A gap year sounds like fun and lots of matriculants are planning to do it – so should you? Before you decide, it’s worth understanding what some of the benefits of studying before travelling are.
Figuring out the next step after school can be daunting. There’s a misconception that taking a gap year is something to do if you are not sure of what to do. The reality is that to get the most out of a gap year you need to plan it. If you think you’ll figure it out as the year unfolds, you’re quite likely to waste an otherwise valuable opportunity. Likewise, there’s a common misconception about not travelling in your first year out of school. It’s not true that if you study first, you’ll get sucked into the corporate world and miss your opportunity to explore the world. If you want to travel after studying there are bound to be plenty of chances if you want them.
Why Studying after School could be the Right Choice for You
Having a qualification before travelling can actually be an advantage when you set off on your adventure. Here are 5 reasons why studying first could be the right choice for you.
A Chance to Mature
Studying after school gives you the advantage of being in an environment that encourages you to be more independent and take responsibility for your own advancement. And at the same time provides you with the security of a structured programme with support available if need be. Learning to be more independent and take full responsibility for yourself are essential skills to have when you travel.
Additionally, while you mature in a learning environment, you will interact with and meet new peers from around the country. Many institutions also have students from other countries. Thus, as you study you will be building a network which you could tap into when you travel.
Wider Selection of Opportunities
If you study before travelling, you’ll set out into the real world armed with some qualifications. This you will be able to use to your advantage. Travelling often yields unexpected opportunities, lots of these will require a qualification if you want to grab hold of them. Therefore, being qualified means you’ll be able to choose from a wider range of opportunities than if you aren’t qualified.
Build Interpersonal Skills
One of the many advantages of studying is that it builds your interpersonal skills. For example, studying teaches you how to collaborate with people from all different walks of life. The environment is such that both your verbal and non-verbal communication skills are enhanced. And you are expected to take full responsibility for your actions as well as be self-motivated in your education advancement. These are just a few of the interpersonal skills you learn while studying. All of which you will find quite useful when you travel.
Studying with Your Peers
Directly studying after school means you’re probably going to be studying with people of the same age group. If you study right out of school then you’re more likely to have a few classes with people you know. It’s often quite nice to have some familiar faces around you when you start doing something new and challenging. Additionally, while you expand your network, you also have the chance to strengthen existing friendships.
Longer Time to Travel
Some people have a clear idea of what they want to do in their gap year. Others have a clear idea as to what they want to study. Even if it’s fashionable to have a gap year, think before packing your bags or extending your summer job contract. You might find that you have a more enjoyable time travelling if you’ve had a longer time to plan. Planning your trip and researching your options can easily be done along-side your studies. You can also plan a longer or open-ended adventure because your travels won’t need to be cut short to study.
Where to Study
If you choose to pursue studies after school, the SACAP has a range of options. There are three faculties specialising in Applied Psychology, Management and Leadership and Social Work and Community Development. Within these fields, students have various qualification options such as higher certificates, diplomas and degrees. There are also on-campus, online live and online flexi study options. Contact a student advisor today or enrol online to begin your study adventure.