Making The Most Of A Post-University Year Out

Finishing university can often feel a lot like the last few minutes of a night out. Everything is going great, you’re surrounded by your friends, everyone’s drinking, dancing and laughing away. Then BOOM. The lights turn on and the music stops. Suddenly you look around, everyone has gone and you’re left standing there with no clue what to do next. All you can do is grab a kebab and start the long walk home….ok maybe that’s where the analogy falls apart, but you get the picture.

All jokes aside, this can be quite a difficult time for a lot of recent graduates, and trying to figure out what you want to do next can be quite tricky, especially if the idea of going straight into a 9-5 doesn’t appeal to you. Lots of people like the idea of taking a year out, travelling, trying new things and seeing what inspires them, but the idea of stepping out of the ‘school → university → job’ system for a year and maybe falling behind other people your age can be be worrying. This however, doesn’t have to be the case, and there are in fact lots of options which will allow you to spend a year living life to the fullest, whilst also being productive and getting some new skills that you’ll be able to use for the rest of your life.

Here are just come ideas on how you can make the most of your year out.

The Surfing Year of a Lifetime

This doesn’t have to just be for well seasoned surfers, whether it’s your first time on a board, or you’re more of a weekend warrior, surfing is the best travel partner you could possibly have. It’ll take you to places you’ve never even dreamed of, get you involved with the region and the environment, and also give you a deeper understanding of the local culture.

We run a series of incredible trips from South Africa to Sri Lanka, and even the Philippines, ranging from epic 13 week trips to 4 week surf tours. On these guided road trips, you’ll learn the ins and outs of surfing, from popping up and linking turns, to surf theory and etiquette. Along the way you’ll also have the opportunity to take part in a variety of community projects as part of the Ticket To Ride Foundation, and feast your eyes on all the sights and culture the region has to offer. The best part about these trips is that lots of them offer you the chance to earn your ISA Level 1 Surf Instructor Qualification, along with your Surf Lifeguard Qualification, meaning you can teach surfing all over the world. This will give you proven experience in teaching skills to others and taking responsibility of a group, which are both great attributes to be able to add to your CV.

So what next? Well, once you get back with your qualifications, a load of new friends, and an outrageous tan, the world truly is your oyster! You could spend the summer teaching surfing, in the UK or further afield, or even go on another surf trip with your new buddies to discover new places. Best of all, after your year is over and perhaps you settle down into a full time job, you always have your qualifications if you ever want to take some time off and go do something different for a while. These days it’s becoming more and more common for people to swap jobs several times throughout their careers, so having the chance to work as a surf instructor in between could provide you with the perfect ‘sabbatical’ job!

The Skiing/Snowboarding Year of a Lifetime

Spending a winter skiing or snowboarding world class resorts in Canada or France is an amazing way to blow off some steam after 3 years of uni, but add to that the chance to earn your qualifications as a Ski or Snowboard Instructor and you’ve got yourself the ideal winter, honing your on-snow technique and gaining another lifetime skill. We offer level 1 & 2 instructor training in Lake Louise and Meribel with the best coaches available, meaning you’ll get an extremely high quality instruction and be well placed to find a job next season.

With your Level 1 qualification you’ll be able to teach beginners in the country that you gained the qualification in, and if you progress to your Level 2 you can then teach more advanced skiers or snowboarders internationally.

What’s more, we also run instructor training at Mt Ruapehu in New Zealand between July and October, meaning you can fit it in whatever your plans are. This is perfect if you’re looking to get instructing straight after you graduate, as you can do your training in New Zealand, and once you’re finished you can head straight to the Northern Hemisphere and instruct anywhere you want! Before you know it you’ll be living the back-to-back season lifestyle with the included permanent goggle tan, pretty sweet right?

Obviously once you’ve got your qualifications they’ll stay with you for life, so if you’ve got a job or a grad scheme lined up for when you’ve finished your season, you can always teach again in the future when you’re craving some powder and the mountain lifestyle (we can 100% guarantee you will). You’ll get to know a lot of great people throughout your whole instructor career and the contacts you make will be invaluable, there are lots of ways you’ll be able to use them to get a free week here and there back out in the mountains!

How does it all fit in with the rest of life?

Let’s be honest, logistics and life planning can be boring. Working out how to fit in finishing your degree with job applications, grad schemes, and potential huge surf and ski trips (and don’t forget earning the money to pay for all this), is enough to give anyone a headache. So here’s a few timelines that might make it all a bit easier!