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“Gap Years” are getting shorter and shorter, studies find

Europe, Travel News — By Carlo Alcos on May 13, 2011 at 1:59 pm

The “gap year”, an institution in the UK, many parts of Europe, and other countries around the world, is the time typically taken by students between finishing school and entering university. The idea is to broaden the perspectives of young adults, although many use it as time to “let loose” before buckling down into some serious studies.

In any case, the gap year appears to be in danger of becoming a thing of the past, with the time taken to travel taking a dip due to tougher financial times, according to a report at the Telegraph. Studies conducted by insurance company LV=, volunteer placement agency Projects Abroad, and travel agency Real Gap showed that extended travel time is decreasing.

Image: garryknight / Flickr

LV=, through a survey, discovered that only 5.6% were planning a trip of over four weeks in the next 12 months as well as a drop in the number of 1-year insurance policies for gap-year travelers. Over the last five years, there has been a 69% decrease of people taking four or more months off.

Projects Abroad found that there has been a 10% decrease in February of the number of applications. They place around 8000 volunteers per year. Managing director of Real Gap, Sam Cox, said:

It is true that the travel industry is seeing changes in how long people wish to travel for on their gap year. Whilst we still have many people looking to travel for a year or more, we’re also seeing a growing number that are choosing to travel for 1 to 6 months and incorporating a gap break into their year between school and university.

Rising tuition costs and the poorly performing economy are being blamed for the large decrease.

Tags: Britain, gap year, students, UK

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