我们原来说过generation gap（代沟）这个词，而且也知道gap这个词一般指的也都是“间隔、空档”的意思。那么今天要说的这个gap year到底指什么呢？
Gap year is an English expression (also known as drop year, [ws]deferred[/ws] year, [ws]bridging[/ws] year, etc) referring to a period of time - not necessarily a year in which students take time off and do something other than schooling, such as travel or work. The year out is most commonly taken after secondary school and before starting university. However, over recent years there has been an increase in 21-23 year olds taking a year out after completing their degree.
The practice of taking a deferred year developed in the United Kingdom in the 1960s. During this time, a student might travel, [ws]engage[/ws] in volunteer work overseas or undertake a working holiday abroad.
A year out has grown very popular among students in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. A [ws]trend[/ws] for year out is to [ws]participate[/ws] in international education programs that combine language study, [ws]homestay[/ws]s, cultural [ws]immersion[/ws], community service, and independent study.