Friday, 13 November 2009
Essay 024 (Gap year)
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Write about the following topic:
In some countries young people are encouraged to work or travel for a year between finishing high school and starting university studies.
Discuss the advantages and disadvantages for young people who decide to do this.
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
You should write at least 250 words.
It is greatly advantageous for young people to travel or work for a year after high school and before joining university. However, encouraging them to do it, can also have a certain detrimental effect on their life and future.
Firstly, travelling to cultures and people other than their own, or taking up a job can give young people a broader outlook about life, which is not possible through university education alone. It can also give them greater emotional and intellectual maturity to plan their career goals and even deal with problems of life in a better way. Engaging in practical work will help young people to have a direct experience of the harsh realities of life, rather than just bookish knowledge. For example, an employment can give them prior knowledge about the professional skills that they need to acquire in their university education. Being exposed to the moral and cultural practices of people in other regions, can teach them qualities of life that they may not learn at home and such knowledge can make them more tolerant. Above all, it can give them greater confidence and self-reliance.
Nonetheless, it can break the continuity of education, which can end up in increasing number of school drop outs. For example, if a young man finds a job with a decent salary, he would sometimes continue in his job even after the end of the gap year. Although it gives him a temporary financial fulfilment, denies him the opportunity for further education and a much better job. Being away from a formal educational environment for such a long time can affect his discipline, study habits, which can lead to poor academic performance at the university.
Taking a gap year has enormous benefits for young people, but they should also be aware of the dangers that they are exposed to.