What are the benefits of spending a GAP year?


It is important to be successful, to have direction in our lives, and to make the right decisions. However, the truth is that all these expectations can be quite stressful, especially for a young person who has to decide his fate. Although surrounded by countless possibilities, research shows that nowadays it is much more difficult for people to make a decision. This is because the more choices we have, the harder it is to decide what we want most.

If you think about it, do you really need to hurry so much in life? When did you do something just for yourself, or even – when did you do something for others around you?

With the end of the school year, more and more questions for thousands of students are coming in their minds – what direction to choose, what to study, and where? The practice of taking the so-called “Gap year” or a free year between high school and the university is a great idea among the many options. This activity is gaining popularity in Bulgaria in recent years, but many still wonder who needs it or considers it a waste of resources and time. For this reason, we decided to address to both young and old, by listing some of the main positives of a “Gap year”:

Break the stereotypes!

A study by the Gap Year Association shows that more than 80% of young people who have chosen to take a break after high school continues their education at university. Of course, only if they previously had a plan to continue their higher education. Moreover, by taking the time to make an informed decision, most young people show that they are more confident in their choices and happier at work.

Gain valuable experience in different environments

During this year, it is important to dedicate yourself to exploring new horizons, as well as to test your talents in various fields. Even if you are convinced that you want to pursue a career in business, there is nothing stopping you from devoting yourself to various artistic activities for a while. With each year of our maturation, we have less and less time. It is good to give the opportunity to our inner self to develop unsuspected potential. You will definitely have more free time during your “Gap year” and this is a great opportunity to return to an old hobby.

Let’s not forget the work!

Nowadays, employers often ask young people to have work experience even at a young age. But between lectures and exams, as well as other misfortunes in life, it is not easy to work while being at the university. On the other hand, you can indulge in work experience before you even start your higher education. Of course, this does not have to be your dream job. The truth is that employers often want work experience even if it is not specific to the position you are applying for. For example, when you have worked in a restaurant, you gained some experience through teamwork, development of critical thinking and communication skills.

Adventure and find your place!

An integral part of a “Gap year” is travel. Even if you do not have a lot of financial resources, you have the most valuable resource in your hands – time!

The truth is, it doesn’t always take a lot of resources to travel around the world. Especially if you are a citizen of Europe, there are countless opportunities for cheap travel. Various applications such as Couchsurfing allow you to sleep even for free at locals’ houses who like to accommodate tourists. If this is too extreme for you, you can always find hostels with modest prices of about 15 euros. Plus there are other young adventurers like you, with whom you can exchange unforgettable moments. The luxury is in the lived memories, not in the comfortable beds!

It is good to take advantage of the freedom of our young years to travel around different countries and get to know more and more cultures. This helps a lot in the growth of a person.

Great opportunity to get involved in a short-term or long-term project in a foreign country!

You may have studied Spanish for 4 years at school, but you still don’t think you can speak fluently. Or do you just want to live in a foreign country for a while, while gaining useful experience? European Solidarity Corps projects are one of the most wonderful opportunities you can take advantage of during your Gap year. Often no previous experience is required, but you can get one in your dream areas! The topics are countless – from culture, ecology, sports to social work, organization of festivals and events, and so many others. If you are wondering how to get involved in the process and find the right project for you – read more about the topic HERE

Opportunity to develop your soft skills

Being surrounded by new challenges on a regular basis, traveling around different countries, and meeting different cultures, it is easy to develop soft and communicative skills. The ability to communicate effectively and have emotional intelligence are some of the important things in recruitment today. The more a person has experienced, the more he or she will be able to contribute with his or her personality in a professional setting. 

These are just some of the many reasons why we think it is good for a young person to take the time to make the right choice. By giving ourselves time and space for development, we help not only ourselves but also the others around us. Both by our own actions and by the example of our behavior. The truth is that the years pass quickly! That is why it is important to be a more conscious version of ourselves from an early age. However, this does not always happen during school and university classes, but on the contrary – through the collision with the world and the people in it.