Triple the Number of High School Students See Gap Year as Ticket to Success

WASHINGTON, May 06, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- What do Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Prince William, as many as 130,000 high school students and the education-experience company WorldStrides have in common?

They all believe in a gap year as a critical path to future success.

Taking an educational break between high school and attending university is viewed by many experts as a useful way to gain world-life experience before advanced education. For the 2020-2021 academic year, as many as 130,000 students took gap years – compared with 40,000 to 60,000 before the pandemic, according to the Gap Year Association.

When asked why they take a gap year, students cite gaining life experiences and personal development, seeing the world beyond their hometown, exploring career interests and taking a break from burnout. In fact, one comprehensive study showed:

  • Only 45% of high school students feel prepared for college;
  • 73% say taking a gap year helped them increase their readiness;
  • 57% said it helped better determine what to pursue in college, and
  • 81% would recommend taking a gap year to others.

To build on the growing gap-year trend, WorldStrides – the leader in educational travel and experiences – is introducing “Gap Year: Dare to Undeclare.” The 13-week modular program allows students to learn from a mix of classroom learning, community engagement and excursions.

The inaugural program begins Aug. 30, with an orientation in Rome and three sessions, each lasting four weeks. Students can experience up to four countries, with options including: Paris, Seville or Florence for the first session; Florence, Granada, Meknes or Prague for the second session, and Athens, Granada or Meknes for the final session.

Students can receive as many as nine credits for completing the core program and have them applied to their college transcript. With the average annual cost of college in the United States exceeding $35,000, WorldStride’s new gap year program comes at a considerable savings. The program includes all tuition, coursework, housing, cultural activities and most meals.

“We’re proud to be leading the way with a gap year program that is both educational and experiential, while offering college credit,” said WorldStrides CEO Bob Gogel. “Taking a gap year is allowing students to get out from behind their computer screens and see the world in 3-D again. Beyond the academics, gap year students are developing life skills you can’t measure on a report card, such as improvement in self-direction, communication skills and cultural awareness.”

WorldStride’s gap year program is built around sustainability and leverages local businesses wherever possible. Immersion into the local culture is achieved through homestays, volunteering, language lessons, local university courses and culturally appropriate excursions.

About WorldStrides
WorldStrides is the global leader in educational travel and experiential learning. The company was founded in 1967 to provide middle school travel programs to Washington, D.C., and has grown to provide a wide range of programs for more than 550,000 students annually from more than 5,000 K12 schools and universities to over 100 countries around the world. WorldStrides offers experiential learning programs in educational travel, performing arts, language immersion, career exploration, service-learning, study abroad, and sports. Each of these experiences helps students to see beyond the classroom and to see the world – and themselves – in new ways.


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