If you have put university on hold for a bit and are looking for some gap year ideas, Send My Bag is here to help. We know that putting off your university career for a whole year is not a decision taken lightly, so we want to make sure you fill your gap year with activities that will benefit you and your CV. Choosing one or all of the following gap year ideas should keep you on the right track.
If you decide to work or volunteer abroad, or just go travelling, your move doesn’t have to be a big ordeal, as you can just pop the things you need into a suitcase and have it picked up by Send My Bag and delivered to your destination. That way you can hop onto public transport without trying to cram your luggage on there too.
Gap Year Ideas
Get a job nearby
You don’t have to do anything too adventurous to do something worthwhile. There is no reason why you can’t find employment around the corner that will enrich your CV and teach you a wealth of skills. Plus, it will be great to save up some cash to help make university costs more manageable. Don’t just settle for any job, though. Make sure it is relevant to the career you intend to go into, or at least that it will provide you with skills you will also need for your future career.
Why not increase the benefits of working during your gap year by finding a job abroad? That way you can gain work experience while also learning to adapt to a new culture and location. Opening up your job search to the rest of the world also means that you are more likely to secure a position that is relevant to your career choice. Alternatively, you could use employment abroad as an opportunity to improve your language skills. Jobs to consider include being an au pair, working as a tour guide or teaching your native language.
If you want to see the world, a gap year is a great time to do it, before university and a career ties you down. This is why it is one of the most popular gap year ideas. You could do the traditional backpacking tour, which means you get to keep costs as low as possible, or you could use home as a base and fly out from there to some of the places you would most like to visit. You could combine this with temporary employment back home in order to fund each trip.
If you are going to travel during your gap year, why not spend some of that time doing some voluntary work, whether helping poverty-stricken communities become self-sufficient, or helping in the relief effort following a natural disaster. You will be helping people in desperate need and will be able to demonstrate your compassion and adaptability to future employers.
Volunteer at home
Volunteering is a popular idea for a gap year, but it doesn’t have to be all about feeding elephants in India or digging wells in Africa. You can also do an enormous amount of good helping out charities that are local to where you live. Choose a cause that has significance for you, whether it’s an animal sanctuary, a cancer charity or a hospice. You will get to meet lots of lovely fellow volunteers and, more importantly, make a difference in your community.
Look after a family member
It is often said that charity starts at home. Taking a gap year could be an opportunity for you to help look after a vulnerable family member and give their permanent carer some respite. It is also an opportunity to spend valuable time with someone while you still have the chance.
Gain additional qualifications
Why not put yourself ahead of other university students by acquiring additional qualifications that they will not have had the chance to even think about. You could attend your local vocational college or enrol at the Open University for a part-time course and fit your study around a job or volunteer work. Or, you could look into studying abroad and that way combine travel and language learning with additional study.
Do an internship
While other university students will be thinking about internships after a year or two of study, you have the chance to see what is available in your field for someone who hasn’t yet completed any university study. It’s a great way to see in action the kind of career you might go into and, if it’s not to your liking, you can always consider reapplying for a different university course.
Start a business
If you have been mulling over a business idea for a while, a gap year is a chance to put that idea into action. If it works out for you, you could keep it ticking over while at university, or if it goes really well, you could reconsider university altogether.
Have a rest
You have been a student for fourteen years already, so it’s OK to want to take a break during your gap year in order to refuel for university. While we wouldn’t recommend becoming a couch potato, you can benefit from the lack of pressure a gap year brings and the freedom to take a break from your activities when you need it.
As well as gap year ideas we have a whole host of travel tips available, such as ‘Top Tips for a Year Abroad’ and our ‘Study Abroad Packing List’.
Starting university is undoubtedly one of the most exciting times in your life, as you move away from home and begin a more independent life as a young adult. You’re probably dreaming about all the fun you‘re going to have during Fresher’s week and all the new friends you will make. But don’t spend too much time with your head in the clouds as there are lots of things you need to get sorted before starting university. Follow Send My Bag’s checklist for starting university to make sure you don’t miss anything out.