This year, about 50.000 school leavers will become gappers and take a gap year. Maybe they want to have a break from being a student, to earn money before university, to get work experience, to think what to do next, or just to travel.
A gap year can offer the journey of a lifetime. With three friends, Adrienne Hunter travelled around the world via Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, and the USA. “It was an amazing experience,” said Adrienne, “I saw so many different places-I don’t feel like the same persona s a year ago".
If you want education, why not get a professional skiing qualification at a ski resort in Canada? Or learn a language like Tina Purcell. She spent six months learning Japanese in Nayoya. When she returned to Edinburgh, she was fluent.
After a gap year you may change your long-term plans. When Tim Roberts was 19, he intended to study International Politics at University. After six months as a farm worker in Chile, he decided to study Languages instead. Danny Anderson planned to take a degree in Business studies. But three months working on a conservation project in Borneo made him ch’ange his mind. He is now studying Geography.
Many employers believe that a gap year is a valuable experience and they will be interested in what you did. So think carefully before you choose what to do. Although you may look on your gap year as a time for having fun, the real world will still be there when you get home!