Taking a gap year abroad? Make sure you get it right.

Taking a gap year abroad? Make sure you get it right.

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.


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