Skip to main content

Future study

Why COVID-19 doesn’t mean giving up gap year goals

This article appears in: High school to uni, Learning abroad
Male traveller with backpack overlooking a mountain view

If like many high school leavers, COVID-19 has curtailed your gap year plans, we have good news. The plans may need to be adjusted, but you can still kick your gap year goals while studying. Here’s how.

A gap year sounded like such a good idea. You could take more time working out what to study and accumulating experiences before signing on the dotted line of your uni application.

Before COVID-19, your gap your plans may have involved living overseas or interstate, earning some money to build up your savings and generally just taking a break from formal education.

Between border restrictions and limited flights, those plans may seem a little out of reach. But, we’ll venture to say you can kick those goals while studying.

The thing to remember is that tertiary study can be very flexible. There is more than one way to study and you can create your own personalised version of it, so that you can forge your own path.

Travel… while you study

If you’d been dreaming off overseas travel, then studying abroad is going to spark joy for you.

Study abroad has a bit of the backpacking adventure feels, with some very important add-ons.

CDU offers two study abroad options: a short-term program, which packs a lot in a short time, and can even get you graduating and earning money quicker. Or you can take your leisurely time, immerse yourself in a new culture, tick a few travel boxes and do a full semester or year abroad. Either way, you’ll be building your professional and friendship network way beyond your local contacts.

And if you thought that travelling overseas means you have to have tons of savings, that’s not quite accurate. When you study abroad, you will pay for your tuition fees just as you do when you’re at home. And if you need some extra cash for flights and expenses, you can apply for a loan that gets added to your HECS debt.

Explore study abroad options at CDU.

Group of people looking at a mountain

Earn… while you study

Maybe you had your eye on building some savings by working hard during a gap year. At uni, you can study and work at the same time. You could choose to study your course online and do the learning in your own time around work. You can even study part time.

Or, if you’re the hands-on learning type, you look for an apprenticeship and talk to your employer about doing a vocational education and training course at CDU.

Plus, if you stay local, you have a better chance to find work where you already have a network of contacts.

CDU’s Careers and Employment team are all about helping students finding meaningful work. Just give them a call once you get here.

Volunteer… while you study

If you had a dream of making an impact and making connections, you’ve come to the right place. Studying is all about making an impact and it starts with you. The Charles Darwin Students’ Association offers volunteering opportunities to get you into impact mode quickly. They have a wide range of projects underway to support the local community.

Or you may be able to connect with organisations you follow and get some volunteering cred in your area of study.

Kindness Shake organisers and volunteers (from left) Ben Poveda-Alfonso, Romal Shrestha and Nagendra Timilsina
The Kindness Shake is just one example of volunteer opportunities available through CDU's student community.

Get professional experience… while you study

Depending on your course, you may do placements. These are an excellent way to get your foot in the door and get that elusive experience that jobs ads always ask for. You’ll get some real-life insights into workplaces, and understand the sector better so you can make informed career choices after uni.

There’s no reason to delay things while you’re waiting to see if another big change is coming up next. Uni can offer all the experiences that a gap year does, plus it sets you up in good stead for whatever you decide to do next.

Explore more than 300 tertiary study options at CDU. And, if you still have questions, our Student Central team are your best uni-planning friends. They are super knowledgeable, helpful and friendly and they might be able to untangle your uni worries. Get in touch or request a call.  

Explore 300+ courses

Certificates, diplomas and degrees

Keep up-to-date with key dates, study tips, student stories and more.