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Top 4 ideas on how to make the most out of a Gap year
Written by
Nina Simons
December 2019
Written by
Nina Simons
December 2019

A gap year can easily be one of the best years of your life. It's the year when you are free to explore your options, see the world, look at what's beyond the familiar horizon.

If want to make sure your gap year is used in the best possible way, consider one of the following ideas because they are sure to enrich your life.

Volunteering - help others, thus helping yourself

Volunteering is a wonderful way to give your time to somebody. In this case, you are giving it to someone who truly needs it. Volunteering will also give you a clearer idea of what you want to do with your life and career. Meeting face-to-face with people who are less fortunate than you and helping them or simply making a difference in a community is a feeling that can't be compared to anything else.

Volunteering will help you connect with things you care about and learn about yourself, too. Many volunteering actions can be done abroad, so don't be afraid to apply. You will learn how to communicate with people who don't speak your language or share your culture or values.

What's more, you will develop important skills that will, later on, will be very useful and attractive to your future employers. A volunteer abroad program will take you out of your comfort zone and give you the chance to meet many other young people who are in the same situation as you.

Just as one of the options, you can apply to a volunteering program in Ghana. Over there, volunteers work with local initiatives whose role is to empower women. You will feel you are really making a difference in these women's lives.

teaching gap year

Teaching others while learning

In case you wish to become an educator one day, no better way to spend your gap year than teaching in a foreign country. You will see how it is really like to share your knowledge with others, develop your leadership skills and spread positive influence onto your students. You will also learn how to effectively communicate with people who don't speak your language. Not to mention that you will gain confidence, master skill slike conflict resolution, punctuality, and resilience.

In other words, you will simultaneously be teaching others and learning a lot about yourself and the skill necessary for being a good educator. If you choose to teach in a faraway country, you will get the chance to see the local sights and explore the country in your free time. Another chance for educating yourself!

Exploring and helping our wonderful planet

Your gap year is a wonderful opportunity to get to know your planet, to see unique and amazing landscapes, explore vivid wildlife of other continents and to help some endangered species in the process.

This is the time when you have to try and travel as much as you can - countries, landscapes, animals, and plants of the world are within your reach if you are brave enough to explore the unknown.

There are various locations all over the world seeking volunteers to help the local wildlife or a certain species. For example, Involvement Volunteers International is an organization that offers the opportunity to be involved in turtle conservation in Bali. Not only will you get to see stunning Indonesia but you will take part in helping these lovely creatures survive.


Discover international waters on a ship

Why wouldn't you be a modern-day sailor? There are no pirates anymore but it doesn't mean you can's face some challenges while sailing and exploring the seas. It's a sure way to know you will never stay in the same place for too long. If you feel connected to the sea, your gap year is your chance to enjoy it fully.

You can become a member of a yacht team, meaning you will be able to work on various sail and power vessels and earn some money in the process. Big, luxurious ships traveling across the ocean or exploring the Mediterranean can take a couple of months before your work is done. You will probably be expected to take some form of a course before you are allowed to go on board as a member of the staff. Luckily, there is a wide variety of jobs that you can do on a cruiser. In the meantime, you'll meet many interesting people of different nationalities and learn how to deal with work and personal challenges. In short, you will grow as a person.

Final words

A gap year is a chance of a lifetime. It is your time to shine, in any way you want. Don't rush yourself with the decision and be sure to explore all of your options. The world is big and the opportunities are almost endless. Don't afraid to plunge into the unknown and become a better version of yourself after it.


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