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Dinosaur or Phoenix? Is the gap year becoming extinct or rising from the ashes?
14 February 2017
Around 230,000 young adults will take time out this year, but the popularity of the gap year fluctuates in line with factors such as university tuition fees, safety when travelling and considering the impact on a future career. At the moment, gap years are very popular but their format has changed somewhat… students are no longer looking solely for adventure and exploration but are also considering the impact of their time out when they return to their home country. The need to be productive while being away (volunteering for a charity perhaps, working at a summer camp, or completing a demanding trek) is dictating the popularity of some gap year activities. There are still a number of benefits to getting away (for a year or the increasingly popular ‘mini gaps’ in which students squeeze activities into a three-month summer break instead). Of course, there are inevitable downsides as well, which James Barton explores in this article.
James Barton is Director of Recruitment at MPW London. He is also the co-author of Getting into Medical School. James read Ancient History and Archaeology at Warwick University and subsequently gained an MA in Performance from the University of East Anglia. He worked as a professional actor and taught Drama in a number of schools before joining MPW in 2007.