Gap year/working holiday

What is it?

  • Time out from study – generally taken after secondary school and prior to commencing tertiary study.
  • Usually, but not always 12 months in duration.
  • Can include travel, work experience, working abroad or volunteering.

Why do it?

  • It is very helpful for people who are not sure of their career interests or study preferences
  • To gain practical work experience relevant to your future career, e.g. working with school children if seeking to become a teacher
  • To give yourself a break from study

This should not be treated as a year off. It will be of most benefit if it is used to gain a broader experience of the world and of work; to get to know yourself better – your interests, values, strengths and work-related preferences.

Where do I find relevant information?

Youth Central is a great resource to help you decide what to do during a gap year, and how to plan ahead. There is also a range of gap year volunteer opportunities that can be found on our volunteer work page.

Can I get a gap year experience while studying?

The University of Sydney offers students the opportunity to study part of their degree overseas through the University of Sydney's International Exchange Program. There is also a range of summer volunteer opportunities that can be found on our volunteer work page.

Through these experiences, you will not only enrich your study but also gain a broader view of the world, learn new life skills and grow personally. Many have found improved career prospects because their experience has set them apart from the crowd. It is an excellent opportunity to study while travelling and exploring the world.