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My daughter wants to take a gap year. Should she apply for universities to the USA or UK before? Is it a good idea to take a year off before college?

Although it is becoming increasingly common in the US, the Gap year has always been a practiced tradition in Europe, the UK and Australia.

 

A Gap year is, in essence, a break – normally for not more than a year, from studies after high school and before commencement of college. The term is equally applicable for students after graduation and before they start a Master’s program.  

 

The Gap year can be work, travel, community service or even a year of studies.  Each type serves a purpose so it is important to decide why you want to do a Gap year and what purpose it will serve you!  You need to consider how the travel will broaden your horizons, help you develop intellectually and emotionally and assist in achieving your personal and intellectual goals. It is generally felt that a gap year will assist students develop new skills, improve cross cultural understanding, and enhance global understanding. It tends to be a positive transformative experience for most people.

 

Nowadays, admission officers feel that a gap year results in a more mature and focused student with diverse experiences. For this path, you must submit your request for a gap year along with your plans for the gap year only after your application to College has been accepted. Based on this application, the admissions committee will make a decision.

 

Should you want to apply to college after your gap year it is very important you meticulously draft a plan of action to make sure the experience will add value and enrich your life experiences in ways beyond what you experienced at school.

 

Parents, more than kids, tend to be apprehensive about a gap year and rightfully so. Travel to foreign countries (while extremely exciting) should be carefully planned and It is advisable to use companies that specialize in organizing such travel. Remember the gap year is not a substitute for a college education, it only compliments it and one should not get swayed either by the money earned or the experience during this period to disregard going back to a formal education.

 

With Malia Obama opting to take a gap year be sure its acceptance and popularity is going to hit new heights!


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