TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Category: Gap Years

Posted March 8, 2016, 9 a.m. by Nicolaus Jannasch | View Comments
Why I Wish I Paid More Attention In Language Class

I took a trip to Germany the summer after my freshman year. I was in a German learning program along with kids from all around the world, most of them from Europe. The number of languages they spoke blew me away. The Italian girls spoke English, German, Spanish and, of course, Italian. The Serbian guys spoke a smattering of Eastern European languages. Even the primarily English-speaking UK crowd had a good handle on Spanish and French. And then there was me, the American. I spoke English, and a few sentences in Spanish and German. This was after five years of ...

Posted Feb. 9, 2016, 9 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Considering College? Don’t Forget These Other Options

When my son was a high school senior he had no idea what he wanted to do after graduation. Since he was an average student, he felt college was not in the cards. Being involved in Junior ROTC throughout high school, he opted for the military instead of college. When he left for boot camp after graduation he was confident he had made the right decision. My daughter on the other hand, knew she wanted to go to college and where she wanted to go. When she graduated, she left for college content she had made the right decision. My ...

Posted Jan. 22, 2016, 9 a.m. by Dana Elmore | View Comments
How to Choose the Perfect Gap Year

Chances are you’ve heard and read plenty of information about gap years. Perhaps you want to consider spending a year or semester outside of a traditional classroom before college but your parents aren’t sure if it’s such a great idea. So what do you do next? Follow these steps to create a plan that fits everyone’s needs and desires. 1. Ask your parents about their concerns. Before you do anything else, sit down with your parents. Make a true effort to listen to what they have to say. Do not assume that you already know what they will share. Thank ...

Posted Dec. 17, 2015, 9 a.m. by Melanie Biles | View Comments
Study Abroad in High School? Why I Took the Plunge.

Going to France was always going to be a part of my life. When I was 14, my friend Kira’s father told us over dinner about when he had studied overseas in high school. I had always dreamed of studying abroad. Having grown up with close friends from Japan, France, and India, I had loved learning about other cultures and knew that travel would be an influential component of my life. That night, as we lingered over plates of pasta and Kira’s dad painted pictures of cobblestone streets and tiny boulangeries smelling of fresh bread and melting sugar, I knew ...

Posted Oct. 30, 2015, 8 a.m. by The Experts at TeenLife | View Comments
Make the Most of Your Gap Year with a D.C. Internship

Oonagh Cavanagh grew up in a small Vermont town, hiking, camping, skiing, and loving anything that had to do with the outdoors. So when she was looking for a gap experience before college, she looked for a program where she could put her passion about protecting the environment to work. The answer was American University’s Gap Program. AU offers gap students a chance to spend a semester or year in Washington, D.C., both studying and working as an intern. “I was ready for a change of pace,” says Oonagh, who spent a semester interning at the Earth Day Network and ...

Posted July 28, 2015, 8 a.m. by Casey Adams | View Comments
Four Lessons for Teens Camping in the Outdoors

Camping means no phone. It means no bed, no TV and, probably, no shower. At first pass, camping doesn’t seem comfortable or fun. So why bother packing up and heading to a nearby campground or lake or even farther? Well, you just might come back home with a few beautiful life lessons in addition to those stunning photos you can share when you have service again. A few National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) graduates shared their camping experiences and collected a list of life lessons. Let us know what you learn from getting outside, whether it's the back country or ...

Posted March 13, 2015, 10 a.m. by Ginger Fay | View Comments
should you take a gap year

I have been applying to college for 20 years. Don’t worry—I’m not bad at it (I did get in the first time around!), I just like working with students going through the application process so much that I have made it my career. I have worked in selective college admissions, a boarding school, a day school, an international school, and outside the school system as an Independent Educational Consultant (IEC). I have counseled hundreds of students through the ups and downs of the application process to hundreds of different colleges. In all that time, I have met a lot of ...

Posted Feb. 10, 2015, 10 a.m. by Ginger Fay | View Comments
cheap gap year programs

When I was in high school, I thought a gap year—a magical interim year spent investigating something or everything before heading off to college—was an opportunity reserved for the über rich, those students who could afford to postpone a year of earning potential and had parents who could afford to fund an additional year of education. Ten years later, when I joined the College Counseling Office at Phillips Academy, a boarding school in Massachusetts that regularly sends a percentage of its senior class off on such adventures, I learned that with some careful planning, almost anyone can afford to take ...

Posted Jan. 15, 2015, 11:37 a.m. by Eliza Cope | View Comments
use gap year fairs

Taking a gap year is an increasingly popular choice among college-bound high school seniors. From local and international community service or trekking through the wilderness, to residential internships, gap year programs give teens the opportunity to find direction and purpose before entering the college environment. Students who take gap years are able to pursue their existing passions, discover new interests, and challenge themselves in ways that often result in increased self-awareness, maturity, and confidence. The gap year enables teens to take a break, as it were, from the intense academic climate of school and allows them to truly be ready ...

Posted Jan. 1, 2015, 10 a.m. by TeenLife Blogger | View Comments
how you hike in the appalachian mountains during a gap year

A series of conservation trails spanning the entire 2,180 miles from Maine to Southern Georgia, the Appalachian Trail is considered to be a rite of passage for American adventurers. Only one in four people who begin this trail, though, get a chance to complete it. For many, taking the required amount of time off of work or studies is one of the major obstacles more than the actual difficulty of the hike itself. One of the most fantastic things about having a year off between graduating high school and the start of college is the ability to complete this trail ...

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