Often, high school students graduate from high school and aren’t ready to jump into college yet, so they take a “gap” year to experience new things. My brother did this and wrote about having money for the first time. Another time students may take a gap year is after they have completed their undergraduate degree but before they move on to a graduate or professional program.
A gap year can be a great way to experience new things and grow personally. Before you take your gap year, make sure you have thought about the following:
Health insurance coverage. Depending on your age, you may no longer be covered on your parents’ health insurance and may need to buy your own. Taking a gap year without health insurance is not advised as one accident could lead you to financial disaster. Even though health insurance may be a pricey, it is worth the expense.
Programs you may want to join. There are many programs available for those looking to take a gap year. The key is to find the one that appeals to your unique interests. Before you begin searching for a gap year program, consider where you would like to live. Do you want to go abroad? If so, what country would you like to go to? What would you like to do during your gap year? Would you like to help those who are sick or help children? Have an idea of the basics before you start searching for gap year programs because there are many available.
Your budget. Of course it is possible to spend a small fortune on a gap year, but it doesn’t have to be that expensive. Some gap years can cost as little as $5,000, while others run $10,000 to $15,000. While this is expensive, it is less than you would likely pay for a year of college tuition, room and board. When you consider the personal growth that can occur as well as the possible insight that you may gain as to what career path you may enjoy, many people find a gap year worthwhile.
While a gap year was often something rich kids pursued, it is no longer just limited to the wealthy. A gap year is a viable option for anyone, and there are ways to cut corners if need be. With proper planning a gap year can be a successful way to take a year off college and grow as an individual while helping others.