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Why Taking A Gap Year Will Be The Best Decision You Make

Date added: Wednesday 7th August 2013

 

Many young people today struggle with the decision of whether or not to take a gap year. The prospect, while undeniably exciting, can be somewhat daunting. It means uprooting from friends, family, and the familiar environment they have lived in all their lives. It means becoming an outsider in a strange place, with a foreign culture, and a difficult language. And perhaps most importantly, it often means making a significant financial investment in the form of travel tickets and living expenses. But despite all the obstacles there are in the path of taking a year abroad, the benefits of a gap year are tremendous, and far outweigh the difficulties. Here's why taking a gap year will be the best decision you ever make:

Hone Your Social Skills

The BBC News room demonstrates how technology is shrinking our worldAs technology shrinks our world, we increasingly come into contact with people from distant cultures, whose values and outlooks on life are vastly different from our own. So no matter what your career aspirations may be, it is becoming more important every day to be able to understand and form positive relationships with people from all around the world. Traveling outside your comfort zone and expanding your knowledge of different places and cultures is an invaluable resource for honing intercultural social skills.

Gap years build confidence, look great on CVs, and make young people more adept at navigating today's international marketplace.

Expand your Horizons

A gap year will broaden your perspective tremendously. Those who never have the opportunity to A gap year travelling will broaden your horizons and enable you better to understand different customs and culturestravel often have a quite skewed interpretation of the world and their place in it. When you get outside the demographic that shaped your values, ideas, and discriminations, you are able to reflect on aspects of yourself you couldn't have otherwise become conscious of. Traveling helps you see another side of yourself.

Motivate Yourself

Many young people struggle to find direction in life. We are all too often focused on the typical trajectory of social advancement from school, to more school, to careers, and ultimately family life¬¬ without pausing to consider alternate lifestyles and notions of personal progress. A gap year will help you reflect on where you are going, where you have come from, and provide you with the motivation to seek your own path to success.

Pinpoint your Interests

Travel exposes us to new ideas, novel careers, and a vast pool of people whose backgrounds and interests diverge widely from our own. And not only do gap years help young people find new interests, they also help them reflect on the things they value most about home. For these reasons, spending time abroad is an invaluable resource in the quest for pinpointing the passion you will dedicate your future academic and economic careers toward.

Acquire Skills

Young people learn countless invaluable skills while taking gap years. Probably the most obvious of these is language. No matter how intently you study a language, you can never attain the level of fluency that comes with being immersed in a foreign culture. But this doesn't only apply to languages. Many skills and talents are tied to specific places.

The world is becoming a smaller and smaller place every day. Our communication technologies and the emergence of budget airlines are bringing us closer together than ever. For better or worse, globalization is sweeping the world. Young people today need to learn how to navigate different cultures, languages, and ways of life if they hope to succeed in the future. Investing in a gap year is investing in your individual social value. The more you see of the world, the more you will ultimately discover about yourself and your place in it.

Students compare their options as they go through the clearing processDaniel Kendal is a recent graduate who made the best decision of his life to take a gap year and then he was successful gaining his place at university via the telegraph clearing process. Are you debating about taking a gap year?

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