What Is A Gap Year?Everything you need to know about Gap Years
Q. Explain it already! What is a Gap Year?
A: Traditionally, a Gap Year is taken between completing high school and university. Young people will use this year for many different purposes: some will work to save for uni, others will laze around and waste their time, and some will go overseas to travel and work. We highly recommend you do the latter! Be a go-getter who literally want to take on the world and expand your horizons. It’s why you’re on this site.
Q. Does it have to be a year? Can I have a Gap Month?
A: A Gap Year can last as long as you want. The main idea is to have a break – think of it as postponing the next stage of your life so you can have the time of your life! Better than that – a Gap Year can even improve the next stage of your life! With a broader understand of how the world works you may decide to do something completely different. Maybe you’ll discover from teaching English to kids in Thailand that teaching is a newfound passion for you? Maybe you’ll learn the customs of doing business in Canada, which could lead to a new career path? As they say, the world is your oyster.
Q: Is everyone doing Gap Years?
A: Yes, the secret is out! 24% of young Australians took a gap year in 2009/10. In the UK, STA Travel estimated 3 million will take a Gap Year in 2013. Americans are slowly catching on to the Gap Year phenomenon as they realise the personal and work benefits. So get involved – no excuses!
Q: How can I afford a Gap Year when I’ve been in school?
A: As you’ll find from reading countless blogs and books, the cost of travelling overseas is not as high as you’d expect. If you want to burn money there are plenty of ways to do so, but it’s the same if you are on a tight budget. There are volunteer organisations that exchange work for meals and accommodation. You can apply to work in boarding houses in the UK. And there are many countries in the world with a very low cost of living. However it is a good idea to also get a part time job and start saving now!
Q: I’m afraid I will like travelling too much and won’t come back to study?
A: That’s a healthy fear to have! Travel is addictive and many people catch the travel bug. In my case, when I returned home I was eager to start studying again. After seeing how high people regard education overseas it made me realise its importance more than ever. Also, being grounded and having lessons to concentrate on again is a nice change after several months of backpacking the globe.
This article originally appeared in NomadHead Magazine Issue 1. Get your free subscription now and read the magazine for free! Just click here.