Sat, 17 Mar 2018

Gap Year IDEAS

To have a look at some great ideas for what to do with your gap year, see IDEAS

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Gap Year SHOP

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Gap Year TALKS

For an impartial gap year talk at a school, college or an exhibition, see TALKS

What is a gap year?

The definition we are using is 'time taken out of education or the workplace, for a purpose'  The amount of time for 18-25 year olds can vary from about a month to as long as 15 months. Taking a gap year before university/HE (or indeed not going to uni but going straight to work) is at a special time of life.aav-boys--dhow.gif

Africa & Asia Venture volunteers next to their dhow in Tanzania:




For young people, there are certain key periods when a 'gap' is taken: 

  • Before Higher Education (HE), deferring your place for a year

Instead of going straight onto Higher Education (HE) after school, some students decide to take a gap year. Whether or not to take a gap year before Higher Education (HE) is an important decision to make - a gap year is not right for everyone. There are actually 15 months from the end of school to the start of HE.

  • You can do this by:
  1. Ticking the box in the “defer” column in the “choices” section of the UCAS application form and go on to HE a year later; OR
  2. Apply as before, but ask your preferred HE Institution for a deferred place when you get your examination results; OR
  3. Don’t apply as normal, but apply to HE a year later, knowing your exam grade


  • Your choice of HE institution and subject should be placed before a gap year decision.
  • If you want a gap year, most advisers would recommend asking for a deferred place before examinations.
  • There will, however, be circumstances in which applying to HE after examination results are known, with a gap year, is appropriate.
  • A gap year is not right for everyone.
  • For 2006, deferred to 2007, only 7.3% of accepted applicants deferred a year.  So applying for a deferred HE place is not the norm.
  • You should consult widely when considering a gap year --  i.e. your school, your family and the HE Institution of your choice.
  • A gap year can be defined as “time taken out of education or the workplace, for a purpose”.  It needs to be structured to do it, so that HE and future employers can see the benefits to it.
  • In the Summer holidays, before going to HE (and not deferring a year), giving you a 3 months gap

If you decide to go straight to HE, but really feel you need a complete break and a chance to broaden your horizons in preparation for HE, why not take a gap 3 months?  There is enough time to travel and benefit from new experiences. 

  • In the holidays during HE

Long summer holidays are the ideal time. 

  • After HE, before starting work

With or without a job to go to, now is the time to take that gap before launching down your chosen career path.







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