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Academic gap: is it a tragedy?

May 10, 2010

By

Gunta Kursiša

“To take an academic gap year is not a tragedy at all”, says Inga, a student who took academic year after her 5th semester. Most students take a gap year because they have some academic courses they have to retake.

This year 61 students in Communication Science are taking a gap, with 48 of those sitting out last semester. Ieva Griķe, study methodologist for Communication Science students, says that “despite of economic crisis the tendency to take more gap years has not increased significantly.”

Griķe admits the advantages of a gap year are that students don’t lose any credits. However, study fees are increasing every year, and after a gap year a student have to pay as much as younger students. Programs change as well, and sometimes students might have to take some additional courses if they take a gap year.

“I just needed more time for my bachelor thesis,” says Edgars, student who is planning to take a gap semester. For some students this is a sensitive question, and they are not willing to talk about gap year as an option they have used.

Inga is more positive. “It is not shame to take a break, it would be worse to leave University forever,” she says.

Some students it, however, think that it is better to finish studies without any gap years.

“Of course it is better to save time and finish everything at once,” says Sanita, a 6th semester student.

Inga is optimistic saying that “a gap year is absolutely positive, especially if you need time to rethink the field you are studying and change your career plans.” Inga says she will finish biology after a gap year, but this time is worth it to her because she has time to consider her goals and ambitions.

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