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Gap Years & What They Offer: What Parents Need to Know

by Tenzing Tsewang

26/02/2024

Overview

Is your child thinking of taking a gap year after their studies? Is it a decision you have your doubts about? Well, it's actually something that could benefit them in the long run. Here, we look at the various advantages students get when taking a hiatus.

So, you've heard your beloved child say those unforgettable words…"I think I'm going to take a gap year". You may be of the opinion that this decision constitutes wasted time. However, a hiatus like this can significantly benefit a person's long-term career.

It's a subject that divides opinion, so as graduation looms, you might need some convincing that it's more than an excuse for a year-long holiday. In this article, we aim to show you that it can represent a 'coming of age' transformative experience that equips people with invaluable skills they simply can't get from reading textbooks.

Obviously, the merits of a gap year depend on how it's spent. So, come with us now as we explore why approximately 1 in 7 students in Australia choose this path.

What Is a Gap Year?

In Australia, a gap year typically refers to a one-year pause that students take between finishing high school and either joining the workforce or going to university. Ideally, this period is used for personal development, acquiring vocational skills, or simply exploring the world.

Rather than being a 'gap' in your child's life, the activities that fill a gap year can be varied, but they're essentially aimed at the same thing - preparing them for the future. As such, a variety of avenues can be taken during this time.

Travelling

A popular choice for many students is to travel domestically or internationally to expose themselves to new cultures, languages, and experiences. It might take the form of backpacking across Europe, exploring Asia, or road-tripping through Australia.

The benefits of travelling include broadening horizons and perspectives and fostering independence to better understand the world.

Volunteering

Another great option is to engage in community service, i.e. go volunteering. This might be locally or overseas, helping to develop their philanthropic side. This could be working to provide medical support to people in Africa, teaching English in South America or even working on marine conservation on the Great Barrier Reef.

This offers students real-life teamwork experience, independence, appreciation for other cultures and learning foreign languages.

Work Experience & Internships

Other students choose to expose themselves to an industry they're interested in by taking entry-level positions or internships. This gives them some meaningful experience to point towards when they eventually enter university or employment.

Skills Development

It can also be a valuable opportunity to develop professional skills. This can be done by creating a personal portfolio or taking academic courses that better position them for their intended career. Long-term, this can greatly benefit their career or continued education.

A gap year is a flexible concept in Australia, with a myriad of options for constructive engagement, depending on individual interests and long-term goals. Still not convinced it's right for your child? Continue reading as we cover some of the many personal benefits on offer.

The Personal Benefits of Taking a Gap Year in Australia

Taking a gap year and pursuing any of the paths described above can offer a broad range of personal benefits. Having hands-on experience in the real world provides advantages that can't be taught academically. Let's take a look at how.

  • Personal Growth - Life skills can be invaluable for your child's future endeavours, with independence and resourcefulness being among them. It also often leads them to build friendships that last a lifetime.
  • Career Clarity - Exposure to different disciplines and industries allows them to get a feel for what life is like in those professions, better informing their career decisions.
  • Global Perspective - Immersion in different cultures works to broaden a student's view of the world, making them more adaptable and open-minded.
  • Improved Focus - Studies show that students who take a gap year often return to education more focused and perform better academically.
  • Networking - Whether volunteering or travelling, students taking gap years get the opportunity to build valuable professional connections. These can be invaluable for future career progression.
  • Social Responsibility - Volunteering also helps students to develop a sense of social responsibility - something they may not get if they don't encounter real people living real lives.
  • Improved Employability - Many leaving school have no real-world experience to point towards. However, gap year activity looks great on their resume, making them more employable and interesting to hiring managers.
  • Time for Reflection - Time itself can offer the benefit of perspective, giving space for introspection, reflection and an understanding of their true strengths, weaknesses, and ambitions.
  • Financial Planning - Students can also use gap years to plan for their future financially. If they do plan to go to uni, they can work and save money, easing the burden of tuition fees.

Understanding the benefits of a gap year as a parent can help you guide your teen on whether or not to take one. Unless you understand the many advantages listed - and there are more - you can't be sure they're making the best, most informed decision.

Exploring Interests During a Gap Year Without a Long-term Commitment

If your child is having trouble deciding what to do after leaving high school, Wandr Trial Run courses let them explore their interests during their gap year without making any long-term commitment. Covering various industries from construction to fashion to graphics & FX.

For a monthly fee that's easy on the Bank of Mum & Dad, your child gets to explore their career options in a structured and easy-to-digest way. It's something they can even engage in while travelling, as it's all video-based and online, meaning that just a smartphone and an internet connection are required.

1000s of Video-Led Courses Across a Variety of Industries

We've got thousands of courses to try, giving them insight into countless industry-aligned topics. They can help them get a close-up view of a range of roles in a wide array of industries while also working on their core soft skills.

Amongst the many Wandr training courses, they'll find insight into…

  • Business, Management & Entrepreneurship
  • Education, child care & teaching
  • Criminology & law
  • Events & hospitality
  • Interior Design
  • Game Design
  • Fitness & nutrition
  • AI & tech
  • Photography

Our Trial Run courses let you take topics for test drive before they commit, with bite-sized learning that can be taken at a pace that suits them. Looking beyond the obvious and getting a view of jobs they may never even knew existed, our courses cover many topics to explore.

Wandr Training Helps Them Find Their Way in Life

Leaving high school can be daunting, particularly if your teen has no idea about which direction to take in their career. At Wandr, our platform has been created specifically to give youngsters the information they need to formulate a plan. There's a mountain of information out there, and our courses can help them make sense of it all.

To learn more about Wandr courses and what they offer, visit us today at www.wandr.au, where you'll find everything parents of ambitious kids need to know. Alternatively, you can contact our friendly team by calling 1300 611 404 or emailing support@wandr.au today. As soon as we hear from you, we'll do everything we can to assist.

by Tenzing Tsewang

26/02/2024

Overview

Is your child thinking of taking a gap year after their studies? Is it a decision you have your doubts about? Well, it's actually something that could benefit them in the long run. Here, we look at the various advantages students get when taking a hiatus.

Fitness and Business Mentor

Tenzing

Tsewang

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