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   Is it worth taking a year out?

Has your first choice of university missed the opportunity to take you in? Your results are not exactly what you expected? You are not sure if you made the right choice with your applications?

For one reason or another, a lot of students each year are faced with the dilemma of whether to take a year out or jump straight into higher education.  Important decisions shouldn’t be rushed and even though it might seem like a scary at first a year out can actually be very beneficial and exactly what you need.

So what can you do to make it worth it? Here are a few ideas and common practices that have proved beneficial for many.

Take some time to reflect

Self-reflection and understanding are often underrated. But how can you know what you want from life and which field of work you should go for if you don’t take the time to think about it and understand your interests and priorities well?

Having some time on your hands, free from the busy school schedule and pressures can unveil your true passions, strengths, and ambitions.

Travel

More and more people turn to travelling as a gap year option for a reason. Exploring new places and cultures, meeting new people and learning from their stories and experience can broaden your horizon and make you find out things you never thought about.

The good thing is nowadays there are plenty of affordable options for students travelling a budget.

Work experience (and extra pocket money)

A year out can be the perfect opportunity to gain some work experience in the field of work you are planning to dive into. Test the waters of the industry of your desire while getting relevant experience and (in the best case) earning some extra money.

A few valuable lines in your CV can make a huge difference and if you keep an open mind you will without a doubt learn a lot which will benefit you in the future.

Challenge yourself

It is hard to do your own projects or check things off your bucket list when you are preoccupied with school work. Having a year out is a great chance to do something valuable for yourself and complete a project you were thinking about or try something which you never had the time to investigate.

This will most likely also boost your confidence and help you improve your skills and learn something new.

 

Just don’t forget to have a structure

There is no doubt that a year out can help you grow personally (and professionally) in a tremendous way. No matter what you choose to do as long as you don’t spend the entire time taking a break (having time to relax is also important nonetheless) you can achieve a lot.

One important thing to keep in mind is to have a structure and a plan of what you want to achieve during this year out. Do you want to get relevant experience, figure yourself out, decide on a future path, finally finish the project that has been in your mind for so long?

As long as your goals are clear you can make them happen. It is easy to fall into the cycle of procrastination and distraction when you have all the time for yourself but a little self-discipline and a frequent reminder of why you made the choice to take a year out will do the trick of keeping you on the right track.

You don’t have to embark on a life-changing adventure or change the world in the span of 365 days, small things and little steps count too.

In case you are out of ideas, consider joining a volunteer programme – it unites most of the things we mentioned above and helps you do something which will have a long-term positive effect (as long as you choose an organization with a sustainable, ethical approach).

 

Taking a gap year

Combine the break with keeping yourself busy, stay active, and keep learning. The year out can give birth to unexpected opportunities, friendships, and ideas for the future so keep your eyes open and do not shut off your curiosity.

Is a gap year the right choice?

Is a gap year the right choice?

Taking a gap year before diving into higher education has many benefits for your future personal and professional development. Here are some of them.

Skills, Experience, Qualifications

Skills, Experience, Qualifications

Looking for a way to practice what you have learned and take your first steps in the humanitarian sector?
There are many ways to get hands-on experience and acquire the qualifications you need for a good start. Check our resources to get some inspiration and useful information.

What skills can I develop as a Take 10 Volunteer?

Through the different periods and elements of the programme you have the possibility to develop the following skills:

  • Written & Verbal Communication
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Leadership
  • Self-Reflection
  • Confidence
  • Public Speaking
  • Decision Making
  • Investigative Research
  • Proactive Problem Solving
  • Project Management
What kind of certifications do I get?

Can I get an internship?

It is possible. It all depends on your skills and how well they fit the needs of the organization. Also, it depends on the current need the organization has – if your skills match with their requirements and needs you can land an internship.

Follow Franzi's blog!

Franziska from Italy decided to take a year out to figure out wht she wants to study when she does go to university. Follow her journey here!

10 months structured volunteer experience

3 months:
Preparation – training, practical skills, teamwork, setting goals

6 months:
Project work – in Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique or India

1 month:
Conclusion and information activities – reflection, bringing the good message out

Taking a gap year
Taking a gap year

Has your first choice of university missed the opportunity to take you in? Your results are not exactly what you expected? You are not sure if you made the right choice with your applications?

For one reason or another, a lot of students each year are faced with the dilemma of whether to take a year out or jump straight into higher education.  Important decisions shouldn’t be rushed and even though it might seem like a scary at first a year out can actually be very beneficial and exactly what you need.

So what can you do to make it worth it? Here are a few ideas and common practices that have proved beneficial for many.

School pressure

Take some time to reflect

Self-reflection and understanding are often underrated. But how can you know what you want from life and which field of work you should go for if you don’t take the time to think about it and understand your interests and priorities well?

Having some time on your hands, free from the busy school schedule and pressures can unveil your true passions, strengths, and ambitions.

Reflecting

Travel

More and more people turn to travelling as a gap year option for a reason. Exploring new places and cultures, meeting new people and learning from their stories and experience can broaden your horizon and make you find out things you never thought about.

The good thing is nowadays there are plenty of affordable options for students travelling a budget.

Travelling

Work experience (and extra pocket money)

A year out can be the perfect opportunity to gain some work experience in the field of work you are planning to dive into. Test the waters of the industry of your desire while getting relevant experience and (in the best case) earning some extra money.

A few valuable lines in your CV can make a huge difference and if you keep an open mind you will without a doubt learn a lot which will benefit you in the future.

Work experience

Challenge yourself

It is hard to do your own projects or check things off your bucket list when you are preoccupied with school work. Having a year out is a great chance to do something valuable for yourself and complete a project you were thinking about or try something which you never had the time to investigate.

This will most likely also boost your confidence and help you improve your skills and learn something new.

 

Combine the break with keeping yourself busy, stay active, and keep learning. The year out can give birth to unexpected opportunities, friendships, and ideas for the future so keep your eyes open and do not shut off your curiosity.

Just don’t forget to have structure

There is no doubt that a year out can help you grow personally (and professionally) in a tremendous way. No matter what you choose to do as long as you don’t spend the entire time taking a break (having time to relax is also important nonetheless) you can achieve a lot.

One important thing to keep in mind is to have a structure and a plan of what you want to achieve during this year out. Do you want to get relevant experience, figure yourself out, decide on a future path, finally finish the project that has been in your mind for so long?

 

Gap Year takers

As long as your goals are clear you can make them happen. It is easy to fall into the cycle of procrastination and distraction when you have all the time for yourself but a little self-discipline and a frequent reminder of why you made the choice to take a year out will do the trick of keeping you on the right track.

You don’t have to embark on a life-changing adventure or change the world in the span of 365 days, small things and little steps count too.

In case you are out of ideas, consider joining a volunteer programme – it unites most of the things we mentioned above and helps you do something which will have a long-term positive effect (as long as you choose an organization with a sustainable, ethical approach).

 

Gap Year Takers
What kind of certifications do I get?

Can I get an internship?

It is possible. It all depends on your skills and how well they fit the needs of the organization. Also, it depends on the current need the organization has – if your skills match with their requirements and needs you can land an internship.

What does it take to become a Take 10 Volunteer?

In order to enrol in the 10 month International Development Volunteer programme, you need to meet the following requirements:

    • You are 18 years old or older.
    • You are ready to leave your home for 10 months to volunteer in a community environment 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
    • You have decided not to drink alcohol or take drugs for the entirety of the program.
    • You are eager to experience a multidisciplinary and collective training programme, which includes theoretical and practical activities.
    • You are ready to immerse yourself in a multicultural and diverse community.
    • You are ready to volunteer where you are most needed.
    • You look forward to engaging with the Humana People to People projects in a spirit of cooperation, mutual learning and respect.
    • You are committed to learn about people, cultures, values and traditions, and to share your knowledge and stories with the public after your travels.
Is a gap year the right choice?

Is a gap year the right choice?

Taking a gap year before diving into higher education has many benefits for your future personal and professional development. Here are some of them.

Skills, Experience, Qualifications

Skills, Experience, Qualifications

Looking for a way to practice what you have learned and take your first steps in the humanitarian sector?
There are many ways to get hands-on experience and acquire the qualifications you need for a good start. Check our resources to get some inspiration and useful information.

Read more articles

Is a gap year the right choice?

Taking a gap year before diving into higher education has many benefits for your future personal and professional development. Here are some of them.

Skills, Experience, Qualifications

Looking for a way to practice what you have learned and take your first steps in the humanitarian sector?
There are many ways to get hands-on experience and acquire the qualifications you need for a good start. Check our resources to get some inspiration and useful information.

Education’s Importance

It is important to recognize inclusive education and put effort into improving the situation. See what Humana People to People India is doing.

Living and working together as a team

Long-term volunteering greatly relies on community and teamwork. This boosts the individual’s communication and management skills in a beneficial way.