A gap year is a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience what the world has to offer, and there is hardly a place more suitable for this than Australia.
The Land Down Under has some of the most amazing landscapes, cities and wildlife in the world, offering all kinds of opportunities for fun, adventure, and self-improvement.
The locals are among the most laid-back and friendly people on the planet, so getting to meet new friends is something that happens almost naturally. For those looking for something other than just fun and games, Australia is an excellent place for learning, volunteering and part-time work as well.
To give you a taste of what spending your gap year in Australia will look like, check out the following list of tips we have prepared for you.
Gap Year: Get Paperwork Out Of The Way First
Before arranging your trip, make sure you are eligible to visit Australia in the first place. While Australia is known to be a tourist-friendly country, you should nonetheless check the Australian Government website for specific visa-related information.
Visiting an Australian embassy or consulate in your home country can also be helpful, and in some cases, it even might be mandatory. In general, people looking to spend their gap year in Australia will apply for one for the following visa options: visitor visa (subclass 651), a tourist visa (subclass 676) and working holiday visa (subclass 417).
You can apply for each of the online, and the conditions are relatively reasonable for most country nationals. Getting your visa sorted out can be tedious work, but just keep reminding yourself that it’s going to be worth it in the end.
Combine Travel and Learning
People who wish to have a taste of academia before starting their graduate courses can hardly do better than applying for a gap year program in Australia.
Some of the world’s leading universities are based in Australia, including the Australia National University, the University of Sydney and the University of Melbourne. These places offer a variety of courses for all student profiles, with the added benefit of having summer vacation-like weather all year round.
Apart from universities, Australia offers a host of other learning opportunities as well. Taking an English class at a professional language school can go a long way for prospective students, or anyone who likes brushing up on their language skills while traveling.
Fans of practical learning can also find numerous opportunities for volunteer work, including conservation and wildlife volunteering.
Visit Exotic Locales
If you have decided to spend your gap year by going on an adventure in some exotic part of the world, Australia might just be the perfect place for you. From stunning beaches and crystal clear oceans to tropical rain-forests and sun-baked deserts, Australia has it all.
Among them, two spots deserve special mention. One is the Great Barrier Reef. Few places can match it in the sense of wonder it elicits. Located in the Coral Sea off the coast of Queensland, the Reef is the world’s most massive living structure.
Scuba diving among its many species of mollusks, plants, and fish is an experience that stays with you for the rest of your life. The other spot is Uluru, a sandstone rock formation lying in the very heart of the continent. Surrounding by plains on all sides, its rust-colored surfaces evoke images of prehistoric times.
To summarize, spending a gap year in Australia is like watching nature’s highlights reel. No frills, just the right stuff. Those with a touch of wanderlust can hardly do better.
Experience City Life
While Australia’s stunning landscapes are an essential part of the country’s charm, chances are you will be spending at least a portion of your gap year living in a city.
Aside from typical tourist attractions, most visitors aren’t acquainted with local hot-spots and hidden crevices of Australian metropolises. You never quite know what you might discover in an alleyway of a Metropolis such as Sydney or Melbourne. While Australia is known to be an expensive country to live in, there is a multitude of more modest places to eat, drink and be merry.
However, you will probably need someone in the know to point them to you. Luckily, Australians are known to be a merry bunch, always willing to joke around at their own expense. There are plenty of people from other parts of the world as well, especially in big cities such as Sydney.
Meeting students, backpackers, tourists and digital nomads is not uncommon, and it presents an opportunity to explore this fantastic country in good company.
If you have made it this far, and you are still contemplating ‘should I buy this flight ticket?’, The answer is a resounding ‘yes!’, as far as we are concerned.
Living in Australia for a year is a great way to get away from it all, to live out a childhood dream, and to see what the world has to offer to those willing to step outside their comfort zone, and embrace the unknown.