Attitudes toward Students Taking a Gap Year

Topics: China, Gap year Pages: 7 (1195 words) Published: October 21, 2013
GAC008 Assessment Event 4: Academic Research Essay

Comparison and Contrast:

Places Where People Live and


Student’s Name: Shirley Gao

Student ID#: SHSA23142

Teacher: Mike Cooke

Due Date: 13 May 2013

Word Count: 1055

Question: Compare and contrast attitudes towards students taking a gap year in your country and in U.K. Use specific examples and provide appropriate evidence to explain your answer.

Are you finishing year 12 this year and uncertain about next year? Why not have a gap

year? A gap year is referring to a period of time which a student take time off and do

something other than schooling, such as travel or work. Gap year is become more and more

popular in UK and other foreign countries, but nearly no Chinese students taking a gap year.

Firstly, students who have a gap year abroad may have a culture shock when they back to

China. Secondly, most of Chinese parents oppose their children to have a gap year and they

think it is a kind of waste of time and money. Thirdly, Chinese students are suffer a great

stress that they do not have time. All in all, gap year is well-developed in UK compared to


Gap year is not well-developed in China for the three following main reasons. First, many

students prefer to go abroad during the gap year, they think it can not only broaden their

horizons but also learn a new language. Nonetheless, they have a big culture shock after

they back to China. The food, manner, weather, lifestyle and the time are all different, so

they have to spend a long time adapting it. Second, most of Chinese parents do not allow

and support their children to do what they want, and think it’s a kind of waste of time and

money. As a result, children cannot pursue the career that they really loved and have a break

after so many years of schooling before they launch into their tertiary studies. (James P.’s

report,2011) Last, Chinese students are suffer a far great stress that they do not have time to

taking a gap year .(Nancy G.,2010)According to a survey conducted by the China Youth and

Research Center in cooperation with corresponding international organizations shows that

more than 86 percent of Chinese high school students feel under "high stress," compared with

69 percent in Japan, 74.8 percent in the Republic of Korea, and 61.7 percent in the United

States. Students claimed pressure is come from competition and this competition is taken

seriously. Between class work and after school activities, Beijing students study an average

of 12.7 hours per day, according to a report from the Institute of Social Sciences at Peking

University. The numbers were 12.4 hours per day in Shanghai and 11.4 hours in

Guangdong. To address the problem, the Chinese government is considering various

reforms of the country’s educational system both to raise standards and provide more

opportunities. (China Daily,2010)

In contrast, gap year has a great comment and positive influence in UK. The first reason is

UK parents supporting their children to have a gap year and even give financial help.

Moreover, they think taking a 'Gap Year' is an extremely good way of getting more

experience in new environments before going on to further study at University or living away

from home. For example: Leah Arnold has been a volunteer teacher in Nepal in her gap

year. She said this experience certainly shaped her as an individual who is now confident and

independent and making successful moves through University and into the world of work.

She also said this was without a doubt the best decision she ever made. (Leah A. 2008) The

third reason is they can gain a clearer sense of college studies. This can save time and

money because students are less likely to take the national average of 5-6...

References: James, P. (March 2013), Chinese parents bemoan their children’s laziness and greed, but this generation of young people has had enough[online]. Available from: [Accessed 12 May 2013]
Nancy, G. (April 20, 2010), Students in China among the world 's most stressed, include China Daily.[online]. Availablefrom: [Accessed 12 May 2013]
Report(2011), Reasons not to let a child go on a gap year[online]. Available from: [Accessed 12 May 2013]
Tim, R. (July 2011), Gap years risk being seen as western 'colonialism '[online]. Available from: [Accessed 12 May 2013]
The gap year in England[online]. Available from: http://Gap%20Year%20in%20England%20%20England_edu.htm [Accessed 12 May2013]
Leah, A.(2008), 'Becoming a volunteer teacher in my gap-year was without a doubt the best decision I have ever made '[online]. Available from: http://www.oyster-worldwide-case-study.htm [Accessed 12 May 2013]
The benefits of a gap year[online]. Available from: [Accessed 12 May 2013], Parents help gap year travelers in UK.[online]. Available from: [Accessed 12 May 2013]
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