Maximizing Your Gap Year at the International Development Academy

As March unfolds, high school seniors across the nation anxiously await admissions decisions from colleges and universities. For many aspiring soccer players, this period is not just about academic acceptance but also about securing a spot on a collegiate soccer team. However, the reality is that not every player receives the offers they had hoped for. This is where the concept of a gap year, particularly at the International Development Academy, emerges as a game-changer.

Embarking on a gap year journey can be a pivotal decision for any aspiring student-athlete. It’s not just about taking time off; it’s about making the most of that time to enhance skills, broaden horizons, and prepare for the future. At IDA, we understand the significance of this transitional period, which is why we offer a range of comprehensive programs and pathways designed to cater to every individual’s needs and aspirations.

Academic Enhancement and College Credit Opportunities with Arizona Prep Digital:

SAT Training and Preparation:

At IDA, the gap year experience is more than just a hiatus; it’s a transformative journey of growth, learning, and self-discovery. Whether you’re striving to excel academically, enhance your athletic prowess, or broaden your cultural horizons, IDA provides the guidance, support, and resources needed to turn your aspirations into achievements. With a tailored approach to gap year education, IDA empowers students to seize every opportunity, overcome challenges, and emerge as confident, well-rounded individuals prepared to conquer the future, both on and off the field.

We are dedicated to giving our players the best resources and assistance to reach their goals, no matter what they may be. Our 2024 lineup of players looking to play at the next level exemplify the benefits of our offerings, including a gap year. Simon Wheeler, committed to the University of Charleston, exemplifies the challenges many players face when awaiting final acceptance. 

College Placement Success Within IDA

Kaden Foreman exemplifies this, using his gap semester in the UK to refine his soccer skills, ultimately securing a spot at Rollins College. At IDA, Kaden experienced top-tier coaching and diverse playing levels, challenging him to grow both on and off the pitch. IDA aided him in college selection by providing databases and support in contacting schools and coaches. Kaden credits IDA for positively impacting his recruitment process and personal development, encouraging others with similar aspirations to embrace the opportunity for transformative experiences and fulfilling their dreams. Read Kaden’s full story HERE

Leo Davies is torn between NCAA Division 2 sides in Buffalo, New York, and Redding, California. With IDA’s comprehensive academic and athletic programs, Leo could utilize his gap year to explore college-level courses, SAT preparation, and ESL classes, ensuring he’s fully prepared for whichever path he chooses.

Talha Khalil is committed to join powerhouse Briar Cliff University, which is a current feeder into NC State.

Mordecai’s journey reflects the importance of understanding NCAA eligibility requirements early on. Fortunately, through careful consideration and guidance, Mordecai found alternative pathways to strong NAIA universities. Sandy’s pursuit of acceptance from Emory highlights the uncertainty inherent in the college admissions process. Finally, Brandon Madrigal’s commitment to Carleton University showcases the diverse paths available to student-athletes. 

In a world where uncertainties abound, the decision to take a gap year may seem daunting. Yet, for many soccer enthusiasts, it represents a strategic investment in their future—one that offers not just a chance to excel in sports but also to embark on a transformative journey of self-discovery and growth. As admissions decisions trickle in and opportunities unfold, the path forward may not always be clear, but with the right mindset and support system, the possibilities are endless. So, as the class of 2024 stands at the crossroads of their academic and athletic futures, let us embrace the spirit of adventure, resilience, and perseverance that defines the gap year experience. For in the pursuit of our dreams, it is often the detours that lead us to our true destination—ready to conquer challenges, seize opportunities, and write the next chapter of our extraordinary journey.

Join IDA’s impressive list of players who earned their spot at their dream school through a gap year by speaking to one of representatives HERE.  

Many students take a gap year to focus on traveling, sports, and self-discovery. But is it worth it? Discover the pros and cons of taking a gap year.

College soccer players listening to coach on the bench during a game.

Taking a gap year after high school is becoming more and more popular, with many colleges now encouraging students to do so. Some proponents even argue that a gap year, or a year of service before starting college, should be mandatory for all students!

Despite the advantages of taking a gap year, many students don’t fully understand the concept of a gap year. You may believe it involves traveling aimlessly and wasting time — but that’s a common misconception.

What is a gap year?

A gap year is when you take a year off, typically between high school graduation and college. So instead of beginning college the fall after you finish high school, you’d start the following fall.

Gap years are meant to give students a break from academics. It’s usually a time to discover yourself and consider what kind of education and career you want to pursue.

A gap year can take many forms. For example, you could work a job, complete an internship, volunteer, or travel. You can do these activities independently or as part of a gap year program.

Why Do People Take Gap Years?

In one survey, the two most common reasons students gave for taking a gap year before college were to recover from academic burnout and to learn more about themselves.

A gap year not only gives you time to recharge and refocus but also allows you to learn more about yourself on your own terms.

Research on the benefits of a gap year has led schools like Harvard University, New York University, and MIT to encourage students to take one.

Many colleges even allow accepted applicants to defer their admission for a year so they can take a gap year.

Taking a Gap Year with IDA: Pros and Cons

Although many students can benefit from taking a gap year after high school, the path isn’t for everyone. Here are some gap year pros and cons to consider before making a decision.

✅ Pro: You’ll Enter College Feeling Refreshed and Refocused

The clarity earned by taking a gap year before college can positively affect your academic performance. Research shows that those who take a gap year are more likely to graduate in four or fewer years compared to the national average of six years.

The time spent reflecting and learning about potential paths can also help you make a more informed decision when picking a major.

❌ Con: You May Feel Isolated or Like You’re Falling Behind

Watching friends leave for college and go through similar experiences at the same time can increase FOMO. Likewise, knowing you’ll be going through these experiences a year after your peers might make you feel as though you’re falling behind.

While these feelings are understandable, remember that entering college one year late won’t ultimately harm your professional trajectory. You’ll get to experience college all the same when you eventually start school again.

✅ Pro: You’ll Build Important Skills

You can use your gap year to develop any number of key life skills. This could mean learning a language while living in another country, honing communication and leadership skills while being part of a group, and specifically with IDA, you can work holistically on your soccer development.

❌ Con: It May Be Harder to Transition Back to School

Spending your gap year idle or withdrawn from academic engagement could make your transition back to school tricky.

The best way to avoid this problem is to keep yourself engaged and challenged by material you find interesting. At IDA you can also take advantage of our multiple academic partners, for college credits and college prep courses.

✅ Pro: It Can Attract College Coaches and Future Employers

A productive gap year is a great time to engage in resume-building activities. Learning a skill, gaining soccer experience in a foreign league, studying a language, or spending months learning about a specific topic or country can all help your resume stand out.

A year spent abroad can also build skills that will impress potential employers.

✅ Pro: You Can Broaden Your Horizons

Traveling and living abroad for your gap year can be a transformative experience. Immersing yourself in a new culture, learning a language, and seeing the world from a different perspective can help you discover your passions and purpose.

Should You Take a Gap Year?

A gap year isn’t for everyone. Though popular, gap year programs and international travel can cost a pretty penny. It’s worth considering how a gap year could affect your finances before you decide whether to take one.

Other factors to consider include what kinds of activities you plan to do during your gap year. IDA with its focus on soccer gives you the structure to make a productive gap year

Ask yourself: What goals do you want to achieve before starting college? Do you think you have still room to improve as a player to be better ready for a college soccer carear?

Ultimately, it’s up to you to determine whether a gap year is the best course of action for you and your goals. But if you want to learn more how IDA can help you in this process, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Ready for action? Play online pokies real money at Spinstralia and hit the jackpot today!

Ready for an Aussie thrill? Spin your way to fortune at Casino Mate. Big wins and fun times ahead!

Looking for unbeatable casino excitement? Neo Spin Casino is your go-to in Australia for top-notch games!

Explore the finest casino experience in Australia with Rocket Play Casino. Let the games begin!