Gap year advice

A gap year is not a year off. It’s a way to develop yourself and your skills before taking the next step in your education or career.

A gap year can make a big statement about you as a person and can help you get into certain careers.

Benefits of taking a gap year

A gap year can give you an advantage when you apply for jobs or courses.

Some of the advantages include the opportunity to:

  • think about your career plans
  • travel and experience other cultures
  • earn money to support yourself in future study
  • improve your CV by doing work experience
  • get skills you cannot learn in a classroom
  • become more mature, focussed and motivated

Activities to do on your gap year

You should choose activities to build the skills you think you’ll need in your future career. Popular skills include teamwork, leadership, problem solving and independent learning.

Depending on your circumstances you could:

Improve your applications

You can enhance your personal statement or job applications by describing your gap year in the right way.

Make sure you highlight:

  • the things you’ve done or experienced
  • the skills you’ve learned or developed
  • how you’ll apply the skills you’ve learned
  • your experiences using the star method

Planning your gap year

When you’re preparing for a gap year, make sure you:

  • plan ahead of time
  • think about money and how you’ll support yourself
  • keep your CV up to date
  • make a note of application deadlines so you do not miss them

Related content

Explore your choices

Ways to get work experience

Virtual internships

Speak to an adviser

You can call 0800 100 900 or use webchat to speak to an adviser.

Our opening hours are:

  • 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday
  • 10am to 5pm Saturdays and bank holidays
  • closed Sundays