Giving advice about a gap year since the COVID-19 pandemic can be challenging.
Questions have been swirling about the role of a gap year since universities started operating remotely and travel restrictions were announced back in 2020. Would gap years dwindle in popularity as students could no longer jet off on adventures? Or would more students opt to delay their studies until it was clearer what form they would take?
In 2020 and 2021, the second came true. Nina Hoe Gallagher, director of research and evaluation of ImpactED at the University of Pennsylvania, said that at her university the number of students deferring their enrolment in favour of a gap year went up a massive 300%. Research from Foundry10 found that 20% of students took a gap year for 2020-2021, compared to just 3% in 2018.
With many students experiencing frustration or disappointment with online education, it made sense to consider taking a break until it was safer to return to on-campus learning and all the experiences it brings.
But in 2022, different countries have varying levels of travel and in-person learning restrictions. So where does that leave international students today?
Plus, industries are changing rapidly and the job market has become fiercely competitive. Gap years have given students a chance to think carefully about their career plans, and gain skills and experiences that will give them a professional edge.
And since more students taking a gap-year in 2020 and 2021, does taking one in 2022 put students at an advantage, or a disadvantage, when it comes to both their university and future professional careers?
With all of these factors at play, you’ve probably been fielding some gap year-related questions in the lead-up to IB and A-Level results.
So if you want to get clued up on all the pros and cons of taking a gap year in 2022, as well as how students can make their gap year productive and stimulating, read on!