Thinking about a gap year?

A gap year is a period of time (not necessarily a year) when students take time off to do something other than study – such as travel, volunteering or work. Most students take the year after secondary school and before going to university, although some students take a gap year once their degree is completed. You can plan your gap year to develop your skills. It can provide you with valuable skills to add to your CV such as people skills, language skills and gaining experience from a variety of jobs. It can also boost your confidence and help you to understand yourself better – giving you time to review your life and long term career goals. Some of the things you need to consider before taking a gap year include:

  • Research your options – speak to other people who have taken a gap year and find out what they did and what worked for them
  • Take time to plan and prepare – make sure you have enough funds
  • Budget well, but make sure that you have a reserve of money to fall back on so that you don’t miss out on any amazing opportunities
  • Your home area can also offer new experiences that you haven’t considered before – check out volunteering opportunities for example
  • Use the time wisely and make as many contacts as you can – you never know if this might help your future career

The value of a gap year is widely acknowledged and most universities and colleges will consider an application for a deferred entry, but always check with them before applying. When you apply, include details of your proposed gap year in your personal statement to support your application. Some useful websites to visit are: General Information about taking a gap year:

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