You might have noticed that more and more people in the U.S. are taking a year "off" between high school and college -- a gap year. Is this because of the economic crisis? Or are some students just heading to Europe or Asia to party for a year before college starts in earnest?
Not really. Well, not always. Students in Europe and in other countries have been taking gap years since at least the 1960s. In Australia, the UK, Japan, and elsewhere the focus of gap years (or "working holidays") is on work, and students and young adults take advantage of reciprocal working visa programs.