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Gap Year to Study Abroad prior to enrolling?

carriemc95carriemc95 170 replies15 threads Junior Member
Just when I think our upcoming year couldn't get any more stressful! My daughter came to talk to us informing us that she has spent a lot of time thinking, and she really wants to study abroad for a gap year prior to enrolling in college. Her brother did this and he is back visiting Germany this summer, which I think has made her think this is something she will be "missing out" on. The main difference is her brother is an international business major with no auditions needed!

After the dumbfounded looks on our faces cleared up, I just don't know if this is even feasible for someone who will need to be auditioning for BFA MT programs. At the same time, we are a family that really values culture and the year abroad was the best year of our son's life. I've heard of many people successfully taking gap years, but those were to work on skills and enhance their audition pieces, not move to Europe for 10 months.

I've spent the last few days mulling this over, and I'm still just as concerned about how this will work. I decided that maybe someone here could help throw some light on the possibilities of this actually working? Just online auditions? Maybe do the audition cycle this year and ask for deferred enrollment? I just honestly don't know!
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Replies to: Gap Year to Study Abroad prior to enrolling?

  • MThopeful99MThopeful99 100 replies6 threads Junior Member
    I am taking a gap year mainly to focus on growing and preparing for auditions, however I am planning to fit some travel into the year. it is not the same as a full year away, but I'm planning to travel for a few weeks in March (after auditions). I think her best option would be to travel the summer prior to college, and/or seek out programs with study abroad options. Some programs let you defer (didn't Jonathan Groff defer from CMU for a year to go on tour before deciding college wasn't for him?). It sounds like your daughter would want a gap year purely for the sake of travelling, and trying to fit auditions into that year would likely leave her distracted from auditions (this process definitely requires 100% focus) and she would be disappointed at not being able to travel for the whole year. If she feels like she has skills she needs to work on, a gap year would give her the chance to do that and she could definitely fit a little travel in, however the audition process and a gap year abroad are both wholly consuming processes and trying to juggle both would probably mean not "doing" either to the fullest.
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  • TiggerDadTiggerDad 1990 replies72 threads Senior Member
    When my son first expressed his desire to take a gap year when he was a junior in high school, I welcomed the idea fully under two conditions: 1) as long as he secured his college first and 2) that particular college allows deferred enrollment. There's no way I'd have allowed him any other way unless extreme circumstances called for it. He's on his last leg of the gap year, and he's eager for the fall.

    My thoughts are in line with soozievt's suggestions.
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  • carriemc95carriemc95 170 replies15 threads Junior Member
    Thanks for the comments. It is what I figured would be the case. Her audition coaches have said she is in great shape for the audition season, so I don't think the gap year would be needed for that. Although I would worry that 10 months away from any sort of training would cause her to be rusty. It sounds like I need to just tell her either/or. One of the schools on her list is in Scotland, so I may try to encourage her that way.

    I get where she is coming from. She has a true passion for musical theatre, and the only thing that comes close to that passion is her desire to see the world and be a more global citizen. She will just need to make a choice.

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  • soozievtsoozievt 31412 replies372 threads! Senior Member
    edited July 2018
    She has a true passion for musical theatre, and the only thing that comes close to that passion is her desire to see the world and be a more global citizen. She will just need to make a choice.

    I don't feel she has to make a choice. My kids didn't take a gap year. Both are very well travelled. One of mine is in Rwanda as I write this! The other was in London ten days ago. Both have been to many countries and continents!! One has lived abroad several times.....various summers in college and graduate school, a semester in college, and a year of her young career. Simply, being away for the entire gap year doesn't dovetail with attending the auditions for college. She certainly could be away for a half year of her gap year, and travel lots more in the future including living abroad for a semester and in summers too.
    edited July 2018
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  • KatMTKatMT 4152 replies71 threadsCollege Rep Senior Member
    Does she have to choose either/ or at this time? Could she plan for and pursue multiple scenarios?

    For example:

    1) Audition as a high school senior for a wide range of schools, some that may allow for her to defer a year (including for the MT program), and some that may not. Of course, including the school in Scotland which may "kill 2 birds with 1 stone" so to speak.

    2) Look at gap year experiences.... some July - December... some for September - June... or other time frame options that could work depending on school acceptance circumstances and choices.

    3) Depending on acceptances:
    (a) decide to attend one of the schools that allows for deferral and go abroad for the year.
    (b) decide that she is not happy with any of the schools that would allow her to defer, but loves one that will NOT allow her to defer, attend in the fall, and figure out other ways to travel and spend significant time abroad before, during, after college.
    (c) decide that she does not want to attend any of the schools that would allow her to defer, but that a partial gap year abroad is important and choose one of the July through December programs, and audition and apply again to schools to attend after the gap year [5-months abroad/ 3-months auditioning... maybe even go back abroad in the summer before starting school].

    It may not be logistically possible to plan for gap time abroad without knowing start and end dates before April or May. Just thinking of ideas that would allow her to keep more open at this time, pursue multiple paths, and make an informed decision once she has concrete choices to weigh.
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  • NewJeffCTNewJeffCT 187 replies7 threads Junior Member
    A boy from my daughter's high school took a gap year and is just now finished his first year at Elon as a MT major. I'm pretty sure he was going to NYU-Tisch after he had graduated, but ended up taking a gap year and going abroad instead - he took a few classes in the UK and then did some stage combat training in Russia as well (he's of at least partly Russian descent) .

    Not sure why he took a gap year, but we may see him within a few weeks (he's doing Shakespeare locally), so I can ask him about it if this thread is still going and if anybody is interested.
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  • CaMom13CaMom13 1886 replies13 threads Senior Member
    @vpvpbp - Wow! Good for him!!!
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  • TiggerDadTiggerDad 1990 replies72 threads Senior Member

    I think your decision to allow your son to take a gap year isn't something you're going to regret. My son took a gap year this year, and we feel that's one of the best decisions we've made. He's done everything he's been wanting to do during the gap year, and he's very eager to take on the challenge.
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