So, why should YOU consider a gap year? It is a surprisingly personal question, since each person has different motivations for taking a year out. One thing is certain: the experiences you have on a gap year will not only give you a competitive edge in college or the workforce, but a greater understanding of the world at large.
We find it best for students to hear from other students about why a gap year was the right choice for them. Check out EnRoute’s YouTube channel for playlists from former gappers who discuss their gap time. You can also search for #gapyear #collegecanwait or #explorethegapyear to see Instagram and Twitter posts about gap experiences. Click here for our list of benefits and testimonials from former gappers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why should I take a Gap Year?
First and foremost, taking a gap year should be your decision, and you should be excited about it. Deciding to take a gap year allows you to take a breath at this important juncture in your life to make deliberate decisions about your personal and educational future. Click here to read about the data showing the benefits of a Gap Year.
Here is our one sentence pitch for why to take gap time:
We have worked with hundreds of Gap Year students and not a single person has said they regret the decision, and many say it was the best decision of their life.
Q: What is the process for deciding to take a Gap Year?
If you are a college-bound senior in high school who wants to take a Gap Year, we recommend applying to college alongside your classmates and then deferring your admission. Here is a regularly updated list of deferral policies from major institutions, or you can call the admissions office to ask. Most gappers begin planning their activities during their senior year and have their plans in place by graduation. You can also read our blog post about how to write a deferral letter to your future college once you’ve decided to take a Gap Year!
Q. Where can I find more information about Gap Years?
Lots of places! Online you can check out the Gap Year Association, GoOverseas and GoAbroad for articles and tips for planning. Every winter USA Gap Year Fairs hosts 40 in-person events across the country (think college fair but more fun!). You can learn more at your local NACAC fair by visiting the Gap Year counselling desk.
Finally, we’d love to hear from you! Just get in touch and we can chat with you and answer all your initial questions. That’s why we’re here!
Q. Is a gap year expensive?
Short answer: It doesn’t have to be.
Longer answer: It depends on what you do! Program fees, plane tickets and other travel expenses need to be factored in to an overall Gap Year budget. EnRoute works with families to put together an itinerary within a budget that includes resources from fundraising, working a portion of the Gap Year, and any donations from parents or other family members. You can also check out this list of scholarship opportunities.
Q. Can a gap year save me money?
With the price tag of colleges and universities sky-rocketing, a gap year can end up saving you or your parents money in the long run. Most gap year students cite wanting to know more about what they want to study as a major reason for taking a Gap Year and 60% of gappers say their time out helped them discover or confirm their career path. While the average college student takes 6 years or more to graduate, gappers take 4 or less. This translates into thousands of dollars in saved tuition as well as time and sanity!
Q. Can I take a gap year during college?
If you are currently in college and feel you need some time to refocus your studies, a Gap Year can offer some valuable time to ask yourself what you want out of higher education and beyond. Many students working with EnRoute have done international internships, field research and traveled to regain clarity within their college experience. If this sounds like something that could help you, get in touch.
Q. Can I take a gap year after college?
A gap year between college and the “real world” can be similarly beneficial to those taken before college. You may find yourself wanting to travel or volunteer before beginning a career or attending graduate school. Gap year opportunities, such as volunteering overseas with a non-profit, can enhance your resume and separate you from the rest of the post-graduate pack. This can give you an advantage when you do decide to enter the job market or apply to graduate school.
Adults always tell you, “travel while you’re young.” If you were unable or not interested in taking a gap year before college, the natural space between college and grad school or the workforce offers an excellent opportunity to take time off. You’ll be glad you did!