“Should I take a gap year?” This is a question that many students ask me each year as they come towards the end of their formal school years. It is a good and sensible question and one that any outward thinking young person with a growth mindset should consider. A gap year is not for everyone but it is definitely a very realistic and potentially rewarding opportunity. It needs to be considered overtime and with support from your parents and teachers to help you make the decision for the right reasons and to also plan the year ahead the best you can to have as many positive impacts as possible. A gap year should enrich your learning experiences, take you out of your comfort zone and encourage you to connect with people and places that you have not had the chance to do so with whilst at school but also when you go onto university or into full-time work. I have been fortunate to have worked with a large number of amazing young people from all over the world who have spent a year in our school and with our students as a gappie. They bring youthful enthusiasm and fresh ideas; they are role models and leaders (global citizens) who add diversity; and provide an important contemporary link to what education means to young people today. A great gap programme will enrich a school or organisation’s learning environment and community but just as importantly will also provide unique learning experiences and growth opportunities for the gappie’s themselves.
This blog is not about the pros and cons of doing a gap year, prior to university or, as is becoming more common, post university. I am going to leave that up to the people who have experienced a gap year for themselves and have the stories and advice to share. If you have been a gappie and spent a year after school or university on a gap placement we would like to hear from you, please share your thoughts with us here.
If you are a school that takes young people for a gap year and are looking for amazing global citizens to work and learn with your students, please provide us with your information here (and we will help you to find a good fit).