People choose to take a gap year for all sorts of reasons; to have fun, to see new places, make new friends and have exciting adventures; but it's not all about fun in the sun! The elements that will really make your gap year memorable are the new challenges you can set yourself, and the chance to further your learning and self development is a primary reason many travellers decide to set off on their gap year.
If you want to gain some really useful and impressive skills that will make you a player on the international stage, then learning a language on your gap year is a brilliant way of proving how versatile you are. If you want to say hola to the locals in Latin America, then learning to speak Spanish on your gap year is a must-do. Learning a language is a valuable new skill that will be sure to impress!
If you fancy being a bit of a water baby on your gap year, then why not brush up your watersport skills and take to the high seas? Why not take the chance to learn to dive in some of the world's most awesome oceans, and see the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, or the exotic underwater paradise off Thailand's idyllic islands? If you see yourself as a bit of a surfer dude, why not learn to surf on the world's wonderful waters? Or skim the seas as you learn to sail and weigh anchor in some wonderful destinations. These are all new skills that can be easily learnt on your gap year and make for some serious aquatic adventures!
If you are the active adventurer type, then you might want to gain some new physical skills on your gap year and really push your limits. If you see yourself slip-sliding with ease down a snowy slope, then why not try skiing or snowboarding? If you are a bit of a karate kid then get into the zen master zone and learn martial arts on your gap year. Or for the budding climber, why not try adventure hiking in an unforgiving climate? There are extreme environments out there waiting to be discovered, like the Australian outback, the bushlands of exotic Africa, or hiking up one of the world's most challenging mountains as you dare to climb Kilimanjaro.
There are many other ways you can learn new skills as you travel, for example through becoming a volunteer abroad and putting your life skills to the test. Budding teachers will find there's no better way of testing out your teaching muscles and gaining classroom skills than by getting involved with a teaching or TEFL course. These new challenges will all help develop your confidence as well as giving you valuable experience working with new people. You will also learn how to deal with a different culture, as well as the practical skills you will gain during your activity, such as building a school for charity, learning about marine wildlife in a reserve, or how to teach a class of children.
The great new skills you learn during your gap year will stay with your for the rest of your life, and make your trip truly memorable. You may discover your new favourite hobby, or a whole new life passion from the skills learnt during your gap year, so it's time to get on your thinking cap and learn a brand new and exciting skill on your gap year!
Rewarding teaching at local primary schools
Nurture young minds and develop the brains of Tanzania's tomorrow in nursery and primary schools! Get great teaching experience, make a real difference in the community, and see a unique side of African life.
2 weeks or longer
Amazing wildlife or conservation volunteering in Canada!
A unique and amazing opportunity to become an unpaid environmental volunteer in rural Canada! Help at wildlife protection or environmental conservation projects with charitable or non-profit organisations and discover the great Canadian outdoors!
Look after disabled children in beautiful Kerala!
Become a valued volunteer on this challenging but rewarding project looking after disabled children in beautiful Kerala, India.
Share your footy skills and coach kids!
Spend 5 – 12 weeks as a football coach in beautiful South Africa and teach kids how to play the beautiful game! Pass on your skills, inspire kids and make a difference on this fantastic volunteer programme.
23 days of volunteering, fun & adventure!
Experience Tanzania on this Volunteer & Adventure trip! Combine two and a half weeks volunteering with kids at schools or orphanages in Arusha and an amazing 10-day overland tour in Tanzania and Zanzibar.
Volunteering and road trip in stunning South Africa
A full-on, hands-on experience in South Africa! Combine community volunteering in Cape Town with the ultimate South African road trip. See stunning scenery and wildlife along the way and try some awesome adrenaline activities!
8 or 10 weeks
Wild adventures in stunning South Africa
Go wild in South Africa on this incredible 360 combo trip, including an African wild adventure, a breathtaking road trip, community volunteering in Cape Town and wonderful wildlife sanctuary projects!
Up to 24 months
Work, live, travel Canada!
Experience the best of Canada as you work and wander around the country for up to two years on an epic travel adventure!
Help Buddhist monks learn English!
Head over to Sri Lanka and help Buddhist monks of all ages to improve their English! Discover Buddhist culture and make a difference on this fantastic cultural volunteer experience.