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You’ve heard of a gap year, but for some students, that can feel like an extra-long time between high school and university. Introducing the gap semester!

It’s not often presented as an option, but a gap semester is actually an incredible – and very smart – way to balance the best of both worlds. Let’s dive into some of the ways your child could benefit from taking a gap semester rather than a whole year.

They’ll still get a much-needed break

Many students will be keen on the idea of a gap year as it represents a break from school, and the difficult time created by the COVID-19 pandemic. If their mental health is struggling, or if they’re feeling exhausted and burnt out, a gap year will give them a chance to recharge and realign with their goals and what makes them happy.

But some students are reluctant to take a full year, especially if they’re feeling the pressure of staying ‘ahead of the curve’ – which is where the gap semester comes in. They’ll get a few months off to have fun, spend time with friends and family, work and save, and to really get clear on their plans for the future before starting their tertiary studies later in the year.

It’ll help focus their efforts

Where a whole year off might shift the momentum, a semester is only a few months, i.e. just long enough for your teen to relax whilst still staying focused on the tertiary studies ahead. With a shorter break from their studies, your child will likely be more motivated to tick things off their pre-uni bucket list and achieve any short-term goals before they start college or university.

Having a deadline of sorts can, for many teenagers, focus their efforts and help them to stay on track ahead of the next step in their journey. Then, they’ll enter university refreshed and raring to go.

It’s productive downtime

For conscientious students who are unsure about not going straight to university, a gap semester is a great option as it’ll give them some much-needed time off without detracting from their lofty goals. Encourage them to think of it as a short reprieve to prepare for university, and to shift into the right frame of mind to tackle and succeed in their tertiary studies.

Remember, they can use this time however they like, whether they decide to travel, take on part-time work, volunteer, or even to take short courses and upskill ahead of uni. For some, it’s an opportunity to prepare for success, whereas for others it could be a chance to adventure, gain independence, or to just rest.

How to take a gap semester

These are just a few of the many reasons a gap semester might be suitable for your child, rather than heading straight to uni, or taking a whole year off. So, how does it work?

Gap semesters aren’t a possibility at every university, but the majority will take enrolments per semester which means your child will simply need to defer their offer by a semester rather than a whole year. Here at Bond, we operate on a three-semester-per-year timetable, giving your child the opportunity to defer for one or two semesters, commencing their studies in either May or September rather than at the beginning of the following year in January. Many parents and teens see this as a happy medium that will permit them to decrease stress and increase motivation, making the most of each phase.

Ready to start study?

If your child's had enough of a break, perhaps it's time to think about starting university. Learn more about how to apply to Bond University.

How to apply