What to do in a gap year: explore yourself, not the world

When most people think gap year, they think foreign travel. But there are ways to expand your horizons at home. 

Taking a gap year between school and uni is becoming increasingly common1, but the reasons for wanting one are varied.

For some, it’s about having a break after years of study before taking on yet more study. While for others it might be to try to settle on a future career path – and with uni fees set to rise, it’s important to make sure you don’t end up paying for study you never actually use.

For others it might be to learn more about the world, give something back or learn more about themselves. And while commonly associated with overseas trips, not everyone may want to – or can afford to – embark on a year of travel.

Read on to explore things to do in a gap year at home, which can be an equally rewarding experience.

Get work experience

Whether it’s to get some money behind you, or some experience in your chosen career, working either part-time or full-time can be a real eye-opener.

Or you can follow in the footsteps of Malia Obama, the daughter of the former US President, who is interning at film production company during her gap year to gain experience in an industry she’s interested in working in.

Gain new skills

An at-home gap year can give you the opportunity and time to get some valuable skills under your belt.

Perhaps you deferred getting your driver's licence to concentrate on your studies during your final year of school – now is the perfect time to commit the hours required to achieving this.

You may consider doing some short courses that can assist with finding part-time work, such as barista training, responsible service of alcohol, or a first aid certificate.

Or you might want to learn a new skill just to broaden your horizons, such as a language, photography, or meditation.

Spring clean your life

A year out can be a good time to get other aspects of your life in order.

Start by sorting through your wardrobe and belongings, and consider your buying habits and whether you can reduce your global footprint.

Spend quality time with family, such as parents or grandparents, and assess your relationships – are there people you’d be better off letting go, or others you’d like to get to know better?

You might be starting to think about moving out of home and if so, you’ll need to get your money sorted – consolidate your bank accounts and any debts you might have.

If you’ve never tracked your spending, now is the time to learn to set a budget and stick to it. Our AMP Bett3r account can help you set aside money for saving, spending and paying bills.

If you’ve previously had part-time jobs, now is the time to search for any super you may have earned, and consider consolidating it into one fund to save yourself on fees.

With your life in order, and new skills under your belt you’ll be ready to enter the next phase of your life prepared to succeed.


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Any advice in this page is general in nature and is provided by AMP Life Limited ABN 84 079 300 379 (AMP Life). The advice does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Therefore, before acting on this advice, you should consider the appropriateness of this advice having regard to those matters. AMP Bett3r Account is issued by AMP Bank Limited ABN 15 081 596 009, AFSL 234517. Consider the terms and conditions available on request by calling 13 30 30 or at amp.com.au/bett3r and whether this product is appropriate for you. Fees and charges apply.

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