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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Erasmus Plus Dublin

90 days

Ireland

Earn a level 3 qualification in business management, digital marketing or teaching English as a Foreign Language, in Spain or...

Erasmus Plus Seville

90 days

Spain

Earn a level 3 qualification in business management, digital marketing or teaching English as a Foreign Language, in Spain or...

Art Course in Transylvania

from £1595

7 days

Romania

Take an art course in beautiful Transylvania, Romania.

Online TEFL Course and Job Guidance Services

from £1060

77 days

Become TEFL certified from the comfort of you own home with GoEco's Online TEFL Course!

Combined TEFL Course Toronto

from £935

5 days

Canada

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

Combined TEFL Course San Francisco California

from £935

5 days

United States of America

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

Combined TEFL Course San Diego, California

from £935

5 days

United States of America

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

Combined TEFL Course Utah

from £935

5 days

United States of America

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

Combined TEFL Course Oregon

from £935

5 days

United States of America

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

Combined TEFL Course Arizona

from £935

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United States of America

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

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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