Given the difficulties we all faced in 2020, there are compelling reasons to consider taking a gap year in 2021. Even in uncertain times, the desire for travel and independence, and gap year opportunities remains strong. The advantages of taking a gap year, such as the opportunity to gain knowledge, confidence, and new skills through experiential learning, are as relevant and necessary as they have always been. In 2021, a gap year entails spending the year investing in your mental health and self-reflection, as well as broadening your perspective by taking a break from your traditional job or academia.
Because the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the way we travel, volunteer, and work, where and how you spend your gap year in 2021 is critical. The unique challenges presented by these difficult times may provide a chance for a very unique and meaningful experience.
International travel is an important part of many people’s gap years. Still, it is not required for a life-changing experience, and many of the same lessons learned while traveling around the country can also be learned while traveling locally. As countries worldwide implement new and changing restrictions to stem the spread of COVID-19, the scope of what is possible expands as we all navigate this global event. It is critical to stay current on the most recent restrictions based on your specific circumstances, as well as the refund and deferment policies for any programs, flights, or experiences you book.
Organizations have worked tirelessly to create innovative experiences that offer many of the same gap year benefits while taking into account stay-at-home orders, border closures, and safety requirements. International travel, work, internships, and volunteering may be less common in 2021, but domestic and virtual gap years are rising!
Choosing A Gap Year Destination for 2021
Whether or not there is a pandemic, if you are taking a gap year, you should consider the following factors when selecting a destination:
- Your command of a second language or desire to learn one.
- Your budget, which includes living expenses, transportation, and program fees.
- The activities you would like to participate in include work, volunteering, internships, or adventure sports.
Every year, Go Overseas ranks the top ten gap year destinations based on a variety of criteria by biography writing services. This year, countries are ranked based on their popularity on Go Overseas, Google, and current and anticipated border closures and international travel restrictions.
Ireland, home of Halloween, Guinness, and lush, rolling green landscapes, offers gap year opportunities ranging from enrichment arts to cookery school and much more in 2021! Ireland’s deep cultural connection to its land, expressed through traditional music, literature, and games, continues to inspire.
Ireland is the 3rd largest European island, with 80% of its landmass occupied by the Republic of Ireland, and the remaining, Northern Ireland, is a component of the uk . Due to Ireland’s vast, green landscape, it has been nicknamed the emerald isle. Ireland is also known for its gorgeous beaches, rocky cliffs, and historical monuments.
Both Northern Ireland and therefore the Republic of Ireland are currently welcoming international visitors. However, COVID-19 restrictions and requirements are constantly changing, so it is critical to review the current policies for visitors from your specific country.
Australia is a popular gap year destination for travelers worldwide because it offers a working holiday visa, allowing gappers to work while traveling legally. Many working holiday visa holders find short-term work in hostels, bars, or working farms to fund their travels. Long-term travel in Australia can be expensive due to its size and remoteness, so the ability to supplement travel with work makes a gap year in Australia possible for many more travelers.
Australia has a large landmass, with most of its population concentrated on the country’s southern and eastern coasts. With its size comes a wide range of climates, from tropical beaches in Queensland to temperate climates in Victoria and Tasmania. Australia also has a desert covering over 500,000 square miles.
Australia’s borders are currently closed, but many gap year programs anticipate that international travelers will return as early as summer 2021. For the spring semester, there are also virtual internships available in Australia.
Japan is a popular destination for language-focused gap year travelers. English-speaking gappers typically spend their travels either learning the language or teaching English in local schools. Furthermore, gappers looking to ski and snowboard and those interested in becoming instructors flock to Japan’s mountains.
Japan is a densely populated island nation famous for its ancient temples, bustling cities, and dramatic volcanoes. Japan consists of four main islands, with thousands of smaller islands spanning the North Pacific Ocean.
Japan currently has an entry ban for many international travelers.
Gap year opportunities abound in the United States of America, both domestic and international. The United States, known as a “melting pot,” has a diverse range of cultures and landscapes spread across its vast geographic area. Without having to cross country borders, the United States is an excellent place to gain insight into potential career paths and see various lifestyles.
The United States truly has something for everyone, from iconic cities like New York City and San Francisco to nearly untouched wilderness found in national parks. However, with its size comes travel challenges, so it’s best to research and focus on visiting a few states or geographic areas rather than trying to “see it all.”
A gap year in the United States in 2021 is an excellent option for US citizens who are hesitant to travel internationally during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The majority of non-US citizens are currently barred from traveling to the United States.
New Zealand, like Australia, provides a working holiday visa that allows young people (with specific passports) to work throughout the year while traveling. New Zealand comprises two main islands, the North Island and the South Island, which each have their distinct landscapes and climates. Many people looking for an adventurous gap year find New Zealand an excellent choice, with adrenaline-pumping activities being the norm throughout much of the country.
Because New Zealand is an expensive country to visit and travel through, a working holiday visa is an excellent option for young budget travelers. With a thriving economy and high agricultural demand, it is simple to find work in the cities or on farms scattered across the islands. The borders of New Zealand are currently closed, but programs are expected to begin in the summer of 2021.