The idea of spending a year away from home is something that appeals to nearly everyone. So why is taking a gap year still considered the wildcard?
For a teenage student, the prospect of providing for yourself, miles away from home, can be daunting. But with an increasing number of gap year companies providing travel and trips abroad to suit any need, it is becoming easier to tailor a dream trip.
You can also find gap year companies that cover everything frominternships abroad to paid work and volunteering. Such companies offer ideas and inspiration to kickstart your travelling dream.
But gap years don’t have to be all about travel. You can have a beneficial year out of education and stay right where you are. Stephanie Wood wants to be a mental health nurse, but with allied health courses being some of the most exclusive and competitive around, she is taking a year off from education in order to gain an edge through work experience: “My plan is to get a job that directly relates to my course for the next few months, so I can really gain a deeper understanding of the healthcare system. Working there over a stretch of time will both give me an impression and insight into the working world of nursing – knowledge to help me through university when I choose to go.”
Choosing to take a year out can help you gain valuable experience as well as give you the opportunity to save up some funds to help you with accommodation when you get to university, living costs, food – or even just extra cash for freshers week.
Gap years aren’t for everyone. Readjusting to an academic timetable after spending time abroad can be a shock. You also need to consider the practicalities, from financing your gap year to surviving without home comforts.
If you do discover that you want to see the world but still go back into education or work in September, you’re in luck – this summer holiday is an extra long one for school leavers, so there’s still plenty of time to book your ticket.