Every parent wants their child to be a success, especially when it comes to education. Seeing your child graduate from college is a thrilling time for any parent. However, college isn’t always the very next step for a high school graduate, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If your son or daughter has expressed an interest in taking a gap year abroad, that can be a positive move. Here are six reasons you may want to consider sending your child on a gap year to another country.
- To Reflect on a Career Choice
Young adults are all different and while some may be excited about jumping headfirst into college life, others may be hesitant. Taking a gap year before college gives a student time off to reflect on their career choice while working or volunteering. This is especially helpful if he or she isn’t completely sure what they want to do. While there are many valid gap year pros and cons, one of the biggest pros is not spending thousands of dollars on a college semester that doesn’t interest your child.
- To Learn a Second Language
Learning a second language can be a huge advantage for any career. Although a person of any age can learn to speak in another tongue, it often comes easier to younger people. Even if your child has studied languages in school, there’s no faster way to become fluent than visiting a foreign country. Learning a second language opens doors to countless new opportunities and allows kids to connect with people all over the world.
- To Gain Independence
Your child’s life has already been marked by a series of steps towards independence ever since they were born. Think of when they learned how to walk, talk, how to drive or went on their first date. Sending a young person on a gap year fosters another type of independence. One where they learn how to depend on themselves to meet their needs, budget their money and solve problems. Your child will return from a gap year knowing they can trust themselves whatever challenge arises.
- To Experience Another Culture
Another huge advantage of a gap year is the opportunity to experience another culture. Why is this so important? Residing in a foreign land gives a young adult the chance to experience new foods, traditions and ways of tackling everyday life that are different from their own. This is a great way to form new friendships and get rid of societal misconceptions. It’s also a terrific opportunity to learn new skills that are useful for future job opportunities.
- To See the World Up Close
Thinking you know all about the world based only on what you read and see on TV is similar to living in a bubble. You’re only seeing a small part of the bigger picture. Sending your child on a gap year to another country helps him or her to get a view of the real world firsthand. This is an educational opportunity that you can’t get from any textbook or classroom. Best of all, a gap year will help your child transform into a worldly and well-rounded adult.
- To Build a Better Resume
There are many types of gap years available. Some include a combination of travel and study, while others focus more on missions, volunteering, or community projects. Whichever you choose with your son or daughter, you can be sure it will be a favorable addition to their future resume. Nevertheless, a gap year should be chosen because the student feels it’s important to their self-growth. A gap year demonstrates strength, self-control, problem-solving and a willingness to step out of one’s comfort zone. These qualities will make any resume shine.
If your child has expressed an interest in a gap year abroad before college, listen to them closely. A gap year helps kids reflect on their career choices, promotes independence and changes lives for the better.