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Some of you may be wondering what to do when you finally finish university, some may just want a break from all the work and dreaded exams of the last three or so years. For all those people a gap year might seem like a great option, travelling to new places, relaxing and soaking up the sun while you think about what to do with your life. Maybe you’re even just thinking about saving some money by working a few part-time jobs to decide where you want to go from there. But, while it seems a great thing to do for right now, finding a job won’t go away forever and this leaves many of you worried about taking that step and spending some time away.
A gap year abroad doesn’t necessarily have to last the full year, some people may want to work for a few months before they leave to save the money. Others may wish to travel for a while and then find a job. Whichever you may choose, the chance is there to think about exactly what they want to do, instead of accepting or applying for a job that they won’t enjoy. You may dread the idea of going back to that old Summer job you’ve kept returning to each year, the one that provides just enough money for the next term. However, this could be a quick and easy way to earn the pennies needed to really enjoy yourself on a year abroad, so don’t rule it out just yet.
Companies such as Real Gap or STA Travel provide deals from a few weeks up to a year or more as a package in foreign countries, giving you a chance to spend as much time as you wish there and allowing you to meet new people. You may also want to apply for a placement or some work experience abroad. This looks great on your CV and will help you decide if that’s the career for you. Either way, visiting a foreign country provides that break that so many students feel they need after university.
Travelling seems like a great way to spend a year after finishing education, or even before starting a new post-graduate course. It is possible to gather experience of different cultures and many would say that this is a form of education in itself. Yet travelling can be seen as a diversion from finding a job or carrying on further education. It’s not for everyone, but for those still confused about what to do, it may be the perfect way to try and decide.
If you don’t necessarily want to travel, a gap year working in some part-time jobs and taking on work experience placements not only looks great to potential new employers but also gives you an insight in to which careers suit you. Working amongst professionals can provide a new insight into a career you might not have realised existed, helping you make the decision about whether a job could be right for you. Students are increasingly choosing to take a year off from education to discover themselves, and although this may seem a sort of cliché it continues to attract more and more people who see it as worthwhile, particularly as jobs are so hard to come by as a graduate. That said a gap year remains a personal decision that may be more beneficial to some than to others, perhaps providing that perfect chance to get away and see the world before finally taking a deep breath and settling down.