With opportunities ranging from volunteering in a developing country to travelling around the world, there are a lot of factors to consider not to mention organise. Some gap year organisations offer packages which save you a lot of hassle and worry, but often they can’t offer exactly what you have in mind for your trip. We have put together a checklist of things to consider when planning your gap year so you get it right first time!
Where do you want to go?
- If you are an EU national, you will be able to travel and work in other EU countries without the need for a visa or work permit
- Think about your goals; if you want to make a difference by volunteering then consider choosing a developing country. If you want to experience new cultures then think about travelling to multiple destinations
- Wanting to develop your language skills? Spend some time in a country where you can practise speaking with the natives
When do you want to go?
- Seasonal work opportunities are great if you just want to spend a couple of years abroad to experience working in a particular field such as a farm or ski resort
- If you have somewhere in mind that gets particularly hot or cold during a certain time of year, try and avoid that period and go when the climate is similar to what you’re used to
- Be sure to research any religious or cultural observances that are going on as these will tend to affect the services and accommodation that are available
Do you want to volunteer?
- Think about your skills, and apply them to the relevant voluntary work to make sure you can enjoy your experience to the maximum
- Volunteering packages are becoming more and more popular and often organise accommodation for you. Check out projects-abroad.co.uk who offer great volunteering packages and opportunities
Do you want to work?
- Wanting to work and experience different cultures at the same time? Consider temping around the world as this will you a variety of insights
- If your goal is to earn and save money abroad, staying in one place will ensure you have a steady income without interval periods of travelling
Travelling alone or in a group?
- If you are thinking of travelling solo, it is advisable to stay with a host family to make your trip safe without the worry of unconventional living conditions
- Travelling in a group can not only make the trip more fun, but often cheaper too. Booking tickets in advance for a group can cut costs substantially
For more information, visit gapyear.com who offer great gap year advice and opportunities
Written by Sofia Kluge on Google+
Image: Sean Justice via Flickr