A gap year is a year taken out of full-time education. Young people most typically take them between sitting their A-Levels/Level 3 Qualifications and starting university. They are an excellent way to get some work experience, explore the world, learn new skills, and take a break from the routines of education.
Gap years are accessible at other life and education stages as well as pre-university, with over 230,000 young people aged between 18 and 25 taking one. It can sometimes feel like you are on a continuous path from GCSE’s, to A-Levels, to university, and then into the world of work without stopping to take a breath. More and more young people want a break from this trajectory, allowing them to be more creative about how they want to spend their time.
There are many different gap year options, and the way you spend your year is entirely up to you. The most popular ways to spend it include:
- travelling and backpacking,
- working to earn money for your next step
- taking shorter courses
- gaining work experience in a particular career
Finishing school is a huge step, and in this new unexplored territory, it can be hard to know whether taking a gap year is right for you. For some, it’s a life-changing experience that sets them up for the real world but for others it’s just simply not the right time to be taking a break from education.
We have compiled a list of questions you may ask yourself before considering embarking on a gap year.