What To Do In A Gap Year After Graduation?

January 28, 2023
By AdmissionSight

What to Do in a Gap Year after Graduation?

What is a gap year?

What is a gap year? You’ve heard that taking a gap year would be fascinating, so there you go. However, what exactly is it, how do you do it, when does it occur, and what to do in a gap year after graduation?

Each person’s gap year is unique. Basically, it’s a whole year or semester of educational opportunities, which may include travel, volunteer work, a paid job, an internship, or a combination of these. It is frequently taken following high school graduation before beginning college.

Whatever route you take, you’ll see that a successful gap year may make a big difference. Many students leave feeling as though they have a better understanding of who they are. This is primarily because they were able to broaden their horizons and push themselves.

Why take a gap year?

Why take a gap year? To a lot of people, taking a gap year sounds like the perfect way to conclude high school. But just like with most beautiful things, we are led to believe it is unachievable. We constantly consider all the potential negative outcomes, such as “what if it wrecks our future?” “How can we pay for it?” “What happens if we start missing home?” These are understandable reactions to such a major choice, but once you consider the real advantages of taking a gap year, they are quickly dispelled.

Two women looking out the window of their dorm room.

A gap year abroad might not be an option for a while, given everything that is going on in the world right now. However, it’s still crucial to weigh all of your options. The best justifications for going are listed by AdmissionSight below:

Taking a gap year can prevent burnout.

Only 66% of students complete their degrees within six years, according to recent figures. This includes students who have changed or extended their degree to part-time study, dropped out, or changed courses—all potential symptoms of academic burnout.

Even Harvard supports taking a gap year because it recognizes the tremendous academic burden this generation of students is under. It’s acceptable to take a break from studying after 13 years of continuous attendance.

You get better grades.

The main worry about taking a gap year is that after you return, you won’t be interested in continuing your education and will instead lead a nomadic lifestyle, always looking for the next experience. This is just untrue, as studies have shown that kids who take a year off from school before enrolling in college outperform those who enter straight out of high school.

During their gap years, young individuals have the chance to mature, make important life decisions, and experience the results of those decisions. They are eager to make the most of their decision to return to school because they did so voluntarily and not because it was expected of them.

Two people talking in a table.

You acquire practical skills.

Although the educational setting is caring, it can occasionally feel like a bubble. You’re shielded from a variety of obligations in the real world, and many students find it difficult to adjust once they graduate. During a gap year, students assume many of these duties for the first time and acquire a variety of life lessons along the way, including how to manage their daily routine, become financially independent, plan vacations and itineraries, and generally take care of themselves. You’ll be light years ahead of your classmates in these areas when you return to school.

You can improve your financial situation.

What to do in a gap year after graduation? Traveling does not necessarily have to be a part of every gap year, and the majority of us will likely need to use some of our time off to work. Many people will be entering the labor force for the first time, at least in a full-time capacity.

It’s a vital step in paying for any travel you may undertake, but it also presents a special chance to prepare financially for the following academic year. You won’t have to work as hard during the semester if you save some of your income. You might even decide to pay your tuition in full now, which would relieve some of your future burdens.

It increases your employability.

Since just 71% of graduates obtain full-time employment right out of college, students must develop alternative strategies to distinguish themselves in the crowded graduate job market. One of these ways is to travel, as businesses are starting to realize that people’s communication skills and ability to adapt to new environments improve when they go to other countries.

You can learn a language.

You may learn the local language fairly effectively by taking a gap year and staying in one place for a long time. Living in a place where you have to use the language every day to function is far more beneficial than taking classes, much more enjoyable, and—most importantly—conversation is free. crossing our fingers that international borders will reopen as soon as possible!


The main justification for taking a gap year is that it will make you happier, and for students, happiness is a valuable but limited resource. Mental health problems are on the rise among young people, and the increased pressure to succeed has led to a paralyzing fear of anything that doesn’t fit with the standard ideas of success.

Two students putting away their bags in their dorm room.

What to do in a gap year after graduation?

What to do in a gap year after graduation? Although international travel is the traditional focus of gap years, domestic and virtual travel can also provide worthwhile experiences. The most crucial step is picking a goal that has personal significance for you.

There is no requirement that your “gap year” be exactly one year long. To find out more about what to do in a gap year after graduation, continue reading.

Go abroad

The most popular objective for people taking a gap year is international travel. In the Gap Year Association’s 2020 alumni survey, 89% of participants said they had visited countries other than the United States or Canada. Traveling often goes hand in hand with language study, which is a major priority for many gap year participants.

To go abroad is the top one answer to what to do in a gap year? A gap year abroad can be spent in a variety of ways. Both your own schedule and an organized program are options. Travel programs for gap years can range in price from $5,000 to $12,000, but frugal adventurers can frequently save money by getting scholarships, finding work while traveling, or joining a volunteer program that includes lodging and board.


According to the Gap Year Association survey, 79% of gap year alumni volunteer their time in some capacity. There are a lot of opportunities to volunteer at home and abroad in fields like conservation, education, and health care.

Volunteers can stay and eat at some organizations, such as World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. Others even provide a stipend, such as AmeriCorps. However, those who have some resources to cover travel and/or living expenses may find that volunteering is best for them.

Work abroad

Working as an au pair or live-in nanny and teaching English to children or adults are two well-liked methods to support yourself while exploring the world. Many working vacationers are employed in the hospitality sector.

Participants who are a little older and have more work experience might do better with this choice. Obtaining employment abroad frequently calls for a work visa. A placement service that helps you find a job might even handle your visa arrangements.

Study a foreign language

The ability to speak a foreign language can look great on your CV, and what better way to get better at it than by conversing with native speakers all day, every day? Your fluency will increase if you spend your gap year abroad, whether you’re working, volunteering, or just having fun.

You can still study a new language even if a domestic or virtual gap year suits your budget or comfort level better. Try communicating with a language tutor online using a platform like Italki. Additionally, you can combine language learning with civic involvement by doing volunteer work in your target language’s local communities.

Focus on sports

So what to do in a gap year? Focus on athletics. A gap year can be a terrific opportunity to combine a love of sports with travel and personal development possibilities. Consider volunteering to coach a sports team abroad if you want to develop your leadership abilities while improving the lives of young people. Many coaching programs include living with a host family so that the student can fully immerse themselves in the culture and language.

a male basketball player dribbling a ball

Ski or scuba instructor certification can result in paid employment, but training can cost anywhere between $1,500 and over $12,000. Participants may need to be over 18 depending on the program, but some sports coaching programs accept younger teenagers.

Investigate potential career paths

Before enrolling in years of pricey programs, you might wish to obtain experience in your chosen area if you’re between high school and college. Or maybe you’ve already started your educational journey and aren’t sure if you made the right choice. You can learn more about what it’s like to work in your desired field by taking a gap year.

The opportunity to intern domestically or overseas might give you a flavor of the working world, but keep in mind that many internships are unpaid. In reality, placement programs can be expensive, especially for internships abroad, so if you don’t have a sizable cash cushion to fall back on, make sure to select paid possibilities.

Relax and recuperate

Burnout was the top reason given by 35% of survey participants in the Gap Year Association that they decided to take a year off. These kids are not alone. In a study done by Boston University in 2021, 83% of the almost 33,000 people who took part said that their mental health hurt their schoolwork.

Regardless of how you choose to spend your gap year—whether you prioritize international travel, job exploration, volunteer work, or a combination of objectives—be sure to schedule some time for self-care. Putting an emphasis on your physical and mental health will help you get ready to go back to school or your job with fresh vigor and motivation.

Now that we have discussed what to do in a gap year after graduation, finding the correct institution to attend is essential, regardless of whether you decide to take a gap year or enroll directly after high school graduation. AdmissionSight has established itself as a market leader in assisting students in being admitted to prestigious institutions throughout the world through a private consulting program and test preparation courses. We have one of the highest success rates in the sector, with 75% of our students receiving admission letters from Ivy League institutions. Get in contact with us to schedule your free initial consultation.




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