The concept of a Gap Year, or « Année de césure » in French, is already well established in many countries. After their Bac, or after their first degree, many English, German, American and other students choose to spend a year on their personal development.
This year can take many different forms : some choose to travel the world, others dedicate themselves to a charity project. This year can also give you the opportunity to invest in your professional future. To that end, you can work on your language skills for a year, earn professional experience or even acquire a diploma.
French universities now allow students to take a Gap Year without it affecting your academic progress. For example, you can take a year out between the 2nd and 3rd years of your « Licence » with the guarantee that you will be able to resume your studies upon your return. The goal is to show your university that it will be worthwhile, and allow you to develop your skills and your academic standing.
Study Experience have established themselves as pioneers in this niche, which involves a year long academic experience in a foreign university. This can be done at any level of study and the idea is a simple one : to combine language lessons with academic classes.
Whilst many language schools exist, and many of them have very good programmes, they don’t always offer the most immersive experience. Indeed, few if any english people apply for english language schools. As a result, foreign students often stay amongst themselves and don’t get an authentic local experience.
Our Gap Year programmes solve this problem by having students attend classes on a university campus, side by side with local students. In some cases, students also attend academic classes, alongside locals. At Chichester College for example, foreign students meet for english classes in the morning, and join their english classmates for academic classes in the afternoon.
As of writing, Study Experience offer Gap Years in many countries : England, Ireland, Australia, New-Zealand, Canada and the US!
For a comprehensive list of programmes on offer, get in touch with one of our advisors !
Another way to structure your Gap Year is to focus on your CV and professional development by combining english lessons with an internship. We offer this programme in the UK (London), as well as in Canada (Vancouver and Toronto).
In London, you would start off with a semestre of english lessons in the « Language Gallery » school, located in central London, and who offer quality teaching (in small groups) at competitve prices. At the end of the programme, and on the condition that you achieved the level required by employers, you will be assigned an internship for up to 6 months. These internships can be in many fields : marketing, advertising, law, human resources etc…
The aim is to provide you with an internship that : a) allows you to practice your English every day (we therefore avoid internships that require no interaction) ; b) is enriching and educational : being a mere coffee provider is out of the question, employers are commited to training you in accordance with your professional objectives.
In Canada, we offer an exclusive curriculum with « ILAC » (the international language academy of Canada). In this programme, which can last up to a year, you start off by combining english lessons with academic classes for a whole semestre. These classes focus on business and customer service. At the end of the semestre, you will be placed in industry for 6 months, and this internship will be paid ! The only constraint being that the internship has to be in customer service (often it’s in the hotel and restaurant business), which has the benefit of putting you face to face with customers in the field. You will be forced to practice your english in a professional context, and even if you don’t see yourself having a career in the hospitality industry, the experience will only enrich your CV and earn you invaluable new skills.
For post-secondary school students, we offer a Foundation Year, also known as « Preparatory Year». The objective of such a year varies from one student to another : it can be a way of perfecting your english before joining a university ; it can also be a year to take a step back and think about what you want out of life – a time to gain maturity and reflect on your future studies.
To find out more about « Foundation » programmes, head over to this section of the website.
The primary objective of a Gap Year isn’t necessarily getting a diploma, but rather the experience you can gain. Having said that, we have also developed diploma-awarding programmes for those who wish to walk away with something more under their belt.
To be able to undertake these programmes, your english must already be good : if your main objective is to perfect your language skills, this type of Gap Year is not for you.
However, some schools offer certificates and diplomas that allow you to specialise in a specific area, or even to discover something completely new. After a degree in Law, why not consider a certificate in business for example ? It’s an opportunity to boost your CV whilst discovering a new country and practicing your english.
Please browse the « Gap Year » section of the website to see what options are on offer. For any query or further information, please get in touch with one of our advisors !
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