Are you planning to take a year off from school? Don’t worry. It’s common for teenagers who are still unsure of what they want to do in the future. As many as 25 per cent of students in Australia take gap years. Maybe a gap year is what you need to clear your mind and discover who you really are.
Some teens travel the world to learn about different cultures. Others take part-time jobs to find out what careers they’ll like in the future. But why not do something more with your time? Why not join a gap year program?
However, you shouldn’t just sign up for any program that appears on your social media feed. Here are some of the things to think about when looking for a suitable program.
Will it Help You Reach Your Goals?
Determine if a gap year program fits your goals. If you want to impress college admission offices, you might want to choose one that aligns with your target undergraduate program. Actual experience in the field you want to study nudges your application above those that just finished school. Studies have also shown that taking a gap year improves your academic performance in university. For example, if you want to pursue a career in the education industry, you might want to become a teaching assistant in your gap year. Certain programs can even take you to other countries like Australia, South Africa, or Brazil.
Does it Have a Support Group?
A gap year program that provides a good support group is a reliable one. Before you sign up, read reviews and ask about the details of the trip you are about to make. You want to make sure you are safe throughout and there are clear activities you will participate in. A solid support system can provide you with physical, material and even emotional assistance during your program.
What Do Other People Say About the Program?
Not all gap year programs are equal. Before you choose one, read reviews, get referrals, ask people about their first-hand experience and try to get all the information you need from various sources. Check the ratings to be sure about the program’s quality. After verifying and reading reviews, the only way to know the program is good is to join. Making an informed choice saves you time, effort and money, and prevents you from having a bad experience.
How Much Does it Cost?
Some programs are more expensive than others. Some offer scholarships or assisted programs, but some of these might have extra costs once you start. These additional expenses may include side trips, food, better accommodation or leisure activities. Start computing and projecting your overall expenses for the gap year you want to have. This allows you to save enough money for a trip, if you plan to do volunteer work or if you think the pay for the internship isn’t enough.
Will You Get Paid?
Some gap year programs pay participants and others just give an allowance. If your aim is to make and save money, look for one that pays your ideal rate. Do your research if the payment corresponds with the workload and is more than enough for your daily expenses.
A gap year program is an adventures and, like all adventures, you need to have all the relevant information before embarking on it. By being thorough and doing your research, you can make sure your gap years is an enjoyable and enriching experience.