TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Category: Gap Years

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 ...

Posted March 26, 2014, 11:06 a.m. by Julia Levine Rogers | View Comments
Traveling Responsibly: A Beginner’s Guide

You may not realize it, but when you travel abroad, you become an automatic ambassador for America. Leaving the country for a gap year adventure is thrilling, but it’s important to note how your behavior abroad can impact you or the people of your host country. Taking steps to be respectful will not only help you have a positive international experience, but it will contribute to a better global reputation for all Americans! Here are some simple things to remember: DON’T: Dress inappropriately. This goes for men and women. Different regions of the world have different norms, so it’s important ...

Posted March 21, 2014, 12:40 p.m. by Julia Levine Rogers | View Comments
8 Ways to Make the Most of Your Gap Year

It is the season of college acceptances and decisions. But you may find yourself as one of the growing number of students who have chosen to defer their college admission in favor of a gap year. This is an incredibly exciting time, but you may also feel a little anxious about the adventures that await you. Here are some tips for preparing yourself to make the most of your gap year: 1. Anticipate being out of your comfort zone. Everything you experience on your college gap year is going to be different from what you now know. You’ll meet new ...

Posted March 11, 2014, 1:28 p.m. by Ethan Knight | View Comments
Leveraging Your Gap Year With Employers

A gap year will make your interview stand out. Despite the horrific traffic, impossible parking, and your uncooperative necktie, you have arrived to your interview fifteen minutes early; so far, so good. Your name is called and you anxiously make your way to the hiring manager’s office, remembering at the last moment to dry your sweaty palm before you offer to shake her hand. Sitting across the desk from her, you watch as she skims your well-prepared resume, and then she lifts her eyes and says, “So, William, it says here that you spent a year in Brazil. Tell me ...

Posted March 4, 2014, 9:23 a.m. by TeenLife Blogger | View Comments
Everything you Need to know about a gap year

What is a gap year? In its most basic form a gap year is a year taken off from traditional schooling between high school graduation and the beginning of freshman year of college. While many parents fear that a gap year or semester will be frowned upon, guidance counselors and school administrators have begun to see the value of a gap year. Taking a gap year is not just a trendy way to delay college, it is instead an incredible opportunity for students to take a year of their life to better themselves before continuing their education. Once a rarity, ...

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