Gap year ideas/experiences for teen with no money?

(30 Posts)
Ruffian Wed 14-Feb-18 16:52:45

18 Year-old DS currently on a 'gap year' until September and has no real idea what to do with himself. He was heavily influenced into taking a gap year by his friend who announced that University was 'a con and a waste of time.' Ds is pretty shy, doesn't like to go outside his comfort zone, doesn't go out much. I can see what confidence he did have draining away. sad

He has a virtually zero-hours job, very busy at xmas but since then just the minimum 6 hours so he's broke. I'm on a low wage so can't really help although I could probably borrow some money if there was something really good on offer.

Anyone got any suggestions of work experience or other things he could get involved in over the next 6 months?

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strawberrysparkle Wed 14-Feb-18 17:13:36

Voluntary work in a field he is interested in?

flissfloss65 Wed 14-Feb-18 17:19:49

Would he like something like Camp America? I was an Arts Counsellor for two Summers and really grew in confidence.

You do have to put money towards it but a great experience. Nunavut and a few others also do similar. The camps start in May until end August and you can then travel for a few weeks.

flissfloss65 Wed 14-Feb-18 17:20:30

*Buncac and a few others

Purplemond Wed 14-Feb-18 17:21:06

If he is interested Eurocamp and canvas will probably still looking for couriers to go out and work on their sites, he could start in high season on just the one site or go earlier and be part of a montage team who set all the sites up ready, its a popular job for students, i dont think much experience is needed and they pay for your flight out their and accommodation is provided

Ruffian Wed 14-Feb-18 17:27:06

He's interested in film, photography, art - not sure there's much volunteer work going in those fields?

I could probably get the money together for that fliss but I know he wouldn't have the confidence to apply unfortunately. He's not very outdoorsy...

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Ruffian Wed 14-Feb-18 17:29:44

He is good with people though. His job at Argos require a lot of patience and politeness!

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Purplemond Wed 14-Feb-18 17:31:09

i dont think you need much experience for Eurocamp, quite customer focused and good oportunities to meet new people

ForgivenessIsDivine Wed 14-Feb-18 17:31:59

Does he have a place at university in September? What subject will he study?

GlitterGlue Wed 14-Feb-18 17:33:57

Finding another job needs to be his priority.

The Princes Trust offer help with employment and confidence building. He may also be able to claim jsa or universal credit to top up his income and he'll then also be able to access support and training via the jobcentre.

Any young people's centres locally? We have a couple of organsisations which do an awful lot of art and music related projects on a shoestring.

If he can save some cash over the next few months he could do something before he goes to uni.

Ruffian Wed 14-Feb-18 17:34:47

Just had a look at Eurocamp, sounds quite good thanks purplemond

Yes he's got a place in September for Film Production degree

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riledandharrassed Wed 14-Feb-18 17:35:48

There are work for accommodation and board schemes abroad but I think he needs to be looking for opportunities which might give him some cash for the first few months of uni spending

Ruffian Wed 14-Feb-18 17:43:15

Agree he really needs a better job but it's very difficult round here, most of the jobs for his age are pretty awful and low-paid. Hopefully more people will be hiring as we come out of Winter.

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GlitterGlue Wed 14-Feb-18 21:32:35

Can he suck it up for a few months so he has the cash to do something fun in the summer?

He really should look into benefits if he's only on 6 hours a week. If nothing else he'll get some support with job hunting. Or he could head to the careers people who'll help him tart up his CV etc.

halfwitpicker Wed 14-Feb-18 21:35:11


thesandwich Wed 14-Feb-18 21:36:50

Try the do-it website for local volunteering opportunities. What about arts festivals over the summer? National trust working holidays? Any local museums? Volunteer with a photographer?

LemonysSnicket Wed 14-Feb-18 21:43:32

Most jobs for non grad 18yos are low paid and bad ?

clumsyduck Wed 14-Feb-18 21:46:11

My cousin did a volunteer thing in Africa he absolutely loved it ! Helping the communities there with various things they needed it was specifically targeted for "poorer kids" who don't always get the chance to do that sort of thing . Would something like that be to far out his comfort zone ??

MidLifeCrisis2017 Wed 14-Feb-18 21:54:23

Bro pair?

Fishinthesink Wed 14-Feb-18 21:59:54

If he applied now he could be overseas by April. very inclusive.

mumstaxi2 Wed 14-Feb-18 22:20:53

DS is also 18 and on a gap year before going to do a similar degree. He's been off to South East Asia for 4 months and during the trip he did a couple of placements volunteering in an English school & in a hostel. He did them through the workaway website -
You can do this really cheaply as they usually provide accommodation & meals. You can usually see reviews from other workawayers who have spent time there which is very reassuring.
DS has just booked a flight to Prague to spend 4 weeks working in a ski resort in March. He doesn't have much money left but knows that he can live on very little - he will get board, 3 meals, ski pass & ski hire. So will just need money for the odd beer!
I realise your DS isn't so much into the outdoor stuff but just wanted to show that there are many different opportunities. Some people want help with computer/media stuff. For example I've seen hostels just want someone to make promotional videos. It's definitely worth spending some time looking - there are opportunities all over the world - including in this country if he doesn't want to go abroad. If he can find something that makes use of his skills it may help to boost his confidence. My DS is actually quite similar - not the most outgoing but going off travelling on his own has already made a big difference to his confidence.
I wish you luck in trying to guide him towards something fun & rewarding.

Ruffian Thu 15-Feb-18 18:04:05

Thanks everyone, some great suggestions. smile
mumstaxi your ds sounds very independent for his age!

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mumstaxi2 Thu 15-Feb-18 22:22:18

Ruffian yes my DS has become very independent this last few months - he says that going off on his own was the best choice ever. He' s an August birthday and still looks very baby faced so I was worried about him being especially vulnerable on his own. He also admits now to being pretty scared when he first flew off but he soon adjusted to it. Of course it wasn't without its stresses. The main one a call on Christmas Day saying he had lost his bank card & his account had been locked and had no money. I'm now an expert in doing international bank transfers!

givemushypeasachance Fri 16-Feb-18 14:30:23

Sounds like he'd suit a paid working "holiday" type situation - like going somewhere to teach English or working in a US summer camp. Check out websites like this for ideas you could moot to him, see if he's interested.

Mary21 Fri 16-Feb-18 16:00:39

Was also going to suggest workaway

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