Are you wondering what the best way to spend your gap year is? There are so many possibilities it can be more than a little confusing. After all, until now, you have probably followed the traditional path through school and college, and this is your first opportunity to make your mark on the world and develop your own inspiration. While a gap year program is an exciting adventure, it can also be a little frightening, but rest assured, chose the best gap year program for you and you will return as a more fulfilled person with a much-improved CV.
The best place to start is by exploring your own ambitions. What is the most exciting idea you can’t get out of your head? Do you have a burning desire to visit a specific part of the world? Do you intend to volunteer? What really inspires you? Let’s explore just some of the fantastic opportunities a gap year can offer.
Planning your gap year requires some careful thought. We encourage you to take a gap year quiz which will help with many of the crucial decisions. For instance, some of the questions you need to answer, include:
Remember, although we are calling it a gap year, your gap year experience doesn’t necessarily have to take a full year.
Perhaps you only have a few months of free time. Neither must you decide on a single gap year experience. You can mix and match several similar or very different experiences. You can consider back to back gap year programs or take a break, for instance, to earn some money to finance your next gap year experience.
What do you want to do?
While gap years are likely to involve travel, they are not always exclusively about travel. There are many kinds of gap year experiences to explore and many ways to spend your gap year, for instance:
A massive benefit of a gap year is exploring far-away places. There are some fantastic gap year destinations to visit. According to the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), some of the most popular gap year destinations in 2019 were:
Every one of these destinations is a massive draw for gap year students and you will find a wide range of exciting gap year programs for each one. But these are just some examples; it is impossible to list them all. Take our gap year quiz to home in on the most suitable destinations to spend your gap year.
Traditionally, people tend to take a gap year after finishing their A levels and before starting university, but it is becoming popular to take a gap year after finishing university. Both have their pros and cons. However, if you are uncertain what to study at university, taking a gap year can help you decide. In fact, 60% of people taking a gap year stated that doing so helped them with their decision. While some people worry that taking a gap year early will compromise their education, 90% of gap year students go on to university after they return, and 66% of university students said taking a gap year made them take their academic work more seriously.
If you are thinking of taking a gap year before university, then that shouldn’t stop you from applying for university. You simply apply for a deferred entry, which means that you are considered for the following year, or you can ask for a deferment after you have received an offer. Around 7% of UCAS applicants defer their entry to university. However, deferments aren’t always granted so its best to enquire first.
Volunteer in Guatemala; scuba dive in Madagascar; explore the cloud forest in Costa Rica; help create a rhino park in Namibia; enjoy the incredible flora and fauna in South Africa; have a fantastic adventure in Australia; trek thousands of miles in India and Nepal; these are just some of the amazing experiences to enjoy on your gap year.
Are you ready to take the plunge? We hope these ideas will have at least whetted your appetite for a life-enhancing gap year experience.