Making the choice between going travelling or straight to University is a difficult decision for A-Level students.

As part of StudentUniverse’s Be Different Campaign we’ve put together 12 reasons why taking a gap year and travelling will help you better prepare for University.

1. Budgeting


Looking after your budget when you’re travelling is incredibly similar to University. You have a sum of money to spend in each term, and it’s your responsibility to manage that cash and not spend it all in two weeks, just like travelling. Having a test run of this on your gap year can make a huge difference to helping you get this right at Uni.

2. Confidence

You’ll not have much choice when you’re travelling than to be self-confident. Having this experience before you get to University can be a huge factor in helping you thrive in a University environment from day one.  

3. Experiences

During a gap year you’ll experience things that you simply couldn’t in any other environment. There are highs and lows of travelling; so whether you’re jumping out of a plane or wishing you could board one to go home and see your family and friends, how you deal with these experiences will help you throughout your University life.

4. Knowing your limits

Learning how far you can push yourself while taking a gap year to prepare for college

Throughout your time travelling you’ll push boundaries in more ways than one. Whether it’s having a few too many to drink, or trying some local delicacies that don’t sit right with you, you’re going to make mistakes. Getting these out the way on your gap year can make your time at University go a lot smoother.

5. Conversation

Walking into a shared hostel room with 13 other people is certainly jumping into the proverbial deep end when it comes to learning to make conversation with strangers. With this experience, moving into halls for your first day at Uni and meeting new friends for the first time will be easy.

6. Education

Taking the time to learn and expand your knowledge base whilst travelling is will certainly help you throughout University and the rest of your life. When you’re looking for that perfect example for an essay, you may just remember something you picked up on your gap year that will fit perfectly.

7. Blow off steam after A-Levels


Yep, we remember, A-Levels are not pleasant. In fact, they’re probably about as stressful as it can get. Once they’re out the way, you can do a lot worse than take some time to recharge your batteries and travelling is a perfect place to do that.

8. Ensure you’re prepared for University

We’re going to put it out there, University isn’t for everyone. Taking the time to travel, explore and see a bit of the world can help you choose whether it’s the right choice for you. And when you decide it is, you’ll be more motivated and better prepared than you could possibly have been before.

9. Meeting a diverse group of people

The diversity of people you’ll meet when travelling is second to none and you’ll learn that the world is a much larger place than where you grew up. This is just in time for going to University and being thrust into one of the most diverse and multi-cultural environments possible.

10. Learning to rely on yourself

taking a gap year to prepare for college

When you’re travelling, particularly if you go away on your own, you’re solely responsible for your own well-being and this can be a big change to life at home. At University, this is exactly the same; there’s no safety net. It’s up to you what you get up to, and you’re responsible for your actions. 

11. Conversation starter at Uni

Chances are that more than a few people you’ll meet in your first days of University will have done a similar gap year trip to you. You’ll have tonnes to talk about with them about how fantastic your time travelling was, and this can help you find friends with similar interests very, very quickly.

12. Fun


Going travelling before University is one of the best times you could choose to go. You have very few responsibilities, a large chunk of your friends will be contemplating similar trips or moving on to University, and there’s simply nothing holding you back.

As we’re sure you can see, there’s some fantastic ways that travelling can help prepare you for University. It’s not just an amazing trip, but one where you’ll develop essential skills that you’ll use for the rest of your life.

This summer, you can make your travelling dream a reality by winning our huge £2,000 trip of a lifetime in StudentUniverse’s Be Different campaign.

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