This week, thousands of students this week are leaving home and heading to university to embark on the next chapter of their education, but what about those who decide university is not the right option from them at this time? In the UK around 230,000 18-25 year-olds take a gap year annually. Recent research by the Year Out Group, has found that a staggering 40% of British students do not apply to study at university before taking a gap year.
Numerous studies also support the concept gap years with universities and organisations hosting study abroad programs reporting that their students demonstrate better engagement, higher rates of retention as well as increased growth and maturity. In support of this, 80% of travellers find that their gap year added to their employability.
Despite the growing interest in gap years, research from travel money provider WeSwap showed that nearly a third of millennials would veto a gap year destination if they couldn’t post on social media. This demand from millennials and Gen Z demonstrates our want to document key life moments, but Rutger Buining, CEO and Founder of Story Terrace, is keen to discuss why we should look beyond social media and go back to the book to tell our life stories.
Rutger said, “Millennials and Gen Z’s are fast becoming the gap year generations as more people than ever before are jetting off to Continental Europe, Asia and other destinations to broaden their horizons and worldly experiences. As the most engaged with technology, these generations are the lynchpins of social media usage, but when it comes to pinpointing life-altering moments, social media is not the best tool for documenting our thoughts, emotions and feelings. In situations like this, we are encouraging gap year and study abroad travellers to embrace the book as a medium to tell their story to their family, friends, and even their own children in years to come to inspire the next generation of backpackers and gap year travellers.”