13 Reasons to Take a Gap Year Abroad

Summer fun, South Island

Travelling to the other side of the world for a whole year might seem daunting. Many people dream of taking a year to themselves to experience another country and another way of living, but thoughts can creep up in their mind: "Is this right for my future?" and "How will this trip benefit me?"

The good news is that a gap year travelling abroad, especially New Zealand, is a great way to learn, gain experience and have fun! It is just the break people need to help make life-changing decisions. See exactly why to take a gap year travelling abroad in our list below:

1. Employers love it!

Want to add great value to your CV/resume? There are many transferable skills gained by doing a gap year. You have: communication, foreign language, organisation and experience of working in another country.

2. You will become more confident and independent.

Organising travel, getting a job, meeting new people and making friends: this is the sort of thing confident and independent people do! There's no better way to learn.

3. Learn valuable life lessons before most people.

There's more to this world than what is in your back garden. Travelling abroad opens your eyes to different lifestyles, landscapes, wildlife and societies. It may even make you appreciate some things that you may have taken for granted back home.

4. Improve on a second language.

Being bilingual makes you stand out from the crowd in terms of getting a job. And, let's be honest, it's pretty cool too.

5. Make a lot of new friends from all corners of the globe.

What better excuse to go visit different countries if you have friends that live there?

6. Discover what you are passionate about before you start studying.

The traditional way is to quickly go from education to higher education without getting time to discover what you really want to do. This important decision of what to study shouldn't be rushed, so a gap year is the perfect time to take a step back and think about it.

7. Explore a few job options so you know what you want as a career path or as a job while studying.

Especially in New Zealand, the sorts of jobs backpackers can get relatively easily are entry-level jobs. You can try all sorts of occupations, from bar tending to fruit picking, from receptionist to retail staff. We've even had some Members who've worked on top of windmills, saved kiwi birds, worked for the police, house-sat on an island all to themselves... you'll never know what you could find.

8. Take on an adventure before getting too old.

If you are seriously considering taking a gap year, then now would be the time to do so! Snatch the opportunity before things get in the way, like committing to a career and paying off your mortgage until you die. There is no time like the present to go on an adventure.

9. Save up money for more travel!

The great thing about a working holiday is that you can work for a little while to save up for more travel – get a good balance of "work" and "holiday".

10. Get to know yourself.

It sounds cheesy and cliché, but only because it is true! On a gap year in a new country away from home you are exposed to new opportunities and ideas, so find out what you like – maybe a new hobby – and what you don't like.

11. Become capable of adapting to any environment.

After a gap year, you are practically a chameleon. You've met and lived with people from many different countries, stayed in hostels, maybe have done hikes or extreme activities. These things will help you be open-minded, adaptable and tolerant.

12. Go back home with tons of stories to tell.

You'll be the most interesting person in your friendship group, family, university, job or whatever. Who doesn't like a story that starts with: "This one time, on my gap year..."

13. Finally, it's so much fun!

Seriously, doing a gap year is usually the "trip of a lifetime". In New Zealand, there's an endless list of amazing activities to do with like-minded people. This country certainly promotes the "play" part of "work and play". So, what are you waiting for?

 
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