What is a gap year?
A ‘gap year’ is a period of time, usually an academic year, when a student takes a break from formal education. It is often spent travelling or working.
People used to think that taking a gap year was negative. In the past you took a gap year if you had to retake exams or had problems between finishing school and starting higher education and then starting a career. But now, universities positively encourage a gap year and employers are happy to give jobs to students who take a gap year. A year out between school or college and higher education or employment, or between higher education and a job, can give young people useful learning experiences, help them pick up new skills and make them more independent. Employers and universities want to see evidence of enterprise, maturity and commitment both in and outside formal education.
Young people in formal education usually take a gap year when they are about 18 years old, before going to university. They can also be taken at a different time, for example, by someone who wants to break up their degree course or to do something different before a postgraduate course.
Many gap year students choose to do voluntary work. This could include teaching in the mountains in Nepal, a conservation project in Madagascar, an expedition in Costa Rica or an internship in Japan. There are plenty of gap year volunteer work options to choose from. There is also voluntary work closer to home for British students – both geographically and culturally – including the UK, Europe and North America.
Lots of gap year students just want to see more of the world. According to the British government’s Gap Year website, the top five gap year travel destinations recently have been Tibet, Indonesia, Taiwan, Eastern Europe and Canada. Popular gap year activities for young people looking for adventure include surfing in Hawaii, wake boarding in Italy, kite surfing in Egypt or bungee jumping in New Zealand.
Most students who are planning a gap year take on a part-time job to save up for the trip. Some young people look for work when they get to their destination if they need to earn money to pay for accommodation, food and their other expenses. Popular jobs include bar work, fruit picking and being a tour guide. A gap year doesn’t have to be a full year travelling or having adventures: some students travel for three or six months then work for the rest of the year.
Model. degree course – курс, который заканчивается присвоением степени (придаточным предложением)
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