How to Plan a Gap Year with your Child

Are you concerned that your child is not ready to go to college or enter the workforce? Are you thinking they are not mature enough and need to experience the real world? Or perhaps, you see your child undecided and needs inspiration for the future, and you want to help them decide, but you’re not sure how? Or on the contrary, your child has announced that he/she wants to do a Gap Year and you find the idea absurd and unnecessary. There are a lot of myths surrounding the idea of taking a Gap Year. You may think your child will only be partying, or that he/she will be unsafe, and that it’s just another way to escape responsibilities. Whether the idea comes from yourself or from your child, a Gap Year can be just what your child needs. A Gap Year can be an incredible life journey if planned right.

WAYS YOUR CHILD CAN BENEFIT FROM A GAP YEAR:

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Volunteering abroad

It tends to be a rewarding experience that helps boost confidence. Your child could be learning a new skills or sharing an existing skills to help make the world a better place

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Growing as a person

It teaches independence, self reliance, curiosity as well as appreciation for what you have and it helps you gain confidence. Your child will return more energised and more focused than before they left.

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Interning abroad

This is the perfect tool for your child if he/she is undecided about their field of study. Interning abroad will allow them to explore different disciplines that they wouldn’t have necessarily thought about at home.

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Taking Classes or Studying Abroad

This is also an option for them to have an abroad experience without interrupting their school schedule.

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Doing their Thesis or Dissertation Abroad

Facilitated research can also be done abroad and can be a very special experience given the nature of the research usually performed.

GAP YEAR FUNDING

Funding is always taboo when taking a Gap Year. In some cases, parents are unable to support their child financially, and therefore try to deter them from the idea of getting a Gap Year. Whatever your situation might be, there are ways you can encourage your child to fund their Gap Year without breaking the bank:

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Fundraising

Have them start an online fundraising campaign or organize fundraising events or sell their things on ebay or craigslist. For more fundraising ideas, click here.

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Applying for grants and scholarships

Have them contact the local community chapters of the Rotary Club and the Lions Club as well as local associations, businesses and trusts who often award students with a grant depending on their project goals.

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Getting the family & friends' onboard

Have them contribute to a money pot instead of buying frivolous presents.

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Encouraging small jobs

Have them work small jobs at every opportunity they get (ie yard work, snow plowing, babysitting, etc) prior to leaving.

HOW CAN KAYA HELP SUPPORT YOUR CHILD?

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GUIDANCE

Kaya placement advisors can help guide you on how to have a valuable Gap Year. Having a goal or objective during this break is crucial for your child to benefit from it. A Gap Year is a time for self reflection, for building one self, gaining new skills or new experiences, and hopefully, coming out of it with a clear life goal in mind.

PREPARATION

Our staff will help you and your child every step of the way to get ready for the trip by sending important information on the country including visa requirements and insurance suggestions amongst others.

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ON-SITE SUPPORT

Our staff on the ground will be there to support your child upon arrival with (airport pick to get them to their projects and accommodation, local orientation to keep them safe and 24 hour support in case of an emergency.

As parents, sometimes it’s difficult to digest their desire or need to spread their wings and travel miles away from us, but it’s essential to be supportive. And in the end, wouldn’t you want to be proud of what your child has accomplished, is feeling about himself/herself, and boast about their lifetime experience?

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