Meet Alice: Hamilton Fan and Dog Lover Taking A Gap Year

By: Alice Hart | June 1, 2017
Topics: Student Voices
I realized it's more important to actually accomplish something and experience the world than graduate from college the same year as my high school peers.

Alice will be traveling to 10 different countries and learning 100 new skills as part of the Winterline Global Skills Gap Year program. Read on to learn why she considered taking a gap year, and the things that excite her the most about traveling the world.


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THE CONCEPT OF A GAP YEAR PROGRAM IS STILL NEW FOR MANY STUDENTS. WHEN WERE YOU FIRST INTRODUCED TO THE IDEA OF TAKING A GAP YEAR BEFORE COLLEGE?

I remember sophomore year, hearing of a student at my high school doing a gap year and it piqued my interest. For a long time I was set on being in the graduating class of ’21 and in a weird way I felt like this college graduation year defined me. Then, I realized it was more important to actually accomplish something and experience the world than it was to graduate college the same year as my high school peers.

AT WHAT POINT DID YOUR PARENTS GET ON BOARD?

My mom was in the foreign service as a diplomat, and has been really supportive and encouraged me.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO TAKE A GAP YEAR?

I think one of the first questions a child is asked from an early age is “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and I’ve always had a vague answer or said something I was somewhat confident I could be decent at. But I’ve never had an answer to that question that I felt any confidence about. Winterline provides an opportunity for me to try so many different skills and provide me insight on my strengths.

WHAT COUNTRY ON OUR ITINERARY ARE YOU MOST EXCITED TO VISIT?

It’s pretty hard to choose, each country sounds amazing. I’m pretty excited about Thailand, I really love food and it’s pretty different from the Asian countries I’ve been too.

WHAT ACTIVITY OR LEARNING EXPERIENCE CAPTIVATES YOU THE MOST ABOUT WINTERLINE?

I’m pretty excited to scuba dive, I’ve always been interested in the underwater ecosystem. I always am interested in the problem solving and negotiation learning experience. I think I’m pretty good at that and I’m a quick thinker.

Alice taking a gap year

DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA OF WHAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO DO IN THE FUTURE?

Unrealistically, I’d live in California in a mansion with 100 dogs. But realistically maybe something in psychology or publishing. I’m not really sure though.

YOU’VE TRAVELED BEFORE. WHICH TRIP WAS YOUR FAVORITE AND WHY?

I’ve traveled to Beijing and Hong Kong. I was adopted from Beijing when I was four months old, and I went back when I was five when we adopted my sister. Two years ago I traveled to Hong Kong with a friend because my dad was the consul general and the government paid for my flight which was a perk. I then flew to Beijing to visit a friend who had moved there and I climbed the Great Wall of China in Birkenstocks.

WHAT DO YOU EXPECT TO GAIN FROM YOUR GAP YEAR PROGRAM AND WHILE TRAVELING ABROAD?

I think there’s going to be a lot of self-growth and I’m interested in comparing myself from the beginning to the end of the trip.

WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WANT YOUR FUTURE WINTERLINE PEERS TO KNOW ABOUT YOU?

I am extremely extroverted, but when I first meet people I’m kinda quiet. Not to toot my own horn but I think I’m pretty funny, and go with the flow. I don’t really get mad for longer than an hour and then I move on. I also managed to forget how to ride a bike.

TELL US SOMETHING FUN ABOUT YOU!

I really like musicals, I can’t sing but I can appreciate and envy those who can. Since New York is four hours away by bus I’ve been able to go to a couple broadway shows, Ameliè and Natasha Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812. I also know Hamilton by heart.

AND FINALLY, COKE OR PEPSI?

Coke.


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