Gap year blues?

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Gap year blues?


2 February 2017

After 13 years of schooling, many Year 12 students – and their parents – think taking a gap year to work, travel and play will be the perfect way to recharge before diving in to a degree.

But what if your child has taken a gap year, and isn’t having the time of their life? After the excitement of the summer holidays, some young people find it tough to get their gap year off the ground – especially if their friends have all gone off to university. If your child has spent the past few months surfing, watching Youtube or working shifts at a job they hate, it might be time to consider bringing their study plans forward.

Many university programs offer mid-year entry, which means your child can start their degree in July (instead of next March). By the time classes start, your child will have had nine months off – which is plenty of time to relax and recharge. They’ll also be able to start uni in the same year as their school friends, so they won’t feel like they’re a whole year behind.

If your child is reconsidering their gap year, encourage them to think about why they chose to take one in the first place. Did they want to work and save money? If they’ve secured a job that’s relevant to their future career plans, great. But if they haven’t found rewarding work, or aren’t getting as many shifts as they would like, getting their degree underway could be the better career choice.

If your child took a gap year to travel, consider whether they’re close to meeting their saving or planning goals. If not, they could think about an overseas exchange program like USC’s Study Overseas program. They can spend a semester or two at one of more than 70 partner institutions worldwide, which is a great way to travel and still earn credit towards a degree. (Plus, they may be eligible for a travel scholarship).

If your child took a gap year to explore career options, remember this won’t happen by itself. Unless they are actively seeking out new information and experiences, they are likely to finish the year as unsure as when they started. If your child is still on the fence about which degree to study, enrolling mid year can be a good way to test the waters. If they need to, they can always apply for a program change for 2018.

Applications are now open for mid year at USC. For more information go to usc.edu.au/midyear.

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