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  • Alternative Names for a “Gap Year”

    August 21, 2019 | By NACE Staff

    Student Attitudes
    A young adult takes a gap year.

    TAGS: student attitudes, nace insights

    Spotlight for Career Services Professionals

    The term “gap year” refers to a student’s year-long absence from academia, taken between high school and college or between undergraduate university and graduate degree school. Many people picture the time spent hiking, traveling the world, and experiencing freedom from homework, tests, and deadlines.

    However, what do that students call that period if they want to demonstrate a special transition period in education? That was the question career services and recruiting professionals pondered recently in the NACE Community.

    Here are some of their comments and suggestions:

    • Prep year or transition year—“Gap year has a connotation of hiking in Europe to find yourself.”
    • Bridge year—“A gap is defined by its emptiness. I’ll point out how much more qualified they will become by using their bridge year plan, as compared with an imaginary student who actually takes a valueless gap year.”
    • Growth year—Experience year. Value year. Skill implementation year. Giving year. Action Year. “Terms and language matter. It also matters why the person is taking time between studies. [When] students have completed a degree and are taking time in between degrees ​to gain experience, and this comes in many forms, consider terms that reflect the valuable growth.”
    • Enrichment Year—“We called it an enrichment year, particularly for students going into med school who needed to gain more hours before they were admitted.”

    What would you call the period taken between different levels of study? Offer your ideas in the NACE Community.