Of course that's not the bottom line. The real purpose of The Gap Year is to separate students from their families and from their values and expectations, and help them develop a sense of shame and guilt for their privileged lifestyle that they'll (hopefully) retain for the rest of their lives. This is often referred to as Transformative Learning. They'll be indoctrinated with the religious philosophy of the Far East---give in, give up, accept what is, give back, serve others, renounce the self, trust emotions over facts, humility, live with less, donate, donate, donate, volunteer, volunteer, volunteer---and continue the process of working with a cohort in a collective in order to actualize the dreams of others. One of the major lessons students learn is that information is less important than feelings. Information can be found in a computer, but true value is found in the heart. Instead of developing and acquiring knowledge, the student is responding to emotional stimuli. The 'students' are given college credit for this through Antioch University Seattle. The college president's quote is straight out of UN Agenda 21: “Antioch University Seattle is not a traditional four-year university. Our roots are in service and advancing the causes of political, economic, and social equality.” The costs can range from $10,000 to $45,000 for the year depending on the program.
Giving up the self to serve is a philosophy that is not alien to the West, of course. People in religious orders are taught that the self is there only to serve. Fine. Presumably they're accepted into these religious orders after a time in the novitiate proves they're suitable. This is the sort of philosophy (Kant, Hegel, Martin Luther) that made it possible for the Nazis to motivate Germans to dedicate themselves to their Fuhrer. All for the greater good. All for the common good.
Whatever. High school kids are vulnerable and may be leaving their parents for the first time. They're going to Guatemala and Uganda and India to see squalor and try to 'alleviate it'. They'll be 'teaching' micro-finance to villagers or serving 5,000 Sikhs at a festival for their educational year abroad. Rather than acquiring knowledge, these students will be at their most vulnerable, in stressed conditions of poverty and danger, and will be taking responsibility for the life conditions of others. Is their instruction going to focus on the obvious question: Where is all the aid money going when it's sent to these countries? Instead of seeing that major local and international corruption and corporatization has impoverished whole nations, the message will be that one planet, one family, one future is the philosophy that will save the world from greedy people like your parents.
Here's a posting on the Facebook page of one of The Gap Year purveyors:
There is an expectation in China that a teacher will take responsibility not only for a student's academic progress but also for their development as a person. When did we lose sight of this in our culture?
WHAT? These for-profit partners in UN Agenda 21 are training young adults to be change agents.
LEAPNOW – our primary purpose is nothing less than transformation and ... that explores the essential question: “How can I be a proactive agent of change?
Here's a quote from LeapNow.org (LEAPYEAR2) that you'll appreciate:
The purpose of The Gap Year is to cement the relationship of the vulnerable student with a collective, to use a sort of shock treatment to break the student's connection to her family and culture, and to further the goals of UN Agenda 21: one world without borders, regulations, restrictions, or limitations for mega-corporations.
The Gap Year is an opportunity to use social manipulation and behavioral modification to mold the New Man, the Sustainable Man for the New Age: obedient, passive, convinced of his non-evident brilliance and goodness, humble and willing to work for nothing, and dependent on the approval of the collective.
UN Agenda 21/Sustainable Development crafts the new consciousness of the New Man.