|Currency:||Swiss Franc (Fr)|
|Language:||French, German, Italian|
If you love a life of luxury, outdoor pursuits in stunning scenery, and languages, then a gap year in Switzerland is for you! From isolated mountain peaks ideal for a bit of communing with nature, to the urban hustle and bustle of its cosmopolitan cities, Switzerland combines the best of modern European culture with old school architecture and national traditions. Whilst not ideal for budget gap years, Switzerland is good for a visit, and if you are thinking of working during your gap year, it’s a good place to look.
A gap year in Switzerland would not be complete without at least a visit to Lake Geneva. Stretching from Lausanne to Geneva with Montreux besides, and with parts of it even in France, the lake is something to be explored by boat, or from its edges on land. If you’re interested in a healthy, outdoor lifestyle, there is plenty of hiking to be done in Switzerland, especially in the national park. The Aletsch Glacier is also a popular natural wonder waiting to be explored.
Skiing, snowboarding, or at least visiting the Alps in one way or another is a must-do whilst you’re in Switzerland. Zermatt, with its impressive Matterhorn, is arguably the most popular mountain destination, but there is great skiing to be had all over the mountains. It’s no wonder the Swiss are famed for their chalets. Don’t leave without tasting the delicious cheeses and chocolates, either. Away from its natural beauty, there is plenty of architecture to be discovered in pretty Lausanne, Bem, and the Fraumünster in Zurich is a well-known 13th century cathedral.
Working in Ireland
You’re unlikely to survive a whole gap year in Switzerland without working at least part of the time, and the good news is there are jobs available. You’ll be at a considerable advantage if you speak any French, German or Italian, as all of these can help you to find employment in various industries. Work is widely available in ski resorts and the tourism sector, or more casual work in vineyards during the Autumn. If you’re looking to spend your whole gap year in Switzerland, why not look into au pairing or nannying?
In the centre of western Europe, bordering 5 countries and with internationally renowned airports, after your gap year in Switzerland you’ll be ideally placed for onwards travel. To the east, you have Austria and Liechtenstein, to the north, France and Germany, and to the south, Italy. Why not head to eastern Europe, and spread that hard-earned money as far as it will go? Or put your new language skills into practice in France, Germany or Italy? However, are you sure you want to leave? After all, Switzerland does have an enormous amount to offer…