If one of your customer's biggest questions is “Why should I do a gap year?”, we’ve got a few answers here to convince them to take the plunge.
Taking a gap year is a big decision. For many, it can seem like they're pausing life or a career progression for an extended holiday. The fear is that, upon returning home, they’ll be left behind their peers in terms of some of life’s major milestones. Fortunately, that’s really not the case. A gap year is a great time for gaining experience, self-discovery and learning new skills that can help in studies or their career - making it a truly worthwhile experience. Plus, they'll have the time of their life.
A gap year can come in many forms - taking a year off after high school and before college, in the middle of studies, or after graduating university and before starting work. In Australia, as long as they’re between the ages of 18 and 30 when applying, there’s no wrong time to come Down Under on a Working Holiday visa.
So what’s in it for them? We’ve compiled a list of the top reasons to do a gap year in Australia:
Earning money while travelling will allow them to stay longer and explore further. This means going beyond the main highlights of a country and getting deeper into the culture. In Australia, discover outback gems like Kakadu and Arnhem Land, or visit smaller islands such as Rottnest or Lady Elliot Island. Not only will they be fascinated by the wildlife, history and stunning landscapes of each destination, but they’ll leave with serious bragging rights. However – be warned – the more they discover, the more they’ll want to see.
Taking a gap year when young can be ideal for a number of reasons. First of all, being young means they probably have fewer responsibilities that could hold them back, such as a mortgage, career or family. They’re still free to focus on themselves before becoming tied down with the obligations of adulthood. It’s the perfect time to throw caution to the wind and take off on an unforgettable adventure. If not now, then when?
Even if your customer has already dipped their toe into adulthood, it’s not too late to take some time out and discover another part of the world. They may be feeling burnt out in their career, thinking of a change or just in need of a break. Being a bit older can even have its advantages when it comes to taking a gap year. Their experience at university or in the working world has made them more confident and they know what they want to get out of their time away. It’s a fantastic way to reignite their curiosity for learning, explore possible careers through hands-on field work and make international industry contacts in their field.
Making big decisions that will affect their future can be a stressful exercise in faith. They may not be sure what career they want - or even what they want to study. Or maybe they’ve started their career or university degree but aren’t sure it's the right choice. Taking a gap year is the perfect way to explore different options, discover passions and let life lead them down a new and promising career path.
Even if their career path is already mapped out, a gap year can provide substantial benefits to the development of professional skills and personal character. Professionally, it’s an opportunity to gain global insights into their industry by working in that field in another country. Whether it’s volunteer work or a full-time role, they’ll get the chance to see how things are done differently and come back with a broader perspective and new ideas to share. They’ll also make valuable industry contacts and learn new skills that could potentially help them reach the next stage in their career.
Moving to another country is easily one of the most adventurous things to do. It may be confronting and a bit scary to get them out of their comfort zone, but the thrill and excitement of it all will make it totally worth it. They’ll make lifelong friends, discover incredible destinations and have experiences that challenge and excite them. Whether it’s skydiving over the Great Barrier Reef, diving with great white sharks, or just meeting new people, Australia is full of opportunities to overcome fears and have adventures they can't help but brag about.
One of the most incredible things about travel is the chance to meet people from different backgrounds. Having exposure to other cultures and walks of life will help them develop greater empathy and appreciation for different ways of living. In addition to meeting other like-minded travellers, Australia is a truly multicultural country. Aboriginal culture is the oldest continuous culture in the world, thought to be at least 50,000 years old. Experiencing some of the traditions and customs, learning about their connection to the land and hearing their stories is a great way to connect to the history of the country. Australia is also home to immigrants and descendents of immigrants from nearly every country in the world. Thanks to its proximity, there’s a large Asian influence as well as influences from across Europe.
Being employable is all about standing out, and what better way to separate yourself from the pack than exploring a different part of the world? After an unforgettable year in Australia, your customer will be seen as someone who is curious, courageous, independent and more mature than their peers. They’ll learn soft skills in everyday life such as teamwork, negotiation skills and budgeting, while any type of job will teach practical skills related to that line of work. If English is not their native language, it’s also a great opportunity to improve language skills in a truly immersive way. All of these things can help them stand out when applying for graduate programs or their dream job.