Gap Year

By “El Cafetero”

The English tradition of the ‘Gap year’ is usually performed during the time of one’s high school graduation and also between graduation of a Bachelors degree and the beginning toward Graduate School. This time off is usually dedicated to joining the workforce and volunteering and gradually finding how to handle life responsibilities on your own.

As early as the 1960’s the practice of Gap year was being practices through-out most of England at universities such as Cambridge and Oxford students of these prestigious universities chose to participate in the swinging sixties a decade that until now continues to define England. It was then that these student pioneers created the culture of the Gap Year in where it has now become customary for students to take a break. This custom is not only widely practiced in England, but it has also developed quite a following in other countries around the world.


A few countries that have managed to embrace this custom over the years are countries such as Denmark, Norway and Turkey; which an over 50% of their students all take some sort of break in between their high school lives and college.

Unfortunately, the United States Hasn’t yet fully adopted this custom yet out of three hundred-thousand American freshman students surveyed only 1.2% took a gap year which is really low
compared to other countries. At least one higher learning institution in the United states has seen an increase in this practice though, Harvard University’s leading the way with 33 percent of its freshman enrollment has taken a gap year. Most Notably the United States President’s daughter Malia Obama, is a student this year that has decided to take a gap year before starting college at Harvard University in 2017, pending her departure from high school this year.

So, with Malia Obama also participating in this practice of gap year for the 2016 school year and her popularity with this generation it seems only logical that her decision might have cult following
and we see other following in her foot steps this year, but only time will tell on whether a trend will develop from this; or if the United States will continues to fall behind on globally known concept of taking a gap year.


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