A trend that began 30 years ago in the UK among students who had completed high school and were awaiting admissions into college, the Gap year is now a global phenomenon where children take a year off to discover which path they would like to pursue going forward, as well as to discover themselves.
While the Gap year is an optional and voluntary stepping out of a linear progression in academics, now universities have formalised exit and entry points and even gap year programmes.
The US with its large number of universities was the first to formalise the Gap year, with innovative programmes being offered by Ivy League colleges like Princeton, University of North Carolina, etc. Increasingly, to prevent college dropouts, some colleges in the US are going so far as to encourage students to take a Gap year to gain experience, for skill building, learning new languages, and to know where their interests and talents lie by interning with industry.
In Asian countries like China, Japan and Korea the Gap year is an opportunity to learn international languages which will be needed for studies in the US or UK. Industry sources say that India is attractive to students from these countries as language courses and exposure here is much cheaper than if they were to do an extra year in the US or UK.
There are several agencies in India and abroad that are facilitating travelling and stay in India during the Gap year. Some are short term and some for a year, depending on the needs of the person. Opportunities include travel, volunteering, language learning, cultural learning, etc. With offices in India, these facilitators offer help from touchdown to take-off, including airport pick up, accommodation, visa, food, travel help, etc.
India has always been interesting for students, especially for second generation children whose parents have some connection to the country. For others, the vastness and diversity of experience offered allows children to pack in a lot in a short period of time
CSP invites research on how agencies and institutions can help tailor programmes to attract students, facilitate partnerships with universities all over the world for Gap programmes, and structure and execute meaningful short and long term offerings.
The research should include a study into India as a Gap destination, agencies who are currently involved in facilitating these programmes, ideas and experiences which can be included in an India experience for students. Interested research students and scholars may send the statement of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org. Remuneration will be discussed and finalized with the selected Scholar.