If you’re considering taking a break from your work or studies, why not spend it exploring the world?
It is becoming increasingly common for students to take a gap year before going on to university or college, it being a norm in countries such as Australia, the UK and New Zealand. Some people are even opting to take their gap years after they’ve graduated, both groups seeing it as a chance to travel and meet meet new people from all over the world. However, the benefits of taking a gap year go beyond just travel and this post we explore what some of those benefits are.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with what a gap year is, it is typically defined as: “a period of time, typically before or after university where a person takes time off to learn and spend time doing activities like traveling the world, volunteering, gaining work experience or all of the above.” Gap years are all about traveling and experiencing the true vibe and meaning of a place and its people, while giving you a deeper understanding and appreciation of the world we live in.
Going abroad for a gap year can provide life-changing experiences and lifelong skills that will benefit you well into adulthood. Here are some of the reasons why spending your gap year abroad is a fantastic opportunity:
Broaden Your Horizons
Spending time in another country is the perfect way to experience different cultures, customs and languages. It is one of the best ways to expand, explore and experiment with your own perspectives. You’ll find yourself learning about and participating in cultural arts and events, enjoying traditional foods, and spending time and building friendships with locals. Whether you decide to live with a host family, or just visit as a tourist, travelling overseas offers invaluable exposure to other lifestyles and worldviews which could be extremely eye-opening.
Develop Self-Confidence And Independence
Being immersed in an unfamiliar environment takes courage, but having the confidence to adjust to new surroundings also demonstrates an impressive sense of adaptability and determination that looks great on college applications and future job resumes. Stepping outside your comfort zone can boost self-esteem too – there’s nothing like knowing you were brave enough to go it alone in a foreign land!
Learn New Skills
Your gap year doesn’t have to be all fun and games; many employers look for individuals who have taken time out of their studies to do something productive or beneficial. Whether you volunteer at a charity shop, take classes or find work related to your field of interest, dedicating some of your free time towards learning something new can give your career prospects an edge when it comes time to enter the job market. A year gives you plenty of time to move to a different country, learn a new language or a completely new skill, gaining industry experience which are all super impressive to job interviewers and college admins.
Meet New People
No matter where in the world you choose to spend your gap year, one thing’s for certain: you’ll meet people who could potentially shape the course of your future – both professionally and personally! You may come across influential people in business or academics, forge friendships with fellow travelers or find mentors who will help support you during this exciting transitional period.
There are some people who come out of high school/university feeling tired, drained and completely burned out. The option of a gap year provides them with a “reset button” to press in order to escape the constant demands from work or school. It is a year to spend some time doing and finding the things you truly love, to live how you want, gain perspective and flourish in personal growth. You may even rediscover yourself, and reassess some your goals and ambitions in the process.
Making An Impact
A volunteer gap year emphasizes leaving a positive impact on the places you visit and on the people you meet. Visit our Volunteering page to explore the various ways you could travel and make an impact to the places you visit.
Increase Your Prospects
A gap year allows you to explore the world in great detail, discover how the world operates first-hand and understand the value of education. Therefore it is not a reach to say that when you return back home, you may find that you will perform better at school or at work. A gap year also provides students with an opportunity to decide what type of education and career path they may want to pursue and may even expose them to possibilities they otherwise would not have found had they not gone abroad.
When embarking on such an adventure it’s essential that adequate preparation is taken – make sure you research your destination beforehand, familiarize yourself with local customs and most importantly make sure you have appropriate insurance coverage (among other things!). That said however, don’t let fear stop you from making the most of this bar abroad has so much potential for personal growth and enrichment so take the plunge and make it count!
At Alliance Visas we offer a wide range of work and travel destinations that you can choose to spend your gap year in. Click here to explore and take our free eligibility test to see where you qualify to travel to.