Taking a gap year isn’t something you do simply for the heck of it -it’s an entire year of your life, so you don’t want to waste this year. One way to spend this time efficiently is taking a gap year internship. This is the best choice that you’ll make if you want to have a useful gap year, and I’ll be explaining to you why this is the case. On top of this, I’ve got some gap year internship ideas for you that might be something that interests you and that looks good on your resume.
Why you should do an internship during your gap year
Maybe you imagine yourself working all year, or perhaps you want to just travel and have some fun, but it’s a better idea to put all that time into an internship. It will be more fun than working and a lot more productive than just traveling. But there are more reasons why you should definitely opt for an internship gap year.
Standout During College Application
Gap Year internships enhance your profile and increase your chances to secure admissions into top universities and colleges. According to Cornell University, Gap Year improves your credentials and prepares you for life in academia. It is a time to confirm your career decisions and press for an experience that positions you to understand the world and make sound arguements
A good traveling opportunity
First of all, doing an internship doesn’t mean that you can’t travel. How about following an internship abroad? For eample, You could live in China for an entire year if you wanted to! This means that you can still see the world and have a lot of fun, while you can still do something that is going to help your future.
Further on, having work experience will look incredibly good on your resume once you start looking for jobs. In today’s world, it’s no longer enough to have had a good education, they want to see more, and having work experience in a relevant industry is just what they’re looking for.
On top of these work skills being appealing to future employers, they will also be helpful to you. You’ll be much better able to thrive in your first job when you’ve had some work experience and know how the industry works. Even when you end up working in a different industry you’ll surely have learned some skills that are applicable in each work situation – think of time management, for example.
New Skills including Language
If you are indeed going to follow an internship abroad then you can add even more life skills to the list. You can learn more about a different culture, how to adapt to a new situation, how to live on your own. All of these are valuable skills for your future. And if having done an internship gap year didn’t already look good enough on your resume, then having done an internship gap year abroad surely does. You will also pick a new language by connecting with locals. There are also some programs that combine Language Programs with Internships. You can read more about our Chinese Language Gap Year
An internship gap year is also a lot cheaper than traveling all year. You might even be lucky and have the possibility of following an internship that will also pay you. If you’re staying at home, then you will be able to make money during the year while also gaining work experience and having a lot of fun.
Are you interested yet? One place to find various options for internship gap years abroad is this website. Over here you’ll find many options from business experience in New York to Environmental conservation in Costa Rica.
Convincing your Parents
Your parents are worried about your security, especially when they know you want to take an internship abroad. For them, this means they can’t help you at the very moment you are in trouble. So their negative reaction to your decision of a gap year abroad is just for your safety. There are certain actions you can take to convince them.
Tell them in advance
If you sit and talk to your parents way before finding an internship and applying for it, they will have more time to digest the information and become comfortable with it. This will make them more supportive and they won’t feel upset you share this kind of an important decision at the very last moment.
Involve them in the decision-making process
To convince them you are going to be safe, involve them in the decision-making process – which country is safer, which city will have the best food, weather, etc. This will be beneficial for both parties – your parents will share part of the research you have to do and might even find something better than you did. This will be good teamwork and your family will be excited to find the safest and the fittest internship opportunity abroad for you.
Have family time more often
Now that they are already involved in finding an internship abroad process with you, it’s high time to have family gatherings, speak about different topics, understand their expectations from you while you are abroad – would they like you to call them every day, send you images of all the places you have visited?
Remember that wherever you go, family is very important and nobody is going to care about you as much as they do. So, even if you are having the best friends, the best environment, always make sure to check the well-being of your parents and tell them everything’s ok for you.
The options for an internship gap year
You can follow internships in almost all areas, but there are a couple of ways for you to find these internship gap years. The first one we’ll be mentioning is kind of an odd one out, it is more of a job than an internship but I thought it was still worth mentioning.
The first option you have is becoming an AU-pair. This allows you to travel and work abroad while gaining experience that will surely be relevant if you ever want to work with children. You’ll earn money and get the chance to really experience a new culture, it’s something that I can recommend to everyone. If you want to learn more about being an AU-pair then you should definitely read this article.
Another option would be to join an arranged internship program like the ones you can find on this website. This means that you’ll be paying money for your internship, but this often isn’t a big sum and everything is arranged for you. All you need to do is go there. It’s a lot easier to arrange than doing everything by yourself, but if you want to be truly independent then this may not be the best option for you. There are a lot of options though, and you’ll be able to experience some amazing things, so I would at least take another look at it.
The last way is what I’ll be elaborating on in the next paragraph, and it’s basically arranging your own internship gap year. You contact the company yourself, you arrange your accommodation and take care of the entire ordeal. This will make you a lot more responsible and will give you the option to tailor the experience to your likings completely. And, if you’re able to find a paid internship, it will also cost you a lot less money, especially when you’re not going abroad.
Finding an internship for your gap year
If you are planning to write the book yourself then you have a lot of work on your hands, but the first step is finding an internship that you can follow for an entire year. This is what I’ve got some tips for, so read along if you want to find your own internship for your gap year. You might also consider a Gap Year in China on top of other destinations
- The first tip is something that may seem incredibly obvious to you, but it’s that you should start in time, way ahead of time actually. Half a year may sound like a long time, but it’s gone sooner than you think. 6 months is a good amount of time for you to find the internship and plan everything around it, so I would opt for something like that.
- Then you want to start using your network to find people that might be able to land you the internship that you’ve been dreaming about. When you’re in university then there are certain to be professors who have ties to companies that might be looking for interns. It’s important to ask everyone you know, from other students to relatives. You never know who’s going to come up with the best idea for your internship gap year.
- When you’ve gathered some options it’s time to perfect your resume and write some letters to the companies. It may take some tries before you find a company that wants to hire you, but there is certainly one company that will hire you. If you’re sending letters and resumes abroad then make sure to tailor them to meet the standards for resumes and letters in the country you’re sending it to. You should also try to convince them of the fact that your skills are an asset to their company, you might even want to get your letter checked by a professor before you send it off.
- Hopefully for you, one of the companies that you’ve sent a letter to will respond and you’ll have your internship settled, this is when it becomes time for all the other matters. You want to make sure that your visa is in order when you are traveling to a country for which this is necessary.
- You also need to make sure that you have a place to sleep while you’re on your internship. There are various options for this, you could book yourself an apartment for the time you’re there or you could stay with a host family if you really want to emerge into the culture. Perhaps you’re lucky and the company that you’ll be doing the internship at is going to arrange the accommodation for you.
Gap Year Internship Opportunities
Finding a gap year internship opportunity is time-consuming and requires lots of research.
Pod Volunteer – a non-profit organization which offers ethical, supported and inspiring volunteer opportunities in lots of countries.
Gap Year Internship in China – CIP – This a very comprehensive program designed for Gappers to experience China inside out. Combine internships, volunteer, travel, and language
Kaya Responsible Travel – they offer a wide range of volunteer and internship opportunities in Africa, Aisa and Latin America
EF English First – a good opportunity to teach English in China and be well-paid for the job you love.
Camp Canada – the agency is based both in the UK and in Canada. You can spend nine weeks or more working with children at an incredible Canadian summer camp
Camp America– it is a cultural exchange programme that gives young people just like you, the chance to participate in nine-week placements in the USA.
The China Teaching Experience – it is a TEFL-based, teaching abroad travel programme which offers graduates a ten-month English teaching experience across China.
BUNAC – they offer volunteering, internship and work experience worldwide.
Kiwi and Kiwi – they specialize in finding the best resort jobs in New Zealand
Financial Planning: (a very important topic)
Financial planning isn’t a step to forget, you need to be able to live comfortably while you’re doing your internship. For this, you’re going to need money, so it’s important to know what your expenses are going to be and how much you’ll be earning from the internship. Then you’ll be able to calculate how much money you need to save up for your gap year. Take into consideration that you need more than just food, you also want to have some money for doing fun things.
- What you will be spending on? Accommodation, flight, Visa, Insurance, Food and transport
- Finding Free Gap Year Internships
- Going through an Internship agency
If you’ve got all of this settled then you’re all ready to go away on your gap year following an amazing internship. Of course, it’s important to earn some money and build your resume, but the most important thing about a gap year is that you’re going to do something that you love doing. Having fun and having awesome new experiences is what a gap year is all about, and you can have all these things while doing your internship. You do have to pick an internship that you’re going to love doing, otherwise, it’s not going to be a nice year at all.