Careers information and guidance

What is a Gap Year ?


Taking a gap year (also known as year abroad, year out, year off, deferred year, bridging year, time off and time out, ) refers to taking a year out of studying to do something else. Many people take a gap year before starting college or university, but it can be taken at any time.

So, what are the alternatives to continuing your education, entering training or employment?

Lots of young people take a 'year out' before making a commitment to a future career. Often this can include travelling and working abroad, or doing some voluntary work in the UK or overseas.


What can I do ?


hat next ?

There are many possibilities, from travelling or working abroad to volunteering or teaching English. Think carefully about what you want to get out of your time, whether it's experience in a particular area, new skills or just some space to think about what to do next.


Volunteering  Information to download

Do I need to go with an organisation?


Not necessarily. Many people prefer to organise their own gap year as it gives them the flexibility to do exactly what they want. However, an organisation, such as BUNAC or Latitude, may be able to offer opportunities that you couldn't arrange yourself, and will take care of necessities like visas.


Taking a year out information to download

These useful websites will help you find outmore information: A Year IN Industry website Living & working overseas.
Information on work placements in the USA.
International information for workers, volunteers and travellers
The UK resource centre for international careers and opportunities within the European Union
Gap year opportunities
Gap year information


British Schools Exploring Soc

Voluntary work
The National Council for Voluntary Organisations
Community volunteering information
Voluntary work opportunties
The site includes information about courses for 18-25 year olds, a business start-up programme and how to get involved in voluntary work