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Three Useful Ways to Spend a Gap Year

Three Useful Ways to Spend a Gap Year Every year, hundreds of thousands of people take a gap year between finishing school and going to college. For many people, a gap year is a welcome reprieve from more than a decade of learning, offering up an opportunity to find out who they are before they commit to three more years of learning and then a lifetime of working.

Gap years can comprise anything and can be a time to have fun, but there’s also a lot of value to be had in them. In fact, if you spend your gap year in the right way, you might even find it be valuable when it comes to getting a job later on.

If you’re thinking of taking a gap year soon, here are three useful ways you can spend yours.

1. Working Part-Time

One of the best ways you can spend your gap year is to work part-time. You can go full time if you want, but working part-time will give you a healthy income as well as time to spend to yourself doing other things. Getting a part-time job in a retail store or in a customer service role doesn’t sound like the most exciting way to spend a gap year, but it’s practical.

Firstly, working in retail or customer service teaches you a lot about communication and people as a whole, both of which are valuable skills that can be transferred into any other career field. The second reason a part-time job is practical is because it will allow you to save up money.

If you’re going into college, it’s a good idea to go with a good bulk of savings to help you get through. If you’re not going to college and will be looking to start a career job, having a buffer behind you will cover any gaps in earnings and could even help you move closer to your job or buy a car to get you there.

Three Useful Ways to Spend a Gap Year 2. Do an Internship

An internship might sound similar to a part-time job, but it’s not. An internship is ideal if you want to go into a specific field that requires experience. The issue is, a lot of internships either aren’t paid, or they pay really poorly, making them unattainable for people after they finish college. This is why doing one during your gap year could be beneficial to you.

An internship will give you valuable experience and real-life insight as to what it’s like working in your desired field. This will serve you well when it comes to getting a job and attracting prospective employers as often, experience is valued more than qualifications.

3. Volunteer Abroad

One of the most effective ways you can spend your gap year is to volunteer for charity work abroad. There are countless communities around the world who are in need of assistance, and those on gap years are in a privileged position to be able to help. Volunteering can benefit the lives of those who are not in a fortunate position, but it can also be beneficial for the person doing it because it can teach empathy, compassion, and kindness.

It can also teach a new appreciation for the things that you have, and allow you to communicate with people from all walks of life. You can do all this whilst making a valuable change. From installing water wells in East Africa to feeding the homeless in Mexico, volunteering abroad is an invaluable experience for everyone involved.


However, you choose to spend your gap year, ensure you stay safe and make the most of it.

Image Credits:
Image 1: Image by Rex Pe on Flickr

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 7th November 2021.

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