From London, a city that seamlessly blends the old world with the seductively modern, to the York countryside, England is a must-see for any traveler and a great destination for taking a gap year. While England is not an ideal country for sun-tanners or surfers (the weather can be rather dreary), its influential cultural history makes it a prime location for those looking to gain a fuller understanding of how our modern world developed. England gave rise to artistic and scientific revelations that will never be forgotten, and seeing them first hand is an experience of a lifetime!
Types of Programs
Volunteer opportunities include working with children, the disabled, the homeless, and troubled families. Volunteers can also wander through England’s pastures, contemplate Stonehenge, and visit the parliament. Volunteer projects happen all around the island, and volunteers can choose to be placed in a quaint village or in the buzz of London town. Working in such a diverse community and culture will expose volunteers to a rich recipe of experiences. Volunteers will experience excellent training that will benefit any career they pursue. Programs generally run between 6 and 12 months but each program is unique, so search through volunteer providers and find the best match for you.
England has always been a popular tourist destination. Due to its rich history, diverse culture, and exciting current events (such as the London Olympics), England is now, more than ever, a premier destination for students looking to intern abroad. Internships can be found in various fields such as business, economics, communications, and politics. Interning in London will gain you respect, earn unmatched experiences not accessible back home, and have meaningful contacts for life. A letter of recommendation and listing an international internship make interning in London all the more worthwhile.
Planning Your Trip
Cost of Living in England
Living in England, particularly London, is very expensive compared to many places in the World. While the strength of the pound has decreased in recent years, it’s still around 1.6 times stronger than the U.S. Dollar. A single room in London can cost as much as 650 pounds. That’s roughly $1040. Of course, the cost of living will depend on the situation (and tastes!) of each individual, but you should still plan effectively. It’s important to be aware of the costs you will be facing as a traveler, but don’t let it put you off! Plan carefully and think about cost-saving strategies. The cost of living in England shouldn't be too overwhelming if you are willing to make small sacrifices. While in England, look for shared housing and utilize the excellent public transport networks. You can also avoid excess fees from your bank by opening a UK Bank Account.
Culture and Etiquette in England
Politeness is highly valued. Always say "please" and "thank you" and "sorry." Touching is usually kept to a minimum, and the English tend to keep a 2-3 feet distance while speaking. In a business environment, touching is minimal, and personal space should be respected much more than in a family setting. At a first meeting, both men and women generally shake hands. Work opportunities for women are varied and available, yet women still make less money on average. The English value being well dressed and nicely groomed. Make sure that you’re prompt and ready to go. The term “time is money” is taken seriously in England.
England has stood as a beacon of democracy and a bastion of ideological freedom and yet has maintained its ancient traditions. A visitor can see the ancient ruins of an aqueduct, a medieval castle, and the Charles Darwin exhibit in a single day. England has a rich history of renaissance art and, of course, was home to the most influential writer in literature, William Shakespeare. The English are proud of their rich history of storytellers and social thinkers.
Health & Safety
England, a first-world country, has strong health and safety regulations. The water is safe to drink and restaurants must adhere to strong health codes. Vaccinations are readily available, but England does not have widespread cases of disease to worry about.
Gap Year Programs in England
View the latest job postings on our job board. A great way to earn work experience during your gap year!
What is the age limit for a UK working visa?
You must be at least 18 to receive a work visa in the UK.
What are the most popular types of gap year programs in England?
England is a popular place for internships and professional development programs. With a strong economy, large tourism industry, and rich history, Gappers can find internships in the medical field, business, economics, politics, tourism, and communications. Additionally, England is also a popular destination for au pairs.
What kind of visa do I need for a gap year in England?
For citizens of Japan, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, The UK offers a working holiday visa for tourists between 18 and 30. This visa is valid for two years and permits travelers to work for 12 of those months. US citizens can travel within the UK for up to 6 months without applying for a visa. Apply for a visa on the GOV.UK website.
How much does it cost to live in England for a year?
England and the UK have a lower cost of living than the US. While the price of a gap year will depend greatly on the programs and activities you choose, as well as the amount of travel you plan on doing throughout your time in the UK. With the work opportunities in England, there are many options to significantly lower the cost of an English gap year.
What are the benefits of a gap year in England?
England provides gappers the potential for career growth and experience in fields relevant to their studies. Additionally, certain travelers will benefit from the fact that England is an English speaking country, making it easier to integrate into local communities. There are many volunteer opportunities in England for those looking to provide service to the local community during their gap year.