Why take a gap year?


What does it mean to have a gap year?

backpacker_2487649bA gap year comes under many guises – backpacking, a career gap, a short gap year, travelling, time out, a sabbatical – but they all mean the same thing. A gap year is constructive time out to travel in-between life stages. It usually means travelling, volunteering or working abroad. Often it means all three!


I came across this quote while doing some reading on Gap Years (GY). I cannot count the number of times I’ve sat down with a high school or a bachelor degree student and come eye to eye with someone who is an absolute standout candidate for a GY. That sometimes also coincides with a look of horror on the face of their parent(s). The latter are probably picturing a son or daughter sprawled on the couch with a magazine or hunched over an X-box all day long.

So why take a gap year?

Go traveling. Get some work experience. Do some volunteering.

tourism2So why take a gap year? Let’s face it, we are barely out of nappies and we are in a classroom – and that goes all the way through until we finish high school. We barely get an opportunity to draw breath or do anything other than study. Don’t get me wrong, study is important, but you can learn many things outside the classroom also.


Most people approach a gap year as an opportunity to get some work experience, travel and to reflect on what they want to do and where they want to go with their life. It is an opportunity to grow up a little, become independent, learn some generic life skills, meet new people and visit new places. It is also a time to draw a line under being a kids at school and being an adult at university or college.


If you get to the end of school and don’t know what you want to do – then think about taking a gap year. It might just be the best decision you make.


Here are a couple of great sites where you can out all you need before taking a gap year