STOCKTON (CBS13) — Alison Howell was the only student in her high school who took a gap year. She says that year was critical to her success at University of the Pacific.
“I decided to take a year off and become an exchange student in Belgium,” she said. “I came in way more focused I picked up a double major I didn’t go through the whole first year switching my major around I came in knowing what I wanted to do.”READ MORE: Portland's Robert Covington Fined For Mask Throwing Outburst Against Sacramento Kings
UOP doesn’t encourage all freshmen to take a gap year, but may honor a student’s request for a deferment.
“Some students travel in that gap year go abroad they may volunteer with certain organizations to become more mature to get different life experience,” said Dean of Students Rhonda Bryant.READ MORE: Boreal Mountain Re-Opens After Surprise Halloween Storm
In the past, a gap year involved European travel, a pricy option for many students.
Howell’s gap year began a love of travel and changed her college track. She’s now pursuing a major in international relations.MORE NEWS: Saturday's Show Info (11/27/21)
“It was an amazing once-in-a-lifetime experience,” she said.