For many students a gap year is considered a rite of passage before they begin the stressful and costly process of taking up a University placement. An online money saving website found that 37% of students want to take a gap year, but can’t afford to. With the average cost of taking a gap year around £3,000-£4,000, coupled with the high costs of university, they found 20% of young people are now considering taking one when they are older.
Whether it’s something students choose to do before university or after, taking a gap year to go travelling, learn new things and experience different cultures is on the bucket list for many. Research suggests at least 78% of young people are interested in taking a gap year, or already have, however a large portion unfortunately cannot afford to.
Taking a gap year
As thoughts of higher education options and career prospects approach, one thing many students consider is whether they want to or can take a gap year to travel and see the world and enjoy new experiences. With this in mind, money saving website www.myvouchercodes.co.uk investigated how many 18-24 year olds had taken a gap year or were planning on doing so. They asked: “Would you like to take a Gap Year to travel?”
• Yes I am planning on before university – 6%
• Yes I am planning on after university – 12%
• Yes but I can’t afford to – 37%
• Yes but when I’m older – 20%
• No I am not interested – 22%
• I have already taken a gap year – 3%
Whilst the majority of those surveyed stated that they would like to take a gap year to travel they found a number couldn’t afford to do. Although it’s a big consideration for the future, a lot of people were planning on going after they had finished their university studies rather than before. Though some respondents who had taken a gap year noted they did so between finishing their undergrad studies and starting their post grad studies, before looking for employment.
Cost of taking a gap year
For those aged 18-24 the average cost of taking a gap year is £3,000 to £4,000 and according to research, a fifth of parents decide to help fund their child’s gap year, paying on average £763 per child . Other students use fundraising sites to help pay for their travels, as even the option of taking a gap year to work with charitable agencies, can still be expensive.
Taking a gap year when your older
Those wanting to defer taking a gap year when older cite costs as a factor in this, when older you may be in a better financial position to do so. Employees are able to take career breaks in the UK to further themselves either with travel or education, however it can depend on the company how long is given off to employees. In addition you also need to consider what responsibilities you have as well.
Speaking about the results General Manager of My Voucher Codes Chris Reilly said:
“Many young people want to take a gap year to go travelling, expand their horizons, learn about new cultures and meet new people. Although some people just consider it to be an extended holiday, a gap year traveling can be valuable for young people, adding to their employability and giving them experiences they can’t learn in a classroom. It’s no surprise so many young people want to take a gap year, unfortunately for many costs can prohibit them or limit their options.
“Although it might seem prudent to wait till you’re in a better financial position to take a gap year, by taking a career break, you may have more responsibilities as you get older which could make it harder. It also depends on the company you’re working for, whether they will allow you to take sufficient time away and that you’re able to come back to a job, or take time away from paying mortgages, loans or other financial or family obligations.”