Margo and Julia close out Season Five of Gap Year Radio by looking behind and looking ahead. We talk to international educational consultant Kempie Blythe about the results of the 2020 Gap Year Alumni Survey, a massive nation-wide survey conducted by the Gap Year Association. Kempie gives us a highlight reel of survey results that showcase the benefits and outcomes of the gap year option. Afterwards, Julia and Margo give an overview of gap year opportunities on offer for winter/spring 2021 and the safety protocols programs have in place to manage covid risk for students and communities. If you are taking a gap year or gap semester and looking information on what is possible, this episode is a must-listen!
International Educational Consultant and founder of Transformative Travel Consulting Kempie Blythe is the co-researcher on the 2020 Gap Year Alumni Survey, conducted by the Gap Year Association. Together with researcher Nina Hoe Gallagher, Kempie poured over the data from 1200 respondents as well as alums from Americorps to analyze the motivations, activities and outcomes of gap year participants.
Here are some key findings that we discuss on the show:
- Motivations – Respondents say they took gap time to gain life experience, see the world/experience different cultures.
- Cost – 1/3 of respondents spent less than $5,000.
- Recipes – Respondents engaged in 246 different combinations of activities! Travel abroad, service work, language learning, and structured programming were common elements of gap year experiences for the majority respondents.
- Outcomes – Respondents cite increased maturity and self confidence, learning how to interact with people from different cultures/backgrounds as the top outcomes of their gap time.
- Skills – Respondents cite cultural awareness, communication, and self-direction as top skill outcomes.
- Greatest growth, learning and development were fostered through interactions with difference (different place and new/different people).
- 95% of respondents reported that their gap year prepared them for their next step (whether it was college, vocational school, community college, military, or the workforce).
- Gap year outcomes were not related to type, length, cost of gap year or what the participant did afterwards (college, CTE, workforce) .
In other words, you can do anything on your gap year and reap the positive outcomes as long as is it is done with intention!
The last half of the episode we explore what students can consider for 2021 gapping. Some resources we think are great include: