Wednesday, December 30, 2009

How to Plan a Gap Year Abroad

Planning a gap year abroad can be a daunting task at first glance. However, some simple steps can help you get started.

1. Consider your funds

The best way to estimate is to look at the year on a monthly interval. Before you even tackle that question, you must research the country or regions where you want to spend time to get an idea of the cost of living. Once that's established, consider what you want to do while traveling(ie. what will be your regular activities?) and how you want to live?... what type of housing? All hostels, service apartments, couch surfing or camping.

Obviously, if you want to spend a year abroad you should have access to as much money as possible but, outside of that have, a minimum of 3,000 in Asia (outside of Japan) and a minimum of 6,000 dollars in Europe and the west with the intention to work as you go.

1a. Will you need to work in order to sustain travel for the year?

If you don't have access to a significant amount of money then you should consider looking for short term work or work in exchange for food and housing during your travels. Its an excellent way to meet people and get an inside view to the culture of the country where you are.

2. What countries/region are you interested in spending time?

3. If its several locations, roughly layout how much time you think you'll spend in each location.

Yes, while this is definitely the time to be a free spirit, a rough itinerary is useful when planning. A loose plan and a bit of research can allow you to experience a great festival or conversely dodge an overcrowed, highly touristic event.

4. How would you like to spend your time in a given location?

Give some thought to this question. Are you interested in painting, volunteering, rock climbing or learning the local language? If you've decided this ahead of time you can begin to research relevant outfitters, schools or groups. Its also a great way to network with locals who may be able to direct you to a good deal on housing or car rental.

5. What potential jobs would you be prepared to perform?

Make a list of potential jobs you could perform and might enjoy. And of course Ill mention that if you speak English you should strongly consider work as an English teacher.

5a. Once you have job ideas, consider your CV/Resume...Do you have appropriate skills for the desired jobs?

Update your CV. If you'll be spending time in Europe, there is now a standard European CV. You can easily download it from the web.

Would you like help planning your Gap Year? Come and Join Us! GG

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