A gap year refers to a period after graduation, usually one or two years, when students take a break from education to work or volunteer before continuing with graduate or professional school or starting a longer-term job. Taking a gap year can help students explore career paths and gain experience. In some cases, these experiences evolve into long-term pursuits.
Before you embark on a gap year, consider these questions carefully:
- Think about your motivation: Why do you want to take a gap year or two? Have you thoroughly thought about how this might align with, or delay, your future goals?
- Define your goals: Are you interested in expanding your resume, living independently, clarifying your interests, or experiencing a different culture?
- Research: What are your options?
- Plan ahead: Planning ahead can help you avoid missing deadlines for job applications or fellowships. Give yourself ample time to update any international travel documents you may need, save money, or book trips in advance.