Study Abroad on a Gap Year

Spend a semester or more studying overseas

To study abroad on your gap year is to give yourself the opportunity to intimately get to know another country and become fully immersed in its culture, while at the same time gaining valuable education and skills for life, training, and qualifications. It’s a bit of a win-win, to be honest.

There are loads of options to choose from, including high school, college, or university programmes, language courses, and summer study camps, as well as a huge range of study abroad destinations. Whatever your aspirations or goals, you’ll find something to suit you. And as tuition fees in the UK continue to sky-rocket, studying abroad has never been a more viable option. You’ll save money, travel, make new friends, and it looks awesome on your CV. Did we mention it’s win-win?

Below are eight frequently asked questions about studying abroad on a gap year, covering everything from how to find the right placement to visas and more.

Study abroad this year with one of these experiences

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Internationally Accredited 250-hour TESOL Diploma Course

from £350

30 - 365 days

Take our 250-hour online TESOL Diploma course and become a TEFL/TESOL certified teacher of English as a foreign language.

In-Class TEFL Course in Santorini

from £1245

20 days

Join our 4-week TEFL in-class course in Santorini and become a TEFL/TESOL certified teacher of English as a foreign language.

In-Class TEFL Course in Alexandria

from £1185

20 days

Join our 4-week TEFL in-class course in Alexandria and become a TEFL/TESOL certified teacher of English as a foreign language.

Internationally Accredited 250-hour TESOL Diploma Course

from £489

16 days

Take our 470-Hour TEFL Professional Package and become a TEFL/TESOL certified teacher of English as a foreign language.

Northern Italy Summer Holiday Course

from £3975

14 days

Travel Italy; spend two weeks exploring the beautiful cities of Venice, Florence and Rome. A perfect mixture of Italian food,...

Combined TEFL Course Toronto

from £935

5 days

Join our 5-day combined TEFL course in Toronto and become a TEFL/TESOL certified teacher of English as a foreign language.

In-Class TEFL Course in Kathmandu

from £1070

20 days

Join our 4-week TEFL in-class course in Kathmandu and become a TEFL/TESOL certified teacher of English as a foreign language.

Combined TEFL Course Utah

from £935

5 days

Join our 5-day combined TEFL course in Salt Lake City and become a TEFL/TESOL certified teacher of English as a...

In-Class TEFL Course in Paris

from £1530

20 days

Join our 4-week TEFL in-class course in Paris and become a TEFL/TESOL certified teacher of English as a foreign language.

Combined TEFL Course Paris

from £1283

8 days

Join our 8-day combined TEFL course in Paris and become a TEFL/TESOL certified teacher of English as a foreign language.

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Vancouver & Alaska by Ferry & Rail

Canada, United States

What’s better than seeing the coastal areas of Canada and Alaska? Seeing it by train and ferry to give you...

Absolute Peru

from £2167

Peru

Scan the canopy for wildlife from the comfort of our intimate and exclusive G Lodge Amazon, contemplate mountain vistas or...

Essential Egypt

from £869

Topdeck's Essential Egypt is the perfect way to discover the highlights of Egypt in style and safety. Starting and ending...

Western Winter

from £2999

Shred and carve your way through the USA and Canada on this wintry road trip of epic proportions. From sunny...

Asian Fusion

from £2745

Countless tours, food, temples, breathtaking sunrises atop spiritual mountains, local encounters, transport options and coastal island paradises. Get blessed by...

Iceland Explorer

from £879

Like something out of a fairytale, Iceland’s collection of geysers, glaciers, waterfalls, and fjords are both awe-inspiring and unusual; the...

Fall Colours of New England USA

from £2175

Hugging the continent’s rugged, spectacular north-eastern coast, New England calls to those who want to get close to America’s natural...

Eastern Europe, Croatia & the Balkans

from £2549

Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Re...

This epic cross-European adventure offers an intriguing combination of Central Europe's castles and romantic squares with the Balkans' own historic...

Argentina & Brazil Adventure

from £1723

Argentina

Get an invigorating taste of South America’s south on a trip that takes you from Buenos Aires to Rio de...

Peru, Chile & Argentina Explorer

from £4770

Peru

Travel through South America by way of jungle, waterfalls and ancient ruins. This three week trip takes you to the...

Articles and stories about studying abroad

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How do I find the right study abroad placement?

This will depend a great deal on what you’re interested in doing. At one point or another you’ve probably thought about what kind of further education or career you would like to pursue in the years ahead. Studying abroad gives you the opportunity to follow those aspirations, while also offering the perfect chance to travel, broaden your horizons, meet new people, make yourself more employable, and maybe even learn a new language. There are so many options for studying abroad you’re bound to find something to suit you. Consider what you’re really passionate about, carefully research possible study abroad destinations and the benefit they would have to you, and take it from there.

What kind of study abroad options are available?

Loads! There are brilliant educational programs and facilities all over the world, each offering something different and exciting. One of the most popular is languages – what better way to learn a language than living in the country that speaks it. You can practice everything you learn in your studies on a daily basis, making the whole process considerably easier. Other popular study abroad options are media and journalism (particularly if you want to be a travel writer), medicine, business and finance, and childcare. Studying in a different country and exposing yourself to new ideas is the best way to gain knowledge and experience on your chosen topic.

Where should I go to study abroad?

This will often depend a great deal on what subject or field you are looking to study. For example, if you’re interested in medicine and/or childcare, you could take a study program in developing countries where you can get some hands-on experience helping local communities, working alongside experts inside and outside the classroom. If you see yourself as more of a high-flying business type, living it large in the city, make your way to one of the amazing cities in Europe to learn more about business and finance. If you want to learn Spanish, go to Japan. Just kidding! You know where to go. There are so many study abroad destinations available, you’re guaranteed to find one that suits you.

Why do I have to pay a fee to study abroad?

It might seem odd to have to pay a fee to go and study abroad, where you’re going to be working your socks off. The reason for the fee will depend on what kind of study abroad placement you’ve chosen. Often it will cover expenses involved in having you study there, such as your travel costs, visa fees, accommodation, and other administrative costs. If your time studying is going to include practical experience, such as working on community or medical projects in developing countries, your fee may go towards paying for local full-time staff or equipment necessary to the project. It may also be invested back into the local community. We recommend you read each study abroad internship carefully, and if you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Do I need visas and vaccinations?

You may need a special kind of visa in order to legally live and study in another country. Many study abroad placements will offer help in arranging this, but it may be necessary to do your own research too. Europe remains a popular destination for British students to study abroad as no visa is required to study in EU countries (at least until Brexit comes into effect). Visa requirements can differ greatly depending where you are from and where you are looking to study.

Similarly, we always recommend going to see your GP about what vaccinations or immunisations you might need (if any) before you depart. What you might need will depend on your chosen country – and what region of that country you’ll be calling home – as well as what type of study and hands-on work you might be doing there. Always make sure to see your doctor well in advance of travelling, as some vaccinations may require multiple visits or take some time to become effective.

Will qualifications I gain abroad be valid back home?

Almost any formal qualifications you achieve (well done, you!) while studying abroad will be internationally recognised, meaning they can be used to apply for jobs in your home country. Any informal training or skills gained, such as learning a language, can be formalised with an exam back home, if you think that would be valuable. If it is not clear from a listing what qualification you will receive, be sure to do some research and find out exactly what you will be getting from a study abroad placement, and how this will help you in the future.

Can I travel while studying abroad?

We believe travelling and seeing more of your host country is an integral part of studying abroad. Although you’re there to study a particular subject or field, you’re also there to broaden your horizons and develop your life skills. There’s no better way to do that than travelling as much as you can, meeting new people, and experiencing new cultures. Your studying is likely to keep you pretty busy, but your time off is very much your own. Chances are you’ll make friends with people you’re studying with, giving you people not only to travel with, but to share all the local tips. Your interest in the host country should always be an important factor when looking at studying abroad.

Can I put studying abroad on my CV?

You can, and you definitely should. Look at it from an employer’s point of view: which job applicant do you find more impressive, a person with a qualification in a certain subject who has never left home, or somebody who is equally qualified on paper but gained it by showing the maturity, motivation, and outgoingness to study abroad and expand their horizons? It’s the latter, every time. Having lived abroad will also have equipped you with important life skills (even if you might not realise it) that will be attractive to an employer, such as organisational skills, communication skills, and a general maturity gained from travelling. Put it on your CV and be proud as it opens doors for you.

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