|College Admission Coach℠||
Gap Year and Study Away
A "gap year" is a temporary time off from school--either between high school and college, a break in the middle of undergraduate studies, or time off between college and graduate school or work. Gap years are growing in popularity, and more high-school students are considering a year off before college to work, volunteer or travel.
Most private colleges will let an accepted student defer coming for one year after being accepted. Since it's harder to pull together all the elements of a college application during a gap year, I suggest that high school seniors apply for college in fall of senior year, even if a gap year is planned.
There are many enticing gap year programs that come with a high price tag. I don't think it is a good idea to spend your college funds on a gap year. many students opt to work for a year and save money to help pay for college. Some live at home and volunteer or take an unpaid internship locally. Below is a list of gap year opportunities that are cost-free:
Many high school students tell me that they want to go to a college that has good study abroad options. Fortunately, nowadays almost all colleges offer some form of study away. (Many schools have stopped using the term "study abroad" because some of their terrific options away from campus might be a semester somewhere domestic like Washington DC or at the United Nations, or an exchange at an alternate U.S. university. )
If you plan to study abroad, it is important to understand the different types of study abroad programs that are typically available. Four basic models have been identified to refer to a study abroad program's structure. (bullets please)
Island: Students participating in island programs study alongside other American students in a study center. Island programs are typically sponsored U.S. universities and/or third-party providers, who develop a curriculum specifically with American students in mind.
Integrated: Students who participate on an integrated program enroll directly in courses alongside local students at a host university. Program sponsors may provide additional services such as assistance with course registration and language tutoring.
Hybrid: these programs include elements of both island and integrated program. Typically students take a selection of their coursework at a host university and the remainder at a study center. Hybrid programs are common in countries where the primary language of instruction is not English, such as China and Morocco.
Field-based: these study abroad programs for academic credit are structured much more liberally than traditional island, integrated or hybrid programs. Generally these programs involve a thematic focus, field study training and finally an independent study project.