What can I learn after graduating from high school

10 ideas for your break after high school

After the Abitur is before the studies or training. But before you plunge headlong into the seriousness of life, it might be worth taking a break. Whether for a few months or for a full "gap year": There are plenty of good reasons to postpone the start of your studies or training a bit.

With a little planning, the supposed gap in your résumé will definitely not turn into lost time - but into valuable time-out, from which you can take a lot with you. Regardless of whether in the social sector, in a company or at university: There is something for every taste and every interest.


1. Travel

Let's be honest: 4 months in Mallorca or Lloret de Mar are not really a big hit with applications. Seeing a bit of the world can still give you a lot of new impressions and promote important skills. Anyone who is open-minded towards the country and its people and gets involved with other cultures learns a lot and can certainly shine with it in job interviews.

It also becomes easier if you combine the pleasant with the useful. Ideally, your trip is related to what you want to do later. If you want to study Japanese Studies, you hurt yourself, for example. B. with a trip to Japan of course hardly. Alternatively, there are the following further options for meaningful stays abroad:

2. Language course

Acquiring or deepening language skills and then applying them directly - hardly anything helps as much when learning a language as a language course directly "at the source". Regardless of whether you've always been learning Spanish or urgently want to improve your English skills: The time between Abitur and apprenticeship or studies is made for it.

3. Work & Travel

Whether as a harvest helper or at the reception in a hostel; Whether for a salary or simply for food and accommodation: From Canada and Chile to France and Spain to New Zealand and Australia you can combine traveling with work in every imaginable country. You improve your travel budget, deepen your language skills and stand by your husband or wife in (almost) normal everyday work. Who would want to turn up their noses? After all, you are not just lounging, you are also working.

4. Au-pair work

If you prefer to be more familiar, being an au pair might be more convenient for you. For food, accommodation and pocket money, you live with a host family. "Au pair" means something like "in return" - and the name fits like a fist. In return for the fact that you can live with your host family and get to know the language and culture in the country, you help with the household and look after the children. You take on responsibility, become (even) more independent and can gain international experience with a lower budget.

5. Voluntary Social Year

The voluntary social year offers you a nice opportunity to do something very practical for your fellow men for pocket money. You are involved, for example, in youth work, in old people's homes, in cultural and monument preservation or in the field of sports. Even if you don't necessarily have to wait for a place to study, the following applies: At many universities you can collect points with an FSJ - especially if you are aiming for a degree in the social field.

6. Voluntary ecological year

The Voluntary Ecological Year is quite similar to the FSJ - only that you are active in a different area. The name already suggests: In the FÖJ you will, for example, be employed in nature and environmental protection, in agriculture or in forestry. Just like the Voluntary Social Year, the Voluntary Ecological Year is counted as a waiting semester and at least you are paid with pocket money.

7. Federal Voluntary Service

Federal volunteer service and FSJ / FÖJ are often mentioned in the same breath. That also makes sense: the principle is basically the same. Here, too, you can get involved socially, ecologically, culturally, in sports, in integration or in disaster control. However, you only do the federal voluntary service in Germany. If you want to combine your commitment with a stay abroad, you only need to take a closer look at FSJ or FÖJ.

8. Part-time job

If it isn't going to be a lavishly planned year abroad, maybe a part-time job will do the job. Almost anything is possible, from the relatively modest "I-put-mom-with-my-job-in-the-beverage market" to the "springboard job" with which you can get a taste of your dream job. If you just want to earn a little extra and have a reasonably regular daily or weekly routine, a "simpler" part-time job is sufficient. With a view to your studies, training and later career, however, it can be more worthwhile if you actually gain concrete experience related to your dream job.

9. Internship

You cannot take a closer look at every area with a part-time job. An internship can then be the saving alternative: You gain experience, you can look at everyday life in your potential dream job "in real life" and get your foot in the door of your dream company. Whether in the HR department or in the advertising agency: an internship gives you unique, authentic insights and is welcomed by parents and employers alike.

10. Trial course

The trial course (often also "Studium generale") is, so to speak, the "internship at the university". As a kind of test run, you visit selected courses and see what it would be like to study there. Experiencing a few lectures on a trial basis may strengthen you in your choice of study - but it can also be the lucky emergency brake on the edge of a wrong decision.

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