Taking a gap year

A gap year is a year taken out in between studies, usually at 18 after level 3 qualifications such as A Levels. However there are no restrictions, anyone at any age could take a gap year. What you do during your gap year is entirely personal but it could involve travelling, volunteering or working. 

gap year

Should I take a gap year?

Gap years can be beneficial for many reasons, in relation to your career and experiences; you just have to decide if it's right for you. 

Benefits of a gap year 

  • Developing your transferable skills- you will learn how to budget and plan ahead. If you are going abroad, you will gain interpersonal skills such as resilience and adaptability. 

  • Increase your confidence and independence- travelling and living alone will push you out of your comfort zone, along with new environments and people. Being able to interact with new people in an unfamiliar culture will build your confidence and self assurance. Relying on yourself financially will develop your independence.  

  • Time to think about career path and your next steps- a gap year can give you the breathing space to explore different options without devoting yourself to a job or a university course. 

  • Learn a new craft- this is a perfect opportunity to take the time to try something new, take a short course, volunteer, take up a hobby. 

  • Gain work experience- a majority of employers rank relevant work experience as one of the top things they look for when recruiting as you develop valuable skills that are sought after by employers. Work experience can also give you a taster of the working world and your career path. 

  • Opportunity to save money- university is expensive, so taking some time out to save up a bit of money to support yourself will give you an idea of being self sufficient. 

Where to look?

  • The Year Out Group has a number of options and trusted providers you can discuss your options with.

  • Prospects have a range of gap year opportunities that you can explore.

  • STA Travel has a range of travelling options and information to help you plan and decide. 

  • Gap360 is perfect for first time travellers, with a variety of options and guidance through a travel adviser. 

  • Volunteer England has a number of ways you can volunteer in the UK.

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