Here's how we're different from other gap year programs:
One of a kind
No other program exists for young adults in Canada that combines experiential learning, skill development, individual coaching and community service in a single program - at least not the way we offer this combination of experiences at Discover Year. There are progams and services that offer a number of these elements separately, but none that do so in a comprehensive manner.
Low fees and an opportunity to save money
While other gap year programs offer travel and volunteer experiences, and some even offer organized skills training, there is usually a net financial loss for the student or their family over the duration of the program, due to higher program fees. Our goal is to make Discover Year as accessible as possible across all socio-economic levels. Therefore, with the exception of an initial deposit, program fees are dispersed across the duration of the program in monthly installments, permitting participants to "pay as they go".
The financial model for the program has been developed to accomplish 2 goals:
Self-funding: Participants are able to cover the cost of the program on their own, through the salaries they earn in their work terms, thus helping them build their financial management skills and relieve their parents of additional financial responsibility.
Projected savings: Participants should (in theory) be able to save a substantial amount of money to help pay their future tuition fees.
Wisdom of over 60 successful professionals at your fingertips
Our low program fees are made possible by our ability to harness the power of meaningful community service, as our incredible committee members offer their support on a volunteer basis, keeping administrative costs low. Participants in the program will have access to over 60 successful professionals from varied fields, industries and careers, enablingthem to better understand where different education and career decisions can take them. Additionally, they will gain important insight into the challenges, rewards and skills required in a variety of vocations. These committee members will deliver workshops, act as potential mentors and provide education and career coaching to the program participants throughout the year.
Learning through action and integration
While many gap year programs encourage participants to create distinct work or volunteer periods for themselves at the outset or completion of the program, Discover Year participants are able to assess and evaluate their interests, values and future decisions on an ongoing basis throughout the year while taking action to uncover their passions. This enables them to make more informed decisions and to apply the knowledge and skills they are gaining in real-time, thus allowing for a more complete integration of their development. Because it is impossible to predict when a person may experience that "a-ha" moment, we believe that it is essential to provide continuous varied experiences and opportunities for reflection.
Here's what we offer:
1. Experiential learning
Connect participants with a number of potential employers
Support in their job search, including:
Resumé review and advice
Networking skills training
HOW Discover Year can help you
The structure of the Discover Year program was designed to integrate experiential learning, self-reflection and skill development in an engaging and exciting environment that is quite different from the traditional education model students in Canada are familiar with. It is meant to allow students the time to take a pause from formal education and to more thoroughly consider their options moving forward, all while gaining valuable skills and knowledge. The program blends experiential learning and skills training by supporting students in their search for exciting employment, travel and volunteer opportunities while providing workshops that focus on the skills that employers regularly cite as lacking in recent graduates.
Travel preparation & information sessions as well as individual consultations to help students seek out and select a trip that is right for them
Ongoing discussion and advice to help participants seek out a volunteer opportunity that is right for them
Self-reflective exercises and readings:
Ongoing self-evaluation of the participant’s values, interests and aptitudes through career-based questionnaires & skills inventories, reflective exercises and personal development literature to help them uncover the best path moving forward
Regular one-on-one coaching:
MentorU life-path coach will assist in drawing out the participant’s goals and motivations to help them match their interests and aptitudes with a study and work plan that will enable them to maximize their investment and fulfillment in their education and future career
3. Skill development
Workshops: ongoing sessions will focus on the following skills and topics:
Personal financial planning
Exploring your passions and building your self-confidence
Successful professionals from a wide range of careers and industries will produce insightful interaction, permitting students to gain a better understanding of the potential benefits, challenges and skills required in a number of fields
Our staff will help steer the committee and set guidelines, but the purpose of the collaborative project is to have the group members ultimately come together as a high-performing team that is engaged in a project that benefits the community in a meaningful way