Spring 2016 Gap Year Programs

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With countries awakening from winter hibernation, nature blooming and people filling the streets once more, spring is a great time to take a gap year abroad. Students can trade out the winter chill back home for warmer destinations, or find someplace else to watch the snow melt.

  • Popular Spring Destinations – Spain, Norway, Ireland, Chile, Australia
  • Did You Know – The Spring Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere is in March, while the Spring Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere is in September.
  • Don’t Miss – The Easter holiday falls in the springtime and is observed in style around the world. Be sure to research if where you’re going has a fun celebration.
  • Cost of Living – Spring is a cheaper time of year to travel, missing the touristy, high prices of summer.

Every year begins anew with spring. The great thing about our planet is spring comes twice a year, once in the Northern Hemisphere and once in the Southern Hemisphere! No matter where you want to travel, you can find yourself taking a gap year in the spring. Whether you’re spending time outdoors or working with children or anything else, you have endless options. So decide what you want to do, where you want to go, pack your bags and start enjoying your spring abroad!

Your interests dictate how and where you should spend a spring gap year abroad. With nature regenerating itself and wildlife waking up, spring is a great time of year to work outdoors in environmental and wildlife conservation. If your passion lies with molding young minds, there are plenty of opportunities each spring to teach English abroad all over the world. For those who truly enjoy spending time with children, au pairs are always in demand and the springtime is no exception.

Wildlife/Environment

When thinking of the Amazon, cowboys and ranches usually aren’t the first thing that come to mind. Working with Fronteering abroad gives you the opportunity to work as a real life cowboy. Help cattle ranchers in Guyana care for their horses and work in agricultural tourism, teaching guests about the ranchers’ way of life on the savannah.

Skip across the globe to the United Kingdom where you can volunteer in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. Work in numerous types of nature reserves, from peat bogs to woodland to the coast! Volunteers with the Fronteering project construct fences, remove invasive plant life and maintain reserve footpaths.

The Wildlife Park in Bunbury, Australia is an ideal location for those interested in helping and learning more about animals. Volunteers participate in maintaining animal enclosures, behavior observation, grounds keeping, interacting with tourists, and helping with the park’s retail, among other things. Daily interaction with kangaroos is practically guaranteed!

Teach English

English teachers are in demand around the world, year round; springtime is no exception. There are numerous program providers who will help you find a teaching placement. However, it's important to keep in mind that ESL hiring seasons vary by region. Some countries, like Costa Rica, hire for the school year in February, making it a great destination to teach in the spring. Others, like most European countries, tend to hire in the summer for a fall start.

Of course, if you're not concerned with getting paid, volunteer programs will place volunteers throughout the year.

Au Pair Jobs

For those who aren’t interested in teaching but still enjoy spending time with children, working as an au pair is the perfect fit! Positions can be found in countries around the world and with great families. Although summer tends to be the most popular time for au pairs to look for work, springtime means less competition. True, you will find less families looking, but they're still there!

Most au pair jobs include room and board with the family you’re working for, and depending on the position, you may have plenty of free time to explore your new home for the spring. Search for jobs using Au Pair Link in New Zealand, InterExchange in Germany, Au Pair International in Greece or Global Work and Travel Co. in Canada.

Typically, spring is a cheaper time of year to travel. Short-term apartments, hostels and hotels all lower their prices from those summertime highs. Restaurants in highly visited cities are even known to drop their costs in order to bring in customers. When it comes to more expensive destinations like Europe or Australia, this can be a great way to save money and still spend quality time in your dream countries.

However, keep in mind regional variations and tourist seasons. They don't always correlate with your summer back home, and for some, like Central America, prices end up spiking temporarily in early spring to accommodate North Americans trying to escape the snow.

To budget in advance, research your chosen country on Numbeo or Lonely Planet to find out the average cost for things like monthly rent, public transportation, and a restaurant meal.

Contributed by Alecia Weaver

Showing 24 Programs

Uganda

Carpe Diem Education
From the rolling hills of Tanzania's Southern Highlands to the sparkling blue waters of Zanzibar, the shores of the Nile Rive...

China

Where There Be Dragons
Immerse yourself in Chinese culture and develop a broad understanding of the drivers and challenges confronting the world’s s...

Mexico

NOLS
Flanked by the Pacific Ocean on the west and the Sea of Cortez on the east, the Baja California Peninsula is a land of extrem...

Uganda

ARCC Programs
ARCC Gap East Africa explores the majesty, cultures and challenges of three East African nations: Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania....

Panama

Kalu Yala
At Kalu Yala, we are in the process of building the world's most sustainable modern village nestled in the Panamanian rainfor...

Italy

Art History Abroad
This course travels through Italy four times a year, exploring all aspects of culture, such as history, music, politics, food...

Mauritius

African Leadership College
Dive into the breathtaking Indian Ocean Island of Mauritius to discover its sights and sounds, volunteer with our NGO partner...

United States of America

Up with People
During the Up with People program, participants travel in international casts of about 100 people to cities on a multi-contin...

China

Bridging the Gap China
Our 1 month gap year program is ideal for those that are looking to combine some fun-filled traveling with Mandarin tutoring....

New Zealand

NOLS
Join us for an exciting educational opportunity in a remarkable country. New Zealand's South Island is a varied region of alp...

United States of America

Gap at Glen Brook
Gap at Glen Brook is a place-based experience for gap semester students on a 250-acre campus in the Monadnock region of New H...

Costa Rica

Intercultura Costa Rica Spanish Schools
Live with a local family while you study in our immersion Spanish & Culture programs, travel around Costa Rica and participat...

United States of America

NOLS
A semester in the Southwest will give you a unique glimpse into the American Southwest's living desert. You will discover the...

Spain

EF International Language Centers
Travel to Spain for a semester or year and learn Spanish in one of the world's greatest cities. With centers in Madrid, Malag...

Canada

NOLS
An action-packed learning adventure, this semester begins and ends in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada, and it takes place...