Going to college straight out of high school isn’t right for everyone. In fact, a year of doing something else can help you grow and mature in ways that will enhance the value of your eventual college education. It can significantly improve your “application story” and chances for admission when you do apply to college.
There are many worthwhile opportunities such as volunteer organizations, study, travel, work or many even a postgraduate high school year.
A popular gap year opportunity is learning another language while living abroad. There are a number of language immersion programs such as the Council on International Educational Exchange, known as the CIEE. Many of these opportunities involve living with a family, studying and improving fluency in a foreign language.
While the gap year is somewhat unusual in the United States and Canada, it is extremely popular in other parts of the world. In England, nearly 10% of college-bound seniors take a gap year. The percentage is thought to be even higher in Australia.
Lynn Radlauer Lubell, Publisher of InLikeMe.com and Founder of Admission By Design, an Educational Consultancy based in Boca Raton, Florida.