TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Category: Gap Years

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 ...

Posted Dec. 30, 2014, 1 p.m. by Tracy Morgan | View Comments
avoid disaster on gap year

Although most teens head off on their gap year without a backward glance, parents can be left feeling worried, stressed, and often powerless. These are all entirely normal reactions to an understandably tricky time for parents; however, by helping your gap yaer student carefully prepare for any eventualities or unforeseen situations, you will feel a lot more at ease during their time away. Help Them Plan a Budget Few teens will have the luxury of having an unlimited budget while taking a gap year overseas, and if their finances are not planned in advance, they may run short of money ...

Posted Dec. 11, 2014, 10 a.m. by Danny Kalman | View Comments
Gap Year Lingual Immersion

“Danny, we’re going downtown. Want to come?” Of course I wanted to come. “No thanks guys,” I replied. The next week, “Danny, we’re going to the park. Come with us!” “I’d love to but not this time.” My buddies were starting to wonder why I rarely joined them. This pattern developed while living in Jerusalem for ten months on a study program. It may appear that I was a bona fide recluse. However, the opposite was true. The Golden Rules for Gap Year Lingual Immersion Rule #1: Ignore Your Friends My American and European buddies on the program were delightful ...

Posted Oct. 29, 2014, 10 a.m. by Tracy Morgan | View Comments
learning a language on a gap year

Many educational experts are quick to extol the virtues of taking a gap year between high school and college, in that it brings immense benefits (both personal and career-wise) for teens. Learning (or improving) a language not only provides a great deal of satisfaction, but it can also set a teen in good stead for future life. What Benefits Can Learning a Language Offer? The most important, and long-reaching, benefit of learning a new language is undoubtedly for future career prospects. Having a second (or third) language under their belt can open up a teen’s options, and make them very ...

Posted Oct. 27, 2014, 1 p.m. by Tracy Morgan | View Comments
gap year benefits

An ever-increasing amount of teens are taking a break from education between high school and college, and this can bring about understandable concern for some parents. It’s hard not to imagine your child frittering away their time partying in a foreign country, and worrying about how taking a year out is going to affect their education in the long run is natural. However, with many colleges now actively encouraging it, and an overwhelming amount of benefits (some that last a life-time), perhaps a gap year is something both you and your teen should seriously consider. A gap year gives teens ...

Posted June 23, 2014, 10 a.m. by Andrew Belasco | View Comments
Should You Consider a Gap Year Before College?

Back in the 80s, parents’ worst nightmare was that their flaky Gen-X teens would defer entry into college, stating that they first needed to “find themselves.” After a year of goat herding in the Himalayas, being one with nature, and going on nightly vision quests, the best some parents could hope for is that their sons and daughters would eventually return, ready to hit the books, embrace Alex P. Keatonesque values, and eventually end up as Wall Street wolves. Should You Consider a Gap Year Before College? While absurd, this introduction offers a kernel of truth—in the absence of proper ...

Posted May 23, 2014, 11 a.m. by Customer Service | View Comments
The Key to Living in a Homestay

I was 14 years old the first time I studied abroad. I went to Costa Rica for one month to improve my Spanish, do community service, and live with a family. The next summer, when I was 15, I adventured to Cádiz, Spain for one month. This time, I traveled around the country, went to school, took surfing lessons, and lived with a family. Two years ago, when I was 20, I went to Santiago, Chile for seven months. I was a full-time student at a university, spent weeks traveling the long coast of Chile, Argentina and Uruguay. I also ...

Posted April 25, 2014, 3:23 p.m. by TeenLife Blogger | View Comments
How a Gap Year Can Benefit Your College Success

It takes a lot of maturity to recognize that you’re not mature enough for college yet. In that sense, my gap year was the most responsible decision I have ever made. I was never a huge fan of school. I wasn’t bad at it, but like many kids, there were places I would rather have been. I graduated because I was supposed to. I knew it was good for me, but only in the same way that little kids know vegetables are good for them. If it weren’t for my gap year, I would have had the same mentality toward ...

Posted April 7, 2014, 11 a.m. by Julia Levine Rogers | View Comments
Experience is Everything: How a Gap Year Can Prepare Teens for Life

Recently, the parent of one of my students told me that her daughter’s hairdresser noticed a difference after she returned from her gap year. Although he only sees her a few times a year, he observed, "You can just tell she's changed." And he meant it as a compliment. As a gap year advisor, I work with students who engage in wildly different gap year activities: Studying sculpture in Florence, whitewater rafting in Bhutan, working on organic farms in New Zealand, mentoring troubled youth in Chicago. And while these activities are very different, they are all worthwhile, challenging pursuits. So ...

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