Gap Year .. should I stay or should I go?
The Aussies and the Kiwis (no disrespect intended .. just easier to write) have definitely got this right! They have always encouraged and embraced the concept of the ‘year out’ to travel before university. Finally, the rest of the world is catching up and Canadian students are starting to jump on the band wagon and take the well-deserved break after high school.
It’s a long conveyor belt of studies from kindergarten to university, and there’s nothing wrong with taking a break before jumping back on again for university. In fact, it can be very beneficial.
Many students who go straight to university end up trapped in programs they don’t like, and are more likely to change program, university or drop out entirely. Taking time off to volunteer, travel or work abroad gives you a chance to re-group, experience life, and re-focus on what direction you want your life to go in. It’s an opportunity to decide what really interests you. Canadian universities are also starting to encourage students to take a year out, and York University even has a ‘bridge the gap’ program which allows students to defer their admission for a year to enable them to take time off.
Some companies in Canada are actively promoting gap year options – Travel CUTS, the student travel specialists, has a Gap Year Abroad division, and other companies such as mygapyear.ca also specialize in this market.
So, instead of packing for college, start packing for a volunteer program in Africa, or a teaching post in Thailand or what about working in Australia for a year?
Many companies offering these gap year options will be at the Study and Go Abroad Fairs to be held in Vancouver (March 3), Montreal (March 5) and Toronto (March 6).
Also, check out this funny Gap Year video on youtube: