Hello. This is 6 Minute English and I’m Neil.
And joining me to do this is Georgina.
Now, Georgina, I know you went to university to study for a degree but before you moved from college to university, did you take a year off?
Well, you’re not alone.
Many students choose to take a break from their studies to travel or gain work experience before moving on to university.
Yes, and this is what we call a ‘gap year’.
And … in this programme we’re talking about taking a gap year and why doing this has become more important than ever.
But first, as always, I need to challenge you and our listeners, Georgina, to answer a question.
Are you ready?
Ready and waiting, Neil!
According to the Institute of Fiscal Studies, which subject studied at university will lead to the highest average earnings five years after graduating?
Is it… a) Law, b) Veterinary science, or c) Medicine and dentistry?
What do you think, Georgina?
Well, all are subjects that involve lots of studying
– but as a guess, I think those studying veterinary science end up working as vets and earning the most money – so it’s b), I think.
OK. Well, we’ll find out if you’re right at the end of the programme.
Let’s get back to talking about gap years – as the name suggests, it’s a break or gap in between your studies – we might also call it a year out.
It’s not a new concept – meaning idea – and there are a number of reasons why someone may choose to take one.
That’s right. The BBC’s Smart Consumer podcast looked at this and heard from two students – one, Meg, took a gap year and the other, Tom, didn’t.
Let’s hear from them now…
I knew I wanted to go to university, but... I decided I’ll do it after a year out.
That way I can wait till I get my official results and apply to university with those rather than getting predicted grades and then, you know, potentially being surprised and not being able to follow the path I wanted.
I just always had in the back my mind that I’d spend a year doing something productive and something that would just be good fun.
It’s not something that I really knew about to be honest, I think, until I started university.
It was a bit of an alien concept to me. It’s something I’ve never thought about.
It would have been far too expensive and it’s not something that would have been able to rely on my parents or family members for.