Education is one of those things that people have to make a solid decision on when the time comes. You either leave your education and gain good work experience, perhaps being able to go into your chosen career, you carry on your education, or you take a break in the hope of returning to education when you are older. In this situation, many people choose to take something called a GAP year. The main thing to think about it was could be good for your right now. Maybe education might be the right choice to make at this stage. Maybe it is best to look at your options.
Like many people, December is a time of real reflection when it comes to the next year ahead. You may be wanting to think about a break, perhaps feeling like the last year or two of studying has been tough with large assignments and examinations to get through. Do you find yourself at this crossroads right now? Wondering what might be the best decision for you? Many people are considering their plans for 2018 in December, which is why I thought I would share with you some of the ways you can make the most out of your GAP year. It might provide you with a bit of inspiration to help you make your decision.
One of the first things many people consider is volunteering in different countries.Volunteering can actually be a great way to utilise your time as some of the causes that requires specialist help abroad can really do with more people getting involved. Mostly volunteering might be working alongside organizations or charity campaigns. This could be helping to build in remote areas, providing aid or specialist care to people in need or struggling with certain conflict in the world. Or you may find that volunteering within communities could be more your thing, where you perhaps teach english as a foreign language. Volunteering can be a great way to utilize your GAP year. It helps you develop skills and learn different cultures and diversity. It can often help you gain a perspective on your own life, as western culture is quite advanced.
Travelling to faraway places
Other people consider traveling during their GAP year. Often taking on destinations like Asia or Australia to name a few. There are many ways you can do this. You may be ultra organized and plan your itinerary in advance, or you may find that you want to be a little more relaxed with your appach and only book your first month or so, and then see where the rest of the journey takes you. This can give you a great chance of experiencing independence and allows you to see places you may not get a chance to throughout your adult life. Traveling on a GAP year is often done in the way of backpacking. Where you travel with minimum luggage and it enables you to see places that perhaps you might not do during the later years in your life. Remote islands, excursions, and even partying all night. We all know that once you hit a certain age, you start to think about marriage and starting a family, or even progressing in your career. Using a GAP year enables you to see the world before settling down into daily life or into your chosen career. It certainly enables you to experience things before life gets hold of you.
If you want the opportunity to earn some money while still experiencing the world, then a great thing to consider would be working while you travel. It’s a great way to develop your skills and gain some work experience while witnessing a different work culture that could be quite different than your own. Many employers and educational systems will welcome the experience you gain, being that you can add value to your future career. Working abroad could be many things. You may find that you get yourself a job in the same industry or field that you may be wanting to work in when you return, which could be excellent experience to add to your resume. You may find that you just want to experience working, and that could be teaching english as foreign language which I mentioned earlier, or it could be as simple as working in retail or a bar and restaurant. Whatever you choose to do, the experience could be life-changing.
Experiencing different cultures
Another thing to consider would be the different cultures you will be lucky enough to experience and witness. Often these can give you a different perspective on life, and how things work in the big world we live in. Again this kind of experience can add value to your future education or career. Of course, you may need to think about how you spend your GAP year, so thoughts might be on where you might stay or live. You might think about buying a duplex, renting somewhere or even a house share. This can give you the option of learning how to live independently and how things are done in different cultures and societies. But, you can also learn a lot about yourself by doing this.
How it can change you as a person
It is also worth remembering what a GAP year can do for you as a person. Being a student can make you independent, sure. But you are also still very much governed by structure and routine. It helps because while you are studying you need that, so a GAP year forces you to live in a different way. But you can also learn a lot about who you are and how you cope with different situations. Whether you decide to work and gain experience that way, living in a different country or staying in the country you live in right now, it can all help you to establish a different routine and prove to yourself how versatile you really are. Volunteering can actually change you in a different way. It can help you to gain clarity on your life and gain some perspective on how you currently live and for what you can become grateful for after. You can also feel like you have done some good in the world. Helped in some way to make a difference. Travelling can also equally help you to gain this sort of perspective. Travelling to more remote parts of the world can open your eyes to how others live. Western culture can be so advanced that we often forget that people in the world can still be living entirely on what they provide for themselves, and live in remote climates where they live differently.
A GAP year can be an excellent choice to make when you find yourself at that crossroads of what next, and let’s face it, some people don’t often get the luxury of deciding that they can actually do it. There is a formality to study, get a job, and move on with your life, and in the later years you may not get to see some of these places until well into your retirement. So perhaps now is the time to think about whether it would be a good choice to make, what you might achieve from it, and how it may affect your life in the future. Could this be good for you? I hope that some of these ideas have inspired you to think about a GAP year in the future.