Many teenagers elect to take a gap year before they have to enter college. And their motives are entirely understandable. According to a survey of teens taking a gap year, 92 percent wanted to grow as people and experience new things. Other popular motivations include building work experience, discovering career options, and learning a new language.
The second highest reason for deferring entering college was the desire to experience the cultures of other countries, accounting for 85 percent of respondents. You can organise travel plans to accommodate your other gap year goals. Here are four destinations where you can enjoy your gap year and expand your life experiences.
Learn Another Language in Central America
Learning another language is much better if you use them in their native context and from people who have spoken it from birth. Spanish is an excellent choice for a second language, with more than 500 million native speakers worldwide. However, each Spanish-speaking country has developed unique constructs and dialects. For example, there are many differences between Spanish spoken in Mexico and Spain, in vocabulary and tenses.
Where better to learn Spanish than in Central America? Aside from learning another language, you can also enjoy pristine beaches, their rich cultural heritage, and delicious cuisines. Mexico is always a good starting point, but don’t forget to consider countries like Paraguay and Colombia, each with their own amazing cultures.
Get Work Experience in the Land Down Under
Building your resumé this early is a good idea. It tells future employers you’re proactive and brave. Your portfolio will look even more impressive if you have credentials from companies all over the world. And who says you can’t get your work experience amidst sun-soaked beaches and vibrantly blue waters?
There are plenty of job opportunities for gap year students in Australia, one of the most beautiful countries in the world. You can learn how to be independent, hold down a job, and expand your work experience, all while enjoying the sunny weather and exotic thrills the vast subcontinent has to offer.
Find Yourself in East Asia
They say the best way to find yourself is to put yourself in a completely different context. Travelling to the vast continent of Asia could be one of the most rewarding experiences in your life. If your life is feeling too hectic and you’re dreading the bustle and business of the college, taking the time to center yourself and experience other cultures could be just the thing for you.
East Asian countries like Japan and South Korea are a wonderful combination of modern convenience and tranquility. Not only do these countries have rich cultures that helped developed advanced techniques used for enlightenment, but they’re also profoundly introspective, which can give you the space you need to center yourself.
Experience History in Europe
Although many countries in Africa and Asian can boast civilisations that stretch back thousands of years, why not start with the Old Country? Europe and the United States share so much history, and Europe has centuries of history you can unpack and examine. Besides, backpacking through Europe has got to be one of the oldest gap year traditions. It’s also easy to travel around mainland Europe; all you need is a train ticket and your passport. Explore the chateaus of France, the rich panoramas of Spain, and the glorious ruins of Ancient Greece.
A gap year is not just a vacation but a chance to transform yourself. These destinations can help you not only understand other people and their cultures but also understand yourself.