A sandwich year is traditionally a year between your second and third years of college in which you do an internship or volunteer within your field of study.
This is generally done in international schools, and infrequently done in the United States. However, because it gives you experience with employment in your field, I'm suggesting that you put some thought into doing one.
It's not so unusual because if you go to a community college (two years), you will transition into a university setting (four years), thereby effectively giving you a bit of space to consider taking an internship for one year. In some ways, a natural progression into your field.
It is also useful because the internship may pay you for your work, and you will save some money for your further college expenses.
And finally, it gives you actual work experience upon graduation that most students will not have, thereby giving you an edge for positions to which you will be applying.
Sometimes, taking a year - gap year or sandwich year - is difficult for parents.
I happened to be one of them.
I thought: “If my children take a gap year, they won’t go to college.”
But reality hit and both of my children took gap years for very different reasons. One took a gap year to work in a traditional restaurant in order to gain experience for his college admissions to the Culinary Institute of America. This year was a requirement for admissions. The second one took a gap year in order to determine if dance was her thing. She studied dance for a year in Austria, dancing fulltime, every day. This helped her determine that dance was indeed what she wanted, and also helped her gain admission to an excellent dance program in the United States.
So parents will sometimes have difficulty with either their child taking a gap year, or a sandwich year. But if you have an excellent reason for doing it, then it will definitely pay off in the long run.
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Photo Credit: Michael Afonso
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