A gap year is an invaluable phase for students who want more time to think about their future. It offers them endless opportunities to re-evaluate their goals, gain real-life experiences, and learn new skills. When you take a year off before college, you can gain independence and maturity by doing the things that match your goals and interests. Here are some ideal activities that you can do on your gap year:
1. Earn money and experience.
Your gap year is a great time to work in a field that you’re passionate about. College is a costly investment, and working on your gap year can help you earn money to support your education. Not only can you save toward a degree, but you can also build the skills related to the career path that you wish to take.
You can choose from several gap year jobs in your city or outside your country. You can work as a student assistant in New Zealand, teach English in China, or work on an Aussie ranch. Before going on your gap year, write down your career ambitions, and browse for job opportunities that align with them. Whatever job you take, make sure to leave on good terms so you’ll get a positive reference for your future educational or career ambitions.
2. Find a personally meaningful cause.
One of the awesome things to do during a gap year is to give back while you travel the world. There are massive volunteer opportunities around the globe, so there is a program for you. You can volunteer at animal conservation in Africa, help protect the habitats in the Amazon, or work with disadvantaged children in developing Asian communities.
Volunteering abroad allows you to see the world while contributing to a cause you genuinely care about. By participating in volunteer programs, you can make life long friends, create meaningful memories, and come home with an incredible experience that will boost your resume.
3. Take a language course while you travel.
If you’re planning to spend your gap year traveling abroad, remember to not just go on vacation. Make the most of your time by learning the country’s language. Learning from native speakers will give you a complete language immersion, unlike taking language courses in your home country. You’ll reap immediate rewards and put your learning to use immediately after leaving the classroom. You can order food the correct way, understand traffic signs, and even bargain in the local market.
Learning the country’s language will not only help you during your travel, but it will improve your career possibilities. Learning major international languages like Spanish or Mandarin will be a great help if you’re planning to enter the business world. Global business leaders are turning to Mandarin Chinese and Spanish speaking economies to gain a competitive edge. When you learn either of these two languages, a lot of international doors might open for you in the future.
The activities that you undertake during your gap year will help you build a well-rounded character. This is an intangible quality that can make a difference in your life in the university and beyond.