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Why the Gap Year is MORE Popular than Ever!

A gap year out is not an extended holiday, nor is it an opportunity to live at home rent free for a year. A gap year is constructive time out! It presents an invaluable opportunity to try out different routes in life and get several steps ahead down the one that seems right for you. It is safe to say the gap year is increasing with popularity as It has been reported that more than 100,000 teenagers (and rising) embark on a year out between school and university! Perhaps this increase in popularity is down to the fact that numerous personal ambitions can be fulfilled before ‘real life’ kicks in. Whether that is nursing endangered pandas in China, scuba diving in Belize, saving tigers in South Africa or surfing the waves in Brazil there is a gap year opportunity that lets you do it.

Some of the main reason to undertake a gap year abroad are:



  • Students are thought to come into university with a much broader vision and more mature attitude towards learning.

  • A gap year teaches you to become more disciplined and self-motivated.

  • Individuals are likely to become more ‘marketable’ to universities and employers.

  • Earn money as you travel!

  • Explore the world or fulfil a personal ambition.

  • Individuals become more confident when assessing risks and solving problems.

  • Communication skills are greatly enhanced

  • An opportunity to give something back to those suffering around the world.

  • possibly most beneficial of all, it teaches you to look after yourself and survive without your mother's cooking!

Now you know the many merits undertaking a gap year holds, where do you start? Perhaps the best place to start is researching into the numerous companies that offer the desired gap year programme for you. For example, if you were interested in working in the sport industry abroad, Changing Worlds would be an ideal organisation to use. They organises placements for those keen to use their sport skills abroad. In San Jose you can manage a football team made up of kids from the shanty towns, leading them through leagues and tournaments, and learning spanish as you go.

Or alternatively, you can coach a hockey team of township children in South Africa,

or teach junior art classes in Ghana.

Of course there are many more independent organizations who offer a variety of other programmes, what you must be sure of is that the programme you finally choose is right for you. If you do the right research and follow the correct steps, more likely than not, your gap year will be the best experience of your life and the variety of personal experiences obtained will far outweigh any of that gained at university or employment.

If you have enjoyed what you have read, or want to take part in any of Changing World's projects, click here to check out more.



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Testimonials
  • ''The teaching was great, I felt that I learnt a lot and the school seemed to enjoy having me around. The whole experience was all I'd hoped for. I can't wait to get back to Ghana one day!.''
    Charlotte Sadler , Teaching, Ghana
     
  • ''The children, the people, the volunteers, and the whole atmosphere in general, made this experience one I’ll never forget.''
    Magalee Nahas , Teaching, Ghana
     
  • ''The experience was greatly valuable to me professionally as I gained practical writing experience that I can take home and add to my portfolio and, considering how competitive media jobs are in my city, this is invaluable.''
    Sarah Kendell , Media & Journalism, Ghana
     
  • "Working on the front line on some really exciting news stories and has boosted my confidence that being a journalist is what I want to be. Amazing very relevant experience and just what I needed. Thanks to all the Changing Worlds team for making this possible for me."
    Thomas Coats , Media & Journalism, Ghana
     
  • Amazing people and amazing memories! I got a real taste for this beautiful country on the Ghana Experience.
    Gemma Hutchinson , Adventure, Ghana
     
  • There was never a dull moment on this action packed adventure. I had so much fun with the other people on the trip, I can't wait to go back to Ghana.
    James Reyland , Adventure, Ghana
     
  • I cannot believe how much we packed into only 3 weeks. Volunteering was amazing, and is was great to see the range of things that Ghana has to offer.
    Rosie Midhurst , Adventure, Ghana
     
  • ''I used this opportunity to gain work experience, and getting a new perspective of a health care service in a Third World country made me realise how much we take for granted in the UK.''
    Magalee Nahas , Medical & Health, Ghana
     
  • ''It was great fun working alongside the locals and we shared lots of laughs and stories. It also felt great to know we were leaving something behind that the community really needed.''
    Andy Hoyle , Building & Construction, Ghana
     
  • ''Ghana is a fantastic country and the people are so welcoming and warm, especially the Ghanaian staff. What makes the placement is being part of a team who all have the same viewpoint to help others.''
    Lisa Paige , Building & Construction, Ghana
     
  • “Great people, great experience and there is some great sport to be played in Ghana. Something I'll never forget.”
    Matt Pheasant , Sports, Ghana
     
  • “I have had a fantastic time out in Ghana and what they are trying to acheive out there is truly incredible. I hope to able to do something like this again.”
    Dale Bradley , Sports, Ghana
     
  • “It was fascinating to associate and live with a number of different cultures. The experience of helping other who lived an extensively sheltered and innocent life was invaluable.”
    David Holmes , Sports, India
     
  • "The most amazing experience i've ever had. From the coaching to the social side, the staff and people were amazing both within the organisation and also within the schools."
    Charlotte Williams , Sports, South Africa
     
  • "A demanding, thrilling, incredible insight into this beautiful and stunning country and to top it off: an entirely rewarding project that makes you appreciate everything."
    Ross Green , Sports, South Africa
     
  • "This was the best way to spend my gap year! Sun, sea, sand and sport all whilst coaching amazing kids. This was one of the best experiences I have ever had and I would jump at the chance to do it again."
    Rosie Wells , Sports, St Lucia
     
  • "My overall experience was fantastic, I enjoyed all aspects of this trip and there is never a dull moment in St Lucia! "
    Sam Evans , Sports, St Lucia
     
  • "This experience was unforgettable, I have met people that I will stay friends with for many years to come and completely fell in love with Argentina!"
    Jamie Henderson , Languages, Argentina
     
  • "I was so surprised how quickly I picked up the language! The school was great and really supportive throughout the learning process and it was amazing to practice what I had learnt in real life situations."
    Melissa Cutler , Languages, Argentina
     
  • Not only did I have tons of fun I've also gained a qualification that means I can continue my travels around the world whilst getting paid to teach English!
    Helen Turner , Teaching, Argentina
     

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