When young people think about taking a year off from schooling, usually between high school and college, or right after getting a college degree, they usually think of travelling abroad. It’s fun, it’s exciting, you get to meet lots of new people, and you get to do what you want. In other words, there is very little structure. But, life on the road like this is not for all people and it can simply get too lonely and too exhausting. A paid gap year is a more healthy and rewarding experience for most students, and one that they will relish for the rest of their lives.
Not all paid gap year programs are the same, but they usually involve many of these aspects:
- A job in a host country that also supplies food, lodging, and a nominal wage.
- Travel to and from the host country.
- Organization of visas, travel permits, or any other government documents that are necessary in order for the student to arrange an extended stay and work.
In addition, most paid gap year programs will also mentor the student and help to make sure that they are enjoying their work experience while still getting to see the country. After all, if they just wanted to work, they could have stayed at home and made a lot more money, so there is much more to this kind of adventure then just working. The student will get to travel and see the sights, explore neighboring areas or countries, meet people from around the world, eat new foods, experience new cultures, and live a life that they have only seen in movies or read about in books.
The best part of these programs is that they are structured, leaving the parent feeling that their child is in good hands, and the student feeling as if they still have the freedom to travel.