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 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, you might be faced with the option of taking a year out after applying for higher education. Even though it might seem like a scary thing at first it can actually be very beneficial and exactly what you need.

There are a lot of things you can do to make this year worth it.

Take some time to reflect

Having some time on your hands can be helpful for self-reflection and understanding. While you are busy with your everyday life – school, assignments, or job it can be quite hard to find the time to look deep into yourself and discover your true nature, passion, and desires. Use the time to find your strengths and weaknesses, as well as what you really want to do next.

Travelling

Travelling is never a bad choice. Exploring new places, cultures, and people, broadening your horizon, boosting up your confidence the benefits are endless. The options for traveling range from short to long term adventures and there are plenty of affordable options to consider.

Get some work experience (and earn some money)

A year out is the perfect opportunity to gain an advantage and get some work experience in the field of your desire. Organizations and small businesses are often looking for volunteers or part-timers who can contribute to the work process. You win valuable experience for your CV and if you are lucky some extra pocket money.

Challenge yourself

Taking a break from your busy lifestyle can be exactly what you need but we all know the dangers of entering a long lethargic period.
Using your year out to do something of value by challenging yourself to complete a project of some sort would probably be better for you. Not only does it have the potential to contribute to a worthy cause, it will also make you feel good.

Completing a challenge you have set for yourself, big or small,  will boost your confidence and you will not feel like you wasted the time you had. There are plenty of long and short term volunteering projects you could join which could provide suitable challenges for you.

Grow as a person

Understanding yourself comes hand in hand with growing as a person. Taking a year out if the perfect time to focus on your personal growth and improvement without being distracted by your typical everyday tasks or the burden of school work.

Taking a year out is a great opportunity to take a break from the busy lifestyle, find some time for yourself, and relax. However, it’s a good idea to be careful and not overdo it. A year out also gives you a great opportunity to do things which you otherwise do not have time for while growing personally and professionally.   Read books for pleasure and enlightment, take time to learn that language you have studied but never mastered, spend time with your grandma and learn the secrets of her cooking or simply decide to put your phone in a drawer for a month (yes, seriosuly!) and watch and listen to life around you with a pencil and notebook instead.

The importance of structure

We often tend to underestimate the importance of structure. Being free from the obligations of schools and jobs where other people tell you what to – and when to do it – while taking a year off, is tantalising.  Having all the freedom and power to handle your time can be truly awesome. However, it can also present some challenges.

Faced with all the time for ourselves it is easy to enter a loop of not being completely sure what to do next and what to focus on. Too many days sleeping in, our slouched on the couch and not getting anything of substance done isn’t satysifying in he long run.

Therefore, it is important to spend some time coming up with (at least) a rough outline of a plan of what you want to focus on and what you want to achieve. This will give you better control over your time and a way to evaluate if you are accomplishing what you wanted to. 

Getting a part-time job or comitting to volunteer work or making other appointsment with people that you cannot let down, will provide some fix points in your life that will help you feel better about yourself.

It does not have to be something huge

Your year out does not necessarily have to be filled with grand adventures and unrivaled accomplishments. Come to think of it, even something small (on first glance) like spending the day helping your grandparents in the garden can teach you a lot, make you feel happier, and help you grow in some way. Everything we do – big or small – can teach us something if we pay attention.

Different personalities and circumstances call for a different year out experiences. If you cannot afford to take a traveling year out it does not mean your year will be wasted or less beneficial. Even getting a minimum wage job as a dishwasher or a cleaner you can take a lot out of it. One thing you will learn for sure is how to cope with the situation, you will get experience, and without a doubt get something useful from the process (also, you will have plenty of time to think and reflect on the next steps of your journey).

There are people who find out what they want to do with their life and get the necessary motivation to work towards it only after spending some time doing something mundane and repetitive (exactly like dishwashing) for a while. Anything helps you grow – from the people you meet to the jobs you have to do. Do not underestimate the power of circumstances.

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.

Why volunteering abroad could be a good option

Volunteering abroad is also worth considering for filling a free year by challenging yourself, growing as a person, and exploring new things.

It unites most of the points we have mentioned while providing you with a worthwhile time and plenty of experience (especially if you are planning to go into the humanitarian field of work or similar).

Dedicating your year out to traveling, meeting new people, exploring cultures, and growing is not at all a bad idea.  Chances are you will be better prepared for university after the experience and you will have gained important experience which will help you in the future.

People who go volunteering usually expect to gain something for themselves in the process. And they do – a volunteering year out provides people with independence and enhanced life experience, building confidence and new skills, improving communication and organization. But it’s not all about what you gain – immersing into a new culture and supporting a worthy cause is an unmatched feeling.

A structured gap year can be just what you need.

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.

Read more…

Take The Leap

Take The Leap

When we are not happy with our current situation change becomes a necessity. Fighting the initial fear and discomfort of it leads to growth and progress.

Searching for something useful

Searching for something useful

After finishing her degree, Corinne searched for something where she could travel, experience different cultures, grow as a person and do something useful at the same time.

An Action Packed Gap Year

An Action Packed Gap Year

Being at loss with what to do with your life can obviously bring a lot of frustrations. A break from studies can be good. A structured gap year to study, travel and volunteer could be even better

Volunteering & your career

Volunteering & your career

Volunteering abroad allows you to travel, broaden your horizons and experience cultures & places that are completely different from your own. Experiences that will make you reflect on your life

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

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 Year Out

A structured gap year can be just what you need.

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, you might be faced with the option of taking a year out after applying for higher education. Even though it might seem like a scary thing at first it can actually be very beneficial and exactly what you need.

There are a lot of things you can do to make this year worth it.

A structured gap year can be just what you need.

Take some time to reflect

Having some time on your hands can be helpful for self-reflection and understanding. While you are busy with your everyday life – school, assignments, or job it can be quite hard to find the time to look deep into yourself and discover your true nature, passion, and desires. Use the time to find your strengths and weaknesses, as well as what you really want to do next.

A structured gap year can be just what you need.

Travelling

Travelling is never a bad choice. Exploring new places, cultures, and people, broadening your horizon, boosting up your confidence the benefits are endless. The options for traveling range from short to long term adventures and there are plenty of affordable options to consider.

A structured gap year can be just what you need.

Get some work experience (and earn some money)

A year out is the perfect opportunity to gain an advantage and get some work experience in the field of your desire. Organizations and small businesses are often looking for volunteers or part-timers who can contribute to the work process. You win valuable experience for your CV and if you are lucky some extra pocket money.

A structured gap year can be just what you need.

Challenge yourself

Taking a break from your busy lifestyle can be exactly what you need but we all know the dangers of entering a long lethargic period.
Using your year out to do something of value by challenging yourself to complete a project of some sort would probably be better for you. Not only does it have the potential to contribute to a worthy cause, it will also make you feel good.

Completing a challenge you have set for yourself, big or small,  will boost your confidence and you will not feel like you wasted the time you had. There are plenty of long and short term volunteering projects you could join which could provide suitable challenges for you.

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.

Grow as a person

Understanding yourself comes hand in hand with growing as a person. Taking a year out if the perfect time to focus on your personal growth and improvement without being distracted by your typical everyday tasks or the burden of school work.

Taking a year out is a great opportunity to take a break from the busy lifestyle, find some time for yourself, and relax. However, it’s a good idea to be careful and not overdo it. A year out also gives you a great opportunity to do things which you otherwise do not have time for while growing personally and professionally.   Read books for pleasure and enlightment, take time to learn that language you have studied but never mastered, spend time with your grandma and learn the secrets of her cooking or simply decide to put your phone in a drawer for a month (yes, seriosuly!) and watch and listen to life around you with a pencil and notebook instead.

A structured gap year can be just what you need.

The importance of structure

We often tend to underestimate the importance of structure. Being free from the obligations of schools and jobs where other people tell you what to – and when to do it – while taking a year off, is tantalising.  Having all the freedom and power to handle your time can be truly awesome. However, it can also present some challenges.

Faced with all the time for ourselves it is easy to enter a loop of not being completely sure what to do next and what to focus on. Too many days sleeping in, our slouched on the couch and not getting anything of substance done isn’t satysifying in he long run.

Therefore, it is important to spend some time coming up with (at least) a rough outline of a plan of what you want to focus on and what you want to achieve. This will give you better control over your time and a way to evaluate if you are accomplishing what you wanted to. 

Getting a part-time job or comitting to volunteer work or making other appointsment with people that you cannot let down, will provide some fix points in your life that will help you feel better about yourself.

A structured gap year can be just what you need.

It does not have to be something huge

Your year out does not necessarily have to be filled with grand adventures and unrivaled accomplishments. Come to think of it, even something small (on first glance) like spending the day helping your grandparents in the garden can teach you a lot, make you feel happier, and help you grow in some way. Everything we do – big or small – can teach us something if we pay attention.

Different personalities and circumstances call for a different year out experiences. If you cannot afford to take a traveling year out it does not mean your year will be wasted or less beneficial. Even getting a minimum wage job as a dishwasher or a cleaner you can take a lot out of it. One thing you will learn for sure is how to cope with the situation, you will get experience, and without a doubt get something useful from the process (also, you will have plenty of time to think and reflect on the next steps of your journey).

A structured gap year can be just what you need.

There are people who find out what they want to do with their life and get the necessary motivation to work towards it only after spending some time doing something mundane and repetitive (exactly like dishwashing) for a while. Anything helps you grow – from the people you meet to the jobs you have to do. Do not underestimate the power of circumstances.

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.

A structured gap year can be just what you need.

Why volunteering abroad could be a good option

Volunteering abroad is also worth considering for filling a free year by challenging yourself, growing as a person, and exploring new things.

It unites most of the points we have mentioned while providing you with a worthwhile time and plenty of experience (especially if you are planning to go into the humanitarian field of work or similar).

Dedicating your year out to traveling, meeting new people, exploring cultures, and growing is not at all a bad idea.  Chances are you will be better prepared for university after the experience and you will have gained important experience which will help you in the future.

People who go volunteering usually expect to gain something for themselves in the process. And they do – a volunteering year out provides people with independence and enhanced life experience, building confidence and new skills, improving communication and organization. But it’s not all about what you gain – immersing into a new culture and supporting a worthy cause is an unmatched feeling.

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.
Take The Leap

Take The Leap

When we are not happy with our current situation change becomes a necessity. Fighting the initial fear and discomfort of it leads to growth and progress.

Searching for something useful

Searching for something useful

After finishing her degree, Corinne searched for something where she could travel, experience different cultures, grow as a person and do something useful at the same time.

An Action Packed Gap Year

An Action Packed Gap Year

Being at loss with what to do with your life can obviously bring a lot of frustrations. A break from studies can be good. A structured gap year to study, travel and volunteer could be even better