For some, a gap year may sound like you’re taking a break. For me, taking a gap year means giving yourself time to learn all those things university, internships and more cannot teach you. I finished High School this year and am currently taking a gap year to learn a new language and to do volunteer work – but this is by far not the only time in life when a gap year may be what you need!
#1 Right after High School. At this point, you have probably not yet started your career and you may not even be sure yet what kind of career you want to pursue. Right after High School is a great time to find out more about yourself and make new experiences. After you’ve been attending school for so long, it’s nice to change your environment to a place less strict and less formal. Also, it’s a great time to commit yourself to volunteer work and while you’re young, it’s also easier to for example learn a new language by spending a year abroad.
#2 In the middle of university. Whether you take a semester off only to travel or you go abroad for a semester to work as an intern – there are lots of possibilities to take a gap year (or half a gap year) while studying. Many universities offer the opportunity to take a break and go back to your studies right afterwards. Also, most universities have offices dedicated to informing you about possible opportunities.
‘This may be the right time to do some less formal learning.’
#3 Between two degrees. If you’ve just obtained your first degree and are now moving on to your masters, this may also be a great time to take a break from your studies – in this case even without having to ask your university if you will be allowed to continues afterwards, because you will have to apply again one way or another. Especially if you’re unsure if you want to keep studying, what you want to study or if you’re lacking motivation after a tough period of learning, this may be the right time to do some less formal learning.
#4 After university. At the moment, I’m living with a girl who just graduated from university and is now taking a gap year. On the one hand, she’s learning a new language, but on the other, she’s also allowing herself to think about in what field she wants to work later and what she wants to do with the degree she has obtained. A gap year which includes travelling, learning new languages or doing volunteer work (or all three of those) can be a great option to get a taste of what you want from life.
‘A gap year can also be possible after your first job or after a period of internships.’
#5 After you first job or after a period of internships. I strongly believe that there are things that no school, university, internship or work experience can teach you. If you’ve started working and you realize that you will be in need to learn a new language in order to achieve your goals, a gap year can also be possible after your first job or after a period of internships.
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Featured Photo: Becky Bunz