Gap Year FAQS: Part Two | Top Universities

Gap Year FAQS: Part Two

By Staff W

Updated April 4, 2018 Updated April 4, 2018

Get a better idea of whether a gap year is right for you, and how to get the most out of one, with this second series of gap year FAQs.

There are a lot of organizations offering gap year experiences. Which one is the best?

The only answer to this question is research. Do your research into what organizations offer what kind of experiences, and narrow it down to those you're interested in.

Look through their websites, request information, ring them and get a feel for what kind of experience that particular organisation offers.

If it sounds appealing, then go for it. If you're still unsure, ask to talk with someone who has been on a gap year through this organization before. They may be able to give you some valuable inputs.

In the end, it all comes down to the amount of time and effort you're prepared to put into researching the different organizations to make sure it's exactly what you're after.

I want to work for a charity as part of my gap year. How do I choose which one?

It's important you research this one as well, but before you do, ask yourself some questions. What type of charity work are you interested in? Have you done some charity work before? Did you enjoy it? Do you want to do more of the same?

You can be involved in any kind of charity work, from reading books to children in schools, to building houses in a community on the other side of the world.

Providing support for a charity is a rewarding experience and any amount of your time you can give will be much appreciated.

I want to get advice from someone who's already done a gap year. Where can I find 'gap year survivors'?

Going on a gap year is one of the most exciting times of your life and people want to share their experiences, so there'll be no shortage of advice from people who have been there, done that.

There are a number of blogs where people chat about their gap year experiences and ask questions of what to expect. Look out for people's individual websites as well, where they've uploaded their gap year experiences in stories, diary entries and photographs.

Ask some gap year organizations if you can be put in touch with others who've gone before you.

What if I get homesick while I'm away?

First of all don't worry about it. It is perfectly normal for you to get homesick while you're away. Travelling either on your own or with friends and others you've met along the way will be exciting, but 12 months is also a long time to be away from family, close friends and the familiarity of home.

If you get homesick, talk with others from the same country as you. Reminisce about all the things you're missing and all the things you're not, this might put it into perspective.

It's also a good idea to have things to look forward to. That way you won't dwell on home so much.

What happens once I've finished my gap year?

Once you've finished your gap year, the idea is that you start on your tertiary education. The gap year is designed to give you a year off studying between finishing school at 18 and starting as an undergraduate student at university.

The prospect of sitting in lecture theatres, handing in assignments and studying for exams, may not be as appealing as the white water rafting, the bus trips or the community work you've spent the last 12 months experiencing but just because you're starting at university doesn't mean you have to stop travelling.

Most universities have study abroad programs and if you work during your studies this can always fund some trips during your holidays.

This article was originally published in November 2012 . It was last updated in April 2018

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