school, volunteering for an international organization, taking classes in something that you want to explore deeper or learn about for the first time to working a job or exploring the great outdoors. The important thing is to have a plan in place before graduation.
WHEN CONSIDERING A GAP YEAR EXPERIENCE, ASK YOURSELF SOME OF THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:
- What type of experience are you looking for?
- Do you have a special interest or skill?
- Is there a new activity that you would like to try?
- Are there any limitations that should be taken into consideration?
- What type of program can you afford?
ONCE YOU THINK YOU HAVE NARROWED DOWN YOUR CHOICES, YOU MIGHT WANT TO DIG A LITTLE DEEPER AND ASK MORE QUESTIONS:
- How long has the program been running?
- What is the philosophy?
- Who is on staff or faculty?
- What type of professional development do the staff and faculty have?
- Will you be encouraged to step outside of your comfort zones?
- How safely are the programs designed?
- Are there required versus optional activities?
- Is there a refund policy?
- Will you need insurance or immunizations?
- Will you need travel documents?