10 Cool Things Students Can Do in a Gap Year

Here is what you can do in a Gap Year

Perhaps you’ve always been the type to take the road less traveled or feel you need more time before entering college. After warding off other people’s skepticism, you’ve finally decided a gap year is the right choice for you. Gap years have grown increasingly popular following high school, during college, and before seeking work, paving the way for students to achieve personal growth and knowledge. Of course, a meaningful gap year requires meticulous planning and intention. Here are 10 neat activities students can do during that time.

1. Study Abroad

Studying abroad during your gap year is a unique opportunity to broaden your horizons, immerse yourself in a new culture, and gain valuable life skills. It allows you to challenge yourself and step outside your comfort zone, making you more independent, adaptable, and confident. You will also have the chance to learn a new language, make new friends from around the world, and gain a fresh perspective on the world. Additionally, studying abroad can provide valuable experience and skills that are highly sought after by employers, setting you apart from your peers and increasing your future job prospects. Overall, studying abroad is a truly life-changing experience that can help you grow both personally and professionally and provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for personal and academic growth.

Read more about studying abroad in fascinating destinations in Asia

2. Language Immersion

Another cool way students can spend a meaningful gap year is through language immersion. Bilingualism is in high demand across all industries as the world becomes increasingly connected. For instance, 75 countries have implemented Chinese language learning programs into their curriculum amid Asian markets’ exponential growth. Meanwhile, Spanish is the official tongue of 21 nations, spoken by 360 million people worldwide. One of the best ways to set yourself up for success in your career is to master a second language.

You can also study abroad at Shanghai University while taking Chinese language courses during your Gap Year. Click here to find out more!

3. Au Pair

Students can spend a Gap Year abroad or in their home country as an Au Pair. Becoming an au pair is an excellent opportunity to work with kids while exploring someplace new. When you take on a nanny role abroad, you live and work for your host family, helping take care of their children and teaching them English. Students who serve as au pairs receive accommodation, food, and income, making it a good option for those on a budget. However, the lines between your job and personal life may get blurred. It can prove challenging to have time for yourself when you work where you live.

be an Au Pair in your Gap Year and take care of children
Becoming an au pair is an excellent opportunity to work with kids while exploring someplace new

4. Wellness or Spiritual Experience

Some students search for the ultimate “Eat, Pray, Love” experience during their gap year, opting for a wellness or spiritual journey. Visit a yoga retreat in Bali or plan an extended stay at an ashram in India for enhanced physical and mental well-being. Gap years are about personal development, so gaining spiritual growth can deliver higher meaning in your life, a sense of purpose and unique insight. It also provides a heightened awareness of one’s mental health and tactics for practicing better self-care. You can take the lessons you learn from wellness and spiritual experiences with you throughout your life.

5. Camp Counselor or Coach Job

Consider a camp counselor or sports coach role during your Gap Year — it may be a great way to meet people and create fun, safe activities for kids. Summer camps are also a way to spend more time outdoors, providing accommodation, meals and payment. Working as a camp counselor or sports coach is also ideal for developing leadership skills, which will appeal to future employers. Students can apply for camp counselor and coaching roles in their communities or internationally. It just depends on their interests.

6. Pursue a Hobby or Passion

Taking a gap year frees up time to feed your adventurous spirit or pursue a passion. Once you graduate from school and enter the workforce, adult responsibilities often consume the space for doing things you love. Studies have also found that most people have some occupational regret, wishing they’d pursue other fields. A gap year may provide a final chance to turn your passion — such as an invention or creative endeavor — into a lucrative career. The last thing you want is to live with regrets.

Why not combine learning how to surf or dive with studying abroad in Bali during your Gap Year?

7. Volunteerism

Students can enroll in numerous volunteer programs, from conservation projects to social activism. You’re sure to find an opportunity to match your passions and interests. You can help communities in need and apply your talents and skills to make a difference at home and worldwide. Of course, you shouldn’t expect to make money. Volunteering is about giving back while expecting nothing in return.

you can do volunteering during your Gap Year
Environmental volunteering projects abroad let you combine exploring foreign cultures and giving back simultaneously

8. Experiential Learning Programs

Some students prefer hands-on learning over sitting in a classroom, making experiential learning gap years most suitable. This style of education takes a less traditional approach to develop skills through firsthand experiences. These specialized programs could entail service-based activities or internships that’ll set you up for success. Many programs will also match projects to your interests. Naturally, self-awareness and reflection are crucial to get the most out of experiential learning.


9. Work Abroad

You can start earning money as you prepare for higher education or pursue your career. Why not work abroad? A gap year spent grinding in another country will allow you to deepen your professional skills, create global connections and gain crucial experience. You’ll also open yourself up to more international opportunities for career growth. Working during your gap year may hinder some of your ability to explore, but earning an income may be of greater importance.

10. Teach Abroad

Educational gaps in other countries are a primary global concern, mainly due to needing more teachers. Teaching abroad could be the best option for a gap year if you love working with kids. These programs are incredibly fulfilling, especially knowing the positive impact you’ll have on children’s lives. Naturally, less educational access in developing countries may mean you’ll have fewer resources or no building to work in. It takes a particular type of person to teach abroad successfully, but the experience will be an invaluable challenge.

teach during your gap year
When you want to do a Gap Year, it’s best to aim for a meaningful experience that enriches your life

What Students Can Do in a Gap YearSpend Your Gap Year Wisely

Your gap year should be a fun-filled adventure. However, it’s best to aim for a meaningful experience that enriches your life. Avoid rushing through the planning stages. You should also consider how taking a gap year will help you achieve your goals. Start researching and prepare yourself for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Find out more about Why you should study abroad!

Beyond Abroad is the sister brand ofAsia Exchange, a Finnish company providing study abroad opportunities inAsia for students from all around the world. Since 2020 Beyond Abroad offers study abroad programs in Latin America and Europe. Want to get travel tipsand new blog posts straight to your inbox? Subscribe to ourmonthly student newsletter!If you have any questions about studyingabroad, feel free tocontact us! We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.