Thursday, 21 April 2011

Gap year opportunity: Global Citizen Year

There are many gap year opportunities for enterprising young people. A gap year is the English term for a deferred entry into college. I was at a conference recently when a university admissions officer was asked if a gap year is regarded as a positive factor in a student’s application. The answer was: it depends what the student has done during the gap year and how much he/she can demonstrate that what he has learnt from the experience will impact on future actions and attitudes.
Global Citizen Year looks like an excellent option for very highly motivated and enterprising young people who wish to defer college entry and are US citizens. Hurry, as the next closing date is 1st May. I have no personal experience of this organisation.
One of the distinguishing features of Global Citizen Year is that thorough training is provided, followed by a placement in a practical volunteer setting.   A process of feedback to collaborators and the home sponsors is also a requirement, and is specified from  the beginning. I like the way all the conditions of this commitment are spelt out before a student even contemplates this option.
I also like the fact that this project is aimed at pre university age students. I am convinced that this is a crucial moment in   young persons’ life, and experience with many students shows that they face their college/university life in a much more positive manner. The simple change from school to college/university can be so limiting for many young people. The challenge of facing personal development and of being made responsible for the success of a project can be a life changing experience and can result in a very much more worthwhile start to higher education.
See all the details at the Global Citizen year website:

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