You’re young, you’re void of responsibilities, and you’re enjoying studying before you finally settle down to the often daunting prospect of becoming employed. It’s safe to say that now is the perfect time to take a gap year and experience new cultures, different climates, unique gastronomy and all the other unforgettable memories traveling the world creates.
A gap year, which essentially refers to a period a student ‘takes out’ between college or university, brings a multitude of advantages to students.
If you’re thinking about taking some time away from your studies, take a look at the following top reasons every student needs to take a gap year.
Learn a New Language
Even if you’re not studying a language, spending time in a foreign country and interacting with the locals is one of the most effective ways to learn a new language.
From making you smarter to improving decision-making skills and your ability to multitask, learning another language brings several health benefits, not to mention creating more diverse employment opportunities when you finish university.
Experience New Cultures and Develop Life Skills
Traveling around the world on a gap year presents the ideal time to experience new cultures and broaden your horizon. By living amongst locals for a longer period than an average two-week holiday, you’ll get to learn how other civilizations live and become fully immersed in new cultures.
Collaborating with other cultures and speaking different languages can develop life skills, improving the way you communicate with others and your ability to adapt to different situations, skills that can be resonated in the workforce.
Another benefit of taking a gap year is that spending time in the ‘great outdoors’ and interacting with new people and new cultures, being independent and having to take on more responsibility, can prepare young people for adulthood and effectively accelerate learning.
Improve Your Job Prospects
Traveling the world on a gap year displays a number of positive personal traits to employers, such as showing independence, demonstrating that you’re a well-rounded and cultured individual and that you are confident and not afraid to stand out from the crowd.
The life-skills you will learn by traveling during a gap year can also have positive implications when you start work, such as being able to take the initiative, being a good communicator, an effective listener and having good decision-making skills.
Such qualities could have a positive impact when you graduate from university or college and start applying for jobs.
Make Life-Long Friendships
No matter where you travel to on your gap year, you’re likely to meet people and make new friends. Whether it’s with friendly locals or fellow travelers, gap year students often make the best, life-long friends when traveling during this exciting stage of their life.
With modern communication technology and social media, it’s easy to stay in contact and communicate with the friends you make in different corners of the world.
The Opportunity to Reenergize and Refocus
If you’re beginning to find your studies a tad laborious and feel you lack the energy and focus to study at your optimum, taking a gap year could be the perfect solution to reenergizing and refocusing yourself so you can do your best when it comes to your final year at college or university.
Having experienced a year of traveling and witnessing different ways of life, can leave you brimming with a refreshed sense of energy and ready to take on the challenges of university and then working life.
Time for Reflection
Being at college and university can go by in the blink of an eye and before you know it, you’ve graduated and it’s time to start applying for jobs.
Taking time out of studying to go traveling abroad can provide some important respite from the fast-paced world of university.
If you’re not completely sure about what career path you want to go down when you graduate, a gap year can be a fantastic time for contemplation and reflection. Spending time traveling and relaxing in foreign lands can give you the mental space you need to help decide what you really want to do when you finish studying.
Going to college or university can help young people become significantly more independent but there’s nothing quite like traveling to the far corners of the world and experiencing different people and cultures without the comfort of Mom and Dad being just a train journey away, to help you take complete responsibility of yourself.
Taking a gap year provides the perfect opportunity to develop independence and get to know yourself and feel comfortable with yourself outside of the comforts that you have become accustomed to.
Independence can also help nurture confidence, self-esteem and self-belief, making you rightly believe you are capable of achieving anything you want to.
How to Finance Your Gap Year?
Traveling to some wonderful, remote destinations around the world costs money and students aren’t typically renowned for having an abundance of money!
Working as you travel by taking jobs such as fruit picking and bar work can be a good way to being able to afford a gap year. As can saving up for your travels by getting a part-time job as you study.
If you need a quick cash advance for your gap year travels, taking out a loan or credit card for bad credit with no deposit through the likes of Bonsai Finance, can mean you can get your hands on money to pay for flights, accommodation, food and more when traveling abroad, even if you don’t have a particularly good credit score.
Though before you commit to borrowing money, you’ll need to be sure you can pay the loan back quickly and without putting unrealistic financial pressure on yourself.
When done correctly and with enough finances in place, taking a gap year provides an unforgettable experience that can leave you in good stead to finish your studies with greater knowledge and vitality and ultimately make you more employable.