Tài liệu What is a gap year why do people take a gap year how to take a gap year .....

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VIET NAM COMMERCE UNIVERSITY ENGLISH FACULTY DISCUSSION GROUP 2 GAP YEAR Class: Teacher: MEMBERS OF GROUP 2 OUTLINE What is a gap year? Why do people take a gap year? Misconceptions About the Gap Year Misconceptions About the Gap Year Ways to spend your gap year Tips for choosing a gap year Financials of a Gap Year Tips for Making Your Gap Year a Success I. What is a gap year? In its most basic form a gap year is a year taken off from traditional schooling between high school graduation and the beginning of freshman year of college. While many parents fear that a gap year will be frowned upon, guidance counselors and school administrators have begun to see the value of a gap year. Taking a gap year is not just a trendy way to delay college, it is instead an incredible opportunity for students to take a year of their life to better themselves before continuing their education. Once a rarity, gap years are becoming increasingly common for students of all academic aptitudes and walks of life, as the benefits they provide are universal. “Gap year” is also called pathway, prep-year, leap year, defer year, bridge-year, drop year, year out, year off, overseas experience (OE) or foundation year. A gap year comes under many guises - backpacking, a career gap, a short gap year, travelling, time out, a sabbatical - but they all mean the same thing. A gap year is constructive time out to travel in-between life stages. It usually means travelling, volunteering or working abroad. Often it means all three! Most students who choose to take a gap year follow a very similar path as those who decide to go directly into college, as the best way to take a gap year is to apply to college, then defer once accepted. This allows students to complete their gap year with the assurance of a continued educational path waiting for them. Almost all colleges will encourage the journey because of the benefits it provides for students -- as long as they have a defined path and plan for their gap year. While some individuals may wait to apply to college in the hopes that a gap year will help their application, it is almost always better to apply before the year. Should a student wait to apply until after they complete their gap year, they greatly increase the chance that they will not return to college. In addition to the risk of not returning to college, having education plans up in the air and an acting stress factor negates one of the main reasons for taking a gap year: Escaping the stress of traditional education in order to "recharge”. II. Why do people take a gap year? Students may choose to take a gap year for a wide variety of reasons, but one of the most common is feeling unprepared for college. For these students, the gap year is an opportunity to reflect on what they will do in the future, and take time to mature before they return to academia to begin college. By coming to college a year older and more mature, students often find that they get more out of their college experience both in and outside of the classroom. By exposing themselves to the "real world" over their gap year, these students will often learn more about the value and importance of a college education, which can be difficult to see in an academic environment. For those students who might be otherwise socially and academically prepared, a gap year can be a chance to mentally prepare for college. After spending four years studying and preparing to go to college, many individuals feel burnt out from the grind of simply getting there. For these students, going directly into college could be disastrous, as they may not be mentally prepared or able to do their best work. To begin college in such a state of mind could lead to poor grades, low quality of life, and the potential for drop out. By taking a gap year, students can avoid these problems without negative consequences, as their college spot will still be waiting for them when they get back. Still other individuals may take a gap year to travel or see the world before they head to college for four years. While many college students take a semester or year abroad, for some students it can be difficult to wait for the opportunity to travel. For those individuals with a feeling of wanderlust, the chance to gain global perspective and cultural knowledge is hard to pass up. These individuals will often pick up significant language skills and obtain impressive cultural knowledge, making them more global citizens, and potentially opening doors for them later in their lives and careers. A gap year can also be a chance to decide what to study in college, as many students leave high school completely undecided as to a career path or field, sometimes taking years of college just to decide what they really want to study. For these students, taking a gap year can be an opportunity to take a job or internship that may give them greater perspective as to what they enjoy and would be interested in studying in college. In these cases, the decision to take a gap year can benefit both the student and the parents, as the student spends more time studying what they like and are interested in, and the parents feel as though their money is being better spent at college. Lastly, some individuals are attracted to community service programs, and may want to take a year to help others, oftentimes in another country. This goal is best accomplished through an existing program, and can be a great way to give back to the local community, or a community somewhere else in the world. Service work can also teach new real world skills, and give students a sense of achievement and purpose. If a student doesn't fit perfectly into one of these categories- don't worry! These are just a few of the reasons people take gap years, and as long as there is a legitimate and important reason to take a gap year it will be a valuable experience. Some people find themselves in more than one of the categories above, and some find themselves in none of them, but they all can still find value in a gap year. III. Misconceptions About the Gap Year The gap year concept is growing more awareness in the United States by the day, there are still common misconceptions about this growing trend among parents and high school students. Here's my perspective of the Top 5 misunderstandings 1. Students go on a Gap Year because they don't feel mature enough for college. Actually, a majority of our students feel ready for the college social scene. What they fear most is that they won't make the most of their college experience from both an academic and social perspective. 2. Students go on a Gap Year because they don't know what they want to do with their lives or what to study. Some students come into our program to discover themselves and their passions. Others come in to affirm their passion and broaden their experiences to give more support to their academic choice of focus. One of our students this year came in knowing she wanted to study pre-med and become a doctor. What the program offerred her was several life experiences and exposures to healthcare on a global level. She now leaves the program affirmed in her passion for pre-med and a focused desire to apply herself in the area of infectious diseases based on what she saw in four different continents. 3. Students who go on a Gap Year never go to college. We have yet to graduate a student from our program that has not pursued higher education. 4. Gap Year students will lose scholarship money or fail to get into their school of choice if they wait a year. So long as you do not take any outside credit from the school of choice, many colleges will maintain your scholarship even if you defer for a year. We also see that our program broadens students experiences and appeals to universities to qualify you for more scholarship money and different types of scholarships. Some students who did not get into their school of choice will take a gap year to boost their resume and gain the attention of their desired school as they re-apply the following year. 5. A Gap Year puts students one Year behind all their peers who will graduate before them. The average college student is spending more than 4 years working on their undergraduate studies. The average college student changes their major 3 times. A gap year student is making an investment on the FRONT END of their studies in order to avoid the endless change of majors and lengthening their years of studies beyond the necessary four years to complete an undergraduate degree. You will most likely graduate with a majority of your peers but be more focused and purposeful in the four year process. IV. Ways to spend your gap year. Taking a gap year in between finishing college and heading off to graduate school can also be a great way to refresh before heading back to higher education! There are plenty of productive and even life changing ways you can spend your gap year. Here is five productive things to do during your year off. 1. Go abroad Maybe you didn’t have the time to study abroad during college while trying to get all those credits out of the way, or maybe you just have a lot of wanderlust to get out of your system. Either way, going abroad during your gap year is a great way to expand your horizons and experience the rest of the world before coming back to focus on graduate school. If you do decide to use your gap year to go abroad, you can use an official gap year program or design your adventure abroad. If you’d like more structure to your year abroad or you want to work, study or volunteer while there, doing it through an organization may be best for you. 2. Volunteer Spending your gap year helping others can really change your perspective, especially if you didn’t get a lot of time to do volunteer projects in college. There are plenty of volunteer programs available for college students and young adults. 3. Explore possible careers with an internship You’re going to be spending two or more of the next few years of your life hitting the books, so why not try getting a little work experience before heading back to school? Interning can be a great way to try out a career you might not necessarily have the option to explore or study in college or grad school. It can pave the way to new opportunities that you might not have expected! 4. Learn something new You’ve been learning like crazy in college – but what about that foreign language you’ve always been dying to learn, or that cooking class you’ve always wanted to take? Whatever your interests might be, taking a year off before grad school can give you time to learn new things and develop new passions you haven’t had time for before. The best part? No grades or forced credit hours to stress you out, meaning this learning experience can be way more stress-free than your regular classes. Because it’s so important to be able to show employers and grad school representatives what you’ve done during your gap year, gaining a new skill is a great way to show that you haven’t just been taking the year off. 5 . Pursue your passion
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