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A gap year is a break typically taken by students after completing high school and before starting college or university. It’s a time for them to gain real-world experiences, explore different aspects of life, and better understand their goals and aspirations. 

It’s also a crucial period for them to increase their education funds. Not every student has everything handed to them on a silver platter. It might sound dramatic, but many have to work hard to earn their degrees. 

If you’re one of these students who wish to save first before committing to a higher education, here are some ways to make the most of your gap year and save more educational funds. 

Try Workcations 

Who says you can’t earn while having fun? Break free, embrace life, and embark on a real-world adventure to explore what the other side of the world has to offer while you’re still young and healthy. 

Then, record your travels, upload them on social media sites, and have them monetized to earn. Take uploading videos on YouTube, for example. As of October 2023, a YouTuber makes around $0.018 for each view on average. That means you may earn $18 if you reach at least 1,000 views.

Besides vlogging, there are various ways to turn your fun travels into income-generating activities. For example, you could sell captivating photos of your journey online. Some sites pay 0.40¢ per photo viewed. It’s not that much, but it’ll still greatly help you once it accumulates. 

Alternatively, if you’re a native English speaker or proficient in the language, you can offer English lessons to locals who want to learn the language. Foreign English teachers are paid around 1,250 to 5,000 USD in many Asian and Middle Eastern countries this year. Some schools even offer them “free” accommodation, insurance, and round-trip flights to and from their home country. 

Harness Your Talents

Take advantage of your natural gifts if you’re among the many talented folks. They can be turned into money. For example, if you’re great at playing musical instruments, you can teach others or upload videos to make money. 

The same goes for multilingual people, dancers, and artists. Get inspired by the people who are teaching languages online, giving dance lessons (for fun and fitness), performing on the streets, or making personalized paintings for locals or visitors. They all love what they do and make money doing it.

Dive into Online Selling

E-commerce is booming these days, making buying and selling easier and faster than ever. If you have a knack for business, take the risk of jumping into the online selling bandwagon. Unlike other traditional business models, it’s beginner-friendly and has many perks

Starting an online store is relatively easy. With platforms like Shopify, Etsy, or eBay, you can set up your shop quickly and manage it from anywhere. Moreover, it doesn’t require a lot of capital since it doesn’t require a physical storefront and is operated mainly over the Internet. 

More importantly, being online itself is its main benefit. It significantly increases your potential customer base and sales opportunities because the Internet allows your store to have a global reach and run 24/7 without too many resources. 

Online selling platforms typically support various payment methods. Customers only have to do personal identification and bank account verification, offering them more streamlined and convenient transactions. It also helps expand your potential customer base and increases profitability. 

Consider Being an Au Pair

If you don’t have specific skills or haven’t identified them yet but enjoy working with kids or are good at housekeeping, being an au pair could be a great opportunity. It’s a young foreign person, typically unmarried and aged between 18 and 30, who helps with childcare or housework in exchange for accommodation in a foreign country.

Just imagine, you could get free lodging in a foreign country, and maybe even free food! Some hosts may even pay you for your assistance. Plus, you can document and share your au pair experience through vlogging to earn some extra income.

Many companies offer au pair programs with room and board in exchange for your assistance. While some private programs might not provide financial compensation, the experience gained can be a valuable asset in your future job applications or college admission essays.

Educate Yourself, Discover Your Path, and Secure a Scholarship

If spending your entire gap year on travel, work, or entrepreneurship doesn’t appeal to you, consider engaging in formal programs to help you clarify your personal, academic, or career objectives.

Many organizations provide service-oriented opportunities for gap-year students. Upon completing their commitments, participants become eligible for scholarships, some valued at up to $6000. 

Final Thoughts 

Your gap year is like a treasure hunt for opportunities, and there’s a lot more treasure out there than what we’ve covered here. Regardless of your socio-economic status, there’s always a solution. Stay optimistic and continue pursuing your dreams!

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