Careers and Employability Service
Services for current students

Why have a year out

View behind young woman travelling in an Asian city


Knowing what you want from your year out will help you find the right option. Common reasons to have a year out include:

  • to travel and live abroad before launching into your career
  • to “give something back” by dedicating yourself to a cause you are interested in
  • to develop confidence, new skills, knowledge and work experience in your field
  • to research opportunities and make contacts in a specific country or field 

What are your options?

Your motivations and goals will be key in deciding what kinds of activities to undertake during your time away. You could:

  • get a job, whether on a temporary, full- or part-time basis
  • volunteer with an organisation or project you feel passionate about
  • travel to explore new cultures and places
  • study something new, perhaps through a short or part-time course

Many people mix and match some or all of the above activities, for example by working for a while to save up for travel. Whatever taking time out means for you, focus on your motives and the potential benefits. 

Taking time out can also help you to make a decision about your future – but make sure you're not just putting off the inevitable. 


Careers and Employability Service

University of Nottingham
Portland Building, Level D
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 3680
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 3679