Why Do A Gap Year?

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Not only is a gap year good fun but it also provides you with real life experience and helps you grow in independence and learn to live in other cultures. Furthermore, the skills you gain on a well-structured gap year are in high demand from employers and university admission staff alike – such as fundraising, teamwork, independence and motivation, facing and overcoming challenges, and working in different cultural environments.

Most people return from a gap year revitalised, full of enthusiasm and focused – another reason why employers will want to hire you!Deciding to go travelling around a foreign country – or several foreign countries – on your own or with other people is a liberating and exciting experience. Wherever you decide to go you can be sure that you will see and do things you probably wouldn’t otherwise – whether that is swimming with dolphins, scuba-diving in the Great Barrier Reef, white water rafting or walking on glaciers. You will meet new people, make many lasting friendships and are pretty much guaranteed to have the most action-packed, fun and exciting time of your life!

Be warned: most people return from their ‘gap year’ wanting to do another – it can give you the ‘travel bug’. Structurally organised voluntary programmes are a popular choice with people who don’t want to travel alone or who want to make a real difference while experiencing a totally new culture. They are also a good choice for those who can only take a short period of time away as voluntary programmes can last for a few weeks to a full year. The range of projects available include everything from looking after sick and endangered animals to saving sea turtles in the wild or building huts for whole communities to live in. Whichever project you decide, you can be sure it will provide you with a challenging and rewarding learning experience and could change the way you think and see things forever.

There are many different types of ‘gap years’ that people undertake and they can vary hugely in the length of duration and the kind of activity undertaken. They range from around-the-world trips to working holidays overseas, action-packed adventures in the great outdoors to voluntary placements in far-off lands working on worthwhile projects as diverse as doing marine research, helping develop farming techniques in underprivileged areas and supplying medical care to orphans and other disadvantaged members of communities. Here we look at a few of the different types of gap year agendas and programmes commonly undertaken.


Whichcollege.ie is a national database of universities, colleges, institutes and providers of third level and PLC courses in Ireland. We operate a national search database of courses at certificate, diploma and degree level as well as providing information about career paths and directions.
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