15 Fun-filled & Impactful Gap Year Ideas In 2022

gap year ideas

For many students, a gap year presents the perfect opportunity to take some time off and experience new things. These students gain real-world experience in various ideas of activities during the gap year. The gap year journey usually occurs at the end of high school and during or directly after graduating from college.

Why do students engage themselves in some ideas of activities during the gap year? Taking a gap year enables a student to pursue adventure and growth through experience. That is to say, students take a break from academics to choose an adventure that meets their needs.

By taking a gap year, you are not only taking a year off but engaging in an adventure that may have a huge impact on your life.

As gap year becomes more popular among high school students, planning one may blow a student’s mind away. This is because there are so many gap year ideas and you may find it challenging in deciding where to go and what to do.

Some students choose structured gap year programs that offer exciting activities while others plan a range of programs by themselves during the gap year.

If you are having problems in choosing what to do in your gap year, this article will list the popular gap year ideas for you. Continue reading to know how to plan your gap year.

15 Fun-filled and Impactful Gap Year Ideas

If you are planning your gap year, make sure that the ideas of activities you will choose will impact your life meaningfully. For students who are still thinking of what activities to choose, listed below are some impactful gap year ideas for you:

  • Travel
  • Au Pair
  • Internships
  • Camp jobs
  • Hands-on learning
  • Work abroad
  • Language immersion
  • Medical
  • Teach abroad
  • Study abroad
  • Music
  • Scuba

1. Travel

Traveling to a new place is a great way of having a wonderful gap year experience. People travel during their gap year to meet new people and experience a new culture and environment.

Gap year trips let high school students explore a new environment independently for the first time in their lives. People also travel during a gap year for vacation and relaxation thereby taking breaks from their engagements (education or career).

A gap year travel offers structured programs for students to gain more experience while enjoying the adventure.

While gap year trips are fun-filled, they cannot boost your resume. The reason is that potential academic institutions and employers want you to balance adventure with valuable skills.

2. Au Pair

Au Pair is another wonderful gap year idea. By choosing au pair as your gap year activity, you will work with children as a nanny abroad. You will live and work with the host family to help children. In addition, you will teach children how to speak and build lifelong memories with them.

If you love being with children, au pair will be great for you. The good thing is that au pair jobs come with accommodation, food, and a little stipend. Au pair jobs are great because you will not have to pay for rent and feeding throughout the period of your gap year.

Unfortunately, most au pair jobs require people who are between 18-30 years of age. If you find yourself in this age range, the job may not give you the time to attend to your personal needs.

3. Internships

Internships are one of the most impactful ideas of activities that you can engage in during a gap year. It will help to boost your resume while you gain valuable hands-on experience.

Additionally, internships will enable you to combine business and pleasure by experiencing a new culture and acquiring new skills. Through internships, you will give back to the local community or environment that you will be spending your gap year in.

You may choose to intern abroad and this will definitely make your resume stand out before potential employers.

While internships are similar to normal jobs, not all of them are paid (especially for gap year students).

If you wish to make some bucks during your gap year, try and look for paid internships.

4. Camp Jobs

Another great idea for your gap year is a summer camp. There are many international summer camps in the U.S and Europe where you can find jobs.

Summer camps will provide a platform for you to meet individuals from different parts of the world. You will find yourself making friends while working to make some money in the process. At summer camps, you could work as a camp counselor, group leader, or language coach. 

By working in summer camps, you will gain hands-on experience. Summer camps will also help to strengthen your resume.

The downside of summer camps is that it is structured and requires individuals to spend so much time leading activities and groups. Additionally, you will have less time to attend to your personal demands.

5. Hands-on Learning

Some students do not learn faster through classroom teaching, hence they learn better through practicals. If you fall in this category of students, then you consider taking hands-on learning during your gap year.

Experiential learning is also great for students that learn better in the classroom as it will widen their understanding of a particular course.

By taking hands-on learning gap year programs, you will acquire valuable life skills that potential employers want. It will also help to boost your resume for jobs.

6. Work Abroad

Any student that wants to enter college needs money to cover many costs like tuition, books, accommodation, feeding, etc. If you are awaiting college admission, taking a job abroad will enable you to save up enough money for your college degree.

Ever wondered how much you stand to make while working abroad in your gap year? The money is mind-blowing. Working abroad will not only pay you but will also make you acquire valuable work experience and skills.

However, labor restrictions across the world limit the fields where you can work in and most of them require a visa. Working abroad will also limit the activities that you may wish to participate in during your gap year.

7. Language Immersion

If you travel to another country whose official language is not your native language, you will have to learn the country’s language. This is one of the benefits of a gap year.

As you mix and interact with people in the local community, you will start learning their language. It will be a great advantage for you because some employers seek employees that can speak two or more languages.

The drawback of this gap year activity is that learning a new language is usually difficult for most people. When you find yourself in a new country, it will not be easy to communicate your needs to the people around you.

8. Medical

A medical gap year program is one of the most impactful ideas. How can you go about this?

You can become a medical volunteer in developing countries where the field of healthcare is lacking manpower. Volunteering is actually one of the major ways to boost your experience and resume.

Being a medical volunteer during your gap year will expose you to many fields in medicine. For students who wish to pursue a medical degree in the university, this is a sure bet for you.

However, volunteering in economically developing countries may expose you to a lack of resources, complicated medical needs, and loss of life.

9. Journalism

Like traveling and learning a new language, journalism is another great way to immerse yourself in a new culture. Through journalism, you will learn every nook and cranny of a culture.

By taking a journalism internship, you will the culture of the new country faster and better. You will research and write a lot of content in different fields. A journalism internship also serves as a stepping stone for students that dream of a career in the field.

Unfortunately, a journalism internship abroad is not easy as you will have to do a lot and may not be paid. You will also need to create much content with deadlines looming over your head. This may not give you the opportunity to balance work and adventure in the new country.

10. Sports Coaching

One of the major ways of uniting the world is through sporting activities. You can take on a coaching role in any sporting activity that you are good at during your gap year.

Coaching the locals around you will create a lasting impression and memory in their minds. As you coach, you will apply your skills to inspire the locals and help them love sports.

While sports unites people from different cultures, the locals may have rules that are different from the ones you are used to. Your favorite sport may also be found in your new locality.

11. Teach Abroad

Having access to quality education is a major challenge in many developing countries. Teachers are usually not enough to mentor children in schools thereby leading to poor education.

If you have a knack for teaching, you can plan to teach abroad in a developing country during your gap year. You actually do not know the lasting impression that you will create in the lives of students.

However, teaching in a developing country where the educational system is poor will make teaching very difficult for you. Before you can teach, you must be proficient in the language of the local community.

12. Study Abroad

If you plan to travel abroad for your gap year, taking a course in a new country will be great for you. A study abroad lets you earn college credits before starting your college program.

By studying abroad, you will combine academics with the adventure that comes with a gap year. You can take certificate or diploma courses in your dream college major.

The downside of a gap year study abroad is that the credits you earn may not be transferred. This is because a gap year study abroad is different from the traditional study abroad program. In addition, many colleges are strict about the type of credits that they accept. So, try and be sure of the college you are getting into so as to know if the classes you take during your gap year will be worth it.

13. Volunteering

There is no better thing than giving back to society through community service. Volunteering is an important part of humanity and a gap year presents the perfect opportunity to do that.

Many gap year volunteer programs exist and you can choose one that meets your needs. By volunteering, you will help your host community in a variety of settings to make it a better place. Volunteer programs are an excellent way to boost your resume.

Unfortunately, you may even find yourself spending the little cash on you to help those in need. This might be very difficult for you to endure.

While most volunteer programs are not paid, you may even find yourself spending the little cash

14. Music

If you are very good at music from childhood to adolescence, you may grow to become a star. There are many gap year music programs that will teach you another culture. You may be good at religious music but a journey to another country may introduce you to hip-pop, rhythm & blues, etc

If you are good at playing musical instruments, you can teach children how to play them. You will gain more experience from teaching others because the more you teach, the more you learn.

15. Scuba

For individuals that like staying in the water, this is an opportunity for you to learn more while enjoying your hobby.

Scuba diving gap year programs give you the opportunity to be involved and research and conservation programs while working to save aquatic life. This is a chance for you to boost your resume.

The downside of scuba diving gap year programs is that most of them are unpaid and there are many risks involved underwater.



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