If you’re finishing school and still thinking about what to study at university then maybe a gap year is for you. It is a good way to prevent rushing into studying something that you won’t pursue further. University study can be expensive and taking a year to travel the world and ‘find yourself’ can be a good way to narrow down your options and decide what you want to study.
Here are our top benefits of taking a gap year before University:
A gap year fuels your sense of adventure
The options for a gap year are endless:- you can go snorkeling in Costa Rica, surf in South Africa, learn a new language in South America, go scuba diving in Thailand or take part in an enlightening and rewarding volunteer project in the South Pacific. A gap year is a year-long adventure designed to get you out of your comfort zone and inspire your sense of adventure.
Nothing helps you to develop your intuition like being in another country. You will surprise yourself with what you learn and what you are capable of.
You'll meet amazing people on your gap year travels
You don’t know who you are going to run into on your travels and what kind of opportunities that may open up to you. One of the big gap year benefits is the eccentric and amazing people that you meet along the way. They’ll become lifelong friends and you’ll make great memories with these people.
Going on a gap year gives you time to decide your career path
Few people are lucky enough to know exactly what they want to study or do straight after high school. We talk to many people who are in the same position; they are pressured to make very important decisions immediately after school.
It can be a very tricky decision with so many different influences that come in to play. Expectations from your family, what your friends are doing, what kind of industry has the best prospects for jobs? Just to name a few, but there are so many!
It can seem quite overwhelming - don’t worry you are not alone!
Trust us, you can squeeze a lot into a year
A gap year doesn’t last forever… although for some it sparks a keen interest for adventure travel and exploring the world full time.
Taking a year out to travel is often more rewarding than it is harmful to any career or job. You will gain far more in experience on your gap year adventure than you will lose by starting university a year later than your peers. In fact, you might find that you’re more prepared for the challenges of study than you were after finishing school.
Gap year pros and cons:
We’ve run through some of our pros so now it’s time for some cons.
One of the biggest things that hinder people from taking a gap year is the scare-factor. There are times on your gap year where you will be challenged. For example, you might have no money, you may not know where you are and you might even be alone. Home is safe and home is normal but challenging times accelerate your maturity. You’ll earn life experience and you’ll be better prepared for everything else the world wants to throw at you when you come out the other side.
Taking some time out to really find one’s self is incredibly important, and a gap year is a great way to do it. Some do it immediately after school, prior to university. Some will be part way through and just need a break from it. Some will have finished studying but want to take a break before heading into the career they have chosen long term.
Whenever you choose to do a gap year, we encourage you to look into programs to support your growth, world perspective and skills. Start a travel blog, gain some work experience and make sure you have good travel insurance!
In the past, we have had interns and training course participants join our program and make it part of their wider gap year itinerary. Our ski instructor training course at Lake Louise for example, runs for 11-weeks, includes accommodation and enables you to substantially develop your skiing or snowboarding skills. It is a great chance to experience the Canadian winter, and learn a few skills along the way.
If you’re a keen skier or snowboarder looking to head away on your gap year adventure, you can check out our training courses here and learn a bit more about how you can add a winter gap year experience to your gap year itinerary.