Gap Years

There are many benefits to taking a gap year. The question is, why don’t more people do it? Many times students might feel that taking a gap year means losing a year of their career life, a complete waste of time or simply too complicated to plan.

I am taking a gap year in order to pay for my studies at university the next year, but it won’t consist of only work. I plan on exploring several countries, cultures and meeting new people. I made the decision to take a gap year at around March 2016, and since then I am looking forward to it more and more.

If you properly think about it, the only way a gap year could be less beneficial is if you are lazy and decide to do nothing all year, which is of course up to you. If you plan well and decide to exit your comfort zone, I can assure you that you won’t be wasting a year at all.

So what are the actual benefits to this extra year? I think there are countless, but I will mention a few and explain them.

  • If you’re not sure about the future
Let’s say you don’t know what major you want to study, or you don’t know if you want to go to university or not. A gap year is great to explore those options, to try and discover what you enjoy and what you want to pursue in the future.
  • You become interesting
Although more and more people are taking gap years nowadays, it is still something interesting and exciting. Whenever you meet new people or even on your CV, you will be able to mention this gap year you took and what it consisted of. At a young age you will have explored so many opportunities that others cannot even dream of, and this will definitely move you up the ladder.
  • You get to take a break
A gap year also allows you to take a break from school. It will feel strange not going back to school in September and this break from the daily grind will definitely help you put things into perspective and get you ready for the year you head to work or to study.
  • Imagine the possibilities
Think of something you’ve always dreamt of doing and put it into action for that year. Climb Mount Everest? Volunteer in third world countries? Au pairing? All the crazy stuff that ‘other people’ do, you can do them! There are so many programs out there which will help you achieve this, with a quick google you will find our anything.

If you wish to earn money as well as travel during this gap year like me, look up work and travel programs. My plan for the moment is to be an au pair in a European country until the end of the year. If I find a job in said country I will be earning a little, and will be able to plan perfectly the rest of the year. Just thinking about a gap year is so exciting, so don’t let the budget prevent you from exploring your options!

Some links:

From studying to volunteering to teaching overseas:
To become an au pair in any country:
Entire programs to plan your gap year: