A gap year is a period of time used for formal, practical learning, lasting anywhere from 2 weeks to a year. This time is taken after high school graduation, before starting college or a career. Students who decide to take a gap year want some developmental experiences before starting their next step.
A gap year is not the same as just taking time off or "taking a break". It is done in association with a program and has a purpose, an end date, and set goals.
A well-planned gap year can help students:
- Clarify their career interests and goals
- Prepare for college
- Develop organizational and life skills
- Gain a sense of maturity and self-confidence
- Meet new people and network
- Experience other cultures and gain global awareness
- Improve their job prospects