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When should you start preparing for a gap year?

Thinking about taking a gap year, but feel like it’s too early to decide? The truth is, it’s never too early to start thinking about your future, whether it’s deciding on your future study options or preparing for a gap year. If you’d like to start doing some prep, we have some tips and ideas that might help you make up your mind.

Why should I take a gap year?

There are several reasons you might like to take a gap year, and everyone is different. But if you need some ideas to brainstorm, here are some of the most popular reasons people take gap years.

Personal growth

A gap year can provide you with opportunities for self-discovery, personal growth, and increased independence.

Travel and cultural experiences

Probably the most popular gap year option, travel can allow you to immerse yourself in different cultures and learn about the world.

Recharge and relax

If you’re feeling burnt out after high school, a gap year can give you the time and space you need to recharge and refocus.

Skill building

Some time off from study can allow you to learn new skills, take up a new hobby, or gain valuable work experience.

How can I prepare for a gap year?

If you’re convinced that a gap year is right for you, here are some steps you can take to start preparing.

Decide on your plans

Think about exactly what you want to accomplish during your gap year. Start planning the details, such as how long you plan to take off, and what you’re going to do during that time.

Set a budget

Chances are you’ll need to start setting aside some money, particularly if you’re looking to travel. Do up a budget now so you know how much you need to save and can start working towards that goal.

Research visa requirements

Depending on your plans, you may need to apply for visas to travel or work in certain countries. Make sure you know exactly what you need to do and if there are any costs.

Search for programs and opportunities

Jump onto the web and see if there are any providers that can help you plan your gap year, or have programs you might like to apply for.

Defer your studies

If you’re already applied to study, you will need to let your institution know ASAP and research their process for deferral. If you haven’t applied yet, we recommend you do some research on deferrals first, as in some cases deferral isn’t possible (but remember you can always re-apply next year).

Find out more

If you still want to do a bit more research before deciding on whether to take a gap year, you can find heaps of tips and advice on our website here.

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