Gap years can be used to enhance your CV, travel, learn new skills, and much more.

Why take a gap year?

A gap year offers you the opportunity to gain skills and experiences, while giving you time to reflect and focus on what you want to do next.

  • A productive gap year can be valuable on your CV – many employers value the experiences students have gained if they’ve actively managed their time, set themselves goals, and stretched themselves.
  • If you decide to apply for uni, you could tailor your gap year to relate it to the subject area you plan to study.

Things to consider

  • What do you want to do with your gap year? Careful thought and planning is essential.
  • How will you fund your travels?
  • Don’t forget to keep in mind what you want to do afterwards. This will make it easier to transition to work/study when you return.

How can a gap year jump start your career?

Considering a gap year? Unis and employers love the maturity, motivation, and higher final grades of gap year students. Our friends at Yipiyap have experienced over a decade of well-planned years out transforming careers.

Yipiyap’s advice

Each summer, Yipiyap's gap year tutors leave having not only changed lives but also starting university or their career as fully-formed professionals.

Yipiyap gappers take that development to Oxford, Cambridge, and red brick unis; they nail challenging apprenticeships, and become doctors, lawyers, scientists, artists, musicians, and veterinarians.

Yipiyap alumni consistently describe their gap year as a crash course in professionalism that stood them out at work or uni.

So, how can your gap year jump-start your career?

1. Don’t be aimless

Think ahead a year, then work backwards. If you’ve deferred a place at uni or are applying to a course, job, or apprenticeship, consider the skills that will wow once you’re there. Confidence? Interpersonal skills? Maturity?

Now, what gap year will get you there?

Unsure? That’s okay – simply pick a skill to build on and set yourself up for success once you find your path.

2. Focus on your influence

Missing out on competitive courses like Oxbridge, medicine, or dentistry can result in a surprise gap year. Don’t be disheartened – focus instead on what you can pack into those 12 months, and tackle next September with new skills, a new attitude, a glowing CV, and proven resilience.

Yipiyap tutor Smriti successfully reapplied to medicine on her gap year. “The skills I acquired were pivotal in interviews, while the insights gained provided compelling evidence of my suitability for medicine.”

Sam had the same experience reapplying to Oxford: “A gap year was justified from a university application standpoint alone - never mind the other perks!”

3. Knowledge is power

There are options beyond the local supermarket or a savings-busting 10-month backpacking holiday. Research will reveal opportunities you’ve never dreamt of, as gap-year tutor Eszter discovered.

“If not for a call from a distant friend, I may never have heard of Yipiyap. It felt like such a coincidence.”

“This year of experience reassures me of my work ethic and that it was not a mistake to take a gap year before university. This job feels like the start of a career”.

4. It isn’t all or nothing

Besides work, our gap-year tutors have spoken at international conferences, competed for Team GB and in Olympic selections and even performed as drag queens.

Part-timing is also great for supporting volunteering in your chosen field. Remember, you’ve got two summers, plus revision-free evenings and weekends.

Show off that personal and professional development at interview and you’ll be unforgettable.

5. Leave your comfort zone

Whatever you decide, pushing yourself is the only way to grow. If your plans scare you – that’s a good thing.

“I’ve seen confidence grow in both students and myself,” writes Grace, “This gap year has been truly transformational and I couldn’t recommend it enough.”

Considering a gap year with Yipiyap? Find out more about becoming a peer tutor..

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Gap year ideas