Thinking of a gap year or even travelling after university? What are you waiting for!!
If you had a read of my journey to launching The Grad Hub, you may have noticed I was unfortunate not to take a gap year or even go travelling after university, but if I could turn back time, I’d definitely put it on my bucket list.
You spend 3 or 4 years studying and working your arse off to get those grades and show you haven’t wasted £27k of tuition fees and then everything on top. They say you leave uni in excess of £50k debt! You put your heart and soul into getting the grades that are going to get you a job once graduating. But take a step back and think. What will life be like once graduating? You may/may not find a job straight away, you may/may not be lucky to just chill at home and get by, you may even think about taking your study further with a PhD or Masters. But have you thought about getting some real life experience and taking a year out travelling?
There are many students that have spent their final year of university or post university travelling the world, getting some world experience and enjoying life. Travelling provides vital life skills, everything from life management, communication skills, work experience and more. Have you ever dreamt about volunteering abroad. This is one of the most popular experiences that students participate in whilst travelling, everything from supporting childrens education, working with animals and protecting endangered wildlife and providing basic medical services to communities where healthcare is scarce.
Doing volunteer work abroad is an exciting way to add practical skills to your CV and get first-hand insight into global issues. It’s also a way for you to make a real difference in today’s world. Once you start a 9-5 job, you will not have the freedom and luxury to just get up and leave. So, what’s there to think about right?
I’ve been following a travel blogger on Instagram for a couple of months now, her name’s Beth Sandland. She decided after graduating that she wanted to go travelling. Beth had always wanted to travel the world and thought why dream about it when you can actually do it. So after graduating she saved a few pennies and before her business became too busy she took the leap and booked herself on a one-way flight to Australia.
Beth had originally planned to travel for 6 months but after visiting Bali she thought 6 months wasn’t going to cut it and guess what we are in October and she’s still travelling (although is in her last month of travelling). At this point in time, she’s back in Australia, but since I’ve been following her, she’s been to Bali, India, Sri Lanka, Japan, Hong Kong, KL, Singapore, Thailand, the list goes on.
Beth gets by on a budget, back packing most of the way. Have a read of her Ultimate Backpackers Packing List post, it’s crazy how little you need to pack to survive. She has gained a lot of experience through meeting new people and working closely with many businesses that can help (unless she’s been invited on a PR trip, where she’s been staying in some of the most beautiful hotels ever). All of this Beth has managed to do after graduating and has experienced many wonderful places and experiences that most of us would just dream off. But it doesn’t have to be a dream.
Beth recommends that if you want to make the most out of life you should travel pre-university too. Why not right? Get that summer job after college and take a gap year before you settle down to 3-4 years of university. If I had my way, I would be traveling all the time. It’s the experiences you make today that will take you far and make you into a confident person that can tackle anything.
Beth has won many awards including blogosphere lifestyle influencer of the year 2018 and cosmopolitan best travel influencer 2019. Take a look at her blog, where she writes many articles including this one on What if University isn’t the Best Three Years of Your Life?
That’s it, I want to go travelling…
Many companies deal with gap year travel and one that I follow is called The Leap. They deliver travel experiences that you can’t create yourself, pushing you beyond the hostel-hopping trend and introducing you to planet protecting programs around the world. Their programs combine projects and adventures providing you with an dynamic travel experience, led by project co-ordinators who are passionate about what they do and professionals in their field. They are on hand, to get everything arranged so you can hit the ground running, exploring your new surroundings and contributing from the moment you arrive without having to worry about logistics. Visit their website for more information.
There’s also STA Travel, who are the experts in student travel. They can help answer your questions, and give you the inspiration and advice you need to create the perfect adventure. Whether you want a gap year in Australia, a Thailand gap year, or somewhere else entirely – they’ve been there, done it and got the Chang t-shirt to prove it!
There are lots of work options available when travelling and STA Travel can help you every step of the way. Australia, New Zealand and Canada are popular choices and Working Holiday Visa assistance is available through STA Travel. Alternatively, teaching English abroad is a great option for those with a TEFL certificate with loads of opportunities across Europe and Asia in particular. It is also possible to spend a summer working in the USA. Find out more through STA Travel.
Take that gap year or go travelling. Don’t let the dream disappear. Make it a reality.