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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
  • "Football coaching in India was awesome - from the day I arrived to the day I left. The people, especially the children, the culture, the food, were all great!! It was an experience that I will never forget!! If you have the opportunity travel and coach sport... especially in India....then just go for it! .... Sanj"
    Sanjay Thanki , Sports, India
     
  • "The experience I had in Ecuador was without doubt the greatest experience of my life so far. I would recommend the programme to anyone who has even the slightest interest in playing or coaching football."
    Craig Lawlor , Sports, Ecuador
     
  • "My time in Quito was amazing. I had a wonderful experience working with the kids, and partying in the Mariscal. My homestay was also fabulous and I made amazing friends with my other housemates and the family. I look forward to returning sometime soon."
    Francesca Ioffreda , Sports, Ecuador
     
  • "Overall it is such an enjoyable placement and very good for helping my German and communication skills. It’s really fun and everyone is really friendly. The kids are lovely and there’s never a dull moment!"
    Stephanie Memory , Teaching, Germany
     
  • "The experience of becoming a ski instructor was out of this world. The group bonded and we all met friends for life! The local people were the friendliest and most welcoming people I have ever come across."
    Phil Nolan , Sports, Canada
     
  • "The experience of becoming a ski instructor was out of this world. The group bonded and we all met friends for life! The local people were the friendliest and most welcoming people I have ever come across."
    Samantha Platt , Sports, Canada
     
  • "I am extremely passionate about this project and being a professional photographer, meant I could teach a wide range of skills to the kids".
    Remy Whiting , Art & Craft, South Africa
     
  • "Having the in-country contacts to work on my own photography stories was perfect. Thanks to all involved".
    James Burton , Art & Craft, South Africa
     
  • "This law internship gave me a unique perspective on law in Africa and has certainly widened my options within the law field".
    Andy Smith , Business & Law, Ghana
     
  • "Thanks to all the Ghana team for making this law internship happen for me. Such an amazing experience and Ghanaians are sooo friendly."
    Jemma Mansfield , Business & Law, Ghana
     
  • "It was so interesting working into the law sector in Ghana and getting this experience. Such a great way to spend my summer doing something totally different."
    Mark Fulton , Business & Law, Ghana
     
  • "Costa Rica is such a wonderful country and being able to help out on the care work project with the children was such a privilege."
    Lara Gillard , Care Work, Costa Rica
     
  • "The whole team in Costa Rica were awesome and really helped me make the most our of my time there both on the care work project and showing me the adventures of the country."
    Tom Smith , Care Work, Costa Rica
     
  • "This placement gave me the mix of helping young children and also experiencing a totally different culture. My Spanish has really improved too."
    Kiki Jones , Care Work, Costa Rica
     
  • "I am studying in animal welfare and this placement was perfect in getting real life experience relevant to my career".
    Gordon Bennell , Wildlife & Conservation, Costa Rica
     
  • "The whole experience was fantastic from the staff at the rescue centre, to Andy and his family. Thank you for looking after me so well."
    Ruth Eales , Wildlife & Conservation, Costa Rica
     
  • Fab way to start my week, our guide was awesome and gave us so many tips. Met an amazing group of people and the team in the office really help you sort your time out after you've finished the first week. Would really recommend to solo travellers.
    Emma Lowton , Adventure, New Zealand
     
  • On arrival, I felt as unprepared as can be, knowing no one, having no plans nor ideas of how to get along in New Zealand really. The in-country team did it all for me. Organise my trip. Booking it. Coming from experienced backpackers you know what's going on and getting to know awesome people from all around the world and maybe even some mates to travel with.
    Sean Neitzel , Adventure, New Zealand
     
  • Had the best time travelling around New Zealand. The team made it possible and can sort everything out for you with no problem. I would highly recommend them and will definitely be using them for my next adventure.
    Annie Frances Pritchard , Adventure, New Zealand
     
  • The opportunity to coach and nurture the next generation of sportsmen and women in Costa Rica was an opportunity that I couldn't give up, and I am so glad that I didn't! I had a great time and made some lifelong friends!
    Jack Johnston , Teaching, Costa Rica
     

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