The benefits of taking a gap year, according to those who did

With the long summer break approaching, or for those making the decision whether to go to university or take a gap year, many look at travelling as being an option. 

Each year around 30,000 students defer furthering their education according to data from the university admissions service UCAS.

Government gap year statistics found that two in five students say their primary reason for going travelling was to become independent. 

Travelling while you are young holds many benefits and can open up windows of opportunities.

The Coventry University Group found that travelling is beneficial as young people have fewer ties and financial responsibilities, they get to experience other cultures, they gain independence and learn about themselves, and meet friends for life.  

Ella Bullimore, 22, who lives in Hampton, went travelling around Australia, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia for three months earlier this year.

Bullimore said that she went with a girl who she found on the Girls who Travel Facebook group and that she had enjoyed every moment of her experience and would recommend it to anyone. 

“My experience was so eye opening. I got to experience different cultures, lifestyles and environments, as well as taught me to lighten up a bit and was so good for my confidence,” she said.

According to the organisation Teaching Abroad Direct, 80% of UK students who go travelling self fund their own trip, with the average spend per month while travelling being £2258.

Bullimore said that the one thing she wished that she had known before going would be how much it would cost because she spent a lot more than intended.

Kirstie Davies, aged 19, who lives in Thames Ditton, travelled around Japan, Thailand and Bali for three months, half solo travelling and half with friends.

Davies said: “The experience was surreal. Waking up every morning and only worrying about what I was going to see, where I was going to stay and what I wanted to eat was so refreshing and relaxing.

“I met so many people who had different outlooks on life and different experiences compared to most of my friendship group.”

She said that the trip had taught her more about herself and allowed her to become more independent. 

Teaching Abroad Direct  found that 60% of students who took a gap year said that it helped them decide what they wanted to study at university and 66% said that they took their studies more seriously once they returned.

According to Go Abroad, a search engine that helps people find travel programmes and opportunities, travelling can be life-changing at any age, but when young people travel, they discover more about who they want to be and how they want to show up in the world. 

+ posts

Leave a Reply

Verified by ExactMetrics