Why the Gap Year is MORE Popular than Ever!

A gap year out is not an extended holiday, nor is it an opportunity to live at home rent free for a year. A gap year is constructive time out! It presents an invaluable opportunity to try out different routes in life and get several steps ahead down the one that seems right for you.

It is safe to say the gap year is increasing with popularity as It has been reported that more than 100,000 teenagers (and rising) embark on a year out between school and university! Perhaps this increase in popularity is down to the fact that numerous personal ambitions can be fulfilled before ‘real life’ kicks in. Whether that is nursing endangered pandas in China, scuba diving in Belize, saving tigers in South Africa or surfing the waves in Brazil there is a gap year opportunity that lets you do it.

Work with Pandas in China
Work with Pandas in China

Reasons to take a gap year abroad are:

  • Students are thought to come into university with a much broader vision and more mature attitude towards learning.
  • A gap year teaches you to become more disciplined and self-motivated.
  • Individuals are likely to become more ‘marketable’ to universities and employers.
  • Earn money as you travel!
  • Explore the world or fulfil a personal ambition.
  • Individuals become more confident when assessing risks and solving problems.
  • Communication skills are greatly enhanced
  • An opportunity to give something back to those suffering around the world.
  • Possibly most beneficial of all, it teaches you to look after yourself and survive without your mother’s cooking!

Now you know the many merits undertaking a gap year holds, where do you start? Perhaps the best place to start is researching into the numerous companies that offer the desired gap year programme for you. For example, if you were interested in working in the sport industry abroad, Changing Worlds would be an ideal organisation to use. They organises placements for those keen to use their sport skills abroad. In San Jose you can manage a football team made up of kids from the shanty towns, leading them through leagues and tournaments, and learning Spanish as you go.

Coach Football in Ghana
Coach Football in Ghana

Or alternatively, you can coach a hockey team of township children in South Africa,

Hockey Coaching Project, South Africa
Hockey Coaching Project, South Africa

or teach junior art classes in Ghana.

Teach Children Art and Craft, Africa
Teach Children Art and Craft, Africa

Of course there are many independent organizations who offer a variety of other programmes but what you must be sure of is the programme you finally choose is right for you. If you do the right research and follow the correct steps, more likely than not, your gap year will be the best experience of your life and the variety of personal experiences obtained will far outweigh any of that gained at university or employment.

If you have enjoyed what you have read, or want to take part in any of Changing World’s projects, then check out our ‘Search Our World’ section for inspiration.

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