Why a Gap Year?

While searching for a Gap Year, it can be kind of like walking into a huge department store trying to find a specific item for your home.  There’s so many places to look, so many differences to set different gap years apart, and whose to say you’re going to have the “right” program for your student?

At The KIVU Gap Year, we try to help our parents and students understand some of the differences we hold in our value system to prepare emerging adults to enter University.


1.  Personal Identity:  Who Am I? – We give you the tools and experiences to encourage the development of your personal identity.

The old way of talking about Who am I was to say a student would go and “find themselves.”  And many academic circles tried to minimalize this experiencing often citing the need for students to just jump into life straight from high school and they will figure it out.  

But after 20 years of working with young adults, we’re finding some interesting generational differences in today’s young person.

a.)  After University, work becomes the epicenter of their life.  They get lost in the drive for their Vocation, and we see students who are in their late 20’s asking questions about Who they are not necessarily What they do.  We’re finding a large group of young adults asking questions we can help them navigate through their higher education which presumably leads to a more fulfilling vocational experience.

b.)  We find more and more University graduates unwilling and unable to enter the workforce after their higher education training, and we want to help students achieve the courageous brave life to go out and conquer whatever it is they feel called to do.  The problem is: if we just hope students find their way without any help or mentoring, often it takes years to find out who they are and emerge from what they can produce.  

2.  Faith Ownership: What Do I Believe? – We provide an experience in which you have the space, freedom and opportunity to embrace your faith.

Most Gap Years will fall on two extremes of a paradigm shift.  Either they will a.) Bring students into an incubation environment to tell them what to think or they will b.) Leave faith out of the conversation entirely.

We believe a faith journey is one that is individual.
We believe faith is an important part of being a whole person.
We believe experiential faith education is more impactful than sitting in a classroom taking notes, submitting papers, and memorizing various scripture passages.
We believe asking questions will lead a student to their answer.
Because we believe God works in different ways in everyone’s life.

We intentionally give students an environment to explore their faith.  They ask good questions.  We’re not afraid of any doubts, because we believe on an honest journey students will find their faith way.  With qualified staff leading and guiding discussions, we are excited when students graduate to be excited about faith in a global community.

3.  Experiential Learning: How Do I Fit In? – We provide an experiential learning environment to counter balance traditional education models.

So many students today are lost in how they connect with the world around them.  They’re able to engage online, but interpersonal connection is often difficult.  We’ve trained a generation of students to care more about the number of “likes” and “followers” on a social media feed, but we haven’t given them a fertile platform to explore ideas, disagree in a civil way, and engage with people who are different than they are.

Our Emotional Intelligence scale reveals that the KIVU Gap Year can increase the way students engage emotionally by living abroad to the tune of nearly a 30% increase.  The EI scale we use to test students is showing our kids able to navigate the traditional education model and still have a sense of fitting into their environment.

4.  Civic Engagement: Where Do I Belong? – We provide concrete experiences in understanding domestic and international social issues to encourage you to develop communal identity.

If you ask the question What is the biggest issue with post-secondary students today? You’ll find quickly the answer is I’m Alone.

They don’t know where they connect.
They don’t know who they belong to.
They don’t understand community is something to sacrifice for
They haven’t been given the wide kaleidoscope of global world views to understand themselves.

At The KIVU Gap Year, we are committed to helping students understand how they belong in a wide globalized world, preparing them for Higher Education.

After 6 years of intense research, we are ready for you and your student.  Check out our work at http://www.kivugapyear.com


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