In the modern climate, choosing to postpone the world of work in favour of life experience in the form of a gap year is becoming more and more common. While it has been the norm in the past to choose to take a year out before degree study, it is becoming increasingly popular to focus on education and embark on gap year travel after postgraduate study.
For those who are looking to embark on a career in banking and finance, a gap year after completing an MSc in accounting may seem like the most sensible and viable option as it is regarded by many to be easier and cheaper to go straight into a master’s degree after undergrad.
For those who still have the travelling bug after study, this guide offers information and links to resources from the likes of established names like STA Travel and even guides to download including NomadHead’s Your Guide To Gap Year Travel, which students can get for free using the code ‘GAPYEAR’ to start planning and thinking about a gap year after postgraduate study.
When thinking about a gap year, particularly one for after further education, it is important to think about when you get back from travelling in addition to the travelling itself. All too often graduates make the mistake of embarking on their gap year without thinking about what will happen when they come back. As a master’s graduate, with master’s-sized tuition fees, not many can afford this luxury, so thoughtful planning is necessary.
Volunteering is one way to improve your job prospects whilst partaking in a gap year, offering some reassurance for when you return. With hundreds of volunteering gap year projects available all over the globe, the world is your oyster as you decide whether you want to help out at an elephant sanctuary in Thailand, dive in to marine conservation in Africa or feel the sense of reward when working in an orphanage in India. There are hundreds of sites out there that can make both finding and embarking on volunteering abroad that bit easier and cost effective, here we have put together the best:
A big name in the travel business, particularly for young people and students, this is one to trust with your gap year plans. They have a fantastic STA Travel Volunteering page that lists numerous great projects to sink your teeth into and offer some weight to your CV for when you return. With deals and money off offers running all the time, they are great place to start.
Is another great company specialising in conservation and development and have a whole portfolio of projects that offer trips ranging from one to 30 weeks, accommodating almost any schedule. Working with projects all over the world, Frontier is a fantastic company for anyone looking to embark on volunteering abroad; just see the Frontier volunteer page for a list of the projects you could get involved in.
For those who may have felt the pinch of postgraduate study in London, but don’t wish to sacrifice their chance of a gap year, working abroad may be the answer. Like volunteering, this also offers a great way of boosting your CV for potential employers on your return, but also offers a more cost effective method of seeing more of the world.
Gap 360 is one of the best for finding working gap year projects. Their Gap 360 Work Abroad page offers some of the most varied job roles that can be undertaken all around the world. From working as a surf instructor in Australia to teaching in Thailand, they offer full packages that often include training and flights, so nothing is out of bounds.
Kids – whether you love them or hate them, nothing beats the experience of working at a summer camp in America. What could be better than being paid to play in the sun all day and partake in some super fun activities with some totally awesome people?
Camp Leaders, a part of the established Smaller Earth student travel company, provide everything you need to get started, including finding the camp and job based on your favourite hobbies, as well as sorting out visas, flights and insurance. Just apply and fill in your details and they’ll sort out the rest – and because you’ll be travelling with a working visa you’ll have time to travel freely after camp is over.
STA Travel comes through once again. Their STA Travel Work and Travel page offers endless inspiration for work options abroad, covering America, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and more. They offer ways to help you get onto Teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) courses as well as numerous other skills programmes, including learning to be a game ranger in South Africa and ski and snowboard instructor courses.
These are just a few ideas for the new postgrad gap year that is sweeping the nation. If you took a gap year after a master’s degree, we’d love to hear about it on the GSM London Facebook page.
Image Credit: Will Ellis, Frontierofficial (flickr.com), Gap 360
This content was written by Rachel Smith. Please feel free to visit my Google+ Profile to read more stories.