Gap year travel ideas!

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The idea of a gap year appeals to a great many students but what many do not immediately realize is that taking a year out can be the type of meaningful experience that stays with you for life. A gap year enables you to explore new places and discover parts of the world you were always interested in visiting. Time out from studies can also mean volunteering for an organization that does charitable work abroad in areas in real need of assistance. This time away can act as a transition between high school and college, or be prior to entering graduate school.

The not-for-profit American Gap Association quotes research that found the highest rated outcomes from students taking time out were a better sense of who they were as a person, a greater understanding of other cultures and ways of living, and the gaining of additional skills and knowledge that helped in their subsequent career or academic studies. Research among first-year students by researchers working for Sydney University in Australia found that a gap year has a positive impact on the motivation of students and gives a real boost to their academic performance in the first semesters of college.

Explore the world

You likely have a list of countries you want to visit and explore. Popular destinations include Europe and Asia. Europe has a long tradition of exploration by rail and the InterRail system enables you to explore the continent with your own personal train pass. Rich in history and culture, Europe offers a diversity of experiences, from the south of the continent touching on the Mediterranean Sea to the far North and Scandinavia, heading for the Arctic Circle. Europe was home to some of the great civilizations of the past, including the Roman Empire. Its influence can still be seen to this day, especially in numerous architectural and historic sites.

Asia is equally diverse. It stretches from its western borders with Europe to boundaries with the Pacific Ocean to the East. Huge centers of population contrast with vast expanses of barely populated land. Travel from India to China and on to Japan or further south to Malaysia and Indonesia to witness the diversity of this continent. Further to the South, Australasia incorporates Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea and various Pacific islands.

Africa also offers many opportunities for student travel and a mix of wildlife and ancient cultures as well as a diversity of landscapes, including the Sahara Desert and the East African Plateau with its vast lakes.

Learn and teach

An alternative to traveling from country to country is to go for an immersive experience in one country or region and undertake a language course. An effect of globalization is increasing interaction between people from different parts of the world, often for the purposes of conducting business; so equipping yourself with second-language skills is a great way to attract potential employers. Studying a language in a country where it is spoken every day is a great way of improving your conversational skills in a short period. Quite apart from the boost to your resume, having a second language allows you to experience the culture of a foreign country in a way that the ordinary tourist cannot.

Of course, learning a new language appeals the world over and English-language teachers are in demand in many countries where learning English is seen as a vital educational tool, especially as English has become the language of business.

Volunteer your time

Giving up your time to a charitable cause abroad not only gives you an enormous sense of wellbeing but it also equips you with the type of skills that will prove critical in your career. Popular volunteering opportunities include working with communities in need in developing countries or working on conservation projects focused on animal species under threat of extinction. Environmental causes also rely heavily on volunteers, with projects ranging from the provision of clean water supplies to sustainable farming practices.

When it comes to volunteering with farming initiatives, there are plenty to get involved with. From well know ones to programs run by smaller charities, there are many to get involved with and many backed by professionals in the agricultural sector, such as Jai Shroff who is involved with World Economic Forum’s Grow Africa and Grow Asia initiatives.

Whatever your motivation a gap year gives you the space to think about what you want to do for the rest of your life and offers the opportunity to build the type of skills and have the kind of experiences that will appeal to future employers.



Welcome to the Night Helper Blog. The Night Helper Blog was created in 2008. Since then we have been blessed to partner with many well-known Brands like Best Buy, Fisher Price, Toys "R" US., Hasbro, Disney, Teleflora, ClearCorrect, Radio Shack, VTech, KIA Motor, MAZDA and many other great brands. We have three awesome children, plus four adorable very active grandkids. From time to time they too are contributors to the Night Helper Blog. We enjoy reading, listening to music, entertaining, travel, movies, and of course blogging.

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