Mind the Gap



Mari Mazarguil, Feature Editor

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The end of the year is approaching, and with it, the release of a year of college applications for seniors. Everybody went through the process differently, with varying degrees of procrastination and stress, but it’s finally over. However, some Minnetonka students chose to take another route than college straight out of high school.
Every year, students choose to take a job, enlist in the Army, Navy, or Marines, or take a gap year, but these options can sometimes be overshadowed by the majority of students going straight to college and the sea of commitment posts on social media. So today, Breezes interviews Maren Beauchamp on her post-college plans, which involve spending a year abroad before going to college.
When asked why she wanted to participate in an exchange program, Maren says, “ I wanted to do a year abroad because I didn’t want to head straight into college. I wanted to experience something new first and I knew people that did the same thing and loved it.”
Maren will be going to high school in Italy, and over the course of ten months stay with ten different families. So there are no host families per se; however, Maren is currently hosting a student from Spain.
This was organized by Rotary International and “had to go through an application and interview process and then find three host families for exchange students staying here.”
To all those fearing no college plans post-gap year, fear not. Maren explains, “I already applied to colleges and got deferred from Gonzaga, so I will most likely go there after this next year.”
As for the cost, it is 6,000 dollars all in all for the ten months, and Maren will receive a monthly allowance of eighty dollars from the rotary as spending money.
If you are interested in a gap year but do not want to commit to ten full months of being abroad, there are also summer programs organized by the Council on International Educational Exchange, for example, or a European college.
In short, there are a lot of fun options to explore before going to college, and Maren’s exchange abroad is one of them, so make sure you look into them, especially if you’re a junior.

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