Jealous of your pals who took a gap year full of elephant-hugging in Thailand, or club-repping over in Ibiza? We don't blame you, but we know travel gap years aren't right for everyone.
Be it the money, the confidence, or the timing, there are loads of reasons why some might pack away their passport and head straight for university instead.
You might be thinking that a year of exploring is a waste of money, and you'll have nothing but a sweet Insta stream and a tan to show for it at the end. Might even be thinking uni's something you want to get in and out of ASAP, and adding an extra year before you even start is going to waste time.
Which is wrong. Go on, see if our gap year section can change your mind.
But yeah we know, there are tons of other (more legitimate) reasons why people might not feel up to a gap year. And that's totally fine.
For one, it's a bit scary to go globe-trotting at the tender age of 18, especially if you'd be expected to do it alone. And you genuinely might not be in the financial position to travel the way you want to. Maybe the time's not right.
Sound like you? Fear not, you're not destined to remain silent and stormy in the face of the envy-inducing stories of the 'gap yah' bunch forever.
If you're heading to uni next academic year (or if you're already there) then do some research into your university's Study Abroad programme. Most places have them, though heed us when we say that not all are created equal.
Depending on how your uni and course works, and what schools around the world your home uni's partnered up with, you could easily fit a semester or even a year abroad into your standard degree.
Some schemes work as an extra year (with credit going towards your degree, and a fancy 'With a Year Abroad' added into your degree title), but some count as placements, and won't add any study time at all. Your uni might even have international campuses, which makes it even easier.
Better yet – if it's an international exchange with a partner uni, most won't have to pay tuition fees for their year abroad, and even get student maintenance loan for their time. Woohoo.
Still not convinced? If your household income is within parameters, you'll even get travel insurance, medical insurance and three return flights paid for you as a cherry on the top of the gelato.
Take that, gap yahs.
You can study in English-speaking countries such as the United States, Australia and New Zealand, or places like the Netherlands where most courses are taught in English. And if you're savvy with your foreign languages or up for a challenge, the world's pretty much your oyster.
Could it get any better?
Most full-time courses will still give you more free time than you can shake a selfie-stick at, so once you put down the books you can pick up your flip-flops/ski suits/hiking boots/pocket translators and get exploring. Safe in the knowledge that Student Finance has your back, and you're earning a degree as you do.
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