Making big life decisions at this age is never easy. Especially when parents and teachers are telling you non stop about how critical this period of your life can be: choose a career, knuckle down, get good grades and then you’re set. Right? Sometimes it’s not that simple.
If you’re not considering university or settling into a professional job just yet, there are plenty of other options out there - education and worthwhile experiences don’t always have to take place in the classroom. Maybe it’s time you started thinking about taking a gap year and having an adventure abroad.
What is a gap year?
To put it simply, a gap year can be any experience away from formal education or full-time work. Whether you are undecided about your next move or feeling in need of a change of scenery, a gap year is an opportunity to embark on a brand new adventure overseas, grow your transferable skills, friendship base and add some stamps to your passport!
What are the benefits?
Spending time in a new country – whether travelling, working, volunteering or interning – can be the perfect way to gain a fresh perspective and weigh up the pros and cons of moving straight into a job or applying for university when you return to the UK.
Whether it’s a few months, a year or even longer, a gap year can be one of the most valuable adventures you ever choose to embark on. It gives you the opportunity to learn new skills for your future employment and discover totally new cultures, whilst having an unforgettable experience and making loads of new friends.
What can I do on a gap year?
There are plenty of paid jobs overseas if you’re wanting to explore a destination and fund your lifestyle along the way. Many destinations offer Working Holiday Visas, meaning you can earn money and travel a country for up to two years. BUNAC are a leading provider of gap year programmes, and their Work Abroad opportunities are diverse. Popular destinations include Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the USA and Japan – the latter gaining a lot more interest recently. Jobs in hospitality and administration are widely available, while in North America, roles on Summer Camp USA remain a top pick for wanderlusters - they’re a great way to earn money and experience a long-standing American tradition.
If you’re interested in exploring a new country while gaining professional experience that will directly boost your CV, an overseas internship would be a great fit for you. On BUNAC’s Intern Abroad programmes, placements are incredibly diverse and span most industries, including Law, Communications, Business, IT, Engineering and much more. They are also available in an abundance of locations, such as the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. UK employers are always looking for candidates with unique professional experience, and an internship abroad is a perfect way to set yourself apart from the crowd. Fancy earning money while you intern? BUNAC’s exciting Intern and Work Combo programmes are perfect for those wanting to gain career experience with an internship, while working a part time job to fund their overseas adventures.
There are many opportunities to make a real difference during your time abroad. Volunteering overseas offers you the chance to do highly rewarding work in countries that need your help most. BUNAC’s Volunteer programmes range from assisting in local communities to conserving wildlife and marine life. You can be sure that your help will be put to amazing use in places like Africa, Asia and South America.
Whether you’re wanting to work, intern or volunteer in some of the world’s most exciting locations, you can be sure that your time spent abroad on a gap year will be a memorable experience that will stay with you for a lifetime.
BUNAC have been sending young people on overseas adventures since 1962. For more information, you can contact BUNAC’s expert team on 0333 999 7516 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit their website for loads more information and ideas at http://www.bunac.org/loud2018.