Why Take a Gap Year?

Through social media and the internet, we are becoming global citizens who share the same ideas and passion with people around the world. Why stop at online interaction when you can immerse in different cultures and learn directly from them? Take a gap year programme and gain a fresh perspective on life and living.

Here are compelling reasons to take a gap year:

  • You learn to be independent - University teaches you to fend for yourself. The workforce teaches you to work your way up. Spending a year in a foreign place, however, pushes you to mature in ways that you can’t in the safety of home.
  • You figure yourself out - When you’re in a comfortable situation, you conform to what your environment expects from you. A gap year strips you of all familiar external factors and lets you rediscover yourself.
  • You make lifelong friends - During your gap year, you’ll meet a lot of people on the same programme and in the country you’re living in. You forge strong friendships with these people and take your memories back with you when you go home.
  • You experience what the world has to offer - Life abroad isn’t always going to be glamorous. Nevertheless, you learn from these experiences and become an improved person because of the lessons you pick up along the way.

Deciding Where To Go

You may have a particular area of the world in mind when you are considering overseas experience.

Things to consider:

  • Culture - is this something you would be able to cope with and enjoy? For example, you may feel more able to adapt to an Asian culture, or you may want to challenge yourself by stepping outside your comfort zone.
  • Language – are your language skills developed enough to live and work in the country of your choice?
  • Visa requirements – do you need a visa to work in the country? Are there any restrictions on the sort of work you can do and for how long you can work? (You’ll need to look at embassy websites for the country you want to work in to find the answer to these questions. Try the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Diplomatic and Consular list).

Deciding What To Do

If you are choosing to embark on a gap year, the ideas are nearly endless.  Don’t be afraid to break out of your comfort zone and try something new. Challenge your current state and engage in activities that will bring on personal growth and learning; you may realise that taking a gap year can be much more than just a break. You can use this opportunity to gain new skills and add to your C.V. all while improving yourself and bringing about a healthier outlook on life.

Planning ahead

If you are considering taking time off after Year 13 before enrolling at university, whether you are planning to travel overseas, or perhaps you want to work for a while, it helps to plan ahead so that you are ready to enter university when you want to:

  • Check that you meet university entry requirements - If you are planning to take a break after you have completed Year 13, you should check that you are going to meet the requirements to enrol at UC before taking a gap year.
  • Background requirements - Some courses in Engineering Intermediate and Science have specific background requirements.  It is still possible for you to study these courses if you do not meet these requirements, however, you will need to pass introductory courses first, which may mean it will take you longer to complete your studies.
  • Preparatory courses - If you need to refresh your study skills or revise the core science subjects, you should consider one of the pre-degree programmes offered by most universities.
  • Semesters - There are university two semesters each year – semester one runs from February to June and semester two runs from July to November. It is possible to begin university studies in semester two. However, some degrees and subjects need to be started in semester one.

If in doubt, check with your preferred university before your Gap Year and let them know what your plans are before you go.

More Information

Camp America | https://campamerica.co.nz

Letz Live | https://www.letzlive.org

JCR Au Pairs and Nannies | https://www.jcraupairs.com.au

The UK Pub Co. | https://ukpubco.com

Workaway | https://www.workaway.info

Projects Abroad | https://www.projects-abroad.org

WWOOF | https://wwoof.net