Many people decide to take time off to travel after graduation. College is hard work and it’s not abnormal to feel like you need a break. Traveling can be a great learning experience. Unless you have an immediate job offer, and the pay cannot be turned down, spending some time off can be beneficial. Plus, there are many ways to make your downtime productive so, if you do it right, you can end up boosting your long-term career prospects.
Don’t Just Take a Vacation
Your travel time doesn’t have to be a vacation in the sun. Many people volunteer at places they visit or even teach English to students or professionals in different countries. Depending on your situation, you could earn money while you travel. Some employers even offer programs that can set you up somewhere, so you gain career experience even if spending time in a different location.
Potential Career Risks
The career risks depend on how long you travel and if you maintain your connections during this time. Disappearing for a while can make it hard to reconnect with people. Potential employers may ask why you chose to spend time traveling after graduating, rather than find work. A conventional career path may be the better option, but taking a different approach while you can have benefits too. The experience can put you ahead if you feel like it does.
Take a Gap Year
Many schools offer opportunities for people who want to take a different road after graduation. A gap year can give you this chance and provide an opportunity for personal and career development. You can literally go abroad and gain work experience, but also have time to enjoy your time. It’s possible to learn more about yourself and the location, its culture, and more; gap year programs often enable you to take classes, get an internship, or land an entry level job somewhere else.
Taking time to travel after college comes with a financial responsibility. Most college graduates can’t afford to take a whole year off. However, a part-time job or paid internship can help, and grants and scholarships can help fund your gap year plans. It also makes sense to go places where you can get by on a tight budget. You can experience as many things there as anywhere else, and expand on your knowledge gained at UC Santa Barbara.
The more you do, the better the chances you can learn more about a region’s history, culture, and lifestyle. Spending time abroad can expand your possibilities. If you do it the right way, time off after college can have many benefits at a personal and career level.