A gap year is when someone takes a break from education or employment to do something new or different. This could involve travelling, volunteering or working, either at home or abroad, though it doesn’t need to last a whole year, (in fact breaks of 1-6 months are much more common!).
Who takes gap years
Quite simply, anyone and everyone! The most common gappers are students, taking a year out immediately after school or university or before starting their first full-time job. However, ‘gap years for grown ups’ have become increasingly popular and many people in their 20s, 30s and 40s take a gap year as a break from their career.
What can you do on a gap year
Pretty much anything! How you spend yours will depend on what kind of experience you’re looking for, but the most popular options are travelling, working and gap year volunteering. GapGuru offers all these options, but how do you choose which is best for you? Here’s a brief overview:
Most gap years involve at least a little travel. Round-the-world tickets are particularly popular and let you take in multiple countries and even continents! The beauty of a gap year is that you’ll have more time than usual to explore each location, so you can get stuck into much more than the usual tourist sightseeing trips! Gap year travellers often tend towards more extreme and adventurous activities , so bungee jumping, white water rafting and high altitude trekking are not uncommon!
Gap year volunteering is an opportunity to do something meaningful during your year out! Most people choose to do it overseas, but whether working with orphans or endangered animals, volunteering can be both rewarding and fun. More importantly, you can make a real difference to the lives of those less fortunate, while learning more about yourself and the world around you. Because volunteers work alongside local people and get to know their way of life, issues and interest, gap year volunteering is easily the best way to truly get to know a country. Orphanage, conservation and teaching projects are the most popular choices but there are options to suit everyone.
With competition for university places and graduate jobs greater than ever, gap year internships and jobs are great opportunities to add real depth to your CV. If you find something that pays it can also get you round that tricky issue of actually affording your trip! By taking gap year internships or working abroad you can gain unique work experience and develop skills, confidence and independence that really make you stand out from the crowd. This can be particularly valuable if you didn’t do as well at school or uni as you might have hoped!
Why pay to work or volunteer abroad
On the face of it, paying for gap year volunteering doesn’t make much sense. However, there are plenty of reasons why there’s a fee attached to most overseas programmes. Most obviously it covers the basics – food, accommodation and the like - but it also gives you the support and advice you need to make sure you make the most of your experience. Paying an organisation like GapGuru to sort your gap years puts a wealth of experience and advice at your fingertips and gives you (and your parents) the comfort of knowing that you’ll be fully supported before, during and after your trip. Added to that it’s only through organisations like us that you can find such unique and amazing programme across the world! We constantly evaluate and improve our gap year internships and volunteer projects to ensure that they deliver real value and are more than worth the cost.
Click here to find out more about why you should travel with GapGuru or read our FAQs to find out what’s included in our programme costs.