One of the things I regret most in my life? That I never took a gap year before, during or after my study. It never really occurred to me that this was an option. But friends who did take a gap year ended up making some great memories. It has really helped them to become the person they are now, or gave an amazing boost to their career. To inspire you to start thinking about your own gap year, I have gathered six amazing things you can do during this year, in collaboration with Education First.
The number one option that most young people choose for their gap year, is of course backpacking. Get yourself a cheap ticket, pack your bikini in your backpack, and discover the world. No stress, no schedule, just living on cheap fresh street food and 12-person dorm rooms in hostels. Popular destinations: Asia, Australia & New Zealand, Central America and South America.
2: learn a language
If you have been following my Dutch blog for a long time, then you know that I’ve spent a week in Malta trying out an English language school, a few years ago. It was really nice to have such a rhythm and schedule: in the morning a few classes, in the afternoon doing nice things with the other students and discovering the island. Outside in the sun, while it was cold and wet in the Netherlands. I would love to start learning French or Spanish. Which language do you want to learn?
3: becoming an au pair
A friend of mine took on a job as au pair in London for her gap year. How great is it not having to worry about living expenses, and in addition to taking care of children, to have enough free time left to discover a new city? Places like Paris, New York and Rome are very popular and let’s face it: that’s a dream year right there!
4: study abroad
A gap year can be very useful for your career, especially when you study abroad. I’ve always wanted to spent a year on an American high school, that would be so cool. But how cool would it be to, for example, do business school in China?
5: do volunteer work
You do have to be a little careful about the kind of volunteer work you do, but with a bit of research, a couple of weeks or months volunteering with a nice organization can be a good contribution to the planet. And it will also be a good addition to your resume.
6: working abroad
There will be quite some paperwork to figure out, but there are many young people who start teaching English for a year in Japan or Korea (and earn quite a lot of money doing so), or start working in Australia or New Zealand on their work visa. Choose something that fits well with your ambitions, then this gap year can definitely boost your resume. Having experience with working abroad is always a good thing.