Most people don’t really have their lives all figured out right after high school which is why gap years were invented. A gap year gives you time to explore the world while finding yourself away from all the noise and having an adventure. Planning this adventure of a lifetime can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you are worried about culture shock. That’s where Australia comes in to give you just the right amount of it. For a young traveler, going to a welcoming country like Australia could ease you into this stage of your life. Here are some things you can expect during this time.
Whether you run into locals or fellow student travelers, you will find that people in Australia are generally friendly and welcoming to newcomers. Gap years in Australia are perfect for meeting people from all around the world and bonding instantly no matter what part of the globe you each are from. Australia is a place that can offer you an intensely international experience and broaden your horizons in ways you never imagined. All these different cultures will have you reevaluating your perception of the world and you will become a better person for it.
Perfecting Your Language Skills
Usually, when people go abroad their biggest concern is a possible language barrier. The good thing about taking your gap year in Australia is that you generally won’t have to worry about explaining yourself, since English is the most dominant language on the continent. If, however, English isn’t your first (or best) language, taking this year could be even more beneficial to you as you would get to work on your language skills with native speakers. Although this is supposed to be adventure time, opting to enroll in a course while you’re there will allow you to keep up with the academic world as well. Who knows? You might even end up staying and applying for college. Australia has some really excellent universities as well as language schools. If English isn’t your mother-tongue, you might already be familiar with HSP courses. The same schools that offer to help foreign students prepare for high-school, sometimes have an English language curriculum for older students with different goals in mind. Just make sure to do your research and find the right place for you.
Being as large as it is, Australia has a very developed transportation system so there is no need to worry about getting stuck in the middle of nowhere. The most fun way to get around the country might be a hop-on-hop-off bus. This allows you to get off at any desired destination, be there as long as you want, and then get back on again whenever you feel like it. Flexibility is freedom and freedom to explore is the general theme of a gap year. For a little bit of money, there are also trains or car and camper-van rentals. Renting is the most expensive but also the most flexible option.
A gap year could be quite pricey and almost impossible to take if you don’t have parents who are ready to cash out for “some free time”. However, on top of having fun, you are supposed to be gaining some real world experience you wouldn’t be able to find in college, so don’t let money scare you away. While you are in Australia, you have many options to support yourself even as a foreigner. A working holiday visa (WHV) will allow you to work in Australia in any field imaginable for up to a year, or two. Start exploring your options on time. One of the most common jobs for visitors is fruit-picking. The best part of that is working in the sunshine! Also, fruit-picking doesn’t require any prior experience and you might even be provided with food and accommodation at the farm in exchange for work. For those with a little more skill, the entire Great Barrier Reef is up for grabs. You could find a job as a lifesaver or a diving instructor. Of course, there is always the old-time student favourite – bartending.
Australia has everything to provide the ultimate self-growth adventure for gap year students. So go ahead and dive in!