Sophie Nachman (UNC class of 2021) in Morocco, where she volunteered as a teaching assistant.

A gap year is a period of time when students take a break from formal classroom-based education to travel, volunteer, intern, or work. Typically, it is taken between high school graduation and entry into college, and it presents a wonderful opportunity for students to gain real-world experience, life skills, independence, and personal growth.

Most importantly, the gap year empowers students to create their own uniquely valuable life experiences. They can construct the learning agenda that best suits them by choosing the projects they will undertake and the countries they will visit or by participating in an already designed program.

Each year more American universities are recognizing the intrinsic value of taking a gap year. Gap years allow individual students to mature, creating highly motivated students who make greater impacts on the campuses when they arrive. As a result, an increasing number of institutions now offer admitted students the opportunity to defer their education for one year so that they may take advantage of these opportunities.

 

Want to learn more about gap years?

Check out some of these articles.
Gap Year May Have Benefits Long After College – New York Times >

Gap Year Data and Benefits – American Gap Association >

Gap Years provide purpose and direction – Thinking Beyond Borders>