Gap Year

Gap Year volunteer.jpg

Are you thinking of taking a year out?

This can be for different reasons depending on your circumstances and what your goals are; whether you want to learn a new skill, raise your cultural awareness or buy yourself some thinking time before making the move into work or further study, a gap year could be the answer.













What can I do for my gap year?



Discover new places, experience different cultures and become more open minded.

Expert travel organisations include: STA travel, G Adventures, Topdeck, Trekamerica, Contiki, Intrepid, Real Gap and Lonely Planet


Combining travelling and volunteering 

Make a difference and get to see the world at the same time.

Helpful organisations include: CCUSA, BUNAC, Lattitude, Frontier, Raleigh and Camp America


Volunteering in the UK 

Give up spare time to do something for others. Volunteering can be a great

way to meet people, learn new skills and gain invaluable experience.


Strengthening a future application by re-sitting or studying additional subjects 

You may have missed out on some grades which you want to make up for. You may decide to do this by delaying university for a year and resitting subjects and exams


Gaining relevant work experience 

You could do this by doing an internship, volunteering or paid work


Raising extra funds for university 

You might decide to work for a year to save money for university


What skills will I gain?


Depending on the type of gap year you choose to take, the skills you develop will vary. Make a list of the reasons why you want to take a gap year. Once you know what you want to get out of your time off, you will be able to narrow down your options.


Taking a gap year could

  • develop transferable skills, including communication, leadership, time management and decision making

  • increase your work experience, through paid employment or voluntary work

  • allow you to learn a new craft, such as surfing, teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), filmmaking, cookery or even the art of kung fu

  • hone your existing skills, for example basic language skills, IT skills and teamwork

  • increase your confidence and independence, by taking yourself out of your comfort zone

  • help you decide what you want to study at university















If you would like to discuss your Gap Year, speak with your personal tutor or an adviser from the Careers and Employability team. 

Other resources  for information on visas, around the world flights, plus volunteering ideas and forums for meeting travel mates download free ebook on gap years