February 7, 2021

Successful 2020-21 Gap Experiences in the Face of COVID-19


Despite virus restrictions and concerns this year, Interim students have successfully stepped into hands-on programs with peers this past fall, as well as currently this winter/spring. As illustrated by some recent student photos above, they have engaged in cultural study, outdoor adventure, and service experiences in Hawaii, the mainland US, Europe, the Caribbean, Israel, and Central America. The small size of gap programs allows for easier quarantining of students, and the ability to monitor health and safety throughout a program. Gap year program providers deserve huge kudos for continuing to offer options to students in the face of the unknown and responsibilities involved. 

Feedback from students and parents has been consistently positive with many expressing relief  and gratitude over an in-person social life and no more sitting in front of a computer.

We here at Interim have been involved in the gap year field for over forty years and it's remarkable to witness how well it has continued to work in the face of a pandemic. Even with a more limited array of options compared to a normal gap year, the benefits of taking this kind of time are evident: resting and rejuvenating, garnering independent living skills, exploring potential interests for a college major or career, building a resume, and having the flexibility to adjust plans as needed. Rolling with change is a definite skill and we are all getting fine training in it this year!

For the coming gap year, we envision even more options available for students as vaccines take effect. There is no reason why students can't continue to explore their interests and the benefits of a half-step into the world, before heading on to college or other plans they may have in mind. One thing is certain, gap time allows students to practice being independent and proactive about their lives beyond traditional school settings.

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