TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Category: Gap Years

Posted Feb. 27, 2014, 9:19 a.m. by Customer Service | View Comments
Value of Experiential Learning

The teenage years are characterized by curiosity, development, and experimentation. Traditionally, high school classes and extracurricular activities help foster these traits and aid teenage success inside the classroom and out. We believe experiential learning can advance teen success even further. Today, the field of experiential learning is booming. Teens have access to many more opportunities than their parents had at their age—they can travel to almost any destination during the summer, spend a gap year volunteering after high school, and even practice their future career ambitions with an internship. With thousands of programs available to students around the world, teenagers ...

Posted Feb. 24, 2014, 11 a.m. by Karl Haigler | View Comments
Gap Year Advantage

Taking a gap year is a growing trend in the United States. Although there is no formal data on how many young people are taking a structured break before or during college, the rising number of gap year programs, gap year fairs, and college deferrals point to more students choosing the road less traveled. Download As gap year parents, researchers, and authors, we have spoken with hundreds of parents, students, college counselors, and other stakeholders about gap year experiences. The overwhelming consensus is that the impact is transformational in the most positive way. To explore this growing trend in greater ...

Posted Feb. 13, 2014, 1:19 p.m. by TeenLife Blogger | View Comments
Help Young People to Inspire Change in 2014

The New Year is a chance to look ahead and resolve to do better in the future. At Raleigh International we will be focusing on the potential of young people in 2014 - young people who have the energy and determination to make things happen and inspire change, especially when it comes to helping others. We believe in making the most of that potential and driving it forward to help young people achieve positive change. More than that, we truly believe that young peoples’ passion and creativity can contribute to sustainable development. We recently released a survey demonstrating that the ...

Posted Jan. 23, 2014, 2:33 p.m. by Main Contact | View Comments
Next Steps in Gap Year Assessment

We’re proud of the impact of our gap year programs on the lives of our students. Why does this matter? Our theory of change states that if TBB programs help students develop a sense of purpose and direction rooted in justice and equity, they will better leverage opportunities higher ed and their careers offer to create social impact. Additionally, if we can help students develop higher order empathy and their capacities as powerful learners, they will create meaningful social impact throughout their lives. This impact assessment demonstrates that we have successfully developed these capacities — the same ones that made ...

Posted Jan. 21, 2014, 12:26 p.m. by Main Contact | View Comments
Year Programs Develop Powerful Learners

Our third major area of impact is in developing the learning capacity of TBB students. This growth is not about changing the volume students can learn. Rather, it’s about shaping how students learn. Powerful learners are humble, they are introspective, they value good questions over answers, and they understand how the pursuit of knowledge can bring people together. Great innovators are powerful learners. Great social change leaders are powerful learners, too. Download These are not the traits being developed by most schools in our K-12 system. Students are rewarded for having answers, not questions. Learning is done at arms length, ...

Posted Jan. 21, 2014, 12:16 p.m. by Main Contact | View Comments
Gap Year Programs Teach Higher Order Empathy

Our second major area of impact is the development of higher order empathy in students. Teaching empathy is a hot topic. Business leaders believe it is key to strong organizational function. Educators believe it is a means of preventing bullying. Sociologists believe it is the root of healthy relationships. But, this discourse seems to rely heavily on the easier end of the empathy scale. It includes comforting someone who is the victim of violence, oppression, or circumstance. Slightly tougher — but still easy — is trying to understand and work productively with someone who holds a different opinion. Download Higher ...

Posted Jan. 17, 2014, 2:44 p.m. by Customer Service | View Comments
How A Broken Foot Made My Gap Year in Australia Even Better

Even though her gap year didn’t go quite as planned, International Student Katherine (Kas) Heath wouldn’t trade her life-changing experience in Australia for anything in the world. Here's her story of taking a gap year in her own words. Why did you decide to participate in a gap year program? I had just finished university and wanted to take a year out before getting settled into a full time job,but I needed to work as well as travel. An old friend and I started talking about traveling and discovered we had similar interests, so we decided to look into gap ...

Posted Jan. 17, 2014, 2:27 p.m. by Customer Service | View Comments
Changing Lives Through Sustainability

Allistair Landon embarked on a gap year program in India. Here is his story. Taking a gap year in his own words: Allistair Landon Why did you decide to participate in a gap year program? I was interested in a career in international development and I wanted to use my gap year to volunteer in the field. I also wanted the opportunity to travel and experience different cultures. Traveling on a gap year with Raleigh International seemed perfect for me. How did you research gap year programs and decide on which one to do? My aunt had previously volunteered on ...

Posted Jan. 17, 2014, 1:59 p.m. by Main Contact | View Comments
Study Proves Benefits of Gap Year Programs

Thinking Beyond Borders (TBB) is proud to announce the outcomes of the first comprehensive impact assessment of our gap year programs. We’ve worked hard to create innovative programs, and we are thrilled to illustrate the exceptional impact they’ve had on our students. We’re publishing these findings to highlight best practices and contribute to the conversations around both international education and the college transition. Why This Study Matters There are two groups of people who will find this series useful: 1) those seeking a solution to the current crisis in higher education; 2) those seeking to educate a new generation of ...

Posted Jan. 17, 2014, 11:15 a.m. by Ethan Knight | View Comments
3 Easy Steps to Plan the Perfect Gap Year

Planning a successful and structured gap year should be done with purpose and intent. There are many things to consider in advance. Here are a few simple steps to help you get started on your gap year journey. [Ready to browse through gap year programs?] Step 1: Consider the Following Gap Year Questions • What needs to happen to make college a reality after your gap year? Do you need to defer, take a leave-of-absence, or arrange for a Consortium Agreement (a financial aid agreement between two schools)? What deadlines and deposits need to be paid to secure your enrollment? ...

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