Gap years are more common than you realize. It is often believed that it will be questioned or frowned upon. That is partially false. There are many speculations surrounding this topic. In this blog, we will discuss academic gaps and the acceptable reason for a gap in education.
What is Education Gap?
An education gap could be one year (fewer or more) break from academics. The reason for a gap in education could be anything, right from a health issue to pursuing a different field altogether. It could be anything that typically demands their time away from their standard academic chronology.
The break does not necessarily have to be taken at a certain point in your education. It could remain valid at any given stage of your academic life. Some students opt for an education gap after the 12th class to prepare for competitive exams and others might do it in the middle of their graduation degree to focus on their mental health.
Regardless of the reason, the gap year could be an interrogatory highlight during interviews but you have nothing to worry about as long as you are clear about your plans.
What are the types of gap years?
The intent behind the gap in education could be numerous. There is never a single reason for a gap in education. Academic gaps could be, however, categorized into types depending on the purpose.
Study Gap Year
This type of gap year is when a candidate/student wishes to take a break right before beginning their university or college. Chances are, they wish to perform better in the admission exam which is why they opt for a study gap year. Another reason could be for summer courses that require regular attendance. Some prestigious colleges give extra credits for having worked somewhere that builds their skills. This increases their chances of getting admitted to the college of their dreams.
Volunteering Gap Year
A lot of times, students wish to serve a purpose greater than the usual course of nature wants them to pursue. There are many government agencies and NGOs that do the needful and expect young volunteers for their campaigns.
Contributing to noble causes for society is no less than an achievement. Volunteering in social causes could also make their application stand out. Students can showcase their sense of awareness and responsibility by participating in these causes at any point in their lives. Later, when they decide on studying abroad, they can proudly present a volunteering gap year proof to provide a valid reason for a gap in education.
Travelling Gap Year
A very common gap year reason and it is getting all the more relevant among the current generation. With mental health being a significant issue, it becomes an essential need of the hour for students. Travelling is among the best ways to de-stress and relax. Also, one learns a thing or two while exploring new places and cultures.
A travel gap year remains a valid reason for a gap in education as it could lead to fresh, new insight on many fields and career prospects.
Work Gap Year
Another popular gap is the work gap year which does not only remain important but also expected from students. A lot of deemed universities prefer students with solid experience outside their regular academic life. This does not necessarily have to be a full-fledged job but something of a work experience through which you gain skills and experience while building and growing your professional network.
Why is there a gap in education?
Depending on the types of gap years, there are numerous reasons for education gap.
Tuition fee is no joke and especially if one wishes to study abroad. This is why some students take a break to make some money to save up for expenses like commute, study materials, housing etc. while pursuing their degree. It could also be because of some uncalled responsibilities needed to be fulfilled in the family. Either way, it is among the most common reasons.
It is always a good idea to have a new and updated outlook on things. This applies to the youth as they grow in an ever-evolving world. Especially if one wants to move to another country to study, a break to understand different cultures and people. This is the best way to be aware of real issues and concerns that affect the global community. There is no other way to have a better understanding of the world.
Learn New Skills
Nothing works better than having a solid professional experience while you are still learning. It is never too early to start focusing on the required skills as it is a terrific way to stand out later during admissions and employment.
Grow Your Network
Networking is among the key important things to remain successful in any profession. While it is easy to connect with people on online platforms, connecting through references and services remains the ideal way. It could be an acquaintance (foreign or local) with significantly more comprehensive awareness.
Such acquaintances go a long way as they can turn out to be great sources for a flourishing career. Along with that, you are at an advantage with worldly experience and knowledge.
How do you fill an education gap?
The education gap has many aspects and potential and rightly so, its significance is growing at a good pace. It is gradually getting recognized for all the right reasons. Stated that you must address it genuinely as it plays a pivotal role in academia.
- It is crucial to be genuine and transparent throughout the process.
- Make sure to provide concrete proof of everything you state.
- Attach all the testaments, certificates, photographs, and related material to the form.
- Highlight the positive enlightening experiences of the gap years(s).
- If something has happened to inspire you to take a professional initiative, do not forget to mention it.
- Your SOP should have legit reasons that justify the gap in education. It should reflect improvement, new skills gained (if any), the benefits of the exposure etc.
- Keep in mind that while you need to be truthful, do not be candidly dramatic about your experience. Know where to draw the line between facts and facade.
- Stay reasonable and aligned with your core values that resonate with the workings of the curriculum.
- Along with these attributes, do not forget to showcase your personality, the real you beneath and besides everything. Universities are always intrigued to see your raw side and the potential it holds. So, make sure to not lose your essence. The more you try to represent something you are not, higher goes the chances of a refusal.
Gap in education is no longer a taboo, it probably never was. The rates of acceptances are only increasing and that says a lot about the new-age education system. Today, academic gaps are indicators of a student’s progress and growth outside their mainstream journey. It only shows their exposure and zest for advancement. The ideal thing to do here is to consult the best study visa consult when you have gap in education. They have the right expertise to guide you through justifying your gap year(s).