TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Category: Gap Years

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, ...

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. 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 depth, ...

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 TeenLife | 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. 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, rarely ...

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