You are almost done with school but you don`t know yet what you want to do next. Will you continue with a master or another education? And if so, what do you really want to do in your life? Would you like to start earning money? Or have you always been dreaming about traveling in Central & South America? And do you want to develop as a person or give something back to community? For example, with volunteering during your gap year.
Well, you are certainly not the only one with all these questions. Many of us think about taking a gap year. I have also thought about it myself when I was younger. But somehow, immediately I rolled into a working career. By coincidence, due to a reorganization at work. I got the chance to take a gap year. I took it only a little bit too serious. Because I ended up traveling for over a year! Thanks to this round-the-world trip, I got infected with the travel bug and it never let me go. Since that moment, I have made more beautiful trips. My long-term travels have been the best thing that happened to me in my life! I believe that you take this life experience with you for your entire life. For this reason, I would highly recommend everyone to take a gap year. You only live once!
So, what`s the ideal period for a gap year? 3 months, half a year or longer? Really, it doesn`t matter! Taking a gap year abroad is a great opportunity for your personal development. It helps you to discover what feels good for yourself and what makes you happy. And that can help you to make a choice or for the next step in your life.
If you live in a foreign country with a different culture, a great adventure is about to begin. You meet new people, you get to know yourself a lot better, you improve your language skills and you become more independent. In a nutshell: after your gap year you will come back as a real-world citizen!
But how do you actually arrange a gap year abroad? It´s important that you be prepared for your trip. That´s why I give you my 5 TIPS TO MAKE YOUR GAP YEAR TO A SUCCESS!
1: WHAT DO YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE AND HOW DOES YOUR GAP YEAR CONTRIBUTE TO YOUR GOALS
The first step to make your gap year successful is to think about what you want to do in your gap year. It´s easier said than done? Well, there are many goals to think about. Maybe it helps to take first a step back in the process. Think about who you want to be and imagine yourself in 5 years.
What do you want to achieve in your life? What do you think are important things in your life? What things do you want to do or experience that make you happy and enjoy life more? And then think about what things are necessary to achieve your goals.
2: MAKE A CHOICE FOR THE PURPOSE OF YOUR GAP YEAR
Do you want to live in a foreign country? Or do you want to learn new skills and work on your personal development? Or you might think about a study or an internship abroad? These days you can find a lot of inspiration on the world wide web about how you can fill in your gap year.
Choice stress? This isn´t necessary! You can also combine things with each other. For example, you can follow a language course in Latin America and then you can travel around this beautiful continent in the second part of your gap year. You will nail it for sure!
3: GAP YEAR PROGRAMS ABROAD? CHOOSE FOR RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL
Will a gap year abroad become part of your plans? How do you make a good choice? Which organization do you want to travel with? Or let`s do volunteering abroad and make a difference? It´s definitely a good idea, as long as you know what to look for. Make sure that the gap year programs you choose are responsible and sustainable. This will prevent you from inadvertently harming the community or project where you will be helping.
If you think about volunteer programs and to learn Spanish in Latin America. Then we might have what you are looking for. We work with local partners and your money will directly benefits them. All your expenses will go directly to the local economy. Our partners also try to think green and keep their sustainable footprint as low as possible. In any case you will have a responsible and unforgettable gap year experience.
4: MAKE A BUDGET FOR YOUR GAP YEAR
Are you going to take a gap year abroad? How amazing is that! But there are also costs involved. Or better: see it is an investment. Investing in yourself is always money well spent anyway. It´s important to get an idea of the costs in the country where you want to go. Costa Rica and Chile are for example more expensive than Guatamala and Bolivia. There are big differences between these countries in cost of living.
If you are going to do a language course, take into account the costs for your flight ticket, language program and travel expenses. Will it be volunteer work in Latin America? Then make sure you never pay for the volunteer work itself. Usually, organizations charge a huge amount of money if you want to go with them. Especially if you book a volunteer project in your home country. The chance is really high that your money will not directly benefit the program. If you don´t believe that´s correct? Then have a look to our volunteer programs from our partner schools we work with. You can find free volunteer programs or for a relatively low fee.
5: MAKE A SOLID PLAN FOR YOUR GAP YEAR
Now that you know roughly what your budget is, it`s important that you make a plan for your gap year. How are you going to get the money together? How much time do you need for this? Have you already saved something?
It´s very important that you think about how long you want to leave and which activities you want to do. Request information about interesting gap year programs in Latin America.
Now that you know where you are going, you will make of course make a deep dive into the countries. What is a classic South America itinerary? Which places you should not miss in Central America? Trust me, one of the coolest parts about traveling is the pre-fun! Create a bucket list and be inspired with travel adrenaline before you go on your trip!
BONUSTIP: LEARN SPANISH DURING YOUR GAP IN LATIN AMERICA
You can also study Spanish in South and Central America during your gap year. Your travels will be a lot easier and more enjoyable when you know a basic level of Spanish. It helps you to connect with people and understand more about a place and the culture. With our language courses in South and Central America you can not only improve your Spanish. But you will also experience the culture, traditions, history and do the best activities of Latin America. You can use your new language skills for travel purpose and it´s good for your resume. Learning a new language can totally change your life for the better! Some young people who are thinking about taking a gap year don`t always realize this.
FOLLOW A GAP YEAR TO LATIN AMERICA WITH SPANISH TRAVEL CLASSES?
Now that I’ve largely helped you on your way, it’s up to you for making your gap year unforgettable! Would you like to know more about a gap year in Latin America with Spanish Travel Classes? Have a look at our programs which you can tailor to your gap year adventure or contact us today!
We are happy to help!