Domestic or Gap Year Programs: How to Choose?

Are you currently searching for gap year programs abroad? The gap year is a great opportunity for young people, like you, to build their resume and gain experience during a non-paid stint. It is also a great avenue for you to acquire new skills that will help advance your career. There is no shortage of gap year programs to choose from. Some would include Vietnam travel and volunteer work, as well as some other exotic destinations mostly in Africa or Southeast Asia. But does it have to be overseas? Will domestic gap year programs create as big of an impact to your resume?


It has been assumed that gap year programs abroad are the only ones available for teens and young volunteers to choose from. But there are more options available than you think. To help you decide if you should volunteer in Vietnam or contribute your efforts and time to a local charity instead, here are some things to consider.



Does the program align with your long term goals?
It is important to look at your long-term goals when deciding whether to pursue gap year programs abroad or domestically. This is not to say that overseas volunteer efforts are better; it is all a matter of deciding what would align with your goals and where you want your career path to head to.


For example, if you are interested in learning a new language or studying a new culture, it would definitely make sense to choose gap year programs that let you travel overseas. Moreover, some of these international volunteer stints are more skills-oriented, so you will be able to showcase your skills and hone that further as a volunteer.


Meanwhile, a domestic gap year program can provide you with plenty of opportunities to utilize those skills. Indeed, there is the same amount of need for volunteers in some part of your country as there is in other poorer countries. But if you were to considering adding your gap year program stint to beef up your resume, you have to look at it in the bigger picture. International volunteering is definitely more challenging and a testament to your skills and ability to become a leader and adapt in comparison to local volunteer projects. If you want to stand out in your next career path, overseas gap year programs definitely have that edge.


Breath of Fresh Air


The main reason why a lot of young volunteers opt for an overseas gap year program is the opportunity to experience something new. When you graduate from high school and about to enter college, this gap year will provide you ample time to reflect on what college major to pursue. Not all students have already made up their mind on what specific career path to follow. Thus, when you travel overseas, such as join volunteer Vietnam projects, it will allow you to explore your passion. Is it teaching? Is it providing medical services? Volunteering is no easy job; but when you volunteer your effort, it is a testament to your passion towards doing something despite the difficult circumstances around you. Check out


Hence, an overseas gap year program also gives you more benefit in that regard. Make sure you use the time away to volunteer in an overseas location to identify your skills – your strengths and weaknesses – to return with a more mature mindset and sense of leadership.

Liam Watkins