Exams are done, you survived and got your high school diploma, but what now?
18.044, the amount of courses of studies during the winter semester of 2015/2016. This number contains 8.298 Bachelor and 8.099 Master programs. Those numbers only reflect one small area of possibilities though and leaves out the variety of other options one is confronted with, when having finished High School. One of those possibilities is the Gap Year, which is something especially German students like to partake in after having passed their Abitur successfully. You will find links on how to plan such a journey at the end of this article.
Simply sitting at home for an entire year and just letting time pass by does not seem very pragmatic and one is also more than overdue to get away from hotel Mama and live in their own student apartment. Obtaining new experiences on an unknown continent, getting to know other cultures, learning a new language and possibly also gain work experience, are all possibilities that sound more than thrilling after having been in school for 12 years. Finally one is able to reach out of their comfort zone and take their first step towards independence.
Furthermore, in today’s job market it is really important that you speak English well, which can be learned easily throughout work and travel in Australia, for example. This does not only give you the opportunity to get to know a new country, but also new and interesting people. Taking on a big trip like that all by yourself might seem intimidating at first, but there are always tons of people travelling along the with you. Consequently you are never going to be alone and will most definitely find yourself a travel group. Additionally it is proven that you learn a language better and faster when being surrounded by people who actually speak and live the language rather than taking a course in your hometown. Concerning the work component of work and travel you have to be super careful, because a lot of organizations that you can find on the internet exploit you and let you work under horrible circumstances. So here’s some advice: Try getting a job through friends of friends of friends or check the website as thoroughly as possible beforehand. You don’t want to be surprised by the horrible work conditions and end up wishing you had your own apartment.
All in all, a Gap Year can be an amazing opportunity, especially for all those that are infected by the Wanderlust sickness and have no clue what to do right after High School. If you decide to take advantage of the year off, make sure you really make the best of it. Carpe Diem- Seize the day! See as many things as you can, learn as many new things as humanly possible, seize the opportunity at hand and broaden your horizon. You can live in your own comfy student apartment when you are back, but during that year eat Scorpios, sleep on the floor and so on….
Tipp: I strongly advise you to plan your year of backpacking, travelling and working yourself, because you pay an organization a lot of money that you could just as easily save for your trip. Here you can find a few good links that will help you with your planning!