Are you wondering what is a gap year? Thousands of people all over the world are beginning their adventure of a lifetime and planning gap years.
Today a gap year can be done anywhere, by anyone and any length of time, it all comes down to personal preference and what you really want to get out of one. Look at it as a constructive period out of work or education to travel and make new experiences, friendships and skills.
What do we mean when we say a ‘traditional’ gap year?
A traditional gap year is usually referring to students who take a year out before starting university, now people of all ages are taking gap years. A gap year can be a life-affirming adventure if you use your time wisely, it can prepare you for the big wide world and is an excellent CV booster!
Types of Gap Years
Gap years tend to fall into the following 3 categories:
1. Travelling gap years
This is a great way to explore the world and embrace new cultures, you can do this alone or with friends. Always remember that a well spent gap year makes an application stand out.
2. Volunteering gap years
Volunteering abroad is an excellent way to combine seeing the big wide world and doing something that really will make a difference. Choosing something you’ve got a passion for can be lead to an incredibly rewarding time spent during your gap year and can provide incredible work experience to make your CV stand out from the crowd. Remember, you don’t necessarily have to travel to volunteer, you could do a volunteering gap year in the UK in your hometown.
3. Working gap years
Working gap years means you’ll basically be living the dream of getting paid to travel. Working gap years offer the opportunity to live life as a local and learn about different cultures. Again a working gap year doesn’t have to be done abroad you can also do one at home to gain experience.
Top tips for planning your gap year
Starting a gap year can be incredibly overwhelming but none the less exciting. Here are some top tips for planning a gap year:
1. Do your research – Research different countries and continents to find the perfect destination for you.
2. Take care of essentials – Do you need a visa? Have you got travel insurance? Do you need vaccinations? Have you got an in date passport? (be aware some countries require you to have at least 6 months left on your passport when travelling) Have you got a first aid kit? Budget? These are all things to consider.
3. Book your trip! Here are just a few companies offering gap years, have a look to find out which one is the perfect match for you!