Are you sick of studying? Are you finally deciding to take that well-earned gap year – either before you begin university or in the middle of your studies? After making that huge step of deciding to take a gap year, the next question you have to decide for yourself is – what are you going to do? A year is a very long time to not be in the routine of studying, exams and tests.
Firstly, you need to figure out WHY are you taking this gap year. Is it because you don’t want to study? Are you actually tired of studying? Do you need to give your mind a break? Maybe it is you don’t know what you want to study. Is it time to ‘find yourself’? These are all the questions you need to ask yourself when you decide to take a gap year.
Secondly, you need to decide WHAT you want to do with this gap year. A plan is a great way to make your gap year rewarding, beneficial and not a wasted opportunity. Do you want to go outside of your comfort zone? Do you want to extend yourself? Do you want to see the world? Do you want to have a rewarding experience?
You can still back out of taking a gap year. If you’ve read this far into the article – you’re leaning ever more slightly to taking a gap year. Most individuals taking a gap year work for 6 months or so leading up to a big adventure. Here are 10 life-changing ideas for your gap year to spend your well-earned savings on.
The most popular option if you want to experience a different culture or want to do something that requires a decent chunk of time. In Australia, many people take a gap year and travel to Europe for several months. Why is it so appealing? Europe is a place where you can experience a different culture to home, indulge in delicious food and see many sights you only see on TV, in movies and on social media. France, England, Italy, Germany, Spain, Poland – the list could keep on going.
2. Au Pair Abroad
Do you love kids? Do you also want to travel? Being an au-pair could be an experience for you. In Europe, many families are looking for an au-pair for a few months to a year. It is an extremely rewarding experience. A bonus – you get paid too! Use this money to travel around the area you are staying and have some savings when you arrive home!
3. Volunteering Abroad
Researchers often highlight volunteering is an extremely rewarding experience and beneficial on your mind and health. Going abroad to volunteer is the perfect way to see the world, but also give back to the community. Volunteer work can be found in any country and in a wide variety of fields. From Cambodia to Africa and Russia – the places you can volunteer are endless.
4. Teach English Abroad
Do you like teaching people? Do you (secretly) like academics? Teaching English in another country is a great way to not only experience another country but make money whilst doing so. Whilst teaching English in another country, it allows you to have a rewarding cultural exchange with those who live there. Why not go to places in the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Asia?
5. Work On A Yacht Abroad
Ever watched Below Deck? Ever wanted to work on a luxury boat? Here is a great opportunity for you. If you have always wanted to sail the high seas and earn money whilst doing so – working a yacht may be the choice for you. You can earn a significant amount of money for doing daily activities such as pouring lemonade for guests.
6. Intern Abroad
Do you know what career path you want to go down? Are you one of those people that are unsure? Either way, interning could be the right choice to spend your gap year. There are endless choices in different countries to choose from. If you have a look, you might even be able to earn college credit whilst interning abroad. It is a great way to see the world, but also start developing your career.
7. Teaching Sports Abroad
Do you love skiing? What about snowboarding? Apply your love and skill for your favourite activities in a foreign country. If you are particularly skilled at a certain sport, travel to the other side of the world and becoming an instructor! Imagine every day waking up in the Swiss Alps to teach people how to ski or snowboard. What a dream!
8. Learn A New Language
Becoming fluent in another language can be extremely daunting and scary, but one you may be able to accomplish in your gap year. It not only looks fantastic on your resume, but you will feel fulfilled and accomplished when returning from your year abroad. A great way to learn a language is through the ‘immersion technique’. Extend yourself and throw yourself into the deep end by going to the country of your choice and being faced with a new language in your everyday life.
9. Get Certified
Do you love yoga? Do you love exercise and always wanted to become a personal trainer? Maybe scuba diving or photography is your passion? Spend a part of your gap year getting certified – turning your favourite hobby into a school. Not only are there certification courses in your home city, but there are ones around the world.
10. Get A Job
It may not sound the most interesting, given a gap year is supposed to be about life-changing and rewarding opportunities. But, getting a job may be the best thing if you don’t want to travel but want to keep yourself busy. Building up your skills and experience can help you in the long run when you decide to go for another job. These experiences will bolster your CV. If you’re one of those people who are undecided, by taking this time to get a job and work, you might finally find your passion.