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University – does that work make your blood pressure rise and give you the nervous sweats? If so, it’s not a bad idea to take a break before you dive into your freshman year. You might have heard of the “gap year,” where students take a year off before entering post-secondary education. The purpose is to give your mind a break before you burn out. The workload of university can quickly become overwhelming. So, by throwing in a gap year, you revitalize your mental health.
To some, taking a gap year is frowned upon. Traditionally students dive right into post-secondary right after graduation. But the reality is that a gap year is growing in popularity, so much that the Gap Year Association emerged. In the United States alone, students taking a gap year jumped by up to 30 percent since 2006, and it is becoming more common in Canada as well.
But if you find yourself pressured to dive right into post-secondary education but you are not ready, have you considered an internship abroad instead? Taking on an internship in Europe does many things for you, including the opportunity to explore new cultures, gain work experience with a small paycheque, all while you still pursue your education.
So, instead of jumping into university right away, here are the top five internships in Europe worth looking at.
If the fashion industry amazes you, taking on a fashion internship in France may be one of the best moves you could do to gain knowledge and experience. You’ll gain hands-on experience that will help advance you further in your education back home. With these internships in France, over 10,000 students have travelled abroad for their unbelievable internships.
The George Brown College School of Fashion Studies is one of Canada’s top fashion schools, but if you are not quite ready for the extent of university, this internship is the next best thing.
Performing Arts Internship
If you like to perform and plan to pursue a life in the spotlight, try a performing arts internship in London. The musical theatre scene in the capital of England is unlike no other. You’ll be able to work part-time in the dance, music, theatre, and film industry, helping with the everyday operations.
Be one of the 11 percent of Canadians that take their education abroad. Boost your resume with a performing arts internship in London. In a field like this, experience means everything.
Inside a Performing Arts Centre. Photo by Evan Qu on Unsplash
Experience the Beauty of German Language
If you had the opportunity to spend a year working, learning, and experiencing Germany, how long would it take you to pack up your bags? Apply for a German internship where you will be fully immersed in the German culture and language. Lots of these programs offer scholarships to help cover costs, and many of these internships have the option to negotiate a paycheque, something that not all internships offer.
A bonus for a German internship in the fall? Oktoberfest, of course. Take a few days (or the whole week) and go to Munich where you'll experience the one-of-a-kind Oktoberfest the world tries to replicate.
Teach English Abroad
What if you could take a year in a European paradise, teaching your native language all with online support? This type of internship is easily achievable and will leave you with memories like no other. You go through all the training required before heading out to your favourite European destination to begin your year as an English tutor.
There are many options available as to the extent of training to teach English abroad. Decide which course best suits you, and enjoy your gap year as you experience new cultures and gain valuable experience.
Students in a classroom. Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash
What type of sports fanatic are you – soccer, tennis, football, maybe cricket? Ever heard of a sports internship? You can gain firsthand experience in some of Europe’s most popular sports (soccer especially) through these sports internships.
Tailor a sports internship to your needs and availability. You’ll be involved in famous clubs, brands, associations, all alongside well-known coaches.
Burnley Football Club in the United Kingdom. Photo by Nathan Rogers on Unsplash
Don’t shy away from taking a year in between high school and university. There are so many opportunities out there that allow you to gain work and academic experience, all while you enjoy what new cultures have to offer. Take on a European internship this fall and see what it can do for you.
Kailey graduated with a degree in Journalism and Religious Studies from the University of Regina, Saskatchewan. Now she lives a double life in Manitoba – writer by day and dance teacher by night. When she’s not at her computer, you’ll find her curled up with a glass of red wine and knitting, or obsessively taking photos of her puppy.🐶🐾
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