School Holds Annual Gap Year Fair

The school held its annual Gap Year Fair in conjunction with USA Gap Year Fairs on Saturday, January 24, from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. According to its website, USA Gap Year Fairs is “a national circuit of events that bring together reputable Gap Year organizations, interested students and parents, high school college counselors and Gap Year experts.” The event began with a general presentation on gap years in the cafeteria from Jason Sarouhan, the vice president of the Center for Interim Programs, a gap year counseling organization. The fair, at which representatives from different gap year programs provided information about their programs, was held in the large gym.

Sarouhan discussed the multiple avenues that students can take during a gap year: traveling abroad, room and board programs, academic work and immersion programs are all viable pursuits for gap year students.

“There’s no right or wrong way to do gap year, there’s no box to fit in,” Sarouhan said. “A lot of students incorporate working, making money, independent travel…visiting family and certainly personal honesties–things they’ve always wanted to do.”

Among the other things discussed in the talk were common myths about gap years, cost, planning and gap years in relation to college plans.

While the school’s gap year fair has traditionally been held for students in the Mountain View-Los Altos district, in recent years it has begun to attract students from areas beyond the district, such as Palo Alto.

“The trend with the gap year is that it’s becoming more and more popular,” College and Career Center Coordinator Dawn Allen said. “Each and every year, we are seeing more and more people signing up to at least listen to it to see if it’s an option. I think it’s very important that students look at all the possibilities that they can do in a gap year. Having a speaker talk about the ins-and-outs of a gap year and who’s a good fit, I think, is very positive for our students.”

For more information on gap years, visit USA Gap Year Fair’s website.