Gap Years Benefit Your Career. Fact.

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Since 1962, BUNAC has been sending people all over the world on life-changing work and travel adventures. From the USA, Asia, Australia and everywhere in between, the opportunities for incredible experiences are endless.

Around 300,000 UK students are preparing to collect their A-level results this August, and in today’s competitive job market, it is vital for candidates to stand out from the crowd.

With this in mind, BUNAC recently conducted a survey, asking university representatives, careers advisors and our alumni network to assess how important work, intern and volunteer programmes are for school and university leavers, both in terms of personal growth and professional development. The huge acceptance of overseas opportunities was demonstrated in the results.

Professional Development

  • 97% of those surveyed believed taking part in work, intern and volunteer programmes in a different country developed school and university leavers’ careers
  • 79% believed they held stronger communicative skills and 74% regarded them having a more secured sense of independence.
  • In terms of opportunities abroad, 78% believed taking part in a professional internship was the most beneficial of overseas programmes for career development.

Personal Growth

  • The personal benefits of working, interning and volunteering abroad are endless. 91% believed the experience helps establish friendships from all over the world88% believe it offers a different perspective of cultures and countries, and 85% understand that it develops an improved sense of confidence and self-esteem.
  • Of those surveyed, 81% said experiencing a new culture was what motivated them to participate. While 71% were inspired to work in some of the world’s most beautiful destinations, and 62% wanted to expand their social circle and meet new people.
  • 82% believed individuals who worked, interned or volunteered abroad were more developed in their maturity and cultural sensitivity.

Still undecided? 96% of those surveyed would recommend someone to work and travel overseas in order to help achieve professional goals.

This is what those surveyed had to say about Gap Years!
  • "Do it! You don't realise how strong you are until you're forced out of your comfort zone."
  • "Go, explore the world and become a better person."
  • "Do it, you'll regret not doing it later in life."
  • "Find a support package that enables you to meet others before you go."
  • "Try it to push yourself out of your comfort zone, and find out what you really want to do with your career."
  • "Do your research thoroughly, plan carefully, keep family informed of where you are going and when, enjoy the experience."
  • "Every experience, even the challenging ones make you a better citizen, more compassionate, understanding and strong."
  • "Take a chance, read as much as you can on the destination you are interested in, find out if the time/financials make sense for you."
  • "Prepare as much as possible - plan for the worst and hope for the best. Don't miss this unique chance - it'll be the best time of your life."

Head on over to our Gap Year page and start planning your ultimate adventure. You'll find loads of information and advice from our team of travel experts, as well as a brand new downloadable Gap Year Guide and video. Overseas work, intern and volunteer opportunities are just around the corner, and BUNAC will help you get there.