Finishing bachillerato/FP and taking a year off instead of going straight to university – the nightmare of all Spanish parents! But in a lot of countries this is pretty normal. And (if you don’t spend the year sitting on the couch) it can also be a very useful experience to learn more about the world and yourself. Especially if you decide to spend your gap year abroad! Maybe you’ll find your true passion, maybe you’ll know what you really want to study. Maybe it’ll just be an opportunity to grow as a person and become more independent.
VOLUNTEERING WITH ESC
The European Solidarity Corps is a project by the European Union that lets young people (18-30) do volunteer work abroad for a short (up to two months) or long period (up to 12 months). The actual volunteering can be very different, but is usually related to culture, education, youth work or social causes. The EU covers the cost of transport, living, food and necessities so ESC is accessible to everyone, regardless of financial opportunities.
You can learn more about the project here: https://europa.eu/youth/solidarity_en
And see some opportunities from a local Málaga organization here: https://europaerestu.eu/
OTHER VOLUNTEERING OPTIONS
There are also other opportunities available, including elsewhere in the world. However, keep in mind that these are usually by non-governmental organizations so they have additional costs: project fees, housing and food. You are usually also expected to cover the cost of your transportation and insurance. These can still be interesting opportunities, but if paying several thousand euros for some months abroad is not possible, then ESC might be a better option.
Work abroad can be more challenging than volunteering since you will have less support structures available and are expected to be more independent and self-motivated from the beginning. Finding a great job can also be more difficult if you don’t have a higher education diploma or a lot of experience. However, finding a suitable job as a young person tends to be easier in some countries than in Spain.
If you’re interested in seeing job opportunities, there is a Europe-wide job portal created by the EU: https://ec.europa.eu/eures/public/es/homepage
Contact our career counsellor in Santa María:
Rafael Quesada firstname.lastname@example.org