To Take a Gap Year or Not?

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I want to make sure I have a good amount of experience on my belt before settling down.  However, I will be facing a considerable amount of debt upon graduating -a petty amount really. So with some planning and researching, I have looked into some programs that will help me hit the ground running next year! I am not much of a planner so looking into the future is something new for me. Deciding whether to take on more debt and head to grad school or volunteering abroad are two attractive options. Thankfully there are a ton of programs that allow you travel abroad and break even or maybe make a few extra dollars. Hope this helps anyone who is graduating within the coming year or interested in education abroad.

After attending a panel on graduate school, I spoke with a woman who waited eight years to return to school. I have heard both sides of the argument. If you do not go to graduate school right after your finish your undergrad, you will lose motivation and knowledge. On the other hand, I have heard that taking a year off (or more), working abroad and narrowing your interests is the best way to go. Unfortunately, a Bachelor’s Degree seems to be the new high school diploma and setting yourself a part from the crowd means earning your Master’s degree.

Option #1

WWOOF! If you join the WWOOF community, you can work on an organic farm, learn sustainable techniques and travel internationally.  And here is the catch, most farms that you stay on will provide room and board in exchange for your service. So you may not be making money but you can break even!

http://www.wwoof.net/

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Option #2

Rumor has it that the Peace Corps will defer your loans, giving you extra time to pay off your debt after two years of service.  Volunteering looks great on the résumé, not to mention, it opens  up many career opportunities. As a Peace Corp Returnee you can become a representative on a college campus too.

http://www.peacecorps.gov/

Option #3

For those who want to travel whilst continuing their education…grad school abroad is an option. Keep in mind that the school systems  abroad are different from the U.S. systems.

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http://www.princetonreview.com/graduate-study-abroad-programs.aspx

Option #4

Teach abroad! You can look into the full bright program for scholarships. There are programs where you can work for the country’s government and they will pay you to teach english. I was a volunteer english teacher at a local elementary school and I loved it!

http://us.fulbrightonline.org/

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Teaching English in Oviedo, Spain.

 

 

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