How A Gap Year Changes Your Brain

What if a Gap Year actually had the added benefit of changing the neuro pathways in your brain?

That’s right.  New science is coming out showing that extensive travel and experience can literally change the way your synapses are connected.

In a recent Atlantic Article  neurologists talk about the importance of travel immersion as it relates to creative “neuro-plasticity.”

“In general, creativity is related to neuroplasticity, or how the brain is wired. Neural pathways are influenced by environment and habit, meaning they’re also sensitive to change: New sounds, smells, language, tastes, sensations, and sights spark different synapses in the brain and may have the potential to revitalize the mind.”

Another article in the Guardian gives a similar benefit.

Traveling and living abroad can also affect the way we interact with people. Research by Dr Julia Zimmermann and Dr Franz Neyer compared the personality development of a large sample of German university students who had studied abroad for at least one semester with a non-travelling group.

The results showed that those who studied abroad were generally higher in extraversion than those who chose not to travel during their studies: the travellers were likely to enjoy being around other people more than being alone. When they returned home after travelling, the participants also tended to show an increase in openness to new experiences, agreeableness and emotional stability.

Or if you’re looking for an empirical way to develop leadership, you can read this paper on travel and what it means to develop into a leader.  Neuroscienceofleadership_article_06207 copy

Overall, we believe the KIVU Gap Year is helping students emotionally, culturally, academically, and now BIOLOGICALLY to develop into the leaders for the future.

Listen in below to Andy and Luke talk about what it means to see creative brains develop.  Or you can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes under The KIVU Gap Year.

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