Taking a year off from studying is a popular choice for young adults looking to spread their wings before returning home to start university or a job. UCAS, a UK body which helps connect young adults to higher education, said in 2015 5.4% of accepted applicants deferred a year (28,805 of 532, 265). Clearly they won’t all be seeking world travel, but for those that did the options of how to spend the time off are vast.
Choosing a destination is the first decision most students have to make. Rough Guide has listed the most popular places gap year students visit with Thailand, Australia and USA taking the top three slots.
For many, the focus of the gap year will be to travel and experience different cultures.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to spend a year doing something valuable and rewarding:
- Volunteering on a conservation and environment project: Protecting the rainforest in Peru, rehabilitating an injured falcon in Mexico or working with giant pandas in China are just some of the activities you can partake in for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Companies such as www.projects-abroad.co.uk are good places to start for ideas.
- Running an American summer camp: A nine week placement at an American summer camp will offer up all sorts of exciting possibilities. As either a kids counsellor or someone helping to run the camp, companies such as Camp America help you find the best spot. After camp you can travel around the US for 30 days and Camp America even arrange their own treks around tourist hot spots such as the Grand Canyon. The perfect payback for all that hard work.
- Helping build local communities Living in a country, whilst helping to improve people’s access to safe water and sanitation or support a local business are two of the ways, volunteering can make a real difference. Raleigh’s International Citizen Service (ICS), which is run by the VSO and funded by the UK government, takes students abroad for 10-12 weeks to help contribute to the lives of those living in poverty.
- Working your way around Australia: As one of the most popular destinations, Australia is well set up for gap years. Once you’ve applied for your Working Holiday Visa (WHV) you’re able to work and travel in Australia for a year. There are some great career opportunities including being a dive instructor on the Great Barrier Reef, teaching sports at a Perth college or pouring drinks in a Melbourne bar. The choice is yours. To find out more about the Working Holiday Visa, see here.
Finally, as with all travel, there is an element of risk involved and the UK government has pulled together a checklist of what you need to do before signing up to any new experience. The document pinpoints the highs and the lows of gap year travel and recommends you are fully aware of what you are entering into. For more information, see here.
If you are considering a move abroad PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 34 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.
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