What is GAP Year?
A gap year is a period of time when students take a break from formal education to travel, volunteer, study, intern, or work. A gap year is also referred to as a deferred year, year out, year off, time out, time off. A gap year experience can last for several weeks, a semester, or up to a year or more. Typically a gap year is taken between high school graduation and starting college, during college, or between college and starting graduate school or a career.
What is the FEBA GAP Year?
FEBA Gap Year Program is a personal development and career-building program offered for high school and college students. This immersive and life-changing experience transforms your gap year into a fulfilling opportunity.
The program includes study abroad, volunteer experiences in Turkey and in their home country, exposure to different career paths with special internship loop program, offering college level courses that can be transferred as college credits, volunteering and leadership experiences. There are also special modules offered for high school students on academic readiness including SAT, ACT and AP Classes, counseling support for high school students throughout the entire application process.
“The unexamined life is not worth living”
We firmly believe that the greatest treasure lies within us. Our goal as educators and mentors is to unleash this potential along with a sense of global citizenship, academic strength, intellectual power, personal and social responsibility. FEBA GAP Year Program gives Balkan-American young adults the opportunity to spend a year in Turkey and the Balkans. In addition to the Balkan experience, the humanitarian aid and volunteering projects will take place in countries where aid is needed. We believe that experiences in this program can effectively shape and inspire the next generation of Balkan-American leaders and raise their cultural awareness.
FEBA GAP Year Program envisioned and shaped with the Read & Lead concept of FEBA. In this concept, reading and learning is not provided in a format focused only on gaining knowledge. Such “knowledge for knowing” will only be an underutilized load on one’s mind. The aimed outcome of the Read & Lead concept is to provide knowledge combined with social responsibility and leadership skills necessary to share it with others. All course elements, activity concepts, volunteer experiences and even the living arrangements in FEBA Gap Year program is designed with this concept to develop responsible leaders of our common future in the US.
The Goal of the Program:
Many leading universities in North America encourage students to defer entrance for a semester or a year to explore their interests before deciding what to study in college. Not only the admitted but also prospective students are encouraged to have a gap year experience to enrich and empower their application. Harvard’s Dean of Undergraduate Admissions William Fitzsimmons, a supporter of gap year, shared his views on the potential benefit of Gap Year programs in the article. Click here: https://college.harvard.edu/admissions/preparing-college/should-i-take-time
Inhabiting a global village makes it vitally important for young men and women to be directly involved in their ancestral cultures as well as other cultures. Subjective experience abroad in FEBA Gap Year Program helps to break down the limited, and often unconscious, “we-they” mentality that invariably generates personal and global conflict. As some of our youth will lead the future generations, their enhanced multicultural awareness and respect for the rights of others is undeniable.
As educators and mentors, our goal is not only to help the students bring to light their potential but also to maximize it. We will guide our students in exploring their interests among numerous fields through. The aim of our program is to awaken their inner motivation and advise them along the way to success. We will accomplish this through intensive AP classes and SAT camps in which students will build their writing skills with on-spot guidance, boost their critical thinking capabilities, and empower their mathematical skills. Students in GAP year will encounter a taste of different extracurricular activities and cross-cultural experiences. This will all aid them in framing a strong resume, solid character and a brighter future.
The Benefits of FEBA Gap Year
Some of the numerous benefits of volunteering, interning, studying, reading and leading for high school and college students in FEBA Gap Year program can be listed as follows:
- have an incredible experience abroad in another culture gives the opportunity to acquire a global perspective, break down the limited “we-they” dichotomy, enhance multicultural awareness and experience socio-economic levels different from that of the American society.
- take courses in study abroad that can be transferred as college credits.
- develop your leadership skills and social responsibility in a pressure free atmosphere while having an adventure before you head off to college
- gain skills for a stronger resume and to improve chances for college acceptance
- find your passion and explore interests through hands-on learning
- gain clearer sense of college studies, discover the relevance of classroom study to the world and restore your enthusiasm
- have a natural break in between HS/College and use time for yourself while you’re young.
- gain self-confidence, a taste of independent living while sustaining contact with your roots.
Why Turkey and the Balkans?
- Turks and the Balkans have similar culture due to being part of the same geography for centuries. Balkan American students living in America will be able to explore and reunite with their cultures in their homelands where the ancient meets the modern. Being modern enough to be comfortable yet traditional enough to be interesting, Turkey and the Balkan countries are friendly, beautiful, and culturally rich. There’s no better way to spend a year than to explore your passions by immersing yourself in your own culture.
- Students will raise their cultural awareness by self-exploring the cultural codes in their home country that will help resolve identity crises by identifying the causal differences between the upbringing parental culture at home and the American culture. Given a variety of opportunities in different fields, students will be encouraged to find out their desired fields of interests.
Programs offered by FEBA GAP Year:
1. Study Abroad (3 credits per course):*
In terms of its study abroad program, participants will be able to take courses in one of Turkey’s leading educational institution which has top-notch academics and diverse student body deeply committed to academic excellence.
Offered classes will further enhance students’ intellectual potential in respective course field as well as critical thinking and writing skills. The formats of the various courses offered are designed to broaden their knowledge and strengthen their leadership skills. The focus on the format is on applying the knowledge in real life and ability to share the gained knowledge with others. Courses will include comprehensive workshops, critical reading and writing sessions, presentation public speaking skills, as well as discussion and debates that will take place on crucial subjects of history, religion, culture, psychology, sociology, and more.
As an outcome of the study abroad program, students will gain great expertise in being able to critically read, write efficiently, and have comfort in public speech.
In order to achieve the above mentioned objectives, the following elements will be included in the course formats:
- Critical Reading: Active engagement and interaction with texts is essential to one’s academic achievement along with professional career success and intellectual growth. Research has shown that individuals who read deliberately retain more information and retain it longer.
- Active reading and discussions will take place on selected books and articles.
- Students will be given professional strategies and tips on how to improve their critical reading.
- Eloquent Speaking: The most important aspect of public speaking is to make sure that the audience remembers the speech for days after delivery. An eloquent speech is sure to be one that is remembered. A speech should be expressive and articulate in order to be eloquent.
- The deep texts given for study will enlarge their vocabulary.
In class presentations, students will be trained to improve their voices and diction with active feedback.
- In panel sessions and round table discussions, students will not only have the chance to examine the strength of their arguments and knowledge, but also observe how the way of presenting an argument may impact the audience.
- Write Efficiently: One’s intellect will be judged in college, in the workplace, and in the community primarily based on writing. It is crucial to be able to write fast, effectively and in a well-mannered way. Writing equips one with communication and thinking skills one needs to participate in any intellectual and social circles.
- Students will be given written assignments on issued topics, and will be guided throughout their writing process on developing their ideas, finding focus and a thesis statement, composing a draft, revising the draft by expanding ideas, clarifying meaning, and reorganizing
- Students will be given opportunity to present their finished work to others and get feedback from others (peer review).
FEBA Study Abroad courses are offered by the ‘Mevlana Social Research” Center’ at Mevlana University in Konya, Turkey.
Watch Mevlana University introduction Film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJUOhSEIFK0
Please click on the following link for detailed information about the courses offered in the FEBA “Gap Year” Program,
Click here for Mevlana University’s web site link: http://www.mevlana.edu.tr
2. Career Assessment Internship Loop (1-4 credit):
In an average university like University of Michigan or Montclair University, students choose from a dizzying 251 to 300 majors respectively. Many students go to college not knowing exactly what they want to do. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, about 80 percent of students in the US end up changing their major at least once. The average student who enters college with a declared major changes it three to five times, according to UC Berkeley. The lack of self-assessment ends up with finding your path through trial and error by changing majors in college which costs years and dollars wasted in most valuable years of students.
To fill your gap year with meaning, FEBA GAP year program has designed a unique “Career Assessment Internship Loop” program in order to help students to explore the career paths not on paper by career tests but in field through experience with a series of practical internship opportunities. In internship loop program, participants will have the opportunity to having a series of short internships in institutions including top newspapers, TV channels, hospitals, non profit institutions, government institutions, national police force, top business and finance companies, architectural design centers, engineering companies, think tanks, academic institutions and many more with an average of 3 days experience in each. By seeing the work environment, having opportunity to ask their questions with firsthand experience and with the intensive introduction of the careers in field; every participant can save years and dollars wasted in swinging from major to major in most valuable period of their life. In addition to the “Internship Loop”, after participants determine their career interest in the end of the program, GAP year assists participants to arrange a regular internship in one of the institutions they visited in their loop program.
Students following a full internship path after the “Loop Internship” may earn credit for their internship. Interested parties must first talk to their faculty/administration from their respective college/university.
3. Volunteering and Project Development (1-4 credit):
FEBA offers unique opportunities for participants not only to volunteer but also to develop humanitarian projects in communities throughout Turkey, Balkans and various developing countries. Through our partnerships with grassroots NGOs and community-based organizations, participants can make an impact in many different ways ranging from involving in an existing project to developing a new project driven by social responsibility and justice in various countries. FEBA’s volunteer programs focus on building strong communities through many different ways, including volunteering in non-profit organizations that reach out for the poor in communities, teaching English as a foreign language, mentoring and leading younger youth, and more.
While volunteering at their specified locations, participants will brainstorm and address ways to handle different societal issues by coming up with their own solutions. Participants will apply their knowledge and analytical skills to address environmental, social and cultural issues within the community. This will enhance their learning process by promoting active citizenship and fostering mutual ties between them and their community.
Participants may earn credit for their volunteering and project development experience. Interested parties must first talk to their faculty/administration from their respective college/university.
4. Independent Research and Case Studies (1-4 credits):
FEBA GAP Year program has its unique approach in developing problem solving strategies for participants. By combining case studies and independent research, participants will not only be able to explore various ways of approaching a problem and developing solutions by analyzing case studies but also use the enriched perspective from the various cases examined to develop own solutions on selected independent research area.
Case studies “bridge the gap between theory and practice and between the academy and the workplace” (Barkley, Cross, and Major 2005, p.182). They also give students the ability to identify the parameters of a problem, recognize and articulate positions, evaluate courses of action, and argue different points of view.
Students will develop research questions on a topic of their choice, and form strategies to map out work in research. The objectives and content of independent case studies are determined in consultation with qualified matriculated students and full-time members of the teaching faculty. The purpose is to provide opportunities for independent study of subject matter not included or treated in sufficient depth in a regularly offered course in program curriculum.
Participants may earn credit for their independent research and case study program. Interested parties must first talk to their faculty/administration from their respective college/university.
5. Teach & Travel (1-4 credit):
Teach & Travel (T&T) program is an international project aiming to place participants in different countries as an English(ESL) all over the world combined with an opportunity to travel in Turkey and respective country of teaching. It is an excellent opportunity to gain valuable work experience with fun. Teaching section is a 3 to 4 week program to teach English as a second language to K-12 students. Travel section includes a 3 days sightseeing program in Turkey where the civilization and history meets. In addition to the Turkey tour, a Balkan tour and a further day travels may be added in the country of teaching depending on the teaching institution.
Especially the participants in education and English fields may earn credit for their teaching experience. Interested parties must first talk to their faculty/administration from their respective college/university.
*ACADEMIC CREDIT TRANSFER
As an FEBA Gap Year program participant, you are responsible for speaking with the appropriate academic advisors at your home institution to determine how credits earned abroad will be transferred back to your home institution. Every academic institution has different guidelines and policies, so it is imperative that you speak with your home institution prior to departure to find out about the transfer of credit. Please note that the transfer of credit will be decided upon entirely by your home institution and not by FEBA Gap Year Study Abroad Program.
If you know which university you will be attending, you should inquire about how the courses you take abroad will transfer, rules regarding the transfer of actual grades (vs. credit only), fulfilling major/minor requirements, etc., so there are no surprises upon your return. FEBA Gap Year Study Abroad Program can not guarantee course placement and availability. Participants who are unable to secure their desired courses or have difficulty transferring academic credit will not be subject to any special refund; the standard FEBA Gap Year Study Abroad Cancellation Policy will apply.
FOREIGN LANGUAGE PLACEMENT EXAM (where applicable)
Please note that the majority of FEBA Gap Year Study Abroad language-acquisition program require participants to take a foreign language placement exam upon arrival to the program site. If the program for which you are applying requires a placement exam, your performance on this exam may determine the classes for which you are eligible. FEBA Gap Year Study Abroad program cannot guarantee that you will place into the appropriate language level in order to fulfill academic credit requirements nor can FEBA Gap Year Study Abroad program manipulate the results of your placement exam in any way. Participants who do not place into the appropriate level for academic credit transfer will not be eligible for any special refund; the standard FEBA Gap Year Study Abroad Cancellation Policy will apply.