Nepal, Photo by Annika Kendall
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Why Take a College Gap Year?

Posted on

06/17/22

Author

Kimberly Manning

Gap years are often thought to be for high school students going into college, but gap year programs in college are just as impactful and important. In fact, taking time away from college studies is very common. If you’re in the middle of your college education and seeking a break from the classroom, consider a gap year program to learn in a new way, gain a new perspective of the world, and develop valuable life skills. 

Nepal, Photo by Annika Kendall

Benefits of Gap Year Programs for College Students

You have a change of perspective

Sometimes a simple change of scenery can be enough to have a new perspective. And being immersed in a new culture is an incredibly powerful way to shift your understanding of life and the world. Gap year programs enable students to gain understanding of new cultures, communities, and ways of living. 

Gap year programs through Where There Be Dragons offer authentic experiences that can be life-changing for many. Students engage in learning service programs, language study, and independent study projects. Through rugged travel and homestays with local families, students are able to fully experience a new way of day to day life. 

You’re able to recenter focus and purpose

After years spent in a classroom, it can be easy to lose focus on what matters in life. Gap year programs shift your focus to learning and living in different ways while understanding what it’s like to live somewhere else. Students are able to learn hands-on through study and by simply being present in the experience. I

They are encouraged to create meaningful connections and learn about social and environmental justice, indigenous rights, spiritual traditions, and more. Whether developing skills based on current interests or learning about new interests, students are able to learn more about themselves and their personal goals.

Nepal, Photo by Annika Kendall

You develop valuable life skills

It’s hard to learn true life skills in the classroom sometimes. In gap year programs, students engage in a diverse range of hands-on activities that include homestays, trekking, apprenticeships, and language learning. 

Some programs have opportunities for backcountry treks and excursions. Students are able to take on leadership roles, develop backcountry skills, and understand the intersection of wilderness and culture. Participants learn how to navigate changing weather conditions and safely traverse the outdoors. 

You step out of your comfort zone

Students are completely immersed in new cultures without their everyday creature comforts. Where There Be Dragons even encourages students to leave their devices behind or restrict usage to personal excursions outside of the program. gap year programs introduce a whole new world of experiences and learning.

In gap year programs, students engage in traditions, are exposed to new foods, and experience customs that are unfamiliar. Being in a homestay with a local family, students are put into a new family and household structure. 

If you’re considering gap year programs in college, Where There Be Dragons has a range of programs available to find the adventure that suits you. Not interested in taking a full semester away? We offer college courses and credits available on our semester programs.


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