Make the most of being a student

gap-year

Photo: Aric Mitchell 

There are so many reasons why we all count the days until the next time we go on holiday, feeling the sudden warmth as the plane door opens and seeing the different surroundings.  But sometimes, when at university or college, considering anything longer than a short break can be quite daunting.  There is so much that runs through our mind when we think about taking a gap year; where should I go? can I afford it? and one of the biggest concerns, will it affect my studies or will I be able to get a job if I take a year out after I graduate?  But recent surveys have shown that volunteering can increase your employability after leaving university; and by taking a gap year you can also get the chance to travel.

Suzi Lamb Marketing Director for Project Abroad said: “The benefit to the individual can vary, but it can make you more employable by enhancing your CV, and it also improves what employers call ‘soft skills’ such as teamwork, leadership and responsibility.  Most of our volunteers say that they feel more confident after volunteering and they also develop a love of travelling and learning about different cultures, which stays with them long after their project is over.”

 

 

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Photos: Projects Abroad, Twitter: @Proj_Abroad_UK

Gap year specialist companies can really help students, (you) to find the best gap year opportunities that suit your needs.  If you want to do something that is related to your studies or take part in something completely different, there are endless opportunities.  Most gap year specialist websites operate like a jobs board, so you can choose from a wide range of projects from journalism, sports, law, human rights and almost every specialism is covered.  There are even opportunities for medical students to pick up extra electives and gain vital work experience.  Also if you really want to go to certain countries but are worried about safety, they can give you reassurance and are able to give you the advice you need.

Jessica Norton who volunteered as a music teacher in South Africa during her summer break at a university in South Africa said: “There are so many projects out there, go and spend as long as you can traveling before you get into the world of work, which is what I am trying to do, as once you get a job you won’t get the same chance to go traveling.  You will become a different person once you volunteer, I found I changed so much, I would just say go and do it.”

So if you want to do something with your summer or take a gap year for volunteering, it is a perfect way to gain experience, travel and can even help you with your career; or if you just want to give your mind a bit of a break from university you can even choose to study a language and what better way than to learn, than to be immersed into the native country and culture.

 

Photo: Flickr/ Frontierofficial

 

Here are Some gap year specialist companies to help you find your perfect gap year experience:

http://www.projects-abroad.co.uk/

http://www.yearoutgroup.org/organisations/detail/39/

http://www.statravel.co.uk/

 

 

Penelope Castillo

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