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Your Gap Year
Your Gap Year

How To Make The Most Of Your Gap Year

As every post graduate student knows, the time in between further education and university can be one of the most rewarding periods of life and not just because exams are over. Making the most of the break in between studies is vital for becoming a well-rounded individual and the chance to learn about the world during the transition from teenager to adult is a challenging and life-changing experience.

These days there are so many options available to young people before they head off to work or further studies that it can be quite a minefield that often results in nothing much happening at all. The best advice is to prepare way in advance and really consider all of your options as moments like this don’t happen too frequently and can often result in you considering different paths and finding out new likes and dislikes that will stay with you for years to come.

Below are just a few of the different choices that can be made for anyone embarking on that oh-so-important gap year and if you’re thinking of: saving money, getting work experience or simply having a good time then read on as this one’s for you.

Volunteer
There can be few things more rewarding than volunteering for a year and if you get the chance to learn, discover and enrich your life by helping other people then grab it with both hands. From muddy construction sites to school classrooms, once you’ve experienced how other people live their lives then you’ll be left in no doubt as to how lucky you are to be going on to further education or a comfortable office job.

Work
No matter whether you’re considering pursuing employment or heading off to university after your gap year, getting a job to test the water is an excellent means of saving up some finances or adding to your CV. This is a great chance to see what you like and don’t like with countries as far-flung as Australia, Canada and New Zealand all offering work for those who are prepared to travel before they reach the heady heights of thirty years of age.

Learn
Teaching English as a foreign language is just one of a whole host of examples of how you can learn new skills during your gap year. TEFL courses, in particular, allow you to really get under the skin of English language and allow you to gain valuable experience when it comes to public speaking, lesson planning and marking work. Just because you’re taking a year out it doesn’t mean that you can’t learn and from discovering new cultures to learning new languages, travelling is an amazing lesson in life.

Experience
Once you start work or go to university you’re probably going to be tied down to one particular place for a few years so making the most of a real gap year is exactly what you should be doing. Experiences come in all shapes and sizes so help out where you can, keep an open mind and don’t be afraid of trying something new. Often, upon your return, you’ll discover that your experiences are transferrable and what others might perceive as scary you’ve already encountered far worse.

Have fun
This could be your last chance to really go wild and let your hair down so enjoy yourself and don’t regret a thing. South America, Europe and Asia all have some incredible resorts and locations from where having a good time, all the time, is pretty much the norm. If you can, make sure you work in resort because, as everyone knows, the reps, bar staff and tour guides are the ones who know the best spots and meet all the right people.

Biog: Chris fondly remembers his gap year that started in Europe and ended in Asia with a cheeky stop-over in Australia in between.


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