Nine Steps for an Overseas Gap Year

  1. Brainstorming

      There are many variations of a gap year. Your job is basically to help others: needy people, orphans and people with all kinds of impairments.
      The first step is to answer these questions for yourself:

      • What are your goals?
      • What country do you want to go to?

      • What kind of work do you want to do?

      • How long do you want to stay overseas?

      • How will you finance this year?

  2. Looking for the right organization:

      There are countless aid organizations for this kind of overseas stay. The best thing to do is browse in the Internet. Here you can read many firsthand reports which can help you make your decision.
      Depending on the organization, you can be paid or supported in many different ways. Check the details carefully and decide what is most important to you. Once you have found the right organization, they will help you with the next steps and prepare you for your future responsibilities with seminars.

  3. Choosing where you want to be assigned:

      Where do you want to go? Be very aware that life in the developing countries is challenging at best. The aid organization will prepare you for the various challenges you will face in your assigned country with their seminars. With most aid organizations, you cannot freely choose the project you want or the country you want to work in. You must apply for this. The organizations want to get to know you in a personal interview first. They then make a recommendation and pass your application on. Sometimes telephone interviews are made. Each organization processes the applications differently. In the end, it is up to you if you accept one of the jobs offered to you.

  4. Visa and passport

    If you need a visa and what kind of visa, depends on which country you want to stay in. If you are planning your stay with an agency, they will guide you through the application process. Otherwise, you should contact the embassy of the country of your choice for information regarding a visa. Remember that the application process can take some time and be expensive.
    For more information click on the specific country information.

  5. Is health insurance needed?

    Health insurance is indispensable. Find out for sure if you need additional coverage. If you are staying in Europe, your own health insurance covers the costs in the event of illness.

    Most of the time you need additional health insurance coverage if you must apply for a visa. Be very careful that the insured amounts provide adequate coverage.

    For more information click here or continue on health insurance.

  6. Travel plans:

    Depending on where you are going, you will need a plane, train or bus ticket. Be sure to book your plane ticket as soon as you get your visa (if you need a visa). Do not forget to include time for any extra travel you wish to do.

  7. Further information:

    Do not forget to cancel or suspend contracts. For example, mobile phone, apartment rent, memberships, insurance policies.
    More information here

    Decide if you need a credit card. The application for this also requires some time.
    More information here.

  8. Packing

      • It is best to make a list before packing. Find out if things you need or do not wish to live without are available in the country of your choice. For example, medication, cosmetics or snacks.: For more information click here.

      • Ask about special clothing needs at your assignment (for example, special shoes).

      • There is a shortage of many things, such as toys and chocolate, in the poorer countries. It is better to leave one pair of shoes at home and have room for the special treats.

      • Pay attention to weight and size limits of luggage. (Check the regulations of the airlines you are flying with)

      • When flying, always check what you can carry where in your luggage. For example, what can be in your carry-on, what must go into the luggage you check.

      • For more information click here
  9. Do not forget to relax and look forward to your new experience!