Getting the Most Out of Your Gap Year: The Invaluable Advantages of Volunteering Abroad

Mar 24, 2017 by

Gap Years for high school graduates are becoming more common each year, but many people still aren’t sure if taking a year off from schooling is for them. Maybe there are fears that they will not have the willpower to return to school, or maybe they think that once they do, they will have lost ground.

The good news is that there are many benefits you can get from a Gap Year that you just can’t get from going straight to college. Here are a few advantages of taking a Gap Year to volunteer abroad that may actually make taking a year off better than going straight to college after high school.

Your College Application Will Stand Out

When you begin to apply to colleges, you will quickly get the sense that they aren’t just looking for decent grades. Colleges want students that will represent them in many ways, and having volunteer work on your application will help it rise to the top of the stack.

College application committees see the same thing every day: good grades, good test scores, a few extra-curricular activities to round out the application. These are good things to have, but being able to say that you helped build wells in Sub-Saharan Africa or that you built houses in India are eye-catching facts that committee members can’t help but notice.

You Get to See the World

Perhaps the biggest advantage of volunteers abroad is that you will get to see places that you otherwise may never get the chance to see.

Volunteering won’t take you to the glamorous cities of the world, but it will take you to exotic locations that will have cultures, languages and lifestyles that you may have never known anything about. This is a great way to experience how other people live, which will teach you invaluable life lessons. You can learn how to volunteer abroad here.

Again, this is something you won’t gain in college. Sure, you’ll be exposed to new ideas in the classrooms, but you won’t get the immersive experience of learning a culture first-hand. Volunteering abroad gives you that opportunity to see all of the different things that this world has to offer in a way you just can’t learn from a book or a lecture.

You’ll Feel Good About Your Work

While all of the other benefits of volunteering are nice, the biggest one is that you will feel good about helping those who can’t help themselves.

You’ll get a real sense of accomplishment that you have done what you could do to make a difference in the world, for the better. You can help make many people’s lives better, not just by doing your volunteer work, but by interacting with them and teaching them about your own culture as well. Hopefully, you will make a lasting impact and have experiences that will stick with you for the rest of your life.

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