Gap Year: Travelling Abroad

Organising a gap year

The Benefits of Taking a Gap Year: Life-Changing Experiences

A gap year acts as a time-out—traditionally taken in between or after studies—to recharge and prepare for your next steps in life. For young Americans, taking a gap year is rapidly gaining popularity; Some schools even encourage their students to make time for self-development. One of the ways to do this is by taking a gap year. Several testimonies have demonstrated the advantages of taking a gap year, both individually and professionally. If you’re still undecided, let us convince you why you should spend a year abroad.

Top 10 Benefits of Taking a Gap Year: Time Well Spent

Exploring new countries is an especially rewarding way of spending your time off and has a lot of benefits: getting to know a different culture or learning a new language broadens your mind and endows you with valuable skills for your professional life.

Learn a new language

Although many Europeans speak English as a second language, you have a great opportunity to pick up a new language during your year abroad. Even if it’s just a few basic sentences, the locals will massively appreciate your effort. Improving your language skills broaden your cultural horizons and will be an advantage later in life.

Improve your academic performance

Taking some time off to replenish your energy and to find new motivation has a positive impact on your academic performance. Although ‘gappers’ postpone their education during the year, they’re more than able to continue their studies afterwards and be at the same level as their peers one year later. In many cases, students who have taken some time off perform better academically than their peers who went straight to college.

Prevent an academic burnout

Choosing the right career path and achieving academic success can be quite overwhelming, especially if you’re fresh out of high school. A gap year allows you to acquire skills without the pressure of grades or deadlines—potentially preventing exhaustion or even burnout.

Enhance your soft skills

In the modern job market, the importance of key soft skills should not be underestimated. Overcoming cultural misunderstandings, solving organizational problems, or simply adapting to a new environment are all skills which will benefit you in any future career.

Increase your employability

Experiences gained during a gap year can significantly spruce up your resumé. Linguistic ability, understanding different cultures, adaptability, independence, and good self-management are all benefits which help you to set yourself apart from other candidates. An internship abroad is a great asset in most career paths and volunteer work is held in great esteem in many businesses.

Practice budgeting

As a young adult, you’ve been financially dependent on your parents for most of your life. When you live on your own and take care of yourself, you will develop budgeting skills and become more aware of your finances. Taking a gap year abroad (usually with a fixed budget) will teach you how to budget daily and to make the most of your trip by keeping an eye on your spending.

Gain an understanding of different cultures

By traveling abroad, you get to immerse yourself in new cultures and see the world from a different point of view. Learning about cultural differences and adapting to the country’s traditions or cultural rules is a great skill.

Leave your comfort zone

If you’re undecided or hesitant about which path to take in life, a change of scenery can help you to decide on what you do not want or to challenge you by taking you out of your comfort zone. A gap year is not without its challenges, but every obstacle also teaches you a lesson that makes you more resilient and resourceful.

Find your purpose

Many students are under a lot of pressure to make potentially life-changing decisions. If you’re not yet sure what you want to do with your life, volunteer work or an internship abroad can help you to find your passion or develop your skills. Even if you decide to do something completely different, your time off during your gap year can help you realize many things about yourself that you may not have discovered otherwise.

Enjoy your travels

Traveling abroad and going on an adventure might be the most obvious reason to take a gap year. During your travels you have the chance to explore places you’ve never been to before, make new friends and create memories that will last a lifetime. By exploring the world and being independent, you can experience a different type of freedom and self-development beyond your expectations.

Organizing a Gap Year Step by Step

A wide range of different and amazing opportunities is waiting for you: You just need to select the adventure that matches your interests, budget, and available time. Here you’ll find a detailed guide on how to plan your gap year. To make the organization even easier, our convenient checklist summarizes the most important steps.

Traveling for Your Gap Year

If wanderlust is your main motivation for taking some time off, consider exploring Europe before starting your work or study obligations. Whether you want to explore historic town centers, visit bustling modern cities or simply enjoy nature, you’ll surely find a trip that’s just right for you.

Volunteering During Your Gap Year

If you are interested in traveling and making a difference in the world at the same time, you should consider volunteering abroad. Whether you decide to teach English, help reforestation or work with refugees – volunteering abroad will be one of the most rewarding experiences in your life. You’ll have the chance to have a meaningful impact and give something back to the local communities.

Getting an Internship Abroad

If you want to immerse yourself in a new culture while advancing your future career and enhancing your resumé, then you should combine a gap year with an internship. Interning in Europe will improve your language skills and allows you to gather much-needed work experience. Your future employer will surely recognize the positive impact of a gap year internship on your personal and professional growth.

Gap Year in Europe: Most Popular Cities in Europe

Between demanding studies and a competitive job market, more and more young Americans decide to hit the pause button for a little while. Traveling, volunteering, or interning during a gap year can give you the much-needed time to recharge your batteries and develop valuable skills. A gap year is also a great opportunity to work out what you want to do in life. Take a look at our comprehensive guide on planning a memorable gap year in Europe and start planning your adventure abroad!