Unlike in the United States, graduating high school students in the U.S. are encouraged to take a year off before attending university. In American culture, this seems like abs Dortmund-style, but it has real world-changing effect.
Every American student takes a year off before entering university. This gives young people the opportunity to determine if they want to spend all of their time in the classroom or by taking the road less traveled.
The results are in, and the overwhelming majority of students do not continue in school after they turn 18. Less than 1% of American youth actually go on to get a university degree, the reality is that many make the decision to go straight to university.
The arguments for and against university are many. The institution of higher learning needs to provide valuable interaction and support to students. Yet there are other agencies that provide similar service, at a fraction of the cost and with a much better conscience.
There are excellent student travel companies in the US that can combine tourism and learning to make an interesting, memorable and personally developmental year for an American youth.
Travel companies offer a wide – almost complete – range of trips from Europe to the States, Asia to Australia, South Africa to New Zealand. Exploring Europe is no doubt a life-long choice for most young people. Traditionally, this has been done by taking a gap year, but there is another option: travelling is an effective way to gain and maintain a connection to home while demonstrating a willingness to move on and upward. More and more students are doing this, and it is a trend denting in the bureaucracy of the traditional university system.
American youngsters do go on lengthy and fascinating excursions and they do it at a later stage in life. Getting it right means that every college student will have the chance to gain valuable life experience in peace, rather than just years of pubic adoration before they start their career working for crane companies in Michigan.
This is one trend that has now reached almost every capital in the world. The soon-to-be Caribbean coral eyed beauty will soon be taking up residence in Shanghai, Bangkok or New York City. More over, the spending power of the Asian property boom means that more young people will be seeking out the cultures and communities that have developed around the islands.
Europe is host to an increasing range of ‘English’ speaking holidays and vacations. The trend towards culture based holidays has legs stretching well into the North of England. The lakes have long been a source of holiday for the northern regions of England, along with the French Riviera.
In addition to the traditional 18 or 21 days breaks, the property booms of the future will encourage a change in focus. More and more young people will take the opportunity to travel not just to gain experience and breadth, but also to create breadth and depth.
The Caribbean remains the centre of some degree of accommodation boom. Some property speculators are already snapping up beachfront property in Antigua, Barbados and the Grenadines.
Over in the Spanish islands, the property ladder is attracting some bright ideas. In Portobello, California, a $30 million luxury resort will include a two acre ‘sea of gold’ beachfront property that will be filled with about 500,000 gallons of fresh water, a 16 screen movie theatre, two heated swimming pools, a waterfall and helicopter rides.
In Barbados, there is an 18 storey tower called ‘La Bestia’ that promises to be the tallest building of its kind in the country. Also in the pipeline are plans for a 21 storey boutique hotel in the city of Ocho Rios.
Meanwhile, in Turkey, you can sample the unusual until it becomes ordinary. The Black Sea resort of Oludeniz has the only rock saltwater lagoon in Turkey, where you can swim to take in the spectacular scenery.
Tallest building in the world – Taipei 101 in Taiwan stands at a height of 509 metres – but it is not the tallest building of the world as such. Taipei 101 is only the second tallest, behind the huge Burj Khalifa in Dubai. The 101 storied glass and concrete complex is expected to be completed in 2008.
Flipped by an astonishing array of flowers – from a pink Dundees ice rink to a gold Christmas tree decorated with a single red scarf to the Chinese Zodiac animal – at the Blue Gardens in Amsterdam each new moon is decorated with a different colour.
ashed out my passport, bought a ticket out of luggage to Germany, rented a car, booked a hotel and then slept on the plane…
The Ghan was a lot more like this.
thirty hours of travel, aisle of flights, a week’s accommodation and $1720 still isn’t enough to cover it all…
The thing is, when you take a gap year, you want everything in your frame.