11 Gap Year Ideas That Make You A Better Person

I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” – Susan Sontag

[su_highlight background=”#fffd1c”]Why taking a gap year? Most people want to find out what’s possible in their life, so they took a gap year to explore and experiment, hoping to become a better version of themselves.[/su_highlight]

And yes, a gap year is a luxury, but it’s worth taking.

Being able to remove yourself from the world of education and work can be a hard thing to do for many people. But, if the opportunity arises it’s a worthwhile exercise.

Being able to handle the challenge of seeing other parts of the world is as character building as spending time in a new line of work, or taking on a new educational path.

In your gap year, then, we recommend that you have a think about taking part in the following gap year ideas, that would potentially make you a better person: 

1. A Trip Across Europe: Gap Year for the Wanderlust

Gap year ideas: A-Trip-Across-Europe

Europe is an incredible location, with many unique nations all loaded with fantastic culture, history, and lifestyle.

Taking a trip to Europe and using bus or rail solutions to visit a few nations can be a fulfilling experience.

From going to visit parts of Europe that once stood as pinnacles of modern civilisation to seeing some of the most powerful natural imagery, a trip across Europe is an expensive but worthwhile way to spend your year.

2. Helping Local Charities: Gap Year for Impact

Gap year ideas: help local charities

Another good idea for those who lack the ability or finance to break away from their homeland for a year is to look at helping out locally.

From community events to charities, you can learn a lot about the world – and where you come from – that might have passed you by otherwise.

An excellent choice, this is a fine pick for those who want a gap year with a bit of engagement and fulfillment, not just sight-seeing.

3. Form A Plan: Gap Year for a Better-Self 

Gap year ideas: form a plan for the future

A gap year to many is an idea for just cutting loose and letting the future take care of itself. However, it pays to use a gap year to formulate a plan for the future.

From setting in stone a plan for the kind of business you wish to run to looking into the kind of industry you would like to be a part of, we have many ways of improving our vision of not just today, but tomorrow also.

4. Create Artwork: Gap Year for Soul-Searching

Gap year ideas: create artwork

From writing a book to painting imagery, you can use your gap year to hone your creative skills.

If you see yourself in a more abstract line of work in future, then creating artwork can be a deeply satisfying and hugely fulfilling experience that is bound to keep you ambitious and ready to seek continual improvement.

5. Teach Abroad: Gap Year for Exploration and Growth

Gap year ideas: teaching english abroad

Teaching abroad is a great combination of seeing a bigger world while making a positive impact.

There are a lot of options for people whose native language is English as English teachers are in demand almost everywhere in the world. Get paid while travelling to new places, isn’t that amazing?

At the moment, China is always looking for people who are fluent in the English language to come over and help students learn. With this, you can easily come to China and offer some assistance with teachings and the like, vastly improving how you feel about the world.

A unique and engaging culture, China is a wonderful nation to experience – especially for those in the West. Helping others learn English, too, can be a deeply fulfilling experience.

6. Take Some Cooking Courses: Gap Year for the Taste Buds

Gap year ideas: take some cooking courses

If you enjoy cooking, then this is a great option for you. You can look for cooking courses that you can take when it comes to foods that are part of your favorite cuisines.

If you love Mexican food, learn how to cook authentic Mexican dishes. If you enjoy Thai food, then you will want to learn how to make some delectable Thai dishes. You can learn how to bake as well.

The sky really is the limit when it comes to cooking!

7. Learn A New Language: Gap Year of Deep Learning

Gap year ideas: learn a new language

This is one thing that many students do during their gap year. Since they have the time, they can expand their horizons by learning a new language.

There are plenty of online courses you can take for the language that you want to learn. If you want to learn German, there are plenty of resources that will help you attain that goal. The same goes even if you want to learn more of an obscure language such as Gaelic.

8. Go On A Safari In Africa: Gap Year of Pure Awe

Gap year ideas: safari in africa

This would be an exciting and once-in-a-lifetime thing to do.

You can go on an African safari and be in complete awe of the scenery and animals around you. How often will you travel right by a pride of lions, or a group of Cape Buffalo?

Just remember if you decide to jump at this opportunity to make sure that you receive the proper inoculations because there are plenty of diseases lurking around that area that you would not want to contract!

9. Learn A Musical Instrument: Gap Year for Passion

Gap year ideas: learn a musical instrument

If you did not have time to pick up a guitar or saxophone during high school due to all of the homework you had to do, this is the time to pick up that instrument and take the time to learn how to play.

Or if the idea of going for piano lessons seems to be more appealing to you, then do that. There is no better time to do these things such as now, during your gap year.

10. Work During Ski Season: Gap Year in the Snow

Gap year ideas: work during ski season

Do you love to ski and you have an affinity with winter?

The good news is, you can do this all year round.

You can work during a ski resort during the boreal winter anywhere in the northern hemisphere whether it is somewhere in northern Europe, or in the northern USA or in Canada.

And what about June? Well, go south because that is when it is winter. There are plenty of ski resorts in New Zealand, in the Australian mountains, and in Ushuaia, Argentina.

11. Take A Cruise Around Antarctica: Gap year of a Bold Trip

Gap year ideas: take a cruise around Antarctica

This is an expensive gap year idea, but it is a once-in-a-lifetime one as well!

How many people can say that they went to Antarctica to take in the beauty of this pristine environment?

You can take pictures of those breathtaking icebergs and enjoy the sight of those adorable penguins and seals that you will not see anywhere else other than the local zoo if you are lucky! However, this is a bold trip that you will only be able to take anywhere from November to March.


From helping others learn while experiencing new cultures to building a plan for the future, your gap year need not be endless trips to nightclubs and coffee shops with friends!

Instead, set up a plan for the future that will, at the very least, help you build a greater understanding of who you are, and what you stand for.

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