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Gap year

You may decide that you would like to take some ‘time out’ to travel and undertake work experience in the UK or abroad. You may just want to have some fun. Whatever you do, make sure you develop skills, abilities and experiences that will enhance your career prospects.

Future employers will expect you to have made good use of your time out. Even if you ‘just travel’ during your gap year, you will develop maturity and independence, increase your self-awareness, and potentially discover new career options too.

Here are some tips and ideas to consider during your time out:

  1. Consider registering with an employment agency to do temp work.
  2. Gain voluntary work experience in the UK or abroad.
  3. Teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) is a popular option. See below for a bit more info about this.
  4. Don’t get taken advantage of. Research any Gap Year provider carefully.
  5. Consider the basics – what, where and when as well as how much and why.
  6. A gap year does not have to be abroad and isn’t always a whole year.
  7. Plan your time carefully to ensure you make the most of it.
  8. If you are considering working overseas, make sure you check out any visa requirements or work restrictions first.
  9. Check out the range of gap year ideas and suggestions on


Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL)

With a TEFL qualification you could find work with a language school in the UK or teach English abroad. Some organisations offer exchange teaching programmes. Opportunities can be found in Japan, China, the Far East, Middle East, parts of Eastern Europe as well as Spain, Italy and Germany. A lot of people use TEFL to fund their gap year travel.

Overseas employment

If you are keen to find paid work while you travel, a good starting point for identifying vacancies is the  Working Abroad section on  These articles include information about each country’s job market, tips on finding work experience as well as advice about visa and immigration issues.

If you are interested in working your way across the world have a look at which matches volunteers to hosts.

Page last updated on Wednesday 2 January 2019 at 12.03pm.


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