Born Curious

5 amazing gap years you’d never have thought of

Posted by Carl in January 24, 2013

Taking a gap year between high school and college or university is one of the most rewarding experiences you can give yourself. It’s a great opportunity to discover the world while getting to know yourself. You will meet new people and face new challenges and bridge the “gap” between your high school years and the future that awaits. Here are some ideas for exciting gap year plans.

Learn something new

Just because you’re no longer in class doesn’t mean it’s time to stop learning. A gap year is a great opportunity to learn something new outside of a curriculum-based model. Commit to learning a new language, taking up yoga, or making five new dishes from scratch. You’ll be amazed at how much there is to discover when you’re no longer cooped up in a classroom.

Go wild

If you’ve always nurtured a love of animals and nature, now’s the time to explore the flora and fauna that abounds throughout Canada and across the world. Spend a month on a nature reserve in Kenya, Uganda or South Africa, or spend the summer on a farm in rural Canada. You’ll learn incredible life skills and meet wonderful new people to give you a fresh perspective on life.

Safari at Madikwe, SA


Okay, so volunteering or doing an internship isn’t exactly a “new” gap year idea… but with organizations like Projects Abroad, you have the opportunity to do almost anything your heart desires, almost anywhere in the world. Whether you want to teach English to students in Korea, build schools in Ghana or protect the rainforest in Peru, there is a program and a destination for everyone. You’ll have the chance to meet great people while truly making a difference.

Get paid to party

If you like spending your days at the beach and your nights on the dance floor, you should consider working at a vacation resort like Club Med. You could work as an activities coordinator, fitness instructor or bartender. It’s an amazing way to meet new people from all over the world while enjoying the resort lifestyle 24/7.

Moorea, French Polynesia

Hit the slopes

If you’ve been longing to indulge your inner snow bunny, why not consider spending your gap year abroad working as a ski instructor or chairlift operator? You’ll get paid to teach kids and adults how to ski or reassure them as they’re beginning their descent. In your downtime, learn to snowboard or take up another winter sport, like ice skating or tobogganing.

Skiing in Annaberg
Resource Box

What’s your ideal way to spend a gap year? free polls 

50 Great Gap Year ideas
A comprehensive list of things to do and where to do them.

Independent Gap Year
UK newspaper The Independent’s guide to your ultimate gap year.

Ten Reasons to do a Gap Year
Just in case you weren’t already convinced.

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