According to Merriam-Webster, a gap year is: “a one-year hiatus from academic studies to allow for nonacademic activities.” And what better nonacademic activity than an adventure? If you need any more convincing, we’ve narrowed it down to ten reasons why you should take a gap year abroad.
We’re going to let you in on a secret: these days employers are looking for international experience. Not only does it look great on paper, but having spent a gap year abroad also teaches you great skills which are transferable to whatever career you decide to make your own. Plus, the dreaded interview process becomes a little more bearable when you’ve got a great story at the ready.
Taking a gap year abroad is a wonderful opportunity to experience long-term travel. Oftentimes, later on, with school or work, we find ourselves a tad limited in free time. However, a gap year is the perfect chance to fully embrace travel, with a way bigger time frame than usual. When else will you have the time to go surfing in Australia, do a ski season in Japan or set out on a grand tour of Europe, using Spain, France and the UK as a base?
Some people talk of walking a mile in people’s shoes to understand them, but really, isn’t spending a year in their home a much better way to relate? Getting out of your own bubble and experiencing a different culture first-hand is as fascinating as it is eye-opening.
One word: immersion. There is no better way to learn a new language than by fully surrounding yourself with it. If you kick-start your Japanese gap year with language lessons in Tokyo, Kyoto or Fukuoka in the fall, you’ll get plenty of practice time while you work in a ski resort in the winter. Stick around for the cherry blossoms in the spring and enjoy Okinawa in the summer. Bonus: if you make it back to our first reason why you should take a gap year abroad: an extra language always looks great on a resume.
A gap year can be as rewarding for you as it is for others. You can gain valuable work and personal experience while landing a helping hand and making a meaningful impact on the world. Picture this: you find yourself in the small community of Nosara in Costa Rica on your gap year. You enjoy gorgeous beaches, take up surfing… and help the community. Whether it’s adorable baby turtle conversation, reforestation, ecological monitoring or environmental protection – you’ll be happy you combined your gap year with an internship that does some good.
Alright, this one may be a bit of a cheat and a repeat of our second reason on why you should take a gap year abroad – but hear us out! Travelling the world on a gap year is amazing, but travelling the world and coming back home with a bit of extra cash? Even better.
Combining a gap year with a working holiday makes it all possible. Spend a few months working at a camp in the UK – where your food and housing are provided on top of your wages – then visit France, Italy, and Portugal and hop on over to Spain to do a little more work, refill the vaults, and eat plenty of tapas!
Stepping out of your comfort zone forces you to develop new and useful skills which you’ll be thankful for years down the line. “Where did you learn to do this?” “Oh, it was that one time, in New Zealand during my gap year…”
It’s crazy how someone you’ve just met in a hostel in Australia can instantly feel like your best friend. That’s the beauty of a gap year abroad! Different backgrounds, cultures, and languages can all blend together when you’re sharing an experience as life-changing as this. Getting different perspectives will set you up for success, every time.
There’s no better way to find out what you like than by trying new things. Figuring out careers and all that stuff is intense. Whether you are finishing high school, starting college or are already enrolled in higher education and want to spend a gap semester abroad, experiencing something different from your routine might just help you figure out the next steps.
As cheesy as it may be, go out there, explore the world and make some memories!
Interested in taking a gap year program? Get in touch to learn more about our Working Holiday Programs and plan the gap year experience of a lifetime!
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“They helped me get my resume out to Japanese companies they are partnered with and I was able to get interviews and a job from there! If you’re looking into working abroad, definitely get in contact.”
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