A gap year abroad teaches new skills and brightens the future
You might have missed out on the dream study degree of yours by a single point. You might want to take a break from your studies or from your job. Maybe you just want to explore the world and get to know the globe and yourself better. The reasons to spend a gap year abroad are as unique as fingerprints. That’s what we found out in our survey conducted in 2016, sent to all of our students who have spent a gap year participating in one of our study abroad programs.
If the motivations to spend a gap year in Asia are highly individual and unique, so are the actual rewards of doing so.
For some, it could be about getting an education abroad or cultural experience. For others, its about gaining inspiration for future studies, becoming more independent or just trying out something new.
“I got the idea from my father. He showed me videos of different exchange programs and suggested to keep my mind open. Asia Exchange stuck to my head and Asia sounded like an interesting option”, recalls one respondent.
Gaining direction for life and career
Another respondent had been interested in studying tourism and wanted to find out if that would be a suitable career choice in the future.
The gap year confirmed her intentions, but not only in terms of studying and future career.
“Studying abroad in Asia gave me a hint of everything: study, life, experience, culture, and responsibility”, she said.
Another student found her passion during her gap year by meeting another student.
“I met someone who was very interested in natural health. I got into it as well, and I’m now a health coach student”, she replied.
One respondent made a decision to travel around the world after her first gap year.
“I realized that I was in no hurry to just study something for the sake of it. I delayed my application to a university until I was completely sure which field I wanted to study. I’m more than happy with my choice”, she confirmed.
Learning languages, becoming more independent and learning to adapt to a new environment
For most people, learning languages, diving into a whole new culture and learning a great deal about oneself have been the major lessons of the gap year.
Some are happy to improve their English skills, while others take on the challenge of learning more exotic languages, like Bahasa Indonesia for example.
“Education-wise the best part was to learn a new language and culture. I gained the courage to try and go for things”, said one student of her gap year in Bali.
Another emphasized her vastly improved English skills.
“Studying in a foreign language was a very useful experience. It helped me a lot in my studies afterwards”, she commented.
In the past, a gap year used to be an option mainly for students who just graduated from high school. These days it’s not about age anymore, as more and more people choose to have a break from working-life as well.
Those who take a gap year after high school clearly value the opportunity of experiencing new things in a foreign environment on their own.
“It was the first time I went to live abroad completely on my own. A gap year abroad taught me a lot about myself and how to adapt to a new culture and country”, one respondent emphasized.
Many students told about their grown interest in travel and foreign cultures after their gap year abroad.
“I am more eager to move abroad again or do another semester abroad. I have grown a strong interest in Asia, especially China, and would love to spend more time living there.”
“It was the best thing to do, super smooth”
All the respondents of the survey did their gap year in Asia via Asia Exchange. They all confirmed everything was made very easy and effortless for them.
“It was the best thing to do, super smooth. I just applied, paid and that was it! They had everything set for us”, one respondent told.
Interested in doing a gap year yourself?
If you felt inspired by the stories and feel a pull to do a gap year in Asia yourself, we can help you complete a gap year both in Asia and New Zealand
Whether it’s Bali in Indonesia, Phuket or Bangkok in Thailand, Shanghai in China, or Palmerston North in New Zealand, spending a gap year studying abroad will do you a world of good. Like one of the survey respondents put it:
“Everyone should do a gap year abroad!”
Asia Exchange is a Finnish company providing study abroad opportunities in Asia Pacific for students from all around the world. Want to get travel tips and new blog posts straight to your inbox? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter! If you have any questions about studying abroad, feel free to contact us! We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.