Gap Work: Gap Year Travel and Global Volunteering
The gap year is a crucial period. Taking the full benefit of a gap year could change your life. Your experiences in your gap year could compel you to change the plans that you have made regarding your professional life and chosen course of study. Spending a gap year in a fruitful manner could greatly help you later in life even when it comes to getting employed. However a gap year spent uselessly is a year gone in vain. Having an idea of what you intend to do in your gap year is extremely important.
Traveling during your gap year and getting some work experience could help you in a lot of ways. The experience you gain through traveling combined with the training you get and the skills you cultivate through work could be, quite beneficial to you. Most would think that traveling and working during the gap year sounds somewhat contradictory and cannot be done together. However volunteering for some social service project abroad would involve traveling. You would also receive valuable work experience as a volunteer.
The type of project for which you might want to volunteer would depend largely on your talents and interests. If you are passionate about wildlife for instance, you could join a wildlife conservation project in a country like Africa. Elephant conservation seems to have become a fairly hot topic in the recent past. If you are interested in such areas, even projects related to marine conservation and forest conservation might turn out to be quite exciting for you. However on the contrary if you happen to be more interested in helping people and communicating with people, you could become a volunteer English teacher in some developing country. You might even like to think of joining a HIV awareness program.
It really does not matter whether you are interested in education, construction or conservation. You could find thousands of volunteer programs abroad that are on the lookout for volunteers. Traveling, making new friends, learning completely new things while contributing to a good cause could be a life changing experience for you. Thinking seriously about getting involved in something of this caliber could make your gap year a very exciting and meaningful one.
Many NGOs and the various branch organizations of the UN are always on the lookout for volunteers. You could contact such organizations, and some organizations even allow you to choose a country or an area of your choice. Widening your horizons through some travelling and work experience could also be the perfect preparation for university. You would learn to interact and make friends with people of diverse backgrounds and differing personalities. In the multi-cultural environment in universities today this would be a tremendous advantage.
You could choose to spend your gap year partying and having fun with friends without any thought about anything else. However if you have a more adventurous spirit and want to be involved in something of substance, traveling through volunteering could be your calling. Your gap year could easily be the best year of your life if you spend it in a proper way.