A gap year can be a great opportunity to take a break from school or work and explore new experiences.
Whether you are a recent secondary school or college graduate, or just looking for a change of pace, a gap year can be the perfect time to gain new knowledge and skills, meet new people, and explore different cultures. Many students decide to take a break and enjoy a gap year.
A gap year also can be valuable for writing a personal statement and including experience gained while on a pause of studies.
What To Do In A Gap Year Before University?
So, what to do in a gap year before university? Here are the 9 best things to consider when planning your gap year.
Consider Volunteering Abroad
Volunteering abroad as a student is an incredible way to explore the world while making a positive impact on the lives of others.
Countless organisations offer volunteer opportunities around the world, each with its unique focus and mission.
Whether you’re interested in teaching English to children in rural villages, helping to build houses for families in need, or working on conservation efforts to protect endangered species, there is an opportunity out there for you.
One of the most rewarding aspects of volunteering abroad is the chance to immerse yourself in a new culture. You’ll have the opportunity to learn about local traditions, customs, and beliefs, while also sharing your own experiences and perspectives.
This cultural exchange can be a powerful tool for building understanding and empathy across borders.
Another benefit of volunteering abroad is the opportunity to develop new skills and gain valuable work experience. Depending on the type of volunteer work you choose, you may have the chance to develop skills in areas such as teaching, construction, or environmental conservation. These skills can be valuable assets in your future career, and may even inspire you to pursue a new path.
Volunteering abroad can also be a chance to challenge yourself and step outside of your comfort zone.
Living and working in a new environment can be both exciting and intimidating, but it can also be incredibly rewarding.
You’ll have the opportunity to push yourself in new ways and develop resilience, adaptability, and problem-solving skills.
Finally, volunteering abroad is an opportunity to make a real difference in the world. By working with local communities and organizations, you’ll be contributing to important projects and initiatives that have a tangible impact on people’s lives. Whether you’re helping to build a school, providing healthcare services, or advocating for environmental protection, your work can make a lasting difference in the world.
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Explore Different Cultures
Travelling as a student to different parts of the world is a great way to broaden your horizons and learn about different cultures.
Whether you choose to visit museums, sample local cuisine, or simply wander around a new city, the experiences you gain will be invaluable. Consider visiting countries that are vastly different from yours to gain a different perspective on the world.
One great way to immerse yourself in a new culture is to attend local festivals and events. In Japan, for example, you can attend the annual Cherry Blossom Festival, where you can witness the beauty of the cherry blossom trees in full bloom.
In India, you can attend the colourful Holi festival, where people throw coloured powder and water at each other to celebrate the arrival of spring.
Another way to learn about a new culture is to try the local cuisine.
In Thailand, you can sample dishes like Pad Thai, Tom Yum Soup, and Green Curry. In Italy, you can enjoy authentic pizza, pasta, and gelato. Trying new foods can be a fun and exciting way to learn about a country’s history and traditions.
Visiting museums and historical sites is another great way to learn about a country’s culture. In Greece, you can visit the Acropolis and learn about the history of ancient Athens. In Egypt, you can explore the pyramids and learn about the pharaohs who ruled over ancient Egypt. These sites can give you a deeper understanding of a country’s past and present.
Simply wandering around a new city can be a great way to learn about a culture. In Tokyo, you can explore the bustling streets of Shibuya and Shinjuku, where you can experience the energy and excitement of modern Japanese culture. In Paris, you can stroll along the Seine River and take in the beauty of the city’s architecture and art.
Invest in Professional Development
If you are interested in building your career, a gap year can be the perfect time to invest in professional development.
There are many programs available worldwide that offer internships, apprenticeships, and other forms of work experience to help you build your CV. This experience can give you a competitive edge when you return to university or enter the job market.
One great way to invest in your professional development during a gap year is to participate in an internship programme. Internships can provide you with hands-on experience in your desired field, allowing you to gain practical skills and knowledge that will be valuable to your future career.
Additionally, many internships offer networking opportunities, allowing you to make connections with professionals in your field and potentially even secure a job after your gap year is over.
Apprenticeships are similar to internships but typically involve a longer-term commitment and a more structured learning experience. During an apprenticeship, you will work closely with a mentor who will teach you the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in your field.
Of course, professional development during a gap year doesn’t have to be limited to internships and apprenticeships. There are many other ways to build your CV and gain valuable experience.
For example, you could volunteer with a nonprofit organisation, take classes or workshops to learn a new skill, watch online courses or even start your own business or project.
Whatever path you choose, investing in professional growth during your gap year can be a smart decision. Not only will it help you build your CV and gain valuable experience, but it can also demonstrate to future employers or schools that you are committed to your career and willing to take the initiative to achieve your goals.
Take a Road Trip
If you enjoy driving and exploring new places, a road trip can be an exciting way to spend your gap year.
Not only will you get to see new sights and experience different cultures, but you’ll also have the opportunity to meet new people and make lasting memories.
Before you hit the open road, it’s important to plan your route and make sure your vehicle is in good condition. Research different routes and attractions along the way to ensure that you make the most of your trip.
Consider travelling to different parts of your country or even crossing borders to explore neighbouring countries.
When planning your road trip, don’t forget to pack a map and some snacks. You’ll also want to make sure that you have a good playlist of music or audiobooks to keep you entertained during long stretches of driving.
Along the way, be sure to stop and take in the local sights and sounds. Whether it’s a roadside attraction, a local diner, or a scenic overlook, there are plenty of opportunities to explore and learn about the places you’re visiting.
One of the best things about a road trip is the freedom it offers. You can set your own pace and make your schedule, allowing you to truly immerse yourself in the experience.
Learn a New Language
One of the most popular things to do in a gap year is to learn a new language. Learning a new language can be a challenging and rewarding experience.
Not only does it improve your communication skills, but it also opens up a world of new opportunities and experiences.
Whether you want to travel to a foreign country, communicate with family members or friends who speak a different language, or advance your career, learning a new language is a valuable skill to have.
There are many different ways to learn a new language. One of the most effective ways is to attend language schools or to use online classes.
Gain Valuable Work Experience
If you are interested in gaining work experience in a particular field, a gap year can be a great opportunity to explore different job options. Some students decide to work on a gap year to save money for the university.
Whether you are interested in working in a corporate office, a non-profit organisation, or a start-up, there are many opportunities available in the UK. Consider applying to internships or entry-level positions to gain valuable experience and earn money for your studies.
Travelling is one of the most popular options for students in a gap year. Many UK students travel to Australia, Africa and Asia on a gap year.
If you are interested in travelling abroad, a gap year can allow you to explore different parts of the world. Consider backpacking across Europe, visiting historic landmarks in Asia, or exploring the natural beauty of Africa or Australia.
Travelling abroad is a great way to gain new experiences and learn about different cultures.
Rest and Recharge
If you are feeling burnt out from school, a gap year can be the perfect time to take a break and recharge your batteries. Preparing for university after a gap year can be beneficial.
Consider taking a few weeks to simply relax and unwind before diving into new experiences. This can help you feel refreshed and ready to tackle new university challenges.
Take Up a New Skill or Hobby
Use your gap year to learn a new skill or hobby that you have always been interested in. Whether it’s painting, dancing, or cooking, taking up a new hobby can be a great way to improve your creativity and relieve stress.
Consider attending classes or workshops to gain new skills.
Whatever you decide to do during your gap year, make sure to plan to maximize your experiences. Taking the time to explore new options can help you gain valuable knowledge, skills, and perspectives that will benefit you in both your personal and professional life.
So, Should You Take a Gap Year?
A gap year is a chance to gain valuable life experiences before continuing your education. There are many fulfilling ways to spend your time, from volunteering abroad to learning a new skill. A gap year can help you build your independence, expand your worldview, and find your passions in life.
While a gap year may seem strange for some, it is an opportunity for growth and self-discovery. Stepping out of your comfort zone by living in another country or pursuing an intensive internship can help you develop resilience and adaptability. Gaining experiences through travel, work, or study can inspire new interests and shape your future goals.
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