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Gap year.. your way to prepare for the university stage

Gap year.. your way to prepare for the university stage

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By the time you graduate from high school, you’ve spent so long focused on formal education that you’re completely exhausted. However, most students go straight from high school to university.

But it may be healthy to take a spare year off from coursework to reconfigure yourself, while still focusing on your education even if you’re not spending that time in high school or a college semester.

Recently, the gap year has become increasingly popular. A year off after high school can give you time and experience to make tough decisions, like deciding what you really want to study or what career you want to pursue, and that’s just the beginning.

In this brief article, you’ll find everything you need to know about the gap year, and how to make the most of it.

What is a Gap year?

First of all, what is a gap year? Usually, a semester or year break from experiential learning, usually taken after high school and before college education, to deepen practical, professional, and personal awareness. Some students may instead take a gap year after graduating from college, to better prepare themselves for the job market.

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Types of gap year

A gap year takes many forms and can include doing paid work, completing an internship, college preparatory year, non-academic courses, volunteering, traveling, or participating in sports and adventure activities. You can also do these activities independently or as part of a specially organized leisure year program.

There are many organizations and service providers dedicated to each type, and plenty of resources to draw upon when deciding what type of gap year to take. Here are the four most popular types of a break year:

Work gap year

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A year at work can be beneficial to earn some money, gain skills and experience, and start building a network. If you choose to combine a gap year at work with some travel, you will get experience working in different locations, often in multicultural teams and with language skills.

Volunteer Gap Year

Spending the year volunteering can help increase your sense of community, help you build a network of contacts, and may later lead to a permanent or paid job offer.

Whether your year is at home or abroad, there are many opportunities for volunteering across a range of professional sectors, and plenty of well-established volunteer projects that you can search online.

Travel gap year

Some students choose to dedicate their entire year to travel, either alone or with friends. Many websites also offer help with finding hostels and budget accommodations in different countries.

You can also get help with student discount tickets including airfares around the world. Traveling locally is also a great option.

Gap year Studying

Studying during your spare year allows you to spend a year before university while continuing your education. There are several options for studying abroad.

You can take a short-term summer program, or apply for a job in an exchange program that specializes in study abroad opportunities.

Gap year.. your way to prepare for the university stage

Why do you want to take a year off?

It is important to define your goals to make your time productive, so you need to define what you want to achieve from your spare year. You may want to:

  • A break from studying
  • Gain new skills/experiences
  • Earn some cash
  • Spend time deciding what you want to do in the future
  • A combination of the above

A full year isn’t a one-size-fits-all option – for some, it may be a good idea not to take a break between studies. Here are some pros and cons to consider when deciding on a break year:

Advantages of a Gap year

  • A chance to get a break from studying and come back refreshed.
  • You can volunteer, get valuable work experience, and travel the world.
  • A productive gap year can be valuable on your resume.
  • You can relate experience and activities to the subject area you plan to study.
  • You can earn and save money for higher education costs or future plans.
  • You will develop into maturity if you do not yet feel ready for higher education or working life. For some jobs, it may be helpful to be a little older and have some life experience.

Disadvantages of a Gap year

  • Some people find that spending a year abroad distracts from their long-term plans.
  • An unstructured year may not add much value to your future, careful thinking and planning are essential.
  • It can be difficult to return to school or work after a year’s break.
  • It can be costly and you may find yourself in a worse financial position in the end.
  • If you’re not organized, you may end up spending your spare year just “thinking about it.”

How do you plan to spend a year off?

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How do you plan to spend a year off?

Before planning your trip, check out websites interested in studying abroad, for the latest gap year travel advice, and to view the various programs and opportunities that they offer. It’s really important to make a plan for what you’re going to do this year, regardless of the idea of ​​a gap year, and you need to start planning well in advance.

Some volunteer plans are popular and have strict deadlines, and you should consider when you need the money to pay for airfare or visas.

There are a lot of ideas you can think of, some that might fill an entire year, others a few weeks or months. You can also combine more than one idea.

There is a wide choice of gap years and volunteer plans available. If you are going to rely on an agency or organization for your planning, check how long you will be working, whether they are financially sound, and are members of a reputable organization, such as Go Overseas and Go Abroad.

Many gap year service providers offer packages starting to help you settle into your new country more easily. This includes organizing a bank account, medical insurance, accommodation, transit from the airport and even helping you find a job upon arrival.

They often provide details of all the things you’ll need to do before and after you arrive, which can be a good resource to use when planning your budget.

Get advice

It’s worth checking out forums and social media for tips and insights into other people’s experiences in the gap years you’re interested in, especially if you’re looking to travel abroad.

Think carefully about what you want to do, and seek advice if you want to talk about your ideas more.

It may be possible to defer your admission to a place on a higher education course for a year – however, you may need to submit or finalize some paperwork directly to the relevant university or college to see why this is beneficial.

And in case you have any doubts, discuss your ideas further with your parents, a teacher, or an employment counselor.

Gap year.. your way to prepare for the university stage

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