The Best Gap Year programmes for Australian School Leavers

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Lived experience is as important as tertiary studies, which is why so many Australians ditch the books at the end of grade 12 and embark on a year of adventure, before hunkering down and focusing on a career path.

Whether a gap year is about travelling, working or volunteering, this break is often as much about growth, social aptitude and independence as it is freedom.

Here are just few ways to spend the time:

Teach English in Italy

A jaunt to Europe has long been a rite of passage for plenty of Australians, especially those keen to give their passport an A-grade workout. What better way to explore this land far away than by basing yourself in Italia and teaching English?

Global Work and Travel assists you in not only discovering a new culture, but also provides an international accreditation that can be used long after the gap programme is done. Teaching opportunities are also available in Japan and Thailand, Cambodia, and Spain, but come at a cost and differ in length.

Marine conservation in Mozambique

Be part of an incredible team helping preserve and protect an array of marine life and the place they call home by embarking on a gap year with Conservation Travel Africa.

This fantastic venture gives school leavers the chance to work alongside marine biologists as they complete their scientific studies. Through conservation projects in the area and various research programmes, students have the chance to support the development of marine science in Mozambique, which is renowned for its incredible views and culture.

Skiing and snowboarding in Canada

Adrenaline junkies, listen up. Ski le Gap is taking the classroom to Canada through its array of ski and snowboard instructor classes. The world-renowned gap year programme provider combines an amazing mountain experience with the chance to gain internationally-recognised qualifications at the same time.

There are two different options to choose from:

  • Pre-season 4-week intensive training programme with Level 1 CASI/CSIA certification and the chance to go on and teach in the same season.
  • Ultimate Experience 10-week programme with up to seven different certifications, as well as weekly French lessons and a fun-packed itinerary with trips around the country!

With plenty of other activities to experience, and small, intimate groups of like-minded people to share them with, it’s hardly surprising previous participants don’t have a bad word to say about it:

“I did the Ultimate Experience and can safely say I had 10 amazing weeks. Skiing with CSIA Level 4 instructors day in, day out, all season improved my skiing (and teaching) massively – I can now proudly say I am a Level 2 ski instructor!”

As with any trip abroad, there’s a lot of planning involved – including ensuring travel insurance has been taken care of. So happy planning!

Travel Insurance

Keen to know what you’re covered for when working or volunteering overseas? TID wants you to be informed before taking this exciting step.

We can cover these types of work (paid or volunteering):

  • clerical
  • administration
  • hospitality
  • tourism
  • retail
  • general farm work
  • teaching
  • childcare
  • working on a yacht
  • gym instructor
  • yoga teacher
  • swimming instructor

We will need more information if you are planning to:

  • do manual work that requires the use of power tools or operating machinery, work at heights
  • working with animals
  • work as a ski, snowboard or scuba instructor
  • working as an instructor or guide in any other sports or activities.

This is what we need to know:

  • who you are working for and the website for the specific programme you’ll be undertaking
  • where you’ll be and for how long
  • what you will be doing, and
  • your past experience and qualifications in such activities

Email this information to us and we’ll pass it on to the underwriters for consideration.

What’s covered?

What’s not covered?

  • racing (except on foot)
  • any loss that is recoverable under a scheme that provides coverage for any medical treatment; for example, Medicare, a private health fund, national reciprocal health fund or scheme, workers’ compensation scheme, travel compensation fund or accident compensation scheme.
  • professional sports
  • you, a member of your travelling party or a close relative intentionally exposing themselves to a needless risk or not taking reasonable care, except in an attempt to save a human life
  • loss, theft or damage to watercraft of any type (excluding surfboards)
  • damage to sports and leisure equipment (including surfboards) while in use
  • medical expenses in Australia
  • personal liability – loss or damage you cause to someone’s property or if you injure someone because of your trade, business or profession or while using a mechanically propelled vehicle or watercraft.
  • Working as a mountaineering or rock climbing instructor or mountain guide where ropes or specialised equipment is used.

This is a brief summary of cover only and does not include the full terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions. Read the PDS before purchasing.


TID is an Australian online travel insurance company.


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