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Filling in the gap in gap year arts programs.

Updated: Feb 7

Berridge director Andrea Mardon talks about the benefits of the gap year and new arts-based gap year programs at Berridge.


With Covid-19 crushing the college plans of so many students this past year, the Gap Year took centre stage. But make no mistake, the Gap Year is not just a Covid-19 driven flash in the pan, it’s here to stay. Americans are finally waking up to what the Brits and Aussies have known for years, a Gap Year is not a luxury but an essential part of your education, life experience and future success in college and beyond.


Check out this article on Huffpost which sites 10 solid reasons for a gap year including having time to think, adventuring in your prime and performing better in college. And that fear that if you don't go to college right away then you'll fall behind? Forget about it! The Gap Year Association has solid evidence that students who take gap years perform better when they do get to college. Apparently, even Harvard has been suggesting time off in their acceptance letters before starting college.


Ok so now you are sold, you want to do a gap year! But…you want to do something creative. Tricky. When you start looking around you’ll notice how few gap year programs in the arts are out there. This year at Berridge Programs, we’ve jumped into the void and created a new gap program called Creative Semester which offers the opportunity to combine cultural immersion, artistic practice, community service and arts-based internship.


Berridge Programs offers CREATIVE SEMESTER at Chateau le Mont Epinguet in Normandy, France.


The program is based in France at Chateau le Mont Epinguet, an 18th century French chateau in the heart of Normandy, France. Learn from professional artists and meet like-minded creatives from around the world and Berridge welcomes students of all levels of experience from the creatively curious to die-hard dedicated artists.


If you are looking for something purely in Visual Art take a look at our friends Cow House Studios in Wexford, Ireland Cow House offers Fieldworks, a 12-week residency/gap year hybrid program for Visual Artists. Led by artists Rosie O'Gorman and Frankl Abuzzese, Cow House offers the opportunity to make new work in a remarkable location while being challenged to approach creative practice from new perspectives.


Make sure your gap year is well crafted, planned and thought out. If you need help crafting your creative gap year, reach out to us here at Berridge Programs. We can talk you through some options, both our programs and other great programs we know, or connect you with a gap year counselor, professionals who know gap year programs inside and out.


Enjoy your gap year if you do take one and do consider doing something creative!