6 Reasons Why You Should Spend Your Gap Year In Europe
So, you are about to graduate in a couple of months, and still not sure what to do after this? Your parents want you to pursue higher studies, while your best friend plans to work 9 to 5 - and you are confused which way to go?
How about taking a break and setting out for a gap year abroad? Sounds good, doesn't it? Well, a gap year, as others might presume, isn't just about traveling and doing nothing. In fact, it's a phase that'll act as a breather for you, to decide what you want to do with life, help you to find new things about yourself, help you to gain some new skills, and turn you into a more confident individual.
While you're free to choose where to go, and Southeast Asia or Latin America can be amazing destinations to spend your gap year, I would like to suggest you to travel to Europe. Wondering why? Here are some exciting reasons to back my plans for you - check them out!
1. Because it's EUROPE...!!!
Ah well, do you really need a reason to travel to Europe? I guess not! With the rich cultural and heritage at every corner of the continent varying in every country, the mystic ancient cobblestoned streets, the lush green valleys and the turquoise Mediterranean waters, the snow capped Alps and the gorgeous Northern lights, the medieval castles and the 20th century cityscapes, the trams and country roads - there's probably nothing in Europe that you won't like! While a holiday won't give you enough time to explore all of it, a gap year in Europe will definitely bestow you with all the good things that the entire region has in store! Guys, it's EUROPE - you can never say NO to this opportunity!
2. You'll get to learn a language, or two!
While English is the most widely spoken language in the continent (so, don't panic for facing a language barrier!), most of the people can speak more than one language! And this is your golden chance to learn a new language (or maybe more, if you're keen enough!). There are 24 official languages in Europe, but more than 200 spoken in the entire continent - fascinating right? Be in Spain for a month and learn to speak the second most spoken language in the world - which is Spanish, of course! And then you can be roaming around the bylanes of Santorini and Mykonos, picking up some Greek words from your new local friends. And how about being in Germany for a while before heading off to Italy? Ah, that'll definitely make you a linguist by the time you end your journey!
3. Join a meaningful volunteering program and contribute to society.
Your gap year isn't just meant for exploring, you must also indulge in doing something effective that would make a difference to the world around you! So when you're there for a considerable period of time, why not contribute meaningfully by being a part of a volunteering program? You can choose something that aligns with your interests and preferences, that way you'll enjoy your work and get to learn new things, that might also help you in your career ahead. Be a part of a Marine Conservation Program in Spain, or teach the little kids, or play an effective role in Food Waste Management in Portugal. No matter what you choose to do and however small your steps might seem, you'll surely get to make a big impact through your dedication and commitment.
4. Get to learn about things that they don't teach you in school.
As a popular saying states, "There are things that a book can never teach you, the lessons are to be learned on the other end of the flight." There can be nothing truer than these words! We have all studied European history in school, and also about the amazing natural phenomenons like Northern Lights, that happens exclusively in this part of the world around the Scandinavian Islands. But there's a lot that we were never taught, and now is the time to set out for a journey which will enable you to learn things beyond textbook lessons! Visit the churches and museums in France, attend cooking classes in Italy, go skydiving in Spain, learn to make chocolates in Belgium, watch a live football match in England - and every bit of these experiences will enrich your knowledge and turn you into a better person.
5. Traveling across Europe in easier than you can imagine!
I'm sure that for most of you, this is the first solo trip abroad and it's making you a tad bit nervous, thinking how you'll manage traveling from one place to another! Well, let me assure you, traveling across the European countries is the easiest, and there's no need to worry on that note. Most of the mainland big cities are connected via rail, so you can easily travel from the Netherlands to Belgium, or from Switzerland to Austria! Imagine how wonderful it would be to spend your Saturday in Paris, and Sunday in London - oh yeah, that's absolutely possible in Europe! The intercity bus service is top notch as well. And the best part is, you can opt for a cross country gap year program which will make things even more easier for you!
6. Meet some amazing people from different parts of the world!
The cosmopolitan vibes of Europe can't ever be beaten! While you'll get ample scope to spend time with the locals of a particular country when you're there, you'll also get to meet travelers from other parts of the world, who, just like you, have come to explore the uniqueness and beauty of Europe. This will enrich you as a person, as you break into conversations trying to know more about their country & cultures, spend time understanding their world views, and share your ideas with them. You'll get to know how different people are, yet, there's something that binds us all - a pinch of empathy, the desire to dream, the goodness of hopes and the magic of love!
If you have more doubts about this, you can write to us at [email protected] and our experts will be able to guide you.
Let me tell you honestly, now even I’m thinking of taking a break for escaping to Europe!