A gap year, whether at home in the UK or abroad, can be a great way to broaden and develop your skills and experience whilst at the same time giving you a break from full time education and giving you time to think about your future plans.
You can take a gap year before university, during your degree course or after completing university. You can travel, work or volunteer but whatever you choose to do it’s important to carefully weigh up the pro’s and cons.
* helps to improve your CV / personal statement
* you’ll be able to develop your skills and learn new ones such as organisation, communication, team work and working on your own initiative
* real work experience helps with career ideas and inspiration
* gives you new insights about yourself
* helps you to mature and become more independent
* you’ll learn how to budget!
* opportunity to meet people from different cultures
* make new friends
* the cost – can be expensive and may add to your student debt
* finding a gap organisation that you’re happy with and that gives you value for money
* if you don’t plan carefully you may end up a long way from home, doing something you don’t enjoy and struggling to communicate with people
* focussing too much on fun and relaxation, this may be frowned upon by universities and employers
* not all universities are keen on people taking a gap year – check with the ones you want to apply to just in case.