Please Mind The Gap
What is a gap year?
Gap year is an expression associated with taking time out to travel between life stages. People disengage themselves from education or work to undertake activities such as traveling, volunteering or working abroad. Normally, students take their gap year before college or after they graduate.
Why should I take it?
Taking a gap year is an invaluable addition to anyone’s personal statement. It is not only worthwhile to share you own experience with your friends and family but is also suitable for practical purposes. It will be an experience that will differentiate you from the rest. By mentioning it on your resume or college application or elaborating on it during the interview, you can demonstrate independence, your interest in global issues, and diligence. Many university courses will have links to the area that you dealt with during your gap year. By the time you study the subject related to the work you have accomplished, you will have a much-broadened view to study it from a more comprehensive level. Likewise, employers will look to see how you demonstrate your personality and interest. Having a relative work experience that is also out side the box will make you a desirable applicant.
What do I do?
Not everyone has the endless funds to finance their gap year. Thus, you should first plan how you are going to pay for it unless you will be working for a paid job. At the high end of gap year costs come things such as projects abroad, where much of the costs will be flight. Other than that, your cost will depend entirely on what kind of work you’ll be doing.
Once you have a general idea of how you will pay for your trip, look for volunteer organizations that will be more than happy to help you plan your journey. Here is the list of organizations that can help you.
- Millennium Volunteers
- Volunteering England
- World Wide Volunteering
- Year of the Volunteer
- Hutong School
However, taking a gap year off for volunteering also has its cons. Here is an interesting documentary about volunteers who took a gap year to fly to Ghana. It tries to answer questions such as ‘what sort of impact people will make’ and ‘who really benefits.’
It is of no doubt that taking a gap year will teach you something in the end. But in terms of helping the people in need, what can you actually do? This will be the question that you’ll need to answer before buying your tickets to Ghana.