Opinion: Why Everyone Should Take a “Gap Yah”

During this season of college fever, if you are considering taking a year off from academia, the first thing you should do is watch the hilarious video entitled ‘Gap Yah’ on YouTube. The second thing you should do is visit gapdaemon.com, a website that helps students plan their prospective gap year, including links to cheap flights, volunteering opportunities and real life stories of gap year brilliance.

Everybody should consider taking a gap year as it has the potential to produce incredible life experiences and can include a wealth of options for the recent high school graduate. For example: teaching English as a second language. Once you complete a TEFL course (Teach English as a Foreign Language), you are qualified to teach in a multitude of foreign countries. This practically opens up the whole world for job opportunities, and gives the gap-year taker a staggering amount of fantastic places to choose from. Even better: on top of the priceless memories you’ll make, you also get paid! Despite the global recession, English teachers are in very high demand and schools will assist you with room and board. Furthermore, with your savings, you can pay for flights to travel to even more amazing locations. It’s truly a win-win. gap year

On the other hand, if you’re using your gap year to get as far away from a classroom as possible, you could travel to India and try scoring a role as an extra in a Bollywood movie, which would be an awesome cocktail party conversation-starter. Or if you’re sportier, try New Zealand, where they employ nineteen year-olds to teach white water rafting. If you’d rather have a short time plan, head to the UK during the summer months for festival season. There are an astounding amount of music and arts festivals occurring throughout the summer all over the UK, and they’re all looking for people to help out as campaigners or bartenders. You’re not only paid, but you also get free admission to the festivals.

It all sounds like a dream, right? Now let’s talk practicalities, like where you will stay. A gap-year taker’s best friend is the hostel. Before this century, hostels were associated with disgusting bathrooms, no air conditioning and seedy rooms. But over the past few years, there has been a hostel revolution and some hostels are even nicer than some hotels – and much cheaper! Hostels will have job opportunities for young travelers and a vibrant and youthful community. Some Thai hostels cost about $3 a night, which demonstrates how cheap it is to backpack in Southeast Asia, another wonderful gap year plan.

Personally, I believe everyone should take a gap year. They are a fabulous opportunity to grow as a person, meet interesting people, immerse yourself in a foreign culture and experience living independently. So, if backpacking across Australia, teaching English in China, camping in Morocco, volunteering in Chile, or hostel-jumping across Europe sounds good to you, you should take a gap year.

— Megan Evershed, Staff Writer

Posted by on September 16, 2013. Filed under Op-Ed. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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