You just graduated and now you’re wondering “what’s next?” Maybe you’re not ready to take on that pre-determined path of high school, college, full-time job ‘til retirement. Figuring out your next step is overwhelming and no one knows that better than we do. That’s why we gathered an awesome team of experts to give you a rundown on a hip new thing you might have heard of... taking a gap year before college.
Now, contrary to what you might have been told, a gap year after high school isn’t a “year off” at all. It’s a year on. Whether you’re taking the time to explore new academic interests with a study-focused program, giving back on a volunteer abroad program, getting a little more work experience, or learning a new language, it’s all about growing and learning—about yourself, about the world around you, and the role you’d like to play in it. You’re going to work hard, play hard, and explore far and wide. It won’t be easy, but we think you’re up to the task. So, ask yourself:
Are you ready to take a year on? What are your first steps to taking a gap year before college? How do you make the most of this experience? How important is knowing the language before you get there? Etc.
The list of questions to ask before preparing to go on a gap year just gets longer and longer the more you think about it. But, we’ve already thought about it. In fact, at GoAbroad we’ve thought about it for 20+ years in the field, and we’ve learned a thing or two in all that time. This ebook has everything you could possibly need to know about taking a gap year after high school, thanks to our gap year pros!
From sage advice like:
The first strategy to get your parents on board is to explain what a gap year actually is; a hiatus between high school and college or university. It is especially important to let your parents know that a gap year is not a permanent replacement for higher education, nor does it mean you will lose focus on your career.”
To these pearls of wisdom:
If you plan on applying to college after a gap year, be sure to use your gap year to improve your application. That could be volunteering, working, interning, traveling, taking courses... the possibilities are endless! And you’ll notice that many of the options on the list above don’t cost money. It’s all about making a plan and working to achieve your goals.”
You might have some time at home before you’re off on your next journey, but gappers freshly back should consider this: YOU NEED SOME TIME. Time to rest, time to process, time to do nothing, to wash your clothes, sort through your souvenirs, to spend with friends and family, and to reflect on the likely amazing year you just had. Then you can start to think about and prepare for what’s next.”
As part of GoAbroad’s mission to provide the best and most comprehensive resources for meaningful travelers, our writers share their best gap year tips every step of the way— from choosing the right program and pre-departure to dealing those “oh my god I don’t know what I’m doing” moments. They’re the experts with real experience and all the best info on how and when to go on a gap year (before college… duh), the best possible program options for you, how to fund your time abroad, and anything you might need to know. So, now you can go out into the world and really soak it all in!