You’re free, you’re young and you’re in control. When it comes to taking a gap year, the world is your playground. This constructive break, normally taken in between life stages such as graduating high school and going into university, gives you the flexibility to really think about how you want to spend it. The opportunities are boundless and the excitement becomes overwhelming. So where do you possibly start? We’ve got four ways to spend your gap year that are not only cost-friendly, but will give you a meaningful experience you’ll never forget.
Apply for an internship abroad
People tend to believe that by taking a gap year to travel, your bank account only goes in one direction – and it’s not up! Little do they know that international internships are becoming more common and warmly welcomed by foreign companies. Not only does this give you the chance to gain experience relative to a career you’re interested in, but it also lets you build global connections inside and outside of your work.
Go Overseas lets you combine your dream destination with your dream occupation and compare the available programs. It also connects new gap year workers with experienced workers to help answer any questions, offer tips and share their stories.
Give back to a community and volunteer
Sometimes the most rewarding and memorable experiences don’t come with a paycheck. Volunteering in a local community in a foreign country can be a wonderful opportunity to have a long-term impact in a short amount of time. While most travelers choose to teach, there are many other kinds of projects for ways to give back such as taking care of the elderly, lending a helping hand with medical and health care or tending after endangered wildlife. You can read some our favorite opportunities on our blog.
We’re a fan of International Volunteer HQ and their affordable volunteer trips that vary from one week to three months! Whether you’re looking for a short but sweet trip or a lengthier soul-searching adventure, IVHQ gives travelers of all ages the opportunity to experience a whole different side of the world for a time that works best for you and the community.
Backpack your way around the world
After all your hard work at school, you’ve earned yourself a well-deserved break. Known as one of the most cost-efficient ways to travel, backpacking not only can save you big bucks on luggage fees and wait time, but it also offers the opportunity to travel independently. We love solo travel because it pushes you out of your comfort zone and gives you the chance to make decisions for yourself without having to feel guilty about compromising with someone else. But before you pack your things and flee the country, it’s important to consider a few questions; How much time do you want to travel for? How far are you looking to go? How much walking can you manage in a day? What are the destinations you’re planning to visit like at that time of year? As exciting as it is to embark on this new experience, it’ll be even more worth it with somewhat of a game plan so you can expect the unexpected.
Take a course for leisure away from home
You may be thinking that the last thing you want to do on your gap year is sit in another classroom and learn. But what if it was in Bali or Australia? Just because you’ve finished school doesn’t mean you have to stop learning. Now you have the freedom to choose what and where you want to learn that suit your hobbies and interests. But it could also be a beneficial experience for your desired career or long-term goals with a bit of traveling on the side. Either way, they say the best textbook you can get is the world, so why not study it?
We love ShortCoursesPortal because of the dozens of courses they offer in all sorts of areas from studying the art of wine in Greece to crafting the fluffiest pastries in France and more. They also offer both short and long-term courses to best accommodate your schedule. So no matter what age you are or what job you have, it’s never too late to be a student again.
Are you planning on taking a gap year? Tell us what you have planned in the comments below!