100 episodes

Explore all things gap year through stories and anecdotes by gappers, families and experts. Fun to listen to but also jam-packed with tips and tricks for making the most of your gap year. No matter who you are or where you are on your gap year journey, you should be listening to the Gap Year Podcast! Although it is produced for Canadians, the content is universal.

The Gap Year Podcast Michelle Dittmer

    • Education

Explore all things gap year through stories and anecdotes by gappers, families and experts. Fun to listen to but also jam-packed with tips and tricks for making the most of your gap year. No matter who you are or where you are on your gap year journey, you should be listening to the Gap Year Podcast! Although it is produced for Canadians, the content is universal.

    How to find your dream career on your gap year

    How to find your dream career on your gap year

    Uncover the potential of gap years with expert Michelle Dittmer! In this podcast episode, she guides you through a month-by-month exploration plan, tackling the overwhelming choices or lack of direction in building your gap year.
    Embrace the unknown, take off the pressure, and focus on the next step, not the final destination. Whether you have too many interests or none, Michelle's practical tips help you discover your passion and pave the way for a purposeful gap year.
    Topics Discussed
    Strategic Exploration: Michelle advocates for a month-by-month approach in a gap year, offering online courses, informational interviews, and hands-on experiences to strategically explore potential careers.
    Pressure Off, Passion On: Dittmer emphasizes that it's okay not to have life figured out at a young age, urging a focus on the next step rather than the final destination, relieving the pressure on young individuals.
    From Interests to Insights: For those overwhelmed with interests, Michelle suggests digging beyond reputation and salary, engaging in activities that provide real insights into potential careers during a gap year.
    Passion Unearthed: For those struggling to identify their passion, Michelle encourages making lists of liked and disliked experiences, helping uncover patterns that could guide individuals towards fulfilling careers.
    Comfort Zone Challenge: Dittmer encourages getting out of the comfort zone during a gap year—whether through travel, joining clubs, or taking new courses—to discover unknown interests and gather the missing puzzle pieces for future decisions.
    Resources Mentioned In This Episode
    Check out Gap Year GPS! https://www.cangap.ca/gps
    Get support to light up your gap year! Book a free 30-min call: https://www.cangap.ca/call
    Connect With The Canadian Gap Year Association
    Join “Gapper Connect” on Discord to connect with students thinking about a gap year, current Gappers, and alum all in one place! https://www.cangap.ca/gapperconnect
    Find more resources at the Can Gap website https://www.cangap.ca/
    Follow on Instagram http://www.instagram.com/cangapassociation/
    Follow on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ucangap
    Follow on Twitter https://twitter.com/ucangap
    Follow on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuBit8gLXEOxaBggoGmykjQ
     

    • 28 min
    What is a Gap Year?

    What is a Gap Year?

    Curious about gap years in Canada? They're more popular than ever, but there's still a lot of confusion and misconception around them. So, we are here to clear things up! Join Michelle, Canada’s Gap Year Expert as she tackles the age-old question: What is a gap year? Get ready to redefine the narrative and discover the true essence of this transformative experience! 
    Take a listen! 
    Topics Discussed
    Demystifying Gap Years: Michelle Dittmer, Gap Year Expert, tackles common misconceptions surrounding gap years in Canada, shedding light on their increasing popularity.
    Value of a Gap Year: The episode dives into the core of gap years, emphasizing their customizable nature as a tool for real-world experiences, skill development, and self-discovery at various life stages.
    Breaking Stereotypes: Forget the clichés! Michelle challenges the idea that gap years are solely about travel, revealing the diverse opportunities for growth, from volunteering and working to pursuing passions.
    Components of a Successful Gap Year: Michelle shares key components for a purposeful gap year, including setting clear goals, having a plan, embracing novel experiences, and reflecting on the journey for personal growth.
    Guidance for All Ages: Highlighting that gap years aren't exclusive to high school grads, Michelle explores their relevance at different life stages, making the episode a valuable resource for parents and individuals considering this enriching adventure.
    Resources Mentioned In This Episode
    Want to learn more? Check out these specific podcast episodes to answer all of your gap year questions! 
    Top 3 parental concerns: https://thegapyearpodcast.podbean.com/e/the-top-3-parental-concerns-about-taking-a-gap-year/
    When to start planning a Gap Year: https://thegapyearpodcast.podbean.com/e/when-to-start-planning-a-gap-year/
    Nazra’s episode: https://thegapyearpodcast.podbean.com/e/gapper-series-making-the-decision-and-making-the-most-of-the-year-with-nazra-nasoud/

    Get support to light up your gap year! Book a free 30-min call: https://www.cangap.ca/call
    Connect With The Canadian Gap Year Association
    Join “Gapper Connect” on Discord to connect with students thinking about a gap year, current Gappers, and alum all in one place! https://www.cangap.ca/gapperconnect
    Find more resources at the Can Gap website https://www.cangap.ca/
    Follow on Instagram http://www.instagram.com/cangapassociation/
    Follow on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ucangap
    Follow on Twitter https://twitter.com/ucangap
    Follow on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuBit8gLXEOxaBggoGmykjQ

    • 24 min
    What to do with a University Drop Out

    What to do with a University Drop Out

    Parenting through a child's university dropout can be overwhelming, but you're not alone! In this episode, Michelle offers crucial support and advice to guide you through this challenging period. Learn about the challenges of the post-secondary landscape and discover effective ways to navigate your child's decision to hit pause on education. 
    Whether expected or a surprise, emotions run high. Michelle shares insights on approaching this sensitive topic with compassion, discusses the 4 major reasons behind such decisions, and outlines a practical 4-step plan to overcome the challenge. Tune in now!
    Topics Discussed
    Navigating Premature Post-Secondary Exits: Michelle Dittmer delves into the delicate topic of students leaving higher education before completion.
    Non-Judgmental Approach: The most important thing is to preserve your relationship, we encourage approaching this emotional time with a compassionate perspective and curiosity. 
    The 4 Biggest Reasons why students drop out 
    Michelle provides an easy and attainable 4-step guide that will help with navigating difficult conversations, better understanding your young person and formulating a strategic plan that will set them up for success. 
    Normalizing Educational Breaks: Breaks during post-secondary education are much more common than you think! In fact, it can be a pivotal, healthy and beneficial step to hit pause and reassess the stressors. 
    CanGap is HERE to support YOU! : We have the resources and programs available to support you and your young person during this challenging and uncertain time, don’t hesitate to jump on a FREE 30-minute call to discuss next steps! https://www.cangap.ca/call
    Resources Mentioned In This Episode
    Get support to light up your gap year! Book a free 30-min call: https://www.cangap.ca/call
    Connect With The Canadian Gap Year Association
    Join “Gapper Connect” on Discord to connect with students thinking about a gap year, current Gappers, and alum all in one place! https://www.cangap.ca/gapperconnect
    Find more resources at the Can Gap website https://www.cangap.ca/
    Follow on Instagram http://www.instagram.com/cangapassociation/
    Follow on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ucangap
    Follow on Twitter https://twitter.com/ucangap
    Follow on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuBit8gLXEOxaBggoGmykjQ
     

    • 35 min
    How to have MORE FUN - According to our Book Club!

    How to have MORE FUN - According to our Book Club!

    On today’s episode, Michelle Dittmer invites you to the CanGap book club, where we talk about Catherine Price’s transformative book, “The Power of Fun”, because without fun, are we really living? 
    Michelle deep dives into the 3 key elements, —playfulness, connection, and flow—that redefine our understanding of true fun. She also shares personal anecdotes and insights exploring how to reclaim fun in young adult life, navigating social media's impact, and empowering young minds. In 2024, we challenge you to evaluate your fun frequency and encourage playful solo adventures, kicking off the year with revitalised energy and authentic joy! 
    Topics Discussed
    True Fun Elements: Michelle dissects the essence of genuine fun, highlighting three vital components—playfulness, connection (to self/others/nature), and achieving a state of flow.
    Social Media Detriment: She emphasises how phones disrupt the state of flow crucial for experiencing real fun, impacting mental health and offering solutions for better phone management.
    Adult Playfulness Challenge: Encouraging adults to shed self-judgement and embrace playfulness, she challenges listeners to engage in childlike activities, promoting personal growth and inspiring others.
    Youth & Fun: Michelle explores how teenagers struggle to maintain a sense of fun amid increasing responsibilities, emphasising the significance of community and peers in fostering genuine enjoyment.
    Book Recommendation & New Year Focus: With enthusiasm, she recommends "The Power of Fun" by Catherine Price as a tool for cultivating more authentic joy and sets a goal for the upcoming year: to have more genuine fun.
    Resources Mentioned In This Episode
    The Power of Fun by Catherine Price: https://a.co/d/e1EWptj 
    Get support to light up your gap year! Book a free 30-min call: https://www.cangap.ca/call
    Connect With The Canadian Gap Year Association
    Join “Gapper Connect” on Discord to connect with students thinking about a gap year, current Gappers, and alum all in one place! https://www.cangap.ca/gapperconnect
    Find more resources at the Can Gap website https://www.cangap.ca/
    Follow on Instagram http://www.instagram.com/cangapassociation/
    Follow on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ucangap
    Follow on Twitter https://twitter.com/ucangap
    Follow on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuBit8gLXEOxaBggoGmykjQ
     

    • 25 min
    How to Pick a Uni Program (Or Not)

    How to Pick a Uni Program (Or Not)

    Attention high schoolers navigating post-secondary choices! Are you overwhelmed with the decisions of choosing a post-secondary pathway that will be right for you? 
    Look no further, because this episode is jam-packed with valuable advice from Michelle, as she busts popular myths, provides insightful guidance, a deeper look into the post-secondary pathways, and key resources to support you during this pivotal time. 
    Most importantly, there is no wrong path - just steps toward a fulfilling education and life. Reach out to CanGap for personalized guidance and crafting your future journey!
    Topics Discussed
    Decisions aren't permanent: Remember, post-secondary choices can and should evolve with you over time.
    Exploration over perfection: We advocate for exploring various pathways rather than stressing about finding the "perfect" one (especially right out of high school!) 
    Assessing YOUR life at Post-Secondary: Michelle discusses the many aspects of post-secondary, and prompts listeners to envisions their life at post-secondary. 
    No wrong path: Emphasising that all forms of education have value, Michelle encourages personalised journeys without the pressure of a "right" choice.
    Resources Mentioned In This Episode
    OnTransfer: https://ontransfer.ca/i/ontransfer+home 
    Get support to light up your gap year! Book a free 30-min call: https://www.cangap.ca/call
    Connect With The Canadian Gap Year Association
    Join “Gapper Connect” on Discord to connect with students thinking about a gap year, current Gappers, and alum all in one place! https://www.cangap.ca/gapperconnect
    Find more resources at the Can Gap website https://www.cangap.ca/
    Follow on Instagram http://www.instagram.com/cangapassociation/
    Follow on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ucangap
    Follow on Twitter https://twitter.com/ucangap
    Follow on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuBit8gLXEOxaBggoGmykjQ
     

    • 27 min
    From Shy to Bold: Unveiling the Transformative Power of a Gap Year

    From Shy to Bold: Unveiling the Transformative Power of a Gap Year

    Today's episode is all about Maddy's incredible gap year and travel journey with Carpe Diem Education! She shares how this transformative experience helped her to become more confident, tackle her fears, discover new passions and jump start her career towards environmental conservation at World Wildlife Fund. Michelle and Maddy also discuss Carpe Diem's authentic community engagement, emphasizing experiential learning and highlighting  how the gap year is a valuable investment to self-discovery and personal growth. 
    So, dive into Maddy's story and check out the Carpe Diem Education links in the show notes for your next adventure! 
    Topics Discussed
    Transformative Journey: Maddy's shift from a shy individual to a confident public speaker after a life-changing gap year experience.
    Impact of Immersive Learning: How Maddy's gap year with Carpe Diem Education reshaped her career towards conservation and sustainable travel.
    Addressing Social Anxiety: Discussing the relevance of experiential education in combating anxiety issues prevalent among youth today.
    Ethical Community Engagement: Exploring Carpe Diem's approach to community partnerships and the importance of authentic, sustainable voluntourism.
    Gap Year as Personal Investment: Highlighting the gap year as a pivotal time for self-exploration and its enduring impact on personal and professional development.
    Resources Mentioned In This Episode
    Carpe Diem Eduation: https://carpediemeducation.org/?matchtype=e&network=g&device=c&adposition&keyword=carpe%20diem%20education&utm_term=carpe%20diem%20education&utm_campaign=%2A%2ALP%20Branded&utm_source=adwords&utm_medium=ppc&hsa_acc=8621996090&hsa_cam=1492769220&hsa_grp=57371171037&hsa_ad=433528674701&hsa_src=g&hsa_tgt=kwd-482426548751&hsa_kw=carpe%20diem%20education&hsa_mt=e&hsa_net=adwords&hsa_ver=3&gclid=CjwKCAiAgeeqBhBAEiwAoDDhn1CdxWSEA5DGTW32RDAStE4j1LbTc27SKY47s7bRlmOcGueQubgthRoCq_UQAvD_BwE 
    Get support to light up your gap year! Book a free 30-min call: https://www.cangap.ca/call
     

    • 22 min

You Might Also Like

Gap Year Radio
Hidden Brain, Shankar Vedantam
This American Life
Mike Birbiglia
Jennifer Delliquadri
Rachel Gainsbrugh