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Each year, students on the Gap Year program take London by storm as they explore the city and embark on a journey of self-discovery and cultural immersion. We caught up with Sophia to dive deeper into her unique experience at Sotheby’s Institute of Art.

How did you decide to enrol in the Gap Year program at Sotheby’s Institute of Art?

While searching for programs to do for my gap year, I thought about potential majors/minors that I might be interested in pursuing in college,  and art history came to mind. I looked into gap year programs that include a form of art history and Sotheby's Institute came up. Doing any program with Sotheby's Institute is an opportunity one would refuse to pass up.

How would you describe the overall learning environment and the interaction with your fellow Gap Year students?

During the program, you not only gain insights into art but also into yourself. Having discussions and challenging your ideas with others who have different backgrounds and thought processes is beneficial for your future.

Can you share your favourite memory or experience related to exploring and navigating London?

My favorite experience when exploring London was going around Covent Garden on my birthday with my flatmates and seeing all of the Christmas decorations like the big Christmas tree, colorful lights, and fake snow falling at night.

What was your favourite site visit and what did you do?

My favorite site visit was the Sophie Calle exhibition at the Picasso Museum in Paris, France. Our tour guide set the tone of the place which was as extravagant and thoughtful as Calle. Being able to see Sophie Calle walk in and be in the same room as our tour was almost like movie magic and the cherry on top!

How did your course leaders and the wider team help you adapt to being away from home?

Our course leaders and team were reassuring us daily that we could reach out to them – a comfort for someone like me who always has a lot of questions. Although it was my first solo trip and I was so far from home, it felt a lot smoother with the team around.

Were there any academic or cultural challenges you encountered as a Gap student, and how did you overcome them?

Project Week was the first real “assignment” that I had to do since graduating. So it took a some time to get back into that true student mentality. Having my group care about the project as much as I did made a big difference. Also, having committed and passionate teammates made the project a lot more fun!

How has the Gap Year program expanded your knowledge and appreciation of the art world?

I never knew how many occupations were in the art world until now. So my knowledge of the art world has expanded as there are plenty of jobs that are completely different from one another that I can now consider.

How will you take these experiences from the program into your life moving forward?

I learned that I am capable of being on my own and relying on my independence which I was very concerned about when thinking about college. I am very thankful that I learned this while also being able to explore a great and lively city such as London and exploring the immersive world of art.