Taking a gap year can be the best thing your teenager can do. While we are taught that studying hard is the key to success in today’s world it is difficult to succeed in the world of work and in life in general if you don’t have experience.
A gap year can provide your teenager with valuable life lessons as well as lessons they can take with them into the world of work. From learning a language to traveling the developing world. Here is how to make a gap year productive.
1. Learn Another Language
If your teenager has spent all of their life in America then the chances are they probably only know how to speak English. If your teenager grew up in Miami or other areas in Florida then there is a chance they might know a little bit of Spanish but English is so widely spoken there is no real compulsion to learn a new language.
Traveling abroad or enrolling your teenager at a language school can be an enriching experience. Be sure to give them a choice as to what language they want to learn and link this to places in the world they might want to visit.
If they have always wanted to visit Vietnam perhaps they could learn Vietnamese, if they are thinking of pursuing business jobs in China then learning Mandarin would be of great help. If, however, they are interested in traveling Europe then learning a romance language like Spanish or Italian might be of more use to them.
2. Travel to the Developing World
While trips to Europe can be fun and you can still learn a lot from visiting, a trip to the developing world might be more rewarding. Your teenager will see how people in other parts of the world live and will perhaps start to think of themselves as lucky for living the life they lead in the U.S.
The cost of living is a lot cheaper in the developing world so they can ensure that they can travel for longer and can feel freer. This can ensure that your teenager experiences a lot more, for instance in day trips out to different islands or tours to the local area.
The weather is also often better all year-round and tropical in places such as India and Sri Lanka and South America then it is back home.
3. Enroll Them On A Course
Whether it’s SAT Prep to learning about the fundamental skills of life like learning how to cook or how to manage their money, enrolling your teenager on a course ensures that they keep on learning through the summer when they are not in school.
SAT prep can help them get into college which might be their long-term goal after graduating high school. A course on the basics like learning how to cook might also prepare them for college in other ways by making them more independent.
Another example of a course they could take could be one on finance or economics. Teenagers have a reputation for making poor decisions when it comes to their finances so this could be a great way of them learning how to manage their money in a safe environment.
4. Experience The World of Work
Another productive way for your teenager son or daughter to spend their gap year is to experience the world of work. Perhaps they could do an internship at a major company or take a part-time job to earn some extra cash.
This could well be the first time your teenager has experienced the world of work and has had cash at their disposal. An internship can help them learn about the skills directly related to the career they wish to enter and they can learn all about learning in an office.
Often the pay here might be more limited and your teenager might have to move to a different city or even a different state to one of the big cities like L.A or New York.
Both a part-time job and an internship teaches teenage children about the importance of time-keeping and punctuality, how to work with other people both other workers and customers.
These are all invaluable skills that no test could ever teach them.
There Are Many Ways Of How To Make Gap Year Productive
When considering how to ensure your teenager might have an enriching gap year, it is important to think about getting them to do something different, outside of their normal experiences. There is more than just a sport summer school.
If they have never worked before then you might want to consider getting them a part-time job or an internship as one way of how to make gap year productive. Here they can learn about time-keeping, how to interact with other co-workers and resolve disputes and how to handle tricky customers.
One of the things to do in gap year is to go abroad to a new country. Whilst Europe is often on the top of many people’s lists, it can be a more interesting experience to travel to the developing world.
Your teenage son or daughter could go to Asia and experience life in India or Sri Lanka or they could go somewhere closer to home such as Central or South America.
Of course, another way of how to make the most out of gap year is to enroll your teenager on an SAT course to assist them get into university.
If you are interested in a summer camp then be sure to contact a camp advisor near you.