Exchanges/Gap Years

Many students take a GAP Year at the end of Year 13. It can be a great opportunity to earn some money for tertiary study, gain work experience and maturity, see the world and have time to clarify what you want to do next, rather than taking an option you are unsure about. Gap years are valuable if well planned and have purpose. Some parents are fearful that their son or daughter  might not go back to study after a gap year.  However, studies have shown that 90% of students enroll in tertiary study once they have completed their gap year.  It gives breathing space for students to sit back and consider what they want to study or become and what will be the right move for them, rather than being pressured into making a decision that they may not be ready to make.

GAP = Growth, Awareness, Potential


If you are planning to apply to university after your gap year, be sure to check out the entry requirements and application guidelines first.  Some programmes and scholarships will allow you to defer for a year, but many will not and you will need to be managing applications from overseas.


If you are not sure if a gap year is for you, another option to consider is doing an exchange as part of your studies.  All NZ Universities offer these in your second or third year of study.  The advantage of these is that you get an overseas experience while continuing with your studies.  You will pay your NZ domestic student fees and your travel and living costs while overseas.  To find out more:


School Student Exchanges  (must be under 18 at time of departure from NZ)

Gap Years in NZ


School Assistant Gap Year


Outdoor Education/Camp Counsellor  (placements in USA and other countries)


Volunteer work

Overseas Uni Gap Year Opportunities


Working Holidays