If you are a student who is feeling like a slight break between high school and college might just sound like a good thing, then a gap year program could be the solution for you.
A gap year, which is very common in Europe and is growing in popularity in the US, is a year you spend doing research, volunteering, traveling, or working in various locations around the world. Gap year programs can last anywhere from 3 to 12 months, and you get to choose exactly which areas of interest appeal to you most, so you get to spend a year in the real world doing hands-on style learning, and often making a difference in the community.
To apply for a gap year, you submit your college applications
at the same time as all of your Senior friends, but you research beforehand to make sure that all of your colleges will offer a deferral for a year (to hold your place) while you go on a gap year. There is no need to tell your colleges about the gap year plans in your college application, just make sure they offer deferrals. Then, once you have your college decisions all in, you can choose which college you want to attend and then contact them to ask about the process of deferring your entry for one year while you go on a gap year. Colleges like the diversity of thinking you will bring back to campus after you’ve spent a year working in the real world.
Gap year programs
exist in virtually every subject area you can think of, from environmental sciences to peace and justice studies to theater. Whatever your interests, there is sure to be a gap year program for you. You can also piece together 2 or 3 shorter gap year programs to fill up your year. In this way, you can gain exposure to several careers and potential areas of interest, even before you get to college. This can help you correctly identify your major, or determine areas to double major in.