Author Paul Moore has been writing for as long as he can remember, on different topics, but recently he’s been focusing his attention on writing about his main passion – Travel. He also writes reviews for blogs.
For students in Australia, Europe and now in the United States of America Gap Years are becoming a favored option. Gap Years can be used in a number of ways. Some choose to use this time to gain valuable work experience, some want to relax and prepare to head to college, others want to see as much of the world as they can in the time that they have off.
There are many possibilities to customize the Gap experience to your own unique interests, wants and needs. Taking time to do something worthwhile with you Gap time, and at the same time gaining your independence, will help improve your future employment prospects; and hopefully enthuse you with a thirst for knowledge and greater maturity for your onward studies. The only limit when it comes to planning your experience is your imagination; well perhaps budget too. Here are a number of suggestions you can consider.
- Get your own internship abroad.
Combine work in a chosen field with your travel plans. Unsurprisingly, there are many opportunities to work for free; gaining training in return for living costs or accommodation- something you can organize yourself.
For example, if you are an aqua person you could offer to work in dive shops in luxury resorts, exchanging your services for accommodation and dives. If you are interested working in the media or business, you can apply directly to firms and see what they have to offer.
You could try going through a company if you are worried about arranging a job directly. You may be charged for the service, but they will do the legwork for you.
There really are a lot of internship opportunities. Searching Google online, through LinkedIn, and by networking with friends and academic institutions you will find a world of possibilities.
- Train in a foreign language
Learning a foreign language can be a massive asset to your career, and there can be no better way to do it than immersing oneself completely in the language and culture. Head to China and learn Chinese or to France to learn French.
You could also do a TOEFL and go for an adventure where you inspire and educate others. This is the most highly regarded and widely accepted test of your English teaching skills. It can be really rewarding to see the joy of your children, and adults, learning English from a native speaker!
- Train how to do something new
Just because you are not heading directly tocollege does not mean that you cannot take classes. Whichever destination you choose to spend your Gap Year at, take classes in cooking, dance, art or anything that interests, and ideally applicable to your future career. You could even do a project management, Yoga, Excel nutrition, or psychology course online; Groupon offer incredible discounts and you can do the courses in your own time online.
- Take up a new sport and practice it like crazy
Have you always yearned to be a golfer?
If you are into sailing, and want to work in the business in the future, you could look for marine jobs by onboadonline.com. They offer a wide range of job opportunities. Fun, learning, money and sun!
Your Gap Year gives you all the time you need to learn and build these skills. Your new sport might even help you in your future career if you will rely on networking. Think golf and business!
- Make as much money as you can
Working may not sound that much fun, but it may turn out to be the most rewarding thing to do; especially if you do something you love, like through the sail job site above. If you have time to spare before going back to college use it to build valuable skills that will add value to your CV. The experiences can provide you an upper hand over other job seekers because prospective employers will see that you have gone the extra mile to learn new skills and broaden your horizons.
College is an expensive time, and the more money you can stack way in your account the better. Picking fruit in Australia pays well. Telesales jobs can line your pockets. If your goal is to earn as much as you can then you need to decide whether you can travel and earn, or whether you need to live with mom and dad. It may be that you split your Gap Year.
- Explore the ancient culture ruins
Among the most formidable experiences you can ever have is seeing the ruins left behind by ancient cultures. Take a flight to Greece, South East Asia, China, Egypt and any other of the dozens of history-filled countries for an inspiring and educational experience. Such experiences can transform and enlighten you for the rest of your life.
- Make those lifelong dreams a reality
You may only get one chance in your life to have the freedom you have now. What do you want to do with the opportunity? A bungee jump? See the Seven Wonders of the World? A parachute jump?Whatever your dreams are, go for them.
- Volunteer yourself for community projects
Offer to fetch water in the villages, build homes, visit orphanages, teach at schools or participate in any other of the amazing community projects in Africa, or anywhere else. A trip to see the world will provide you with the chance of touching other people’s hearts, especially the less privileged of this world.
A good place to start your research is the AGA Members page. On this page there are organizations that adhere to the highest standards in Gap Year education. Take a look at the different options and pick out points that you like from each. That way you can start building your plan!
A Gap Year can help you in so many ways. You will be challenged to improve your problem-solving, independent thinking, forward-planning, communication and of course budgeting skills. The experience can be so much more though. It can be transforming, inspiring and ultimately life changing.