Gap Year or Career Break: What Are Your Options For Working Abroad?

what to do on a gap year

Taking a year off doesn’t mean you can completely stop earning, here are a few ways to earn money and learn a valuable skill all while on break.

There comes the point for most of us, where we want to take some time out.

It might be a gap year before starting University. It might be taking a sabbatical or career break, during your working life. It might be that there are some things that you have always wanted to do. You might simply want to ‘find yourself’ and take a break from the daily routine.

Whatever the reason is, to achieve this break from the action of everyday life you may want to go abroad for a period of time.

When you are away from your normal life, it is easier to make changes or experience new things. Sadly, not all of us are able to take six months off and not work, so you might be looking to work while you are away.

Just doing something different, with fewer commitments, can be refreshing, so here are some ideas for things that you could do while keeping your future in mind.

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Depending on where your skills lie, you could work as a course instructor. Music, dance, yoga, acting – many resorts look for people to teach these skills to their visitors.

It might be a dream of yours to be a swimming instructor or a ski instructor for a short period of time. Maybe not a total career change, but a temporary scratch of that itch you’ve always had. There are some fantastic ski resorts in Canada so it could be worth looking into ski instructor courses in Canada.

If you choose this path I don’t think you’ll regret it. You can fit it on your resume as “Proficient managing large groups” and  explain how you exhibited leadership skills while carving the moguls.

Behind the Bar

What aspiring actor or actress doesn’t know how to work the bar?

In most locations around the globe, there will be the opportunity for working in bars and what better way to learn the local customs, network with the regulars and meet interesting people. If you are looking for a gap year job, working the bar could be the perfect choice, and you just might meet someone to help kickstart your real career once play time is over.

You wouldn’t be the first person to meet important, career-altering people, at the bar.

Those on Gap Year, Teach

In many countries across the world, you could work as a teaching assistant, especially teaching English. There is a great demand for English teachers across the globe, you can help fill a need and do some societal good.

What’s great about going to a foreign land and teaching English is that in exchange you can often be taught the local language and expand your own horizons as well. Now, after your gap year is done, you’ll return with an additional language skill set to add to your resume.

Working as a teacher will take a little forward planning, but will be completely worth it.

Final Thought

Taking a year off makes sense, why enter the rat race faster than you have to. But if you are going to take some time away, figure out a way to make that time valuable towards your long-term goals. You can have fun and also contribute to your future.

About Brian Clapp

Brian Clapp has worked in the broadcast media for over 14 years as a writer, editor, producer & news director. After beginning his career in Atlanta at CNN/Sports Illustrated, he switched coasts to Seattle to work at Fox Sports Northwest. In 2010, Brian began pursuing a new found passion on the digital media side, launching a successful website and then taking on the role of Director of Content for &

Recently Brian has become addicted to Google+ and LinkedIn so add him to your circles and make him a contact. No seriously, you should.