What is a Gap Year?
A gap year, also known as a sabbatical year or a bridge year, is a break from traditional schooling, or from a professional career in order to pursue other interests, passions, skills or adventures. It is a deliberate break with the goal of attaining new life skills and experience.
When do people take a gap year?
A Gap Year can happen at any time in ones life, but it is very typical for one to take a gap after high school or during college. A gap year serves as a structured ‘reset button’ to jumpstart a new phase of life or to more clearly define goals.
A Gap Year does not need to be a full year, but can be a semester, a summer, a sabbatical, six months or any amount of time you feel is necessary and can afford. ‘Gap Year’ is a common term, but it would be more accurate to say ‘Gap Experience’.
Who can take a Gap Year?
A gap year is for anyone and everyone! People of all ages and interests can benefit from a gap experience. The only necessity is a desire to stretch your horizons and grow as a person. A gap year is for excellent students who are deferring their top college choices for a year, students who want to take a break from desk learning and broaden their horizons, alternative students, anyone seeking to clarify their vision and experience a broader world view, adults who are considering career changes, and retirees who are ready to see the world. A gap year is for YOU!
Is a Gap Year Expensive?
The cost of a gap year varies by program and there is something available for every budget. If you are open to unique experiences, flexible and prepared to work hard, there are so many exciting and affordable opportunities waiting for you. At Gap Year Base Camp we are dedicated to finding amazing experiences for those on limited budgets and offer support, scholarship opportunities and resources to make your Gap Year dreams a reality!
“A Gap Year doesn’t leave you behind. It launches you ahead.”
Can I still get into college after a Gap Year?
Of course! Many colleges recommend a gap year and studies show that students who take a gap year are better prepared and more likely to succeed and have greater clarity around their academic goals. Think beyond your gap year when you’re making choices. If you’ve already been admitted to college, talk to your college of choice about deferring acceptance. If you haven’t applied yet, consider the possibility of applying now and deferring your acceptance. If you want to choose your college after your gap year, be sure to take the year to prepare a strong application and don’t miss any important deadlines. Document your Gap Experience and use it to bolster your application.
Is taking a gap year right for me?
The obvious answer is that only you can know the answer to this question, but here are some things to consider. A gap year takes planning and is not for everyone. To make the most of your gap year, you need to be able to motivate yourself to grow, learn, take advantage of opportunities, and prepare for what’s next! When it comes to a gap year after high school, it depends on how able you are to make the year what you want it to be. Some people might find that they are not motivated to make the most of an unstructured year off. If this is the case, you should consider using a gap year counselor to help you plan and organize your time.
If you approach it with the firm idea that a gap year is NOT a year off, but a year of personal growth and plan accordingly then you are well poised for an amazing experience that will most likely be one of the highlights of your life.
With that said, there are some personality types that are better suited to a gap year. It should feel challenging and make you a little anxious, but if you’re totally nervous and feel unprepared to be responsible for your own schedule, you might find a gap year abroad overwhelming. The flip side of that coin is that you just might surprise yourself and rise to the challenge, and come out on the other side a better, stronger, more assertive and self possessed person.