Most of the time in our life, we are constantly rushing through life that we have forgotten to take a break and enjoy life.
If you are planning to slow down and take a backseat to relish life, why not consider a gap year?
Lately, Malia Obama’s decision to take a gap year before entering college has created an outrage online. Some people actually refers to her decision as a sign of luxury.
However, I would like to disagree with that opinion.
If you're worried about the money, there’s many things you can do during your gap year, which doesn’t require much money and you could get your expenses covered by various ways.
First of all, for those unfamiliar with the term, a gap year is defined as a one-year hiatus from academic studies to allow for nonacademic activities according to Merriam-Webster.
It is usually when an individual takes a long break from study or work life to take up other activities.
The main idea is to do something meaningful or different from your regular life.
Here’s a list of things you could try out during your gap year.
Be A Volunteer
This is one of the most popular choice for gap year takers. You can choose to take part in either local or international volunteer projects, which are available all year long.
It is a great opportunity to explore the world while giving back to the community at the same time.
If you like kids and are comfortable to stay with a foreign family, this might be the most suitable option for you.
Au pair is a young foreign adult between the ages of 18-30, whom helps with housework or child care in exchange for room and board.
Being an au pair makes you a part of the host family, which enable you to experience the place through the eyes of a local.
Just want to broaden your view of the world? Travel is a good choice as it can increase your mental well-being and makes you a happier person (read more).
You are able to rediscover yourself throughout the journey while experiencing something new and overcoming the challenges that occur along the way too.
Start A Business
If you have a dream of starting up your own business, this is the right time! Your ideas can only take shape if you put them out there.
Hence, you shall try out your idea and see if it is feasible or not during your gap year as you can focus entirely in the work without worrying about your studies.
Enroll In a Language Study Abroad Program/Short Course
What could be a better way to learn and understand a new culture within a short span of time? You can register for a language course in a foreign country of your interest.
Hence, you can be engaged with the local culture and current trend of the country faster while you’re learning a new language.
You don't have to limit yourself to learning language courses either.
For example, if you like cooking and love Chinese cuisine, you can apply for a two weeks Chinese cooking class in China.
On the other hand, you can register for a three months Thai boxing course in Thailand to learn directly from the local Thai boxers.
By the end of your gap year, you will not just get to travel and meet new people, but also be walking away with a new skill.
Teach English Abroad
Another option for a meaningful gap year, you can teach English in foreign countries.
Many countries in Asia, and several other destinations in Europe have high demands for English teacher.
Thus, as long as you are a native English speaker or has a good command of English, not having a degree is not a problem.
If you choose to teach during your gap year in Asia, the working hours for part time English teacher are short and the salaries are great compared to the low cost of living here.
It does not just cover your living expenses but also your travel fees to other places too.
Tour Guide Abroad
Are you interested in a job that actually pay for you to travel abroad? What do you think about becoming a tour guide in your favorite destinations across the globe?
You can be a freelance tour guide that is based in a single location or you can just travel to different countries and work according to your own schedule.
However, you will need to study well about the place to be able to provide accurate information to your customers.
If they find your tour interesting, you might even receive a generous amount of tips.
This job exposes you to foreign cultures and increase your communication skills while interacting with a wide range of people from different backgrounds.
Thus, if you are a passionate traveler, with the dreams of exploring the world, this is definitely the best option for your gap year.
Teach Sports/Skills Abroad
For those who owns a special set of skill or good in sports, you can spend your gap year by teaching these skills.
As long as you are certified, you get a chance of doing what you like for free and probably even get paid to do so.
For example, if you own a diving license, you could be a part time diving coach at your favorite diving spot.
Last but not least, you can do an internship during your gap year in the related field to gain more experience.
If you want to do something that could benefit your future career, such as establishing international contacts and boost your resume, you should apply for an international internship.
Following the trend of globalization in the market, this will be a good opportunity for you to enhance your resume.
In conclusion, you will have a meaningful gap year experience of both traveling and gaining valuable knowledge in your profession. So, what are you waiting for?
Join us in creating your meaningful adventure here at AIP, by applying now!