Thinking about taking a gap year? Do not stop learning! Read this article and reveal how you can develop your soft skills on your own!
Top 4 Best Tips on Self-education Possibilities During a Gap Year
A gap year is a break that students take after graduating high school and entering a university. They use this time in different ways – try several jobs, earn some extra money for higher education, find the profession that grows on them, and travel all over the world. According to Forbes.com, 98% of students who took a gap year are satisfied with their decision. At once, 97% of them argue that they feel more mature and ready to make important decisions.
However, taking a gap year does not mean that student abandons learning at all. It is recommended to keep studying all the time, regardless of whether you attend university or not. Today, we will present to you 4 best ways on how you can develop your skills on your own.
#1 Learn a New Language
Allegedly, learning a new language is quite a boring activity. You have to study tons of books, remember grammar rules and spend hours watching TV series with subtitles. But let it be another story.
Why not dive into the native speakers’ environment? Thanks to globalization, every student worldwide has a lot of opportunities to polish their language skills. There is a wide variety of international exchanges and Work and Travel programs available. For example, you can apply for the AuPair program.
It is a unique opportunity to learn a new language without spending a penny. On the contrary, you will even earn some extra money! As a member of the said program, you will live in hosting family in one of 8 available countries, including Norway, the USA, and Germany. Your main responsibilities will be to do some cleaning work at the host’s house and take care of their kids. And the best part is that you need to work only 3-4 hours per day!
One more example is the Work and Travel program. This program is more effort and time-consuming, but definitely worth it. Work and Travel offer students to work part-time in the United States of America in the service industry (officiants, lifeguards, bartenders, etc.). Unlike cooing at babies in AuPair, here, you will communicate with US citizens that will help you master your English accent within several months. And you will also get a reasonable reward! It is an experience you will never forget!
#2 Do Volunteering
Have you ever thought about saving turtles on a sandy beach of Malta, or help disabled people recover after hard diseases in the heart of New York? Volunteering is a perfect opportunity to help other people and improve your career opportunities simultaneously. It is an experience that every employer looks for in the applicant’s CV. Let us take a look at the reasons they do so.
First of all, volunteers develop their courage, open-mindedness, and curiosity. They are great team members and excellent listeners. Thanks to their ability to devote themselves to helping other people, they know what exactly the person needs and how to help them. Such skills are essential in enterprises that work with customers.
Secondly, volunteering means not only working but also living in another city or foreign country. Such experience has a positive impact on expanding your horizons. This is an extraordinary achievement that makes you more valuable in the labor market.
Finally, volunteering is considered work experience. If, for instance, you volunteer at the field hospital in South Africa, you might get more experience than people who have done internships in prestigious companies. Or, if you volunteer in a scientific organization, then you can apply for a part-time job at the best professional writing services agencies. These are companies that help students write and proofread their course papers.
#3 Take Online Courses at Lifelong Learning Institute
Unlike traditional universities, Lifelong Learning Institute offers both online and full-time short courses on specific topics. Most of them are oriented on developing your soft skills. For example, you can apply for Asian Cuisine Culinary courses as well as for “Writing a business plan” workshop.
The best part is that the said courses are available online. Thus, there is no need to be physically present in the class – you can complete a full course without leaving your home. Lifelong Learning Institute issues you a certificate upon completion, which can aid you in expanding your CV.
#4 Share Your Knowledge
If you are sure you have enough knowledge – start teaching! Indisputable, the best way to master any skill is to explain it to another person. Teaching people can help you understand what difficulties can appear in your future career. If you are planning to climb the career ladder, you should consider that understanding your colleagues’ problems is a milestone of prosperous teamwork.
As an example, you can share your experience with video blogs. A bulk of people are filming their skills on YouTube, so that other viewers can follow them and learn it. And the icing on the cake is that if your blog becomes popular, you will get extra money for every visitor.
Another instance is learning platforms. One of them is Coursera.org. It is a web platform where you can both study and teach others. The website offers to create a detailed educational course with deadlines, theory, practice, and home assignments. What is more, it offers mutual control possibilities for all course participants. Thus, each student can check others’ performance and make amendments or learn from their mistakes.
As you can see, not applying for college right away is not the end of the world. It is absolutely justifiable, and if you feel like you are not yet ready to begin your student life, don’t think you don’t have options!