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Advantages and Disadvantages of Taking a Gap Year | Band 8 Essay Sample


Essay topic

In some countries young people are encouraged to work or travel for a year between finishing high school and starting university studies.

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages for young people who decide to do this .

Band 8 essay sample

In many countries, youngsters are often encouraged to take an year off, to work or travel across the world, before embarking on their formal university education. This recent trend, also known as “gap – year”, has numerous merits and a few demerits, which will be discussed in this essay.

To begin with, the biggest advantage of taking sabbatical to explore the world is that it gives them an opportunity to discover their career interest. Such trips are not only fun , but also  gives  them  a chance  to  socialise , engage in volunteering, and understand global issues  and global culture . This helps them to discover their real passion which is the foundation stone for a fulfilling career. For instance, data from Harvard University, 2010, pointed out that drop-out rate from university courses is around 10 percent less in those children who chose the course after taking a “gap year” in comparison to those who headed straight to university after the high school.

In addition to this, working for a year before starting university reduces the financial burden of higher education to an extent. As the advanced studies are costly in most countries, working for a year helps them in saving money so they have to borrow less money and are under less financial debt, when they start higher studies.

In contrast to above viewpoints, the most significant disadvantage of such a break is that it can be a distraction from further studies. Some students find such breaks so relaxing and enjoyable that they decide to shun further studies permanently.

Although the incidences of such cases are few, the effects can be disastrous for their further career. For instance, a 2010 report from Florida University revealed that 1 in 100 students, who take “Gap-year” never go for advanced studies and struggle throughout their life to make the ends meet because of being unskilled.

To conclude, the break of a year taken before pursuing university studies helps students to discover their career interest and also allows them to consolidate financially. However, for a minority of high school graduates it can lead to an end of  an academic career .

(357 words)

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