Why take a gap year?
Travelling is something we often fail to prioritise in our busy lives, but the benefits of exploring the world are huge. Many people question, “should I take a gap year?” Our answer is yes! There is so much to explore and there is no time like the present. If you want to travel, give yourself time to do it properly. Gap years allow you to take your time to really get to know a country. Gap years also allow you to:
- Develop your skills such as organisation, communication, confidence, team work and initiative
- Improve your CV to make sure that you stand out from the crowd to future employers
- Take time to reach the right path – it’s not unusual to feel unsure about what you want to do next, either at university or for work. Taking a gap year allows you to take time out to give you the space to make an informed decision
- Gain work experience – whether it be on an internship, a volunteering project or paid work, experience is essential for many careers and universities. Experience does not even need to be relevant to the field you might want to work or study in – just to demonstrate that you held a position of responsibility, had to stick to deadlines, worked hard and challenged yourself is the most important thing
- Take a breather before the next stage – exams are stressful and tiring. Many students find that taking a gap year helps them to return to work or study feeling refreshed and motivated – which in the long term brings better results for you
- Become more independent whilst also receiving full support from Oyster. A gap year is a great opportunity to do something independent and live away from home for a while
- Make new friends and meet new people – exploring the world and joining a project that you are passionate about means that you will meet lots of like-minded people, and often make friends for life
- Have a real adventure off the beaten track. Get to know a country, culture, language and project and really feel that you have got to know somewhere different in the world
How to take a gap year?
Oyster Worldwide will help to make your planning as easy as possible. We are happy to answer any questions to help you find a project that is perfect for you.
To take part, you simply need to pay the first £180 to secure your place and then you will get access to My Oyster – our online system, where you will find lots of information to help you to prepare for you gap year.
What do universities think about gap years?
“A gap year is a very useful time in which to improve skills, earn money, travel and generally gain maturity and self-reliance.”
– Cambridge University
- Universities are overwhelmingly positive about taking gap years as long as they are constructive and worthwhile
- If you arrange your gap year early then you can even talk about your plans in your personal statement – which goes a long way
- Many degrees encourage work experience, such as medical and veterinary, so taking a year out in this case is very much encouraged
- Do check with your university admissions departments to see what their exact stance is
“As long as you are doing something worthwhile in your year out, such as travelling, work experience or charity work etc, we recognise that this year’s experience will broaden your skills and experience.”
– Cardiff University
What do employers think about taking a gap year?
- A constructive gap year can really enhance a CV, and can significantly improve your chances of getting an interview
- Many employers find that applicants who have taken a gap year are more motivated, self aware and confident than their counterparts
- Potential employees must be able to articulate their experiences to demonstrate the positives gained
“Taking a gap year was the single best decision I ever made, it has mapped out my whole career path and helped me decide on my future!”
– Charlotte, South Africa