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5 Gap Year Disadvantages (+ How a TEFL Solves Them)

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Traveling is super costly, which is a big gap year disadvantage. Travelers on a budget quickly find out the true cost of popular tourist hotspots and town-hopping each day. While accommodation and food are often cheaper abroad, you’ll find that your social life and itinerary soon pile up.

By qualifying as a TEFL teacher, you can earn money as you go, offsetting the costs of pricey tourist trips. 


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The summer’s rolling around again, yet this year has a twist that none of us expected. For those considering taking a year off, you may feel as though 2020’s gap year disadvantages are piling up against you.

Regularly, the downsides of a gap year may include things like a lack of money, gaps in your resume, and a little loneliness. However, thanks to the current COVID-19 situation, those taking a 2020 gap year may have to think about a few other pesky gap year cons.

Don’t worry though. While social distancing and travel bans are still ever-present, TEFLPros graduates have such a diverse range of sought-after classroom-ready skills that put you in great stead for finding a killer gap year adventures.

Whether you’re making cash online with your TEFL gap year, teaching kids in social distance classrooms in Brazil, or quarantining as an au pair in France, a TEFL certificate cuts out all the 2020 gap year disadvantages so you can enjoy a rewarding, purposeful year out.


#1 Gap Year Disadvantage: Travel Bans

Right now the world is in lockdown, and while there seems to be some shifts toward a reopening, it doesn’t seem like planes are getting off the ground quite yet.

While we cross our fingers and hope this is coming soon, this shouldn’t deter you from a gap year. Yes, while travel bans reduce the scope of your gap year, this gap year disadvantage doesn’t knock out your plans entirely.

By qualifying as a TEFL teacher with TEFLPros, you’ll be qualified to teach English online. Provide one-on-one lessons, group sessions, private tuition, and even business English consultancy appointments.

Don’t let lockdown keep you locked down. Take a TEFL now, teach online, earn a little cash, and then put that toward traveling in the future. Once lockdown lifts, you’ll be ready to teach abroad, with some online practice in your back pocket.


#2 Gap Year Disadvantage: Empty Resume Syndrome

While you may feel as though you’ve studied your heart out for the last few years and simply need a break, empty resumes don’t look good to future employers or college admissions boards.

Swanning around the world for a year would certainly be an enjoyable experience, but without any projects under your belt, employers simply see a lazy backpacker with no get-up-and-go.

Instead, inject purpose into your travels by becoming a TEFL teacher. For those who take a TEFL certification, English teaching job positions become available all over the world and online.

Not only does this show future employers and college admissions boards that you have the initiative to complete your own independent teacher training, but teaching abroad also shows character.

TEFL teachers are committed to teaching English to children and adults all over the world. This shows employers that you care about global problems and helping to solve them, as well as demonstrating hands-on work experience.

Since 80% of students felt that their focused gap year program made them more employable, it makes sense to enhance your resume by taking a TEFL gap year!


#3 Gap Year Disadvantage: Travelling is Expensive

travel expensive teflpros gap year program

Traveling is super costly. Travelers on a budget quickly find out the true cost of popular tourist hotspots and town-hopping each day. While accommodation and food are often cheaper abroad, you’ll find that your social life and itinerary soon pile up.

By qualifying as a TEFL teacher, you can earn money as you go, offsetting the costs of pricey tourist trips. 

Some TEFLPros graduates teach in schools on their journey, earning a little cash as they go to support the next leg. 

Other TEFL teachers work full time and build their savings while working and living as an ex-pat rather than a backpacker. 

Alternatively, teach online with your TEFL certificate, and boost your budget while you’re traveling.


#4 Gap Year Disadvantages: It’s Scary and Lonely On Your Own

tefl travel gap year

If you’ve never been on a one-person adventure, the thought of traveling alone can be daunting. Relying completely on yourself in a strange place can feel scary. You may be worried about getting lonely.

However, traveling by oneself can actually be extremely liberating.

In fact, 26% of those traveling alone felt they could explore new places better and simply be themselves. Of the women who traveled alone last year, 59% would like to do it again this year.

While reactions to lone travel are so positive, that doesn’t mean you won’t find it a little lonesome at times.

Luckily, TEFLPros has a worldwide network of international TEFL teachers, students, and connections to help you build a community wherever you go. 

You’ll find that ESL teachers abroad tend to form tight-knit communities, providing you with solid friendship groups on your journey.


#5 Gap Year Disadvantages: Lack of Purpose Causes Boredom

teflpros gap year disadvantages lonely

No doubt you’ve been all over Instagram, salivating at backpacking pictures and dreaming of dipping your toes in the ocean. No doubt you need a purpose to drive you out of this lockdown boredom.

The truth is, though, that while sightseeing can be exhilarating, a year can be a long time without a purpose. Visiting new places every day is tiring and costly, leaving you hanging around in hostels and hotels a lot of the time.

Rather than setting yourself up for apathy, why not set off with a purpose. Teaching English is a rewarding cause with a stable network that enables you to feel confident, driven, and useful, while securing possible opportunities for your future travels and career.



Just because we’re in lockdown now, doesn’t mean that you have to be drowned by gap year disadvantages.

By taking our online TEFL certification, you’ll find a whole range of gap year opportunities open up to you. 

Whether you’re sitting out the COVID gap year downsides by teaching one-on-one English classes online or negating the disadvantages of a gap year before college by boosting your resume, TEFL teaching is your one-way path to a stellar 2020 gap year.



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