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Why You Should be Taking a Gap Year Abroad

Taking a gap year is one of the best decisions you can make, be it after high school, in between university study, or upon graduation. Let’s face it; the world can wait. You have a unique opportunity to explore the world and do something out of the ordinary. And if you’re going to be taking a gap year, you might as well go out of your own comfort zone and explore other countries! Seize the day by taking a gap year abroad!

5 Reasons You Should be Taking Your Gap Year Abroad:

1. Learn a new language – Taking a Gap Year Abroad

The best way to learn or improve a new language is to be immersed in a foreign place where people speak that language. You could improve your English or practice a new language. Even if you’re not sure when you’ll use that language later in life, language learning has extreme mental benefits. Plus, it’s fun!

2. Experience a new culture – Taking a Gap Year Abroad

Is it true that Dutch people are very direct? Are German people really as organized as everyone says? Take a gap year abroad and find out! Wherever you come from, you will soon discover that people all over the world look, think, dress, dance, and eat differently than you. By taking a gap year abroad, you have a chance to explore and examine those differences!

3. Get out of your comfort zone – Taking a Gap Year Abroad

Being in the midst of all these strange cultures and new people will force you to do things that you don’t normally do. That is a good thing. We humans are creatures of habit, and it takes some effort to do something we’ve never done before. Later on, we often realize we love the new things we experienced! Strange cultures will also challenge you to look to your own cultural habits and to be more understanding of the habits of others.

4. Learn practical skills – Taking a Gap Year Abroad

When you take a gap year and go abroad, you’ll finally learn how to read that confusing map, how to buy a train ticket at a kiosk that functions in another language, how to find a bathroom without paying for it, and countless other life and travel skills. For those taking a break from high school or university life, such practical skills can be a relief to learn after so many strenuous mental activities.

5. Traveling is super fun! – Taking a Gap Year Abroad

Let’s face it: the most compelling reason to take a gap year abroad is for the amazing travel opportunities you gain. The bottom line is that traveling is wonderful for expanding cultural awareness, but it’s also just super fun. How many times have you said, “One day, I’ll travel ___?” Well, a gap year is your opportunity to do so, and the easiest time; once you have a full-time job, it will be significantly harder to travel.  But by taking a gap year and going abroad, you are able to have two incredible experiences in one.

If you’re taking a gap year abroad, consider Shelter Christian Ministry!

We have two Christian hostels located in the heart of Amsterdam: Shelter City and Shelter Jordan. Through hospitality, we strive to be a light for Christ to the 40.000 guests who stay in our hostels every year. Both hostels are run by Christian volunteers from all over the world. We train and equip them to engage in hospitality and evangelism in a culturally relevant manner. Ministry volunteers are between 18 and 30 years old, and volunteer for up to one year. If you love to meet new people, live in an international Christian community, experience diverse cultures and share the gospel within a safe environment, join our ministry! Consider to do a gap year at the Shelter or join us for a few months. For more information, read more about our Christian Gap Year.