Not sure what to do with you gap year? Here are the best gap year ideas for you. A break at some point in life could be very important as it affords an opportunity to properly think and plan for the next step.
One of such breaks could be provided by a gap year as skills, exposure and experience could be acquired before moving to another phase.
Statistics have shown that workers who take leave from work for at least 3 months in a year suffer less from chronic diseases. As a result, they live longer and produce a greater result.
According to recent studies, teenagers who acknowledge a gap year and maximize its benefits, tend to do better.
The edge their peers in the long run as they have a more practical approach to solving problems.
Table of contents
- What is a Gap Year?
- What is a Gap Year in College?
- Benefits of a Gap Year
- Best Gap Year Ideas
- 1. Travel round the World
- 2. Dive and Surf around the Coast
- 3. Fight climate change
- 4. Make Money while teaching
- 5. Virtual gap years
- 6. Animal Care
- 7. Conservation
- 8. Cultural programs
- 9. International internships
- 10. Language courses
- 11. Social care and community
- 12. Join a Sport Academy
- 13. Get a mentor
- 14. Experience another culture
- 15. Set clear goals
- 16. Take an overland tour in Africa
- 17. Study yoga
- 18. Make an impact
- 19. Join a job placement program
- FAQs – Gap Year Ideas
What is a Gap Year?
A gap year is a break taken for a year from education usually after a student’s completion of an A ‘level and before entering the university.
It affords the opportunity to take out some time and view life differently before returning to study more.
Ranging from tourism, volunteering to working for skill set, various hands on experience could be obtained within this exciting period.
In this article, we would highlight a lot of fun-filled gap year ideas that could be explored to give the ideal experience required.
While you read this, also check out: 9 Platforms To Access Summer Internships for College Students
What is a Gap Year in College?
A gap year is the time between high school graduation and the start of college during which a student works, volunteers, travels, or otherwise prepares for college.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a gap year is not usually 12 months long and can be either shorter or longer based on the needs of the student.
The fundamental purpose of a gap year, irrespective of how long it is, is to allow the student opportunity to reflect, gather life experience, and make a decision about what they want to study in college.
Benefits of a Gap Year
In order for students to join college with the correct job route in mind, gap years might assist them get some understanding of their own particular abilities and ambitions.
Additionally, it provides perspective, enabling the student to consider their objectives without the pressure of testing or writing papers. The following are some advantages of taking a gap year:
1. Improve Your Life Skills
You will acquire new life skills along with those new experiences. Learn time management skills, how to cook, how to keep a house or apartment tidy, and how to move around in your neighborhood during your gap year. You may find the college life much less intimidating if you have these life skills beneath your belt before you leave for college.
2. Explore Opportunities
Outside of school, there are many other life experiences available. You could have the flexibility to go on trips, discover your local region, or meet individuals who are outside of your safety zone. These sorts of experiences are worthwhile and beneficial in distinct ways from classroom ones.
3. Make More Money
You can work full-time hours if you take that additional year off before college. You may use the additional income you generate from this to pay for your college tuition and other costs. You can accept any as well as all hours that are available to you since you are not constrained by the requirements of a school timetable.
4. Gain Some Work Experience
It’s likely that you didn’t have much time to work while you were a high school student, at least not in a position that resembled a profession. You can acquire some job experience by taking a gap year. You may use that job experience to assess if the career route you are thinking about would be a suitable fit for your life experiences, objectives, and talents.
5. A Pause to Refresh
You’ve just completed a minimum of 12 years of education. Maybe you should take a break before getting into yet another four (or more)? This may be rather reviving as you replenish your intellectual energy. After the difficulties of high school, having a year off prior to college allows you to rejuvenate.
Best Gap Year Ideas
Here are our top picks on the top gap year ideas for you:
- Travel round the World
- Dive and Surf around the Coast
- Fight climate change
- Make Money while teaching
- Virtual gap years
- Animal Care
- Cultural programs
- International internships
- Language courses
- Social care and community
- Join a Sport Academy
- Get a mentor
- Experience another culture
- Set clear goals
- Take an overland tour in Africa
- Study yoga
- Make an impact
- Join a job placement program
1. Travel round the World
One of the most common ways to spend a gap year is to mark out a couple of places in some parts of the world to visit. It is one of the top on our list of the est gap year ideas.
It equips you with a whole different view of the world if you could see for yourself the wonders and natural endowment of some remarkable locations you might have read about in a book or told story about.
2. Dive and Surf around the Coast
Diving and Surfing can be great fun especially when done with a number of persons. It also doubles as one of the best gap year ideas you should consider.
Also, you could look for a club/team that major on these activities and join them. Better still you can find one to compete with for a prize.
Furthermore, this could also serve as a form of exercise and relaxation while you strengthen your skills on how better it could be done.
3. Fight climate change
Our ozone layer is gradually deteriorating from what it used to be. Toxic gases are steadily flying into the atmosphere to pollute it. The presence of systems that produces greenhouse gases could be the required solution.
A gap year can afford the time to do a proper research while collaborating with a few science inclined organizations. There will be no greater joy than to know you proposed a major solution that could help the world.
In summary, there are other ways to fight climate changes as well. A proper research would show what has been obtained and how various areas can be further explored.
4. Make Money while teaching
Some of the knowledge you have gotten from high school can be put to effective use during your gap year. You could join a school or tutorial center where you and take up a junior role that sooths your educational knowledge.
To clarify, you could teach other vocational or digital skills that are really sought after if you have the knowledge.
The first thing to do would be to identify teams or organizations you can collaborate with and then source for clients.
5. Virtual gap years
Going virtual is a trend that has gradually taken over the world. From creating online meetings to playing virtual games, there is no limit to the places you could reach from the comfort of your home.
A gap year app could be useful for you to create a platform for other persons whose gap year fall in similar time frame. It could also be done such that you can search for persons with like interest to partake in the virtual journey.
Following the continuous restrictions due to covid-19, you could actually sight-see various places virtually. All you need is someone who can tour their present locations and stream live.
Various forms of daily competitions can be created virtually to keep everyone entertained and educated.
6. Animal Care
A skill in animal husbandry can come in handy during the gap-year. Today, animals are found in one out of every three homes either as pets or for business and consumption.
As a result, taking care of animals for any or all of these purposes can be a very useful skill. Another area to explore would just be to learn the lifestyle of some animals of interests.
A good understanding of their behavioral patterns and how to communicate with them if possible, would be great way to care for them. If you can, this should also be one of the best gap year ideas for you.
Protecting humans, marines, animals, environment etc. is very important so as to ensure proper continuity. Conservation is the field which helps to cover all these.
Engaging your gap year acquire knowledge in this area could really awesome.
However, it is advisable to have a particular interest in a specific area so as to channel your energy and time properly.
A first step would be to seek for an expert in the field or join an organization that focuses on you field of interest.
8. Cultural programs
You could attend various cultural programs and festivals during your gap year. Make a list of these yearly activities and pick the ones that are feasible to attend. Furthermore, other areas of interest could be experienced virtually.
9. International internships
This is another way of maximizing a gap-year. You could get to sight-see a different location from your immediate environment. Most importantly, you get to scale up your skill set in a career that is of importance to you.
Also, a good research and target global organizations that provides standard working environment and program of interest.
Consequently, you can get to interact with colleagues and professionals who would build your confidence.
10. Language courses
Learning a couple of new languages could make a gap year quite fulfilling and interesting. Your target languages could be from these international languages; French, English, Arabic, Spanish, German etc.
You can find detailed courses on these languages from sites such as; edx, cousera, future learn or udemy. This is yet another one of best gap year ideas.
11. Social care and community
Depending on your willingness and patience with people, you could also direct this holiday to providing social care in communities. There is many NGO’s striving hard to reach out to more under privileged.
As a result, you can become an extra hand during the gap year by showing support and care to the targeted audience.
12. Join a Sport Academy
If you have loved and desired to pursue a career in a type of sports, the gap year would be a great time kick off. It is likely you were scared it could affect your academics and waited for a right time to awaken that interest. Ensure you make your research on a sport academy you could join during the year.
The academy should preferably be one that would still provide you with an option to continue studies after your gap year elapses.
13. Get a mentor
This could also be a period to get close to a mentor of particular interest. It affords you more time to study from them with an almost undivided attention.
You could itemize particular areas of interest you want a detailed explanation/tutoring and give it your all to grasp as much.
Another better way to easily tap from a mentor is to go volunteer to work in their organization. This gives you a better way to access and learn faster as they can easily direct you in the right path in less time.
14. Experience another culture
One of the amazing and full-filled part of a gap-year could be experiencing or learning something weird.
For instance, there are several cultures in Africa in which their ways of life and dressing appears to be unique.
Therefore, you could make a trip and do a study of one or more culture(s) whose history and concept makes you inquisitive. A visit to the land of such people could further give you a hand-on experience of the totality of their lifestyle.
Consequently, you could also make a detailed documentation as it provides you an experience of a life time.
15. Set clear goals
The period of transition from A ‘level to university is an important time in life as you get to make personal decisions on a career path to follow.
In most cases there is a lot of uncertainty at this stage. One could get really confused with which option from a list of options to choose.
An advisable way to go about this especially during your gap year would be to make a list of careers that appeals to you.
After which you should do a detailed study on each an every one of them to know more. As you go through them, you simply tick out the ones that are not so appealing to you and keep the ones you need.
In addition, you could seek an advice from a counsellor to help guide you to making a better decision.
16. Take an overland tour in Africa
Africa is one of the continents of the world with diverse tribes and cultures. There are also a lot of historic and amazing places to visit to gain amazing experiences.
For instance, you could choose to take a tour to see land forms, forests, ancient museums, etc. Alternatively, historic places you have heard or read about could be a tour destination for you.
17. Study yoga
Keeping your body flexible and good in shape could be of great importance within this period. Yoga is one of the ways to achieve this. You could even extend it to becoming a gymnast, an athlete or a yoga coach.
Consequently, several opportunities can also span out from these that you can go into even while still interested in returning to school.
18. Make an impact
To each human exists a different passion and drive. A gap year affords one the opportunity and time to seek a practical approach on things we are passionate about. One of the things that we could do is make an impact in our community or world as large.
NGO’s are one of the communities that provides support to people who might not be so privileged.
Becoming part of them affords you the opportunity to make an impact in the society as their goal is already towards that direction
Alternatively, you can work independently or with a set of close friends/colleagues to do a community-based project. It could be online or offline and impact lives meaningfully.
Before you go, see: What are Students Educational Tours? Best Places For Students To Go
19. Join a job placement program
Seeking a job in line with one’s qualification could be a huge challenge. This is one sure area to explore during a gap year.
A job placement program can help one understand how to prepare resumes, where to search for jobs and prepare for an interview.
This could be a good platform to gain experience as you get to sort out that challenge and could possibly render the services to people in need.
20. Start a business
You could also start up that wonderful business idea you have been nurturing during your gap year. In fact, you would have as much time and effort to put towards nurturing the business.
Alternatively, you could use the first three months to attend a business school, seminar or workshop for training. This would help you gain more experience and provide you with insight about the business risks before starting.
Finally, if it’s a business worth starting, you should look to stabilizing it within the period of your gap year.
It is possible you might want to return to school and you wouldn’t want the business to be stranded.
FAQs – Gap Year Ideas
What should I do during my gap year?
Travel round the World
Dive and Surf around the Coast
Fight climate change
Make Money while teaching
Virtual gap years
Social care and community
Join a Sport Academy
Get a mentor
Experience another culture
Set clear goals
Take an overland tour in Africa
Make an impact
Join a job placement program
Advantages of taking a gap year:
Improve Your Life Skills
Make More Money
Gain Some Work Experience
A Pause to Refresh
The term “gap year” sometimes refers to delaying further education after high school. Almost any other period, including after or during college or graduate school, qualifies as a break. Despite being known as a “gap year,” the duration might be either longer or less than 12 months. Other aspects of the idea of a gap year are also adaptable.
Finally, a gap year can provide a lifetime opportunity to catapulting one’s career if well maximized. The lists mentioned here are only a handful that could be explored. You could do your research to find out more. Whether you like the idea of a gap year or not doesn’t take away its advantages and endless possibilities. It is advisable to learn and gain as much experience as well as you can while young.