The Huffington Post: Making the most out of your gap year
The article originally appeared in The Hufftington Post. You can read the original article here.
Many people take a gap year to ‘discover themselves’ and find out what they really want to do with their lives. Most people take a gap year to have some fun in the sun with a year of beach parties and cheap booze. Some people take a year out explore the world and live their dreams before they settle down into their career. Whatever your reason for taking a gap year, ensure you make the most of it so you really get something out of it and have something great to add to your CV.
Top ways to make the most out of your gap year:
Teach English Teaching English is a popular choice for travellers as it is a great way to earn some money and really engage with a new. If you speak English fluently then you can easily do a TEFL course (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). There are many companies that will pay for you to do the course, fly you out to an amazing destination and then find you accommodation and a school to work at. The money isn’t brilliant but this is an invaluable experience and a great way to boost your CV.
Volunteer There are so many different projects you can volunteer with so you should try and get involved with something related to your chosen career. You can do anything from working at English language newspapers, building houses in remote villages, teaching children sports, working in orphanages, working with animals, conservation work or promoting better health and safe sex. Any type of voluntary work is an amazing and often life changing experience but it can also look great on your CV, particularly if it is related to your chosen field of work.
Write a Blog It seems that anyone and everyone has a blog these days and when it is done well it could really help your career. You have the opportunity to broadcast your views and your writing capabilities to the whole world, hone in on your editing skills and prove that you can write engaging content. Travel blogging has to be one of the best topics to blog about as you are always surrounded by new and exciting potential for fantastic writing and photography. Blogging also shows that you have the commitment to stick to a project while travelling and you will learn some important IT skills.
Learn a new skill You may not be able to learn a skill that is related to your career path but any interesting and exciting skills and interests can always help your career. You will often find many courses that specialise in something the region is famous for while you are on the road. It could be Thai cooking or kickboxing, martial arts or scuba diving. You may even find that your new skill opens up a whole new window of career options.
Get some work experience Just because you are in a different country it doesn’t mean you can’t do work experience. Look into the types of companies you would ideally like to work for and contact them to see if there are any opportunities for you to work with them for a week or two.
Get some life experience The biggest and best benefit of a gap year is life experience so get involved with as many things as you can, try as many new experiences, learn as many new skills and meet as many people as possible. Most people will only ever have one gap year in their life so make the most of every minute.
Monica is the founder and editor of The Travel Hack. She began the blog in 2009 when she left the UK to travel around Asia and Australia for two years. She's now a full time blogger and has travelled around the world in search of affordable luxury travel experiences.Monica lives in Wales with her growing family and now also blogs about travelling with young children!