Gap year work and travel

Travel like you mean it

Gap year, career break, the best decision you ever made... Whatever you want to call it, we know how to do it. Earn money, explore the world, enhance your CV (preferably all at the same time).

Gap year goals

Not sure where to go, or where to start? We’ve been there – literally. Meet our BUNAC team as they talk about their own gap years abroad.

What is a gap year?

Traditionally, a gap year is a period of travelling, working or volunteering abroad between high school and college/university. A stop gap if you like, somewhere between the academic world and the ‘real world’. But then, we were never really one for tradition. To us, a gap year isn’t just for students, or for graduates, or for an amount of time that happens to add up to a calendar year. What defines a gap year is taking a break to do something different. Not just to travel – although that’s part of it – but to travel with a purpose. Whether that’s to earn money, make a difference, grow your skills or simply to refocus on what’s next. It’s your time, we’re all about making it work for you. 

Why do a gap year?

Gap years are no longer viewed negatively by employers or admissions tutors. If anything, it’s the opposite. Travelling teaches independence, responsibility and understanding – helping us to become better global citizens in a world beyond our own communities or country. It also gives us perspective. There’s nothing like a metaphorical (or actual) mountaintop moment to help you take stock and figure out what’s next. As well as growing personally, a gap year can also help you professionally – to get money, transferrable skills and work experience under your belt. Plus, build connections and friendships with people from all over the world (while having all the fun in the world).

Where can I go on my gap year?

We’d say something profound here like ‘The world is your oyster’. But if you’ve ever been on an overnight backpacker bus after a bad oyster, you’d know that travel and seafood don’t always mix. For their traveller-friendly culture and ease of finding work, classic gap year destinations tend to be Australia, New Zealand, Canada or the UK  – often with stops in Asia, Africa, Europe or Latin America if you’re doing a round the world ticket. If you want to get out of your culture comfort zone, then think about a ski season or working holiday in Japan. It’s one of the safest countries in the world, plus we help find you a ski season job before you go. Job done.

How long is a gap year?

Traditionally if you took a year out to travel, you’d have to wait an academic year before going to university – hence the gap ‘year’. Short history lesson over. In reality, the length of your trip depends on your budget. If you need to earn while you’re away, think about a working holiday visa. Working holidays are iconic gap year stops – either as a destination in themselves or as part of a round the world. Just be aware that some countries will only allow you to have one visa per lifetime – so use it wisely. If you don’t want to use up a working holiday visa but want to earn money over part of the year, check if you’re eligible for our summer camp or Work USA program instead.

Get a fresh perspective doing a ski season in Canada, focus on what matters inspiring young adults at a summer camp in America, or get ahead of the game with an internship in Europe. Whatever gap is in your life/CV/bank balance – BUNAC programs can help you fill it.

It’s okay to feel lost

You’ve come to the right place. Finishing school, university or having a change of career can be an anxious time. Enter – the gap year. A gap year can be an amazing way to refocus and decide what’s next – while also earning money, growing your skills and seeing the world.

Gap years starts here

All our team have worked abroad – and we love nothing more than to share our adventures. We take the stress out of planning your gap year, with first-hand advice, expert visa help, job support and travel advice. Some days (all days) we really love our job.

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The BUNAC® logo and many of the programme names on this website are registered trademarks in the USA, the United Kingdom and in other jurisdictions. Company registration number: 1391030. Trading as BUNAC Travel Services Limited, 5 Fleet Place, London, United Kingdom, EC4M 7RD.