What Is A Gap Year?

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Ever wondered what gap year really entails and why should you even give it any thought? We've unpacked it in a bit more detail for you.

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A gap year is defined as a semester or year of experiential learning taken after high school and before beginning a career or higher education in order to broaden one's practical, professional, and personal understanding.

Taking a gap year might be intimidating, whether you're a student looking for an exciting break from school or a parent supporting your child as they go on their first taste of independent travel, learning, or pursuit of an employment opportunity.

Described more precisely as a 12-month break from education or a job taken by an individual to explore other interests that are generally distinct from their regular life or line of work, taking a gap-year means that you will spend your time doing things that will either considerably supplement or fully replace your regular line of work.

Reasons for taking a gap year vary, depending one’s circumstance and desired career advancement pursuits, but the most common include the following: 

  • To broaden your view of the world
  • To gain relevant work experience and key skills
  • To earn some money
  • To develop useful contacts
  • Make international friends
  • Improve employability with key skills
  • Challenge yourself
  • Take time out between school and further studies/work
  • Improve and gain new life skills
  • Do something worthwhile

Some students may choose to take a gap year before or after finishing their secondary school to better prepare for the work environment. With that being said, students also need to ensure that taking a gap year is a well thought out decision as it may have some inherent disadvantages such as: 

Falling behind by a year on your possible graduation, incurring a lot of expenses while organizing it, and possibly falling ill during that period.

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