10 Reasons You Should Take a GAP Year

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With the recent news that Malia Obama will take a gap year before her freshman year at Harvard, the world will surely watch with anticipation to learn how she will spend the 365 days between high school and college.

 

While it’s not common in the U.S., taking a gap year is considered the norm in some countries all over the world, including the United Kingdom and Australia. Many colleges and universities in the U.S. not only accept applicants who choose to take gap years, but also actively encourage enrolled students to study abroad during their college tenures. According to study abroad organization CIEE, Harvard College has seen a 33 percent increase in the number of their incoming students taking gap years.

 

That might be due, in part, to the school’s acceptance letters. According to U.S. News & World Report, acceptance letters from Harvard even suggest that students might want to take time off before they enroll.

 

Taking a gap year between high school and college can be tremendously beneficial to one’s personal growth, whether one decides on enrolling in a structured gap year program, spend time volunteering abroad or simply traveling the world. Regardless, taking a gap year means that you’re living life to the fullest. Here are 10 reasons why.

 

1. You’ll perform better in college.
Students might worry that college admissions officials or professors will look down on them for taking a gap year. This isn’t true: many schools report that gap year students have higher GPAs and are more involved on campus, so their attitudes toward gap years are far from unfavorable.

 

2. You’ll realize what you love before you start studying.
More often than not, college students commit themselves to one area of study, realize it’s not for them, and then swap to a completely different major… often two or three times. You’ll cut down on coursework, tuition bills and stress if you take time before college to decide how you want to spend your academic experience before you get there.

 

3. You’ll get to adventure at your prime.
When else are you going to be 18 years old with no job, no mortgage payments, no significant other, no kids, no homework and no worries? Never. The answer is never.

 

4. You’ll know what’s important in life before most people do. 
College is ridiculously fun, but it’s easy to get so caught up that you begin to believe your fraternity or friend group is the absolute center of the universe. As such, any small crisis might seem like the end of the world. However, if you’ve traveled the wider world in all its complexity and glory, you’ll understand there are bigger issues for humanity than a failed date night or lost game of beer pong.

 

5. You’ll be an expert at adapting to new places.
On a gap year, you’ll be forced to integrate into a new society, a new group of friends, and maybe even new languages or cultural norms. College requires similar adaptation skills, and you’ll be much more ready to handle it if you’ve already shifted societies once before.

 

6. You’ll have something to talk about.
Skip the same old “where are you from?” and “what’s your major?” chitchat, and nail the “what’d you do this summer?” question with stories from your gap year. You’ll have first-hand opinions to share about people, places and ideas that your peers might have never even heard of.

 

7. You’ll have a shinier resume.
Oftentimes, a gap year involves staying in one spot and soaking up its culture, part of which means getting a job. No matter where you work — a sandwich stand in India or the embassy in London — you’ll have valuable (international!) experience for your resume and can explain your ability to do business with customers from different cultures. If you travel on the cheap, you might even have some earnings left to use on college tuition.

 

8. You’ll pick up the pieces you missed in high school. 
Slept through every Spanish class? Head to Argentina for your gap year, where you’ll be forced to speak the language every day. Wish you knew more history? Spend time touring government buildings in Europe. A gap year is your time to refine the specific skills you feel like you’re lacking and sharpen them up for college.

 

9. You’ll have time to think.
Life feels like it’s unfolding fast right now, and in college, things only move faster. Give yourself room to think and breathe and be on long train rides from country to country or in days spent strolling through new towns. You’ll be surprised where your mind wanders when you give it free rein.

 

10. You’ll make new friends.
How cool would it be to go through life knowing you have a best friend in Italy or a pen pal in New Zealand? Their unique perspectives on life will hugely enrich yours as you compare all the major events that happen in your 20s and beyond. Plus, you’ll have crazy awesome places to visit during college breaks.


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18th April 2019

This exceptional bunch of humans have finished up their time with us on the Adventure Guide Program in NZ. Its been so fun having them join us, alongside their awesome instructor Rosey. Keep in touch guys! 😘

8th April 2019

This is Torres del Paine. No explanation required really. So rad. Is Patagonia on your bucket list yet? Go on... https://bit.ly/2IcDTEb

6th April 2019

Our adventure programs take you to some amazing places around the world. The pic is the Tiger Leaping Gorge in Southern China. If you're a hiker, you need to get here. Learn more about where we travel here https://bit.ly/2I0bmmd

4th April 2019

These guys are busy with their NZOIA assessments this week, the final step in our program to putting all the pieces together as far as skills and experiences go. Go team!

25th March 2019

Time to meet the team! This is John. He is one of our Program Instructors, currently leading a group completing the Adventure Guide Program in Queenstown, New Zealand. John grew up enjoying the outdoors of Florida. Having joined the military when he turned 18, he soon began traveling and seeing the world, thus instilling in him a passion for travel. In the military as a JTAC, he was responsible for directing the action of combat aircraft. He received training not only in his core job skills but also navigation, survival, and bushcraft. After the military, he moved to Bend, Oregon to pursue his helicopter pilots license. Climbing in the countless places available to him in Central Oregon, he soon developed a passion for the sport as well as a deeper appreciation for the outdoors. John is a legend with a heart of gold, and an even bigger appetite - for food and for the outdoors! It's awesome having him on our team

24th March 2019

Enjoying the long warm days of Autumn in New Zealand with a week in the glorious surrounds of Mt Cook National Park.

20th March 2019

Adventure Guide Program crew meeting some key adventure tourism industry employers from around New Zealand tonight at our networking event. It's so great to be able to make these connections and get CVs straight into the key recruiters hands.

19th March 2019

Step away from the desk job and join us for a few months of outdoor fun. Go on...

17th March 2019

Orientation week in New Zealand is a chance to settle in, get to know your new team mates and explore this new land which will become home for the next 12 weeks.

14th March 2019

What types of people come on our programs? People from all over the globe join us for adventure travel missions. Generally we see people who are between 19 - 32 years old - taking a break before college, taking a break for getting into the workplace, taking a break from their work desk! It's all about immersing yourself in the outdoors, forgetting the pressures of everyday and enjoying feeling fit, healthy and renews by visiting new places. Join the crew!

12th March 2019

A good spot for reflection (and a cup of tea) after a big week exploring the New Zealand back country.

10th March 2019

It's time to get the hiking backpack out of the cupboard and buy a ticket abroad. Go on....

8th March 2019

Our adventure travel programs are all about living life to the full, getting away from your work desk, putting down that phone and refreshing your soul. Fresh air, fascinating cultures, like minded mates, learning new skills. Join the crew and take some time to focus on you!

8th March 2019

Happy #internationalwomensday ! Women lead the way in so many ways. We are proud to offer young women from around the world the chance to gain confidence in themselves and their skills. Bring on the future!

8th March 2019

When your thousands of kms from home, if you're lucky, you'll find another kind of oddball/amazing family to call your own.

6th March 2019

Views for days

5th March 2019

New kiwi maaaaaaaaates... 🐑🐑🐑

5th March 2019

A huge welcome to the newest crew to join us for an Adventure Guide Program. Enjoy your awesome Orientation Week, then it's business time!

3rd March 2019

Outdoor climbing is a bit scary and can take you a bit to get your head around. But like anything else that pushes you out of your comfort zone, the elation felt with nailing it is unreal! Would you be game to hang from a 20 metre rock face?

1st March 2019

From ultra-light bivvy bags, moisture wicking tops and merino bottoms, to polarized sunglasses, flint firelighters and seam-sealed jackets ... gear nerds are our kinds of people.

1st March 2019

Hailing from: The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Sweden, USA, Australia, Greece, Poland and Canada!!! Introducing the March Adventure guide crew on their first day in Queenstown 🙌 Welcome team we are so stoked to have you here!

26th February 2019

We love seeing the pics roll in from our Adventure Guide Programs. Good times speak for themselves, don't they!

13th February 2019

Nor'west skies are red, Guide ropes are blue, Coffee brewed over campfire black Means a great day ahead its true... Happy V day team, hope its filled with things that put a smile on your dial! 🥰