Tufts University Re-imagines the Gap Year

While most of her high school classmates from suburban Evanston, IL, were settling in at college, Lydia Collins, Tufts A17, was navigating her way through the Ecuadoran market city of Ibarra, adapting to a different language and a new culture. As a volunteer for Global Citizen Year, she worked for a microfinance organization—one that started a credit union for women—and taught English. She left with perspectives that have enriched her own education.

“I have so much context for my studies now,” Collins says of the bridge year she spent between high school and her first year at Tufts. She says that working with women and their children who will never have the opportunities she does “motivated me to do better than if I had not taken time off and been pushed so far out of my comfort zone.”

To make these kinds of life-changing experiences available to more undergraduates, Tufts University and its Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service have launched a new bridge-year program, called Tufts 1+4, which will provide a structured year of full-time national or international service before students begin their four years of undergraduate study here. The program will begin in the fall of 2015.

Read the full article at http://now.tufts.edu/articles/gap-year-reimagined/