5 Incredible Gap Year Ideas That Won’t Leave You Broke
The gap year. Commonly known as the blissful year taken off between school and uni, or uni and full-time work, or more commonly now for people just looking for a change of pace.
If you’re thinking about taking the leap, you’re not alone. It has almost become a rite of passage, with over 230,000 youngsters packing up their lives and heading abroad each year.
The real problem with a gap year is that (for most) it’s the first time they’re given the space to look at what they really want out of life and their career.
What are you actually supposed to do with 365 days of absolute freedom? If you’re stumped on what to do and where to go, here are a few ideas to help you pinpoint where to go next…
You could become an Au Pair
Isn’t this how Mary Poppins landed her job? If you love kids and exploring, this very well could be the perfect option for you. The term au pair itself is a French term, which means to become a family member. You will live and work in a household with your host family minding their children and helping with light chores.
You will have heaps of free time to explore new places and learn all about the culture you’re living in so it’s a great option for those who enjoy a fair chunk of free time to themselves. Depending on where you go you may even get an education allowance to learn the language with some classes.
Your family will provide you with a room, cover your board and cook your meals so that you won’t be spending big on bills. On top of that, you'll receive a weekly stipend of pocket money and paid vacation days each year.
You could work abroad to fund Your gap year
It’s becoming THE way to see the world. More and more people jump on the working holiday trend every single day. Instead of taking a short trip, you can turn a couple of weeks of travel into an entire year. Sometimes even two!
It’s the perfect chance to take a break from whatever you’re currently doing, stick around longer and genuinely immerse yourself into new cultures, languages and a new way of life. Work along the way and make money to keep funding those unforgettable travels in between.
Whether it’s working a ski season in Canada, in the outback in Australia or in a pub in London - consider it your golden ticket to seeing some incredible parts of the world for an extended amount of time. Global offers this unique style of travelling with Working Holiday Trips to Australia, Canada, the USA and the United Kingdom with complete guidance along the way.
You could teach English as a TEFL Teacher
If you’re looking for an exciting way to challenge yourself and have the adventure of a lifetime, teaching abroad is arguably one of the most exciting ways to take your skills outside the ordinary classroom and on the road with you.
It’s generally well paid; even first-time teachers can earn a comfortable wage, typically enough to cover all bills and sometimes even save upwards of 50% of their salary after expenses. In some countries that can be $500-$1,000 a month to live well in the local culture.
You’ll complete a globally recognised TEFL course when you first arrive to add to your resume and then gain international experience in the field. If you love it, you can take your certificate and teach anywhere in the world.
Spend a year in Thailand, in Spain, even a year in South Korea if you wish. The world is your oyster! If you can’t commit a year of your time and you just want to dip your toes in, there’s always the option of teaching camps in Thailand for 4 to 8 weeks, if that’s more your style.
You could choose to intern abroad
It’s the perfect combo of business and pleasure when it comes to gap year activities. You can find yourself in the big smoke of an international city, gaining global knowledge and travelling at the same time.
The most significant benefit is being able to immerse yourself in a new culture, explore in your time off and achieve a few career goals along the way. Not to mention the skills learned and professional relationships built. Internships overseas are great resume boosters and tend to stand out in a pile of resumes!
Related: Why Do An Internship Abroad?
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Can't believe how quickly my internship has gone by. I hate cringey posts but all I'm going to say is that it's been way more than just a placement for uni. Made many memories on many adventures with friends from all over the world. Thank you and LOVE YOU ALL 💜😭 Bye @denavhl see you next year😭😭😭😭
You could volunteer abroad
It’s undoubtedly one of the most rewarding and exciting experiences you can possibly have on a gap year. It's the best way to make a lasting difference and have the time of your life while you're at it. You’ll get to see the country ‘raw’ and really get to experience and see things that the average tourist doesn’t.
Are you outdoorsy?
If you want to preserve the natural world we live in, a nature project is perfect for someone looking to dive into the academic side of conservation. Dive into Marine Conservation to protect the oceans in Spain or help farmers build walls in Namibia.
Do you want to conserve the world’s wildlife?
Maybe you’re an animal lover, looking at working with our animal friends and protecting wildlife. You can help protect sloths and other wildlife in Costa Rica or join efforts to help the stray dog population in Thailand.
Do you thrive meeting the locals and aiding community development?
Community projects are suitable for volunteers wanting to gain a more global perspective and improve their language skills. You could teach music and arts to the local kids in South Africa, or nurses-to-be can gain real-world experience in Zanzibar.
We provide our gappers with plenty of useful information before and during their trip, including pre-arrival support, orientation when you arrive and cultural activities to get you comfortable in your new surroundings. We have a local team of experts to show you the ropes and support you throughout your journey, as well as a 24/7 Global Emergency Line to help with any hiccups along the way.
If you’re excited to make your travel dreams a reality and start an incredible adventure, all you need to do is get in touch with one of our Work & Travel Experts by clicking the red button to check out all of our meaningful overseas gap year experiences.