What you need to know about taking a gap year
A gap year is something to really take time to consider, whilst you're studying at university. It can be filled with amazing adventures, learning experiences and a chance to discover who you are.
You may see all the amazing adventures posted by students who take trips across the world on Instagram. Well, you can also have that awesome travel experience. Everything is possible and whilst you're at university—the best time to go travelling is now, but knowing what to expect and weighing up your options is an important part of planning a gap year.
What will you get from the experience?
So you have an idea of where you'd like to go, but with all the information out there, it can be a bit overwhelming. Ask yourself, 'what do I want to achieve from the gap year?' You might want to try a new activity, explore a new continent or you might just want to create some amazing memories. Maybe you want to volunteer aboard to make a difference in a community whilst exploring. We all have different reasons to travel, as long as you figure out your gap year purpose you're off to a good start.
Where to find gap programmes?
Finding programmes for paid or voluntary work abroad can take a while. So, I have listed a few below that you may want to check out. These programmes tend to take a lot of planning ahead, getting references from tutors and just ensuring you pick the correct one for you.
- Get paid to volunteer in an American summer camp and make a difference in the lives of children and teens with Camp America.
- Get TEFL Academy certified to teach English internationally, anywhere you like and get paid to do so.
- Join the Real Gap Experience programme to get paid work in Australia or New Zealand.
- You can volunteer in many countries to do conservation and wildlife work.
- Government-funded year-long volunteer programmes through International Citizen Service.
- Talk to your university career service for travel placements, they will be more than happy to help you.
Travelling the globe
You don't have to go to work or volunteer during your gap year, you can simply travel and be adventurous. You could go scuba diving in the Coral Reef or hike in the Himalayas you can find your adventure on many different travel operators. Choosing just one is the real struggle.
Things to remember
- Ensure you have a valid passport, or that dream holiday is a no-go.
- Get your visa sorted early, as well as vaccinations if needed.
- Ask as many questions as possible (about fees, programme costs, flights, accommodation etc.) so you know exactly what you need to pay for and so you know where you stand.
- Make sure you have enough money for the trip and the correct currency.
- Just enjoy your adventure!