A gap year can be fun and can help steer you in the direction of what you want to study if you aren’t sure. Remember to try and make your gap year look good on your CV or portfolio in the long run, so here are some tips to make the most of it.


Volunteer programs look great on a CV and they can be really fulfilling. You can check within your community for a couple of charity initiatives that may need extra help or you can search online for larger associations.

Au pair

Plenty of young people go to other countries to au pair for a few months to a year. Not only is this a great way to make money, it’s also a way to travel the world without having to spend too much money since you’ll be paid for your services. You can make new friends and experiences in a different country and maybe even pick up the local language if you stay long enough.

Learn a new skill

Taking up a new skill like learning to play a musical instrument is a great way to spend your time during your gap year. Think about some of the things you’ve always wanted to do and use this time to pursue them. You could also learn a formal skill by taking a short course online. This will look great on your CV as well since it makes you more employable.


Internships are a fantastic way to spend your gap year. They teach you useful skills and knowledge that you’d otherwise not be exposed to in a classroom. While some internships are unpaid, there are also paid internships you can apply for which would allow you to earn money and save up for university.

Internships average from 6 months to a year, depending on the company and field, and you can be issued a formal certificate at the end of your contract. You can check out our list of internships to see if there’s anything you’d be interested in applying for.

Find a job

If you’re looking to earn some money to save for your tertiary studies or a trip abroad, this is the way to go. You can get an entry level job that’ll allow you to gain experience in an industry of your choice and build a track record for yourself.

This is also a great way to help you become more responsible and learn valuable lessons about saving money. Of course you need a CV to apply for a job, so we’ve hooked you up with our awesome CV builder to get you started.

If you’re taking a gap year after school, whether or not it’s by choice, it’s good to know all your options and settle on the one you’ll most enjoy and benefit from. While gap years are fun, they are supposed to help you prepare for an academic or working career in the long run, so make sure you use yours wisely.

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