Thinking About a Gap or Sabbatical Year Abroad? Consider These Options Before You Go

Year Abroad with kids at the school


Taking a gap year is pretty commonplace in places like Europe and Australia. A lot of students take some time off before going to University to travel a little and experience new things, before knuckling down to their University studies. You might have been and done with your studying and now are thinking of taking a sabbatical break from work. A lot of larger employers do allow this, as long as you’ll come back to work for them afterward. So if you are thinking of a gap year or a sabbatical break from work, then here are some ideas of things that you could do.

Teach English as a Foreign Language

There are lots of organizations that enable you to teach English abroad. So you could arrange to do it through them. A large variety of countries run the programs too. So you could be doing it in places like China and Thailand to Brazil and Germany. So you could take your pick of the places that you want to visit. Then on your days off, you can explore the area that you are in. It is a good option for people that still need to earn a little money while they are traveling.


If you want to see the world, but have a little structure to your plans and do some good, then volunteering is a great idea. There are volunteer programs in practically every country, so it might be a good idea to think about what you want to do first. Would you rather be hands on in farming or building, or help to coach sports or help in hospitals? You could volunteer to work in an orphanage in Russia or volunteer in Ghana at the National Parks and reserves. There are a lot of options so have a think about what you’d prefer to do and go from there.

Year Abroad with kids in Ghana


Work as an Au-Pair

If you are good with children, then this could be a really fun option. Set up through an organization, you would be assigned a family in a location of your choosing. You get to live in the family’s home free of charge, and they provide food for you. You get paid a nominal amount, but you don’t have the cost of food or lodging. Then during the week, you take care of the kids and do the school drop offs. The weekends are your own. Quite often this will be for wealthy families, so could be a really interesting experience. It could help if you’re looking to learn a different language too.

Teaching Sports

You could give your time to work in a summer camp abroad, working as a coach or rep. If you have a knowledge of something specific, then you could do a season coaching abroad. If you’re good at skiing or snowboarding, then you could spend a ski season in Austria or Canada, for example. Just check what coaching qualifications you would need, in advance, and if you’d need to get a visa.


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