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疫情之下高中毕业生陷入两难 选择“间隔年”的人数增多 The rise of the pandemic-era 'gap year'

中国日报网 2020-06-08 08:25

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疫情还未过去,上大学还是休一年,这是个问题。选择上大学的人要面临以线上课程为主的教学安排,而选择休间隔年的人则无法按计划出国旅行或参加实习活动。哪个才是正确的选择?

 

Photo by Sonnie Hiles on Unsplash

 

Devon Tyrie had a plan for the 2020-2021 academic year. The Massachusetts native wanted to take a gap year between graduating from high school and starting university, combining volunteer work, international travel and internships. But with the world still in the grip of Covid-19, it’s clear her year will not pan out as envisaged.

来自美国马萨诸塞州的德文·泰瑞原本对2020-2021学年的计划是在高中毕业后休整一年再开始上大学。她打算在这个间隔年做志愿者、出国旅行和实习。但由于世界依然笼罩在疫情的阴影下,显然她的间隔年不会像设想的一样顺利。

Tyrie, 18, says she’s had to make a decision based on worst-case scenarios. She’s been accepted by Middlebury College in Vermont, which like many US institutions, has not yet released plans for the upcoming semester. But some higher education institutions in both the US and the UK have already said they will shift to a predominantly online learning environment for part or all of the next academic year. Tyrie says she’s had to weigh up the risks; if she goes straight to college her first year may be far from the traditional experience, yet if she takes a gap year, her activities will likely be limited. In the end, she’s applied for a deferral to the next academic year. “It’s kind of tough right now, not knowing, but I’m doing my best to make a plan,” says Tyrie.

18岁的泰瑞表示,她必须基于最坏的情况来做决定。她已经被佛蒙特州的明德学院录取。和许多美国高校一样,明德学院还未发布新学期的计划。但是美国和英国的一些高等教育机构都已经表示,下一个学年的部分或全部时间会转换成以线上教学为主的模式。泰瑞说,她必须权衡风险;如果她直接去上大学,她的第一年也许会和传统的大学经历大不相同,然而如果她休整一年,她的活动将很可能受到限制。最终,她申请了延期入学。泰瑞说:“现在挺难办的,因为一切都不确定,但我会尽力做好计划。”

Her reluctance to start her university education virtually is by no means unique. For students, it’s not an attractive prospect, especially given most universities continue to charge full tuition fees. Madelyn Mackintosh, 17, was looking forward to studying physiology and political science at McGill University in Canada. “Five months ago, a gap year was definitely not in the cards,” she says. But McGill is in Montreal, Canada’s Covid-19 hotspot, leaving Mackintosh anxious. Then she found out that McGill was making most of its classes online. “That morning, I wrote to the deferral department and I requested a deferral.”

实际上,她对于是否开始上大学的犹豫不决不是个例。对于学生来说,这时候上大学不是很令人向往,尤其是在多数大学继续收取全额学费的情况下。17岁的麦德琳·麦金托什本来很期待在加拿大的麦吉尔大学学习生理学和政治学。她说:“五个月前,我想都没想过休间隔年。”但是麦吉尔大学位于加拿大的新冠疫情重灾区蒙特利尔,这让麦金托什感到焦虑。接着她又发现,麦吉尔大学的大部分课程都要在线上进行。“那天早上,我写信给入学部,申请延期入学。”

Taking a gap year between high school and university is fairly common in many parts of Europe, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. In the US, the practice is less common, but attracted mainstream attention in 2016 when Barack Obama’s daughter Malia took a gap year before attending Harvard University. Critics point out that the gap year is often an opportunity reserved for the wealthy. Yet the concept – and its pros and cons – is under increased scrutiny now as students all over the world weigh up their options for the year ahead.

在高中和大学之间休一个间隔年在欧洲多地、英国、澳大利亚和新西兰都相当普遍。在美国,这种做法没那么常见,但是在2016年吸引了主流媒体的关注,当时奥巴马的女儿玛利亚在入读哈佛大学前休了一个间隔年。批评人士指出,间隔年通常是富人才能享有的机会。不过现在间隔年的概念——及其利弊——随着世界各地的学生都在权衡新学年的选择,正受到越来越多的审视。

In a recent study on Covid-19 and university access, the London-based Sutton Trust found that one in five university applicants (19%) in the UK had changed their mind about university attendance for the 2020 academic year – whether in terms of their preferred university or by deferring a place in favour of a gap year.

总部在伦敦的萨顿信托在最近的一项针对新冠肺炎和大学入学的研究中发现,英国有五分之一(19%)报考大学的学生已经改变了主意——或者是心仪的大学改变了,或者是选择延期入学,先休整一年。

In the US, a survey conducted in April by Baltimore-based consulting firm Art & Science Group found that 17% of students had changed their college plans due to Covid-19. Of those students, 16% indicated that they would take a gap year, while 17% said they would wait until the spring semester (which would start in January 2021) to enrol in university full-time. A third said they would enrol in university on a part-time basis.

在美国,总部在巴尔的摩的咨询公司艺术和科学集团四月份开展的一项调查发现,疫情导致17%的学生改变了上大学的计划。在这些学生当中,16%的人表示他们会休一个间隔年,17%的人表示他们会等到春季学期开学时(2021年1月)再入学进行全日制学习。三分之一的学生表示他们会采取非全日制的形式入学。

It’s far from being an easy decision. Gabriel Hostin, 17, had decided before Covid-19 that he would take a gap year before attending Harvard. Now, he says, there are uncertainties surrounding his plans to travel internationally – something he hopes will change at the start of 2021. In terms of the immediate future, he’s looking at domestic volunteer programmes including community work closer to the New York area, where he’s from. For his peers who are going straight to university, he says there’s concern about not being able to be on the campus when the academic year starts. “For me, that’s not college,” says Hostin.

这绝不是一个轻松的决定。17岁的加布里埃尔·霍斯汀在疫情暴发前就决定要在入读哈佛大学前休一个间隔年。现在,他表示自己出国旅游的计划有太多不确定性——他希望这一情况能在2021年初发生改变。眼下他计划在国内参加一些志愿项目,比如,在他所在的纽约附近参加社区工作。对于他那些打算直接上大学的同伴,他表示新学年开始时恐怕无法进校园。霍斯汀说:“对我来说,这不是大学生活。”

It’s a sentiment that Joshua Kim and Edward Maloney, authors of Learning Innovation and The Future Of Higher Education, understand. But Kim, the director of online programs and strategy at Dartmouth College, says, “I think you really have to distinguish between true gap year experiences and simply stopping for a year or waiting for a year.”

《学习创新和高等教育的未来》一书的作者约书亚·金和爱德华·马龙尼能理解这种感受。但是在达特茅斯学院担任在线课程和策略部主任的金表示:“我认为你真的必须将真正的间隔年经历和停一年或等一年区分开来。”

Kim, whose daughter took a gap year in South Korea through a US-government funded initiative, says that for a gap year to be valuable, it needs to be educational and ideally have a structured component. That’s extremely difficult to do right now, says Maloney, with social distancing rules and travel restrictions likely to be in place for the foreseeable future. Having an unplanned and unstructured gap year that essentially equates to a “leave of absence” can be detrimental to students, say Kim and Maloney, because they’re more likely to lose their momentum and decide not to attend college altogether.

金的女儿通过参加美国政府资助的一个项目在韩国度过了间隔年。金指出,要度过一个有价值的间隔年,必须有教育意义,理想的情况下应该有组织有条理。马龙尼说,现在要做到这点极为困难,因为在可预见的未来应该还会有社交隔离规定和旅行限制令。金和马龙尼说,没有计划、没有组织的间隔年本质上等同于休假一年,这对学生是有害的,因为他们很可能会失去动力,最后干脆决定不上大学。

"The good news is there is no wrong decision. The bad news is there is no right decision either,” says Michelle Dittmer, president and co-founder of the Canadian Gap Year Association.

加拿大间隔年协会的主席和共同创立者米歇尔·迪特默说:“好消息是没有错误的决定。坏消息是也没有正确的决定。”

For those who struggle to find meaningful activities, Dittmer suggests thinking about using the skills you have to help organisations that might benefit.

对于那些正在努力寻找有意义的活动的学生,迪特默建议他们考虑运用自己拥有的技能去帮助那些有需要的机构。

 

英文来源:BBC

翻译&编辑:丹妮

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