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Gap year costs

Gap year programmes can vary in price from organisation to organisation even though the activities offered may appear very similar.  There are many reasons for this and it is difficult to compare like with like.

The first step is to use the questions (Part 1 & 2) to help you discover what is or is not included in each programme  that attracts your interest.  You can obtain this information from brochures and websites but at some stage do talk to your potential gap year programme providers.  In addition ask to be put in touch with people who have recently returned from the programmes that have caught your eye.  You can then speak or, better still, meet with them to obtain an up to date account.

Eventually you will need to compare the costs of two or more of you chosen gap year programmes. The Gap Year Cost spreadsheet enables you to do this.  It will help you calculate the total cost of each programme and suggests that you work out the cost per week of each one as this is often a good measure of value for money.  This applies mainly to voluntary work projects where the gap year provider's costs are heavily weighted to setting you up in the project.  Consequently longer placements are invariably cheaper per week than the shorter course. [This is only one of many benefits in favour of longer voluntary work placement].

The final outcome can seem quite daunting but remember each year tens of thousands of young people manage to raise the money.  So to round off the spreadsheet there is a simple section to enable you to see where the money might come from.  This should be read with the fundraising tips and your morale will be restored.

Remember, raising the money is a significant part of the project.  You will find yourself more committed to your project and obtain far more satisfaction from the outcome if you have raised the money yourself.