If you have just finished school and are not sure what you want to do with the rest of your life than taking a year off is a great way to figure things out. There are so many different things that you can try and so many great ways to learn more about yourself. If you have the money saved you can travel to interesting destinations or you can find a job in a foreign country and work and travel at the same time. Here are 5 life-changing ways to spend your gap year.
Volunteering and Making A Difference
Volunteering is a great way to spend a gap year and there are plenty of opportunities in your local area and around the world that you can take advantage of. You can work with wild animals in developing countries, work in animal shelters in your own neighborhood, become a mentor for a child, or even work in orphanages in poverty-stricken areas. There are so many different opportunities to volunteer throughout the world. Some of them may cost you some money to make sure that you do all of your research ahead of time so you are aware of the costs involved.
Working abroad is a great way to learn about new cultures. There are so many different places where you can work. If you like children, you can choose to work as a nanny or au pair. This will allow you to live with a family and not have to worry about finding accommodation or cooking on your own. There are plenty of websites that will enable you to find a job in another country so that you can be all set up when you get there; the Silver Swan Recruitment site is particularly good. You are expected to look after the children during your work hours, but you will be given days off so that you can explore the surrounding area and spend time on your own.
There are many people from different areas of the world that are looking for people to teach English. There are various jobs available in different areas that require different levels of expertise. Many programs require that you have a university degree or certificates for TESL programs, but there are opportunities available that also need little or no education. You can teach English in Asia in places like Japan, China, or Korea. You can even teach English for just a few days in Poland at Angloville. Head to the Middle East, and you can teach in Dubai, Egypt, Jordan, or Kuwait. There are also plenty of opportunities in Africa and South America. Teaching English is a great way to work on improving your communication skills, and it is a great way to spend your gap year.
Europe is a fascinating continent, and there are so many things to do and see. You can find inexpensive hostels to stay in and travel around the fascinating countries with only a backpack on your back. Head to London and explore this great capital city of the UK before going for a lazy cruise down a canal that will take you past stunning natural scenery.
Take a trip to Berlin and explore the capital Germany’s capital which used to be split into two areas divided by a wall. You can hike along the trail by the wall and see pieces of it, monuments to people who lost their lives, and see where the guards used to sit. If you are interested in seeing other tourist attractions in Berlin you could get the Berlin Pass; you can find out more about the pass here. There are lots of fascinating museums in Berlin, and also many fun places to visit such as the Berlin Dungeon and Madame Tussauds.
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Travel the World by Sea
Traveling the world by sea is a great way to view the world in a completely different way than you are used to. You can find plenty of different jobs on private yachts and cruise ships. There are many different jobs available, and you can do everything from basic housework to working as a doctor if you have the credentials. Living at sea is a great way to explore the world, meet new people, and learn more about what you like and don’t want. Here are some amazing islands around the world you can include on your bucket list.
Check out our guide here with some practical advice for students who dream of traveling.