Ideas for Your Gap Year

Gap Year and Backpacking Ideas

The opportunities during your Gap Year are endless and taking time out between A-levels and higher education or from higher education to work is becoming increasingly popular.

Gap Year Benefits

By taking a gap year you will have your first chance very often of independence. Traveling or working away from home will give you more confidence, maturity and a greater sense of responsibility.

A break from school and exam pressures can give you a fresh look at life and help prepare you for your new challenges at university or work in a year's time.

Your enhanced C.V will give you an edge in the marketplace when you eventually look for a job. It can make a big statement about you as a person, both to academics and employers. If properly planned, a gap year can say as much, if not more, about you as an individual, as any set of exam results ever can!

You could:-

  • Be a volunteer either abroad or in the UK
  • Live abroad on a Cultural Exchange
  • Join a structured Work Experience opportunity
  • Learn a new skill on a Course overseas or in the UK
  • Participate in an Expedition

It must be remembered though that to take a gap year it is your chance to learn and develop new skills, gain work experience, meet different people and perhaps travel to parts of the world you hadn't considered before.

Both universities and employers now recognise the benefits of taking a gap year but they will expect to see some evidence that you have spent the time positively and not allowed yourself to drift.

It is best to give yourself plenty of time to plan your gap year. Firstly think about what you want to achieve during the year and how this may help you in the future for example if you are going on to a Modern Language degree then a course/programme that improves your languages will obviously impress your admissions tutor. Secondly some programmes are very popular and the earlier you apply for them the greater the chance of you getting a place.

Remember that if you want to go to University/Higher Education after your gap year you can still apply for a place at the same time as students going straight from school but defer your entry for a year. Most universities and places of higher education do look on gap years positively, but there are some subjects such as art & design & applied sciences where it is more difficult to defer. If after you have received you're A-level results you then decide to defer please advice your university as soon as possible. You can still apply for a place at University/Higher Education during your gap year.