Why a gap year is great for your children

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Looking for a way to help your children gain valuable life experiences and personal growth before jumping into the next stage of their education or career? Consider a gap year! In this blog, we’ll explore the benefits of taking time off and provide tips on how to plan a successful gap year for your child. From increased cultural awareness to improved independence and decision-making skills, there are countless reasons why a gap year may be just what your child needs to thrive. Read on to discover why a gap year is great for your children!

It can help focus goals

Taking a break and spending time working on a gap year can offer up the chance for young people to focus. This can mean everything from finding a new passion or working out what they want to do next in their lives. Having space away from normal, everyday routine sparks new ways of thinking and doing things, which may help your child hone in on the areas in which they want to study or careers they want to embark on.

It’s not always easy to know what you do, so trying something new and having the space to develop by oneself can be beneficial for young people.

Helps people gain confidence

Even the most confident people in the world don’t always start off this way – sometimes they have to learn it along the way. A gap year is the opportunity a young person might need to find their feet on their own, surrounded by like-minded individuals in a new environment. Whether that extra confidence boost comes from challenges or simply from having the chance to try new things, it’s a life skill that money can’t buy.

Builds independence

Nobody wants to be living at home forever under the watchful eye of mum and dad, but learning how to be an adult isn’t always easy. It takes years figuring out how to pay bills, keeping up with what days to put the bins out, among other adult tasks.

A gap year can act as a crash course in independence, taking away the cushy comfort of being at home while also providing a security net just in case things don’t work out. Going on an adventure abroad is bound to build independence, with young people taking control of how they spend their money and their free time away from home.

Offers an insight into full-time work

Landing a full-time job on a gap year is a great way to get a taste of what the “real world” is like – and understand the benefits that come with it. Going straight from school to university may create a delayed sense of responsibility, with no experience of what the working world looks or feels like. 

Being on a gap year not only offers this sort of work experience, but it pays dividends in actually providing young people with a wage. It’s a chance to understand the worth of money and what it’s like to get your first paycheck.

Learn new, essential skills

Alongside the simple fact of working, building new skills is a key part of the gap year experience. In fact, leaving your home country behind (for the moment, anyway) and spending time working abroad is often an opportunity to learn a whole new set of skills.

These skills don’t have to be obvious. They can actually be as simple as learning how to navigate a new town or city, or something as mundane as shopping for your own groceries. More professional skills that can come from a gap year include learning how to communicate professionally with colleagues and managing a team. The list of these invaluable lessons goes on.

Making connections

A less quantifiable part of going on a gap year is making connections. Being part of a group of people or working in an organisation is a great way to connect with other like-minded young people. Your child could form a fantastic network of new friends and supportive colleagues, some of whom may be from various other countries. 

It’s not only just meeting people in general. Young people on a gap year will get to meet all sorts of people from a variety of different backgrounds, providing a rich social network of people beyond their friends and acquaintances from school. It offers an insight into life beyond one’s hometown.

These kinds of connections could result in friendships that last a lifetime. Even if that’s not the case, knowing these sorts of people for the duration of a gap year can provide support – or even just a few mates to hang out with.

If you have any questions about any gap year program, we have a page with the frequent asked questions from parents, just click here to access it. You can also contact us directly using this link if you need more information.

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