You’ve heard the term. Perhaps you’ve taken one yourself. Perhaps you’re not sure what we mean when we invite you to join us during your gap year… A gap year is typically taken in the year following high school graduation before the beginning of further academic studies at a college or university. Others take gap years following their graduation from a higher education institution. Many young graduates find themselves traveling abroad during these times, discovering new areas and cultures of the world. This is well and good, and certainly contributes to personal growth, but is it enough to just simply travel for a year?
Why you should volunteer during your gap year
Traveling can be an exciting, new experience for high school students who have yet to break out of their shell and experience the world. There is no doubt that taking a gap year to discover new parts of the world and their cultures can be extremely beneficial in the long-run. If benefits and excitement are what you’re after, then look no further than a voluntour opportunity! Combine your thirst for travel with your desire to spend your free year doing something meaningful. Volunteering during your travels abroad can make your entire experience that much more meaningful, as well as memorable. Through volunteering with local communities, you can truly immerse yourself into the culture as you assist them in fixing real-world problems. Volunteering to teach English is a great way to give back while learning about a different group of people, and vice versa. Volunteering to restore community structures and sacred temples, such as those in Cambodia, is another way to become more cultured and gain international work experience. High school graduates who are already planning what they want to major in can join specific volunteer opportunities or internships abroad to help them gain a better understanding of what their life will be like post-college. Students interested in science, biology and medicine can join a health care placement abroad and give back to communities who are in need of extra hands. Pre-vet students can join a wildlife conservation program and enhance their knowledge of the animals of the world. All of these opportunities provide both a rewarding feeling, as well as real-life experience to give students a leg up.
The top programs for gap year students
Costa Rica – Health and Medical Care in San Jose Another opportunity to enhance your Spanish language skills! This program in the capital city of Costa Rica is unique, in that it is suitable for most students, including gap year students who have just completed their first degree. Volunteers are assigned to specific placements based on their skills, previous experience and language skills, so there is the opportunity for every person to help in their own way. The healthcare placement is for students of health science, nursing, physical therapy and pre-med students. Spanish language lessons can be added onto this experience for an additional fee, and volunteers are placed with a friendly, local host family, so let the cultural immersion begin! This program accepts volunteers for up to an entire year, so if settling down in one place to help a specific community in need of health care assistance, this is the place for you.
Whether you have just graduated high school or have just received your Bachelor’s Degree, GoEco offers some of the best opportunities for gap years. Travel to that foreign land, absorb that new culture and see the world in a whole new way.