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Next Steps After High School Graduation: Your Possibilities of Doing a Gap Year

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Next Steps After High School Graduation: Your Possibilities of Doing a Gap Year

You are done with high school and ready to dip your toes into some great adventures? Not everyone is ready to start their professional career or university immediately after graduating, and for good reason. You just spent the last 12-13 years studying subjects that might not even interest you. You truly do deserve some time off and the chance to explore the world AND yourself. So let’s have a look at which options you have when doing a gap year after high school.

5 Types of gap year experiences


You already have an idea of what you want to do in the future and want to get started with learning skills and earning some money? An internship whether locally or abroad might be a great option for you. Discover whether the industry and field are really what you imagined, start developing practical skills and expand your professional network. A big plus is also that you start building up your CV for your future career. 

Au Pair

Experiencing a different country from the safety of a family home. This is what being an Au Pair can offer you. You will get a deep dive into another culture and language and will be able to afford your stay abroad as you will mostly stay with your host family and get a small pocket money. Taking care of children and helping in the household will prepare you for living alone and will give you a feeling of responsibility you might not have had before. It's a unique blend of work, cultural exchange, and adventure mixed into one amazing experience abroad. 


Are you passionate about making a difference in the world? Volunteering during your gap year allows you to channel your energy into meaningful causes while leaving a positive impact on communities in need. Whether you're teaching English in a remote village, conserving wildlife in a nature reserve, or building homes for families in impoverished areas, volunteering offers a deep sense of fulfilment and purpose. It's also an opportunity to step outside your comfort zone, cultivate empathy, and contribute to a better world.

Working Abroad

You want to experience life abroad but also don’t want to empty your pockets completely? This is the perfect option for you. Working in entry-level positions, getting trained on the job and gaining valuable skills for your future career while at the same time making a decent income. This will not only prepare you for work life but will also give you the necessary funds to actually enjoy your free time and weekends. The feeling of independence and adventure is like no other. Whether it’s working in customer service, tourism or content moderation, there's no shortage of opportunities to earn a living while enjoying life in a new country.

Jobs Abroad

Work & Travel

Why choose between work and travel when you can have the best of both worlds? With a work and travel program, you can embark on a journey that seamlessly blends employment with exploration. Whether you are working on farms, as a tour guide, or bartender, you'll have the flexibility to earn money while exploring the globe. From busy cities to the calm countryside, you choose where your next destination is. But be prepared to save some money before you start your adventure because work & travel are more expensive than one might expect. 

Gap year option costs and earnings in comparison 

When the spark of adventure hits you, it is nearly impossible to say no. But we want you to be aware of the costs each of these options brings with it. As pretty as each of them may sound not everyone can afford it and even though it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience don’t forget that life continues after this adventure and savings are important to keep on going. 

Below you can see a comparison between the different options for your time out, which will help you to make a decision that fits your unique situation.

Source: auslandszeit GmbH / auslandszeit.de - Status: 04/2023
Note: All numbers in this image are average values. One-off costs like plane tickets, visa etc. are broken down by month. Your earnings and costs always vary depending on the country, your skills and the different companies or programs you choose. 

Looking at this chart many of you might come to the conclusion that working abroad is the best solution considering the earnings, costs and depth of experience you will gain professionally and personally. So let’s have a deeper look into this option.

Benefits of Working Abroad

Working abroad offers a lot of benefits that go beyond professional growth. It give you the opportunity to expand your horizon, both personally and culturally.

  • Personal Growth Opportunities: Living and working in a foreign country pushes you out of your comfort zone (trust us!). You will face daily challenges that will fast-forward your personal growth and give you the unique ability to adapt to new environments and navigate unfamiliar situations.

  • Professional Development: Working abroad will push your professional skills and experience. You will be exposed to diverse work cultures, practices, and perspectives, allowing you to broaden your skill sets and gain valuable experience.

  • Cultural Experience: Perhaps the most significant benefit of working abroad is the opportunity to take a deep dive into one culture and learn the ins and outs of their way of living, traditions and potentially even their language. This will open your mindset to different views.

Tips for Finding Jobs Abroad

Securing employment opportunities abroad requires careful planning and preparation. Here are some tips to help individuals find jobs abroad:

Researching Opportunities

Before applying for jobs abroad, be sure you know which country/area you are looking at. Secondly, research that country to understand the job market, trends and opportunities you can have there. 

Expert tip: You can also go the easy way by applying to recruitment agencies like Blu Selection. Our professional recruiters have the knowledge you are looking for and can recommend you directly to companies which makes your chances of getting hired that much higher.

Jobs Abroad


Networking plays a crucial role in finding job opportunities abroad. Use professional networking platforms, attend industry events, and connect with recruiters or professionals working in your desired field or location to expand your network and uncover hidden job prospects.

Recruitment agencies

Recruitment agencies specialize in connecting job seekers with employment opportunities across various industries and sectors. As a recent high school graduate you can benefit from partnering with recruitment agencies to access a wide range of job listings, receive career guidance, and tap into hidden job markets that may not be accessible through traditional job search methods.

Let’s wrap it up

Taking a "time out" after graduation offers a valuable opportunity for graduates to explore different paths, gain new experiences, and discover their passions before starting a new chapter in their professional careers. Whether it's an internship abroad, work & travel or finding a gap-year job to live abroad, the post-high school period is a time of exploration, growth, and self-discovery. Enjoy it!

Jobs Abroad