More and more students are choosing to take a gap year. What’s a gap year? A gap year is when students take a year off between high school and college. During that year they often travel to one or more countries and experience many new things. Some students chose to stay in their home country and work in order to obtain useful experience in a particular field.
AffordableColleges.com has a great Gap Year Planning Guide and provides some great information about planning a gap year. There are currently about 30,000-40,000 students each year who take a gap year according the American Gap Association (AGA). The gap year originated in the U.K., but it came to the U.S. in the 1980s. The popularity is now increasing in the U.S., which could be in part due to Malia Obama taking a gap year.
There are several reasons why a student may want to take a gap year. Here are some of the most common:
- Grow personally and acquire new experiences
- Take a break from school to avoid burnout
- Learn a new language or about a new culture
- Volunteer or contribute to a cause greater than themselves
- Decide on or confirm a career path
Many students return with a greater understanding of what they want to accomplish in the future and how they might get there. Despite what some people may think, it can actually help the student be more focused and driven than students who go straight into college.
While taking a gap year might seem impossible due to costs, there are ways to bring expenses down. First of all, some universities provide scholarships for those students interested in taking a gap year. There are also some general grants and scholarships that gap year students can qualify for. Second, you can choose a less expensive program or even create your own itinerary. Finally, you can choose to take your gap year in a place that is less expensive. Parts of South America and Asia are significantly cheaper than Europe.
We agree that taking a gap year can be very beneficial. We want to make sure you are remaining safe while doing so. We offer several gap year insurance plans to help protect you on your adventures. Our most popular plan is the Patriot Short Term travel plan with evacuation, which can be found here: https://www.goodinternationalstudentinsurance.com/patriot-short-term-travel-insurance-with-evacuation/.
Even though you may still be covered by your parents’ health insurance plan, their plan will not cover you if you are going overseas during your gap year. If you are a U.S. citizen, you will not be covered by Europe’s nationalized health care. We would hate for anything bad to happen to you while you are on this life-changing adventure. Please sign up for one of our policies for only about $1/day to help prevent a medical disaster from happening to you.
We have provided some useful gap year information for those interested in doing some more research on the subject. Please take the time to read about how to take a gap year wisely. For example, the AGA does recommend that students apply to colleges during their senior year as they would otherwise.
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Good Neighbor Insurance has been in business for over 20 years! Every one of our internationally trained and licensed insurance agents has a heart to serve you, our guests. It is a joy to know that we can provide you peace of mind with one of our many international student insurance options to safe guard from financial calamity as well as providing you the best overseas medical care during your studies and travels.
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Have amazing and safe travels!