Gap Years

Taking a year off before studying at university is becoming a more popular option with high school graduates. Having that year to reflect on interests, skills, and desires can give a new direction or provide a strong motivation to move ahead with one's education.

However, a Gap Year is only advisable if there is a plan and a goal that is to be achieved during that time. Drifting aimlessly will not provide a strong foundation for future studies. Universities or employers will want the individual to be able to articulate the goal and what was accomplished during the Gap Year. This decision should be carefully considered. Students who take a Gap Year still often apply to university during their senior year of high school and "defer" their actual enrollment for one year while they work, study, or study. Not all universities have this deferral option, however, so make sure to check with your counselor and/or the specific university to see if this is available for you.

Examples of a Productive Gap Year

Amigos de las Americas |
This organization creates opportunities for young people to excel in leadership roles promoting public health, education and community development. AMIGOS is a non-profit organization that provides leadership training and volunteer opportunities in the U.S. and Latin America

City Year |
A national youth service organization that unites diverse young people ages 17-24 for a demanding year of full time community service, civic engagement and leadership. Cop members receive a weekly stipend of $175 and upon graduation are eligible for a $4,725 post service award for educational pursuits

Disney English |
At Disney English, you'll be able to experience a new culture through the eyes of its children. Sharing our stories and yours, with the support of an award winning curriculum, you'll have the opportunity to influence the lives of little learners in unique ways, instilling a love of the English language through the use of story, song and fun; and leaving them confident on the road to success. No one speaks the language of children better than Disney.

Gap Year |
Find out what opportunities await those planning to take a gap year between high school and university.

National Outdoor Leadership School |
Teacher of outdoor skills and leadership. Courses offered from 10 days up to full semesters in the most spectacular wilderness classrooms.

Outward Bound |
5 wilderness schools, 2 urban centers and whole school learning model with expeditionary learning. Outward Bound programs emphasize personal growth through experience and challenge. In all programs, students develop self-reliance, responsibility, teamwork, confidence, compassion and environmental and community stewardship.

Semester at Sea |
Provides opportunities for the exploration and study of many people, places and cultures around the world

CHS Counselor Corner | College & Career Center