To those who are soon to graduate (or may have just graduated) high school or university – congratulations! While it may not have been the traditional graduation you were hoping for, you should be incredibly proud of your accomplishments and work over the past years!  

 

Now, with school completed, you are probably wondering “what’s next for me?” Maybe you have a job lined up, or maybe you will be continuing your studies. Or, you have decided to enlist in the military or take on another service opportunity at home or abroad. 

 

Or perhaps, you have pondered the idea of taking a “gap year”.

 

Well what exactly is a gap year? Also labeled a sabbatical year, it is the concept of taking time off between high school and college, or after college, to pursue personal endeavors, travel, etc. In some countries such as the US, taking a gap year is really not all that popular. Much of the time, students finish high school and go straight to college, trade school, or other long-term opportunities, whereas college graduates head straight into the workforce or graduate school. In some areas of the world, the idea of taking a year “off” to pursue travel, hobbies, or gain internship experience is very foreign. 

 

However in other parts of the world like in Europe, a gap year is extremely common. Many students will graduate high school or university and set their focus on how they plan to spend their gap year and consider fun gap year ideas. Many feel taking a gap year is a necessary time to explore the world of opportunities and “find themselves” before they commit to the next step of their journey, albeit university, military, etc. While gap year ideas vary by the individual, so does the importance and practicality of each of the options. 

 

While there are many factors that can affect a person’s ability to take a gap year, what are some of the most popular gap year ideas?

 

Travel

Although quite difficult at the present time due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, traveling around the world to “find yourself” is one of the most popular ways people spend their gap years. You can decide to travel within your home country or go abroad, and can stay as little or as long as you like! Unfortunately, COVID-19 has caused many people to put their gap year travel plans on hold, so they may be seeking other opportunities to make the most of their time off. 

 

Volunteering

There are many volunteering programs around the world that cover a wide variety of service sectors. Similar to the above point, COVID-19 has disrupted travel for many international volunteering programs, so individuals may consider taking on domestic volunteering. Service opportunities range from working with children, to caring for animals, helping the elderly, building homes for the poor, environmental protection, and much more.

 

Internship or Work Experience

Many students will consider gaining work experience in their field of interest and building their resume/CV during their gap year. If students have graduated high school and are trying to boost their portfolio in the hopes of getting into their dream university, opportunities like the Virtual Internships program are an outstanding way to do this! Our programs connect you with a global company for a 1-3 month remote internship and allow you to gain worthwhile skills and connections while travel is halted in much of the world. The same goes for university graduates who may be worried about the competitiveness of the current job market. Hoping to brush up on your remote working skills and better understand the world of remote work? Consider gaining experience with Virtual Internships! 

 

An excellent benefit of the Virtual Internship program, along with providing work experience, skill, and global connections, is the customization aspect of our internships. Applicants are able to select whether they want to commit to a 1, 2, or 3-month internship duration, as well as choosing a 20 or 30-hour workweek commitment. With these options, you can truly tailor the Virtual Internship experience to your own availability and interests, and ensure you get the most out of your program. After all, one thing COVID-19 is clearly showcasing is that much of the future of work will be remote working. 

 

When it comes down to it, in some people’s eyes the idea of using free time to frolic about the world seems a bit unrealistic, while some appreciate the spontaneity that travel brings. Others may feel it’s best to use this time to boost their resume and experience in order to set themselves up for future opportunities, while many choose to commit to volunteering & giving back to the community. The fact of the matter is each student views and uses their gap year in a unique way.

 

As a graduating student, you should consider each of the options available to you in your circumstances, and choose the option, or options, that will benefit you the most!

 

Considering gap year ideas? Why not partake in a Virtual Internship! Class of 2020 graduates can now receive a $200 Discount on our Virtual Internship programs!