5 Reasons to take a Gap Year

gap year traveller in South Africa skipping with children on her gap year program

A gap year is a chance to travel to destinations you’ve never visited, meet new people and challenge yourself to learn new things. There are so many benefits of a gap year, and here we round up five great reasons to take a gap year:

To take a break from education

How long have you been in formal education? If you started aged four or five, the chances are you’ve been hard at work for 10 to 15 years. You definitely deserve a break!

Lots of people choose to take a gap year after finishing school, college or university. Some feel burned out from working so hard. Some need time away from learning to decide what to do next, and to consider their next step. For others, it is a natural break before they head to college or university or before they start work.

Wherever you are on your education journey, a gap year can give you time off to reflect and regroup.

To explore the world

Your gap year could see you volunteering in Kenya, having adventures in Australia or working in the USA. There’s an entire world out there, and a gap year is the perfect time to see more of it.

The beauty of a gap year is that you can tailor it to exactly what you want to do. Would you like to explore one country in detail, or do you want to travel across a continent? Perhaps you have several destinations you’d love to visit, or have your heart set on a round-the-world ticket.

On a gap year you can venture to villages, towns, cities and countries across the globe.

While the Covid-19 pandemic has definitely made it more challenging to plan a gap year, they are still possible. Countries’ travel restrictions and entry requirements are constantly changing, so if you are planning a gap year for the future the travel landscape could look considerably different to now.

We’ve rounded up details of travel restrictions for gap years in our blog.

To learn new skills

One of the most popular benefits of a gap year is the chance to learn new skills. You could return from your trip with a wealth of new skills, including:

  • Financial skills
  • Learning a language
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Cultural awareness
  • Communication skills
  • Increasing your confidence

To boost your CV

Alongside the skills you’ll learn, other reasons to take a gap year are to gain valuable experience and talking points to add to your CV.

A gap year can be the perfect opportunity to try some of these CV-boosting opportunities:

  • Volunteer on your gap year: You will be able to use this experience on your application form for college or university, or when applying for jobs.
  • Do an internship: You will gain valuable experience in a sector that interests you, which could help you decide if it’s the career for you. Even if it’s not the perfect fit, it will be useful experience for your CV.
  • Teach English as a foreign language: You will gain a valuable qualification and have an impressive addition on your CV. Plus, if you want to move into a teaching role it will demonstrate your ability to lead a class and plan lessons.
  • Work on your gap year: You will amass new skills and experience if you choose to work during your gap year.

To have a ridiculously good time!

You now know some gap year benefits: it’s a sensible choice, which will give you a break from education, make your CV stand out and help you learn new skills. But even better? It can be the most wonderfully amazing, brilliantly fun and gloriously exciting time of your life!

Most people go on a gap year when they haven’t got too many life commitments. Perhaps you’ve got a mobile phone contract to your name, but the chances are you haven’t committed to a marriage, mortgage or mini people. It’s the perfect time to focus on yourself, what you want to do and where you want to go.

A gap year is your chance to meet new people, explore new places and try new things. To sample dishes you’ve never heard of, lie on beaches you didn’t know existed and venture into cities you’ve only read about in books. There’s a reason people fondly look back on their gap years as the best time of their life.

We thoroughly believe that a gap year is one of the best things you can do for your CV and future career prospects. But it’s also one of the best ways to have fun! To help you get ready, check out our guide to how to plan a gap year in eight steps.