Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Gap Month: The Snap Year

When I was researching Gap Years for GAP MONTH, I came across this article from Lonely Planet that asked "Is the Snap Year the new Gap Year?"
Opinions are mixed. Today I'll tell you mine, and you can tell me yours (or whether you think it matters at all).

Lonely Planet describes the Snap Year as the Gap Year's "shorter, punchier, younger sister" and, according to LP, it's here to stay. As the name implies, it's essentially a short Gap Year (several weeks to several months long). It typically packs in more career-building elements (and less 'aimless wandering,' from what I understand) and is commonly sandwiched between university semesters or during summer holidays.

According to a 2011 article in The Guardian, the numbers definitely show that traditional Gap Years may be on the decline; the number of people taking extended time off (4 months or more) fell 69% from 2005 to 2011. No surprise - rising unemployment and tuition fees across the world mean that more and more people simply don't have the luxuries of time and money to spend on a 12-month gap.

But some argue that the longer Gap Year looks better on your CV (or résumé to you North Americans) - demonstrating commitment to prospective employers, especially if you use your Gap Year to pursue a specific volunteer or work project. Conversely, others argue you can do all that in a shorter time period, and not break the bank.

I, for one, don't think it matters. I'm a firm believer in the (mantra? slogan? philosophy?) that there are no rules. But I also wonder if a Snap Year is too short to allow you to find what you're looking for out there in the world? Conversely, by giving yourself a shorter timeline, maybe you simply learn things more quickly? Is learning even the point of a Gap Year?

Of course, the answers to these questions are highly subjective and personal - and there are no right answers (but I'd love to know your opinion).

Either way, I won't be disappointed if the Snap Year is here to stay. Anything that encourages people to get out and explore the world around them (whether that's the other side of the world, or the world right outside their front door) is good in my books.

- Jess

p.s. march 1st - this friday! - is the deadline to enter Havana Club's contest to win a round-the-world Gap Year.
get filming!

1 comment :

  1. This is the first I've heard of "snap year!" Our trip was six months... so, I guess the mid point of a gap vs. snap year. I tend to think that, like you said, you can learn a lot in either situation. Ultimately, it's important to step back from the ordinary and take the opportunity to explore this amazing world!

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