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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
  • "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
     
  • This was probably the most worthwhile experience I have ever had. The organisation and staff at the school were amazing and really supported me throughout the whole process. I wish I could go back!
    Tom Mitchell , Teaching, Argentina
     
  • ''It was an ideal opportunity for me to combine travelling with my passion for sport.''
    James Hairsine , Sports, Ghana
     
  • “This was a fantastic opportunity to gain some experience in sports psychology, which has really helped with the psychology element of my sports studies degree.”
    Anthony Gibson , Sports, Ghana
     
  • "What a great way to get hands on experience in the field of finance and economics! I feel like I have acquired many skills that will stay with me for years to come!"
    Jenny Allen , Business & Law, Kenya
     
  • "This was such a sustainable way to support the community in Kenya, and I would love to return to continue helping out."
    Paul Taylor , Business & Law, Kenya
     
  • "I had such an amazing gap year! this project was challenging but completely worth it."
    Francesca Le Poideven , Business & Law, Kenya
     
  • "Lake Nakuru National Park is just incredible. The game rangers were so friendly and helpful, going out of their way to make sure I had an amazing time during my placement. I would love to do it all over again!"
    Maria Rossi , Wildlife & Conservation, Kenya
     
  • "It was great fun because the kids want to learn and everything you do is such a novelty to them. I was moved by what I saw, not for sentimental reasons, but because the teachers and the children were so keen and worked so hard."
    Katie Godfrey , Teaching, Kenya
     
  • "This was such a heartwarming project, the children have so little but are so greatful. I met some amazing people and will remember this experience forever."
    Sylvia Amani , Teaching, Kenya
     
  • "What a fascinating country. I not only learned so much about the healthcare system and gained some great experience to help with my degree, but got to visit some amazing places in Kenya. The Masia Mara trip was just unreal."
    Aaron Leyman , Medical & Health, Kenya
     
  • "The kids were so amazing, it was such a heartwarming experience and i'm just really glad that I could help out."
    Gemma Bracknell , Care Work, Kenya
     
  • "What a great project! I am so greatful to have had this opportunity and it is certainly something I will never forget."
    Suzanne Hart , Care Work, Kenya
     
  • "I really enjoyed my time on the Galapagos Islands. This tour is such a great way to see the islands. Everyone I met were so welcoming, and they helped to make this an unforgettable experience. Seeing giant tortoises up close was awesome!"
    Jocelyn Whitehead , Wildlife & Conservation, Ecuador
     
  • "This is was certainly one of the most unique and fulfilling trips I have had. From helping out the kids with learning the game of tennis, to seeing the smiles on their faces, these moments gave me a new light on my career and my way of life."
    Peter Kung , Sports, Argentina
     
  • "The experience of living with other volunteers and students was a great! An unbelievable sports experience! As a football fan I really couldn't imagine a better place to visit."
    Joseph Berry , Sports, Argentina
     
  • "Working in the orphanage with these adorable kids was a great way to do something really good with my time abroad on my gap year. I would recommend it to anyone who is keen to work with children. A magical experience! I cannot wait to go back to Argentina and see how they are all getting on."
    Jade Garcia , Care Work, Argentina
     

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