Before you know it, it’s time to start looking at colleges. The pressure is on--college fair after college fair, thousands of brochures, late-nights up researching the endless choices for majors; all while taking finals and trying to finish off high school. At this point in life, high school graduates are still in the process of figuring out who they are and understanding the world, but they are simultaneously forced into making the biggest decision of their life. What if going directly into college directly after completing high school isn’t the best choice?
Across the US, more students than ever are setting off on a Gap Year before, during, or after college—even President Obama’s daughter, Malia.
This is your chance to take charge of your life: see a new place, get inspired, and set out in a new direction. That’s why CCS has developed a unique Gap Year Abroad program.
So why volunteer abroad during your gap year?
1. You’re not a tourist; you are part of the community.
by Andrea Wien
I’d heard the advice. I’d taken the classes. I’d complained to my friends over brunch.
“I know I’m supposed to be following my passion. I know if I could just find ‘it,’ I could make ‘it’ happen. The problem is, I have no idea what ‘it’ is.”
This was the beginning of a recent conversation that I had with my soon to graduate 18-year-old son. As someone who grew up with the option of going to college or going to college, “Gap Year” was a foreign concept. Which is really not far from the truth; gap years have been common for some time in Britain and Australia. However, here in the US, their popularity has just increased over the last few years.
It's time for another update from our group of seven Princeton Bridge Year students who happen to be having the Cross-Cultural Solutions gap year adventure of a lifetime in Salvador, Brazil. Check out this excerpt from Caitlin's blog and learn about one of her favorite moments so far.
Just a few short weeks ago, Cross-Cultural Solutions and the Princeton University Bridge Year Program kicked off our brand new partnership by sending our very first group of Bridge Year students to Salvador, Brazil.
My experience with Cross-Cultural Solutions began while I was attending Hartwick College in 2008. I had hit a roadblock that I'm sure you may have faced when you were a student, or perhaps you're not quite there yet, but we all tend to hit a moment in life where we just can't clearly see the road ahead. So I rather than a gap year, I decided to take a gap semester in Costa Rica in hopes that it would help me to determine my path forward.
In the fall of 2009, I was about to return to college after taking several years off to travel. I was at a pretty major crossroads in my life and not entirely sure about what I wanted to study, or what I wanted to do once I earned my degree. So before returning to school in the fall, I decided to go on one last international adventure. And I wanted this one to be something completely different from anything I had ever done before. That's how I made the decision to volunteer with Cross-Cultural Solutions in Bagamoyo, Tanzania for 3 weeks.
If you've been considering a once-in-a-lifetime volunteer abroad adventure in Ghana's Volta Region—or any of our 12 amazing international destinations—then you've got to check out this video.