A gap year is a time, usually the length of an academic year, during which students take a break from their studies. That said, a gap year should not just be taken to have a break from the usual school routine and to live off one’s parents.
A gap year is often used to gain different work experiences or to try something new, such as, for example, going on an archaeological dig. Many choose to volunteer for some charity work with people who are less fortunate than themselves.
This experience usually turns out to be a very exciting time in one’s life since travelling to far-flung destinations and often for an extended period of time are usually very high on the agenda.
This is an excellent time for students to learn more about themselves. They can focus on the future and gain the confidence to follow through on all their plans.
Contrary to what most would think, this is a much sought after experience by employers as it shows a sense of responsibility on the part of the individual and usually results in effective character building.
A gap year should be considered as an important aspect in the growing up process of an individual, a time to transition from being a student to becoming an adult, a time to save up some money or to work on one’s language skills or some other skill, such as painting or cooking.
Countries where taking a gap year is most common are the UK and Australia but people from the US are catching up. In Malta, this is still not such a popular idea. What students often opt for are student exchanges in different countries. Others go inter-railing across Europe for a few months!
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