Alternatives To Spending A Fortune On Grad School
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Politics and Activism

Alternatives To Spending A Fortune On Grad School


As graduation quickly approaches, it seems as though you’re left with only two options. Either you continue school or start a career.After years of endless papers, tests and busy work, it’s hard to understand why so many seniors are now rushing to apply to grad school. Probably because, like most, they feel they don’t have the confidence and skills needed to really begin living on their own. 

This is the first time in your life when you don’t know what’s going to happen next. Ever since pre-school you knew you would graduate one level of school after the next until you finally graduate college. After that you’re on your own. Believe it or not, you don’t have to spend the next year in a classroom or a cubicle.

There are many options for recent grads to do during a gap year, which could be as short as a semester or as long as a couple of years. Gap years used to be the privilege of the rich; they could wander around Europe while living off their trust fund. But for many service-type trips, all you really need is airfare to and from your destination. And many jobs will pay you enough that you can actually save some money.

A common theme among gap year plans is going abroad. Many jobs abroad only require a college degree regardless of the field. One of these includes teaching English. Since English has become the dominant language for international trade, export countries, particularly in Asia and Latin America, are eager to have their citizens learn the language. You could also move to Europe to become an au pair or nanny. This involves taking care of children and doing house work in exchange for room, board and pay. This allows the au pair to also partake in part time education.

There are seasonal jobs, both abroad or in the U.S., such as positions at ski resorts, beach resorts and cruise ships. If you plan wisely, you can find employment for a full year in this way. These position don’t pay much, but guests tip well and the resorts cover transport, accommodation and basic living costs and allow you to go skiing, to the beach, or whatever adventures the guests take part in during the hours off.

Another way to spend your gap year includes volunteering. While volunteering might not bring in income, it is a valuable way to use your time, as you will be making positive changes while also building a network of fellow volunteers, co-workers, supervisors and organizations that might be important to your future work. Programs like the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps or City Year provide important life lessons and they strengthen your resume and will, undoubtedly, give you a lot of material to discuss during an interview. Moreover, having participated in these programs links you with other alumni who may be valuable resources later on in your job search.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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