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Advice from Gap Parents
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Advice from Gap Parents

Supporting your child in their choice to take a gap year isn’t always easy. You might be worried they won’t return to school, nervous about them traveling abroad, or wondering if the investment is really worth it.

We understand taking a gap year is a big decision for both our students and our parents.

However, know that other parents have been in your situation before. They understand your concerns. They can tell you about the challenges of having your child take a gap year, as well as the incredible benefits. Three Rustic Pathways Gap Year parents share their experiences here:

“Overall, Cass gained invaluable insights, a different perspective about herself, her life and the future, as well as developing more maturity.  The program challenged her thinking and opened her eyes to a different way of life, in addition to having the most incredible time ever. Cass has expressed her appreciation to us on numerous occasions for this amazing and unforgettable experience – she is truly grateful for this priceless gift.

Of course we were somewhat apprehensive sending Cass off overseas by herself for three months but the professional and caring support that we had received from the local and US Rustic Pathways staff, in addition to the detailed information provided gave us great confidence.  Prior to Cass’ trip and during her three month stay we were very happy with the regular updates from Rustic Pathways and the information they provided, particularly considering we were based outside the U.S.”

-Karen Salazar |  Victoria, Australia | Gap Year Parent ‘16


“I believe Angelie gained confidence and stronger sense of self. Her ability to adapt was tested and strengthened. Her experience to learn about and immerse into other cultures is immeasurable. It’s tough to put into words the positive outcome it’s made on Angelie.

The first comment out of adult mouths who knew Angelie was going on this trip said, ‘I want to take a gap year!’ In my wildest dreams, I would love to take an entire year to travel the world. Having a blend of community service and adventurous experiences would be fantastic.

Lastly, Angelie’s Gap Year family will be a part of her life forever. A wonderfully treasured family.”

-Gina Mazza | Tigard, Oregon | Gap Year Parent ‘16


“We would definitely recommend an experience like a gap semester for any child. Camila, our daughter, was the first in our family to have this amazing opportunity, we would love our other children to do it as well. Camila discovered, learned, and grew in so many ways. She came back more mature and fulfilled with so many things in her mind and soul.

This experience made Camila a more empathetic person…  and is this not what we all want for our children?”

-Valeria Fernandez | Mexico City, Mexico | Gap Year Parent ‘16

Interested in speaking with a parent reference? We’re happy to connect you with one of our Gap Year parents via email or phone. Call 800.321.4353 or email and we’ll set it up!

About the Author

Katey Finnegan