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Gap year stories

Below are Gap Year Stories written by people who have explored, worked, volunteered, trained or studied with one of our members. They'll give you a good insight into the different motivations for taking a gap year and the choice on offer.

Be Inspired!

Year In Industry - Lizzie - It confirmed my career path

Lizzie Garside worked her gap year with the Year in Industry programme run by charity EDT and won the Environmental Award at EDT’s Annual Future Industry Leaders Award Event. Now going on to study Mechanical Engineering at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand in 2017, she reflects on ... [ Read more... ]

African & Asia Venture (AV) - From skeptic to fan

www.aventure.co.ukI have always skeptical about gap years. It comes from my French education, I was taught that once you’ve started something you should doggedly carry on to the end, education being the best example because you tend to forget quite a bit in a year and lose a working rhythm ... [ Read more... ]

Africa & Asia Venture (AV) - An unexpected Gap

www.aventure.co.ukI hadn’t originally planned to take a gap year; in fact I was almost dead set against the idea of taking one, as I was keen to get stuck into university life. Unfortunately when my a-level grades came out in the august I was six marks short of the grades ... [ Read more... ]

Africa & Asia Venture (AV) - Will's story

www.aventure.co.ukAV isn’t just volunteering in the usual sense of the word. The variety of theexperiences you gain from doing AV are not comparable with the well trodden paththat many make to the Thailand full moon, or ‘surfers paradise’ in Aus. As well asbeing remarkably good fun, AV, I believe, set ... [ Read more... ]

Year in Industry: Katie - I didn't want a 'gap year'

Katie Mawdsley from Preston has just finished a working gap year with Procter & Gamble as part of The Year in Industry scheme. She is going on to read Chemical Engineering at Imperial College and here explains why she took her gap year and what she has gained from it. What ... [ Read more... ]

NonStopSnow - Jake's Story, a gap year skiing in Banff

At school I wasn’treally sure whether I’d take a gap year or not, but I’d decided pretty early on that if I did, I’d spend it skiing. Originally I was thinking about working in a restaurant or as a chalet boy, in a large part because of how expensive instructor ... [ Read more... ]

Lattitude Global Volunteering - Aaron's Argentina Story

I have been working for Lattitude since January 2015 supporting UK volunteers in their pre-departure preparations from our UK office in Reading. This year I had the opportunity to come to Argentina and work with the in-country team and current volunteers. I’m also helping to open up our programmes to ... [ Read more... ]

Frontier - Distributing aid after eye of a storm - Fiji

After the eye of cyclone Winston – with the strongest wind speeds on record in the Southern Hemisphere – hit Northern Fiji on Saturday the 20th of February 2016, eleven pairs of frontier volunteers’ hands were ready to give help to those worst affected. Along came Vodafone’s “Red Alert” scheme.On ... [ Read more... ]

Yamnuska Mountain Adventures - Skills Semester 2015

On the morning of September 10th, I walked into the Yamnuska Office in Canmore, Alberta for the first time. It was day 1 of the Fall 2015 Mountain Skills Semester. The office would come to feel like home soon enough – the place where we began and ended every adventure, the ... [ Read more... ]

The Year in Industry - Building Bridges to the Future

Gap Year Intern: Elizabeth PalmerAge: 19Home: Bearwood in Birminghamwww.yini.org.ukInstead of immediately taking up her offer of a place to read Geography at the University of Cambridge Elizabeth Palmer decided to spend a gap year doing a paid internship through the Year in Industry programme with Network Rail.During her year with ... [ Read more... ]

Outreach International - Brooke's story from Mexico

Brooke Nucio in Mexico supporting children with disablities (Outreach International)I worked with children with a wide range of disabilities by doing physical therapy, feeding the children, and doing intellectual exercises with them.  I felt like I contributed occupational therapy to the project because they didn’t have an OT.My fondest memory ... [ Read more... ]

Outreach International - Emily in Kenya

It wasn’t even an hour that I was there before I felt accustomed and welcome in each of the projects. The children are so very endearing and regardless to their circumstances they were happy children and always had a smile upon their face. I feel that every day that I ... [ Read more... ]

Madagascar Summer Expedition-Sean Francis (26)

When I first discovered Blue Ventures, I had a list of criteria for myself: 1. I want a chance to get out into the world; 2. I want to expand my world view; 3. I want to develop a deeper appreciation for the ocean. Blue Ventures met all of the criteria ... [ Read more... ]

Pod Volunteer Amy Bowles Elephant Care/Wildlife Rescue

Project page: https://www.podvolunteer.org/Animals/wildlife-rescue-thailand.html “I thoroughly enjoyed my time on the Wildlife and Elephant project in Thailand. I went for 2 weeks (all I could get off work) and I honestly wish that I could have stayed longer. I went alone and made lifelong friends from all over the world, ... [ Read more... ]

PoD Volunteer-Community Education in India

Sue Williams volunteered with Pod Volunteer in 2010 on the Teaching English on a tropical island in Thailand for 8 weeks before deciding to join the Pod Volunteer community education placement in India this year for 8 weeks. This is her story.Tell us a bit about your experience“Our time (I ... [ Read more... ]

Stories from the front-line - Sophie (with AV)

I may only be a few weeks into my teaching placement, but it has already become apparent how absolutely vital education is in this part of the world. Around 80% of the children at my school are from ethnic minorities, either Burmese refugees or members of the hill tribes. This ... [ Read more... ]

Explore your career options whilst travelling- Frontier

Not sure what to study? Explore your career options whilst travellingDo you feel pressured to start a degree but are not sure what you want to study? Frontier’s many volunteer projects offer a great insight into different job fields. Why not try your potential as a teacher with one of ... [ Read more... ]

Journalism Placement helped my career Projects Abroad

How a Gap Year Journalism Placement with Projects Abroad Helped my Career By Craig Ferriman A gap year was never for me, I thought! Following a poor performance in my AS levels, it became apparent that I would be better off applying to university after my A level results were ... [ Read more... ]

Africa & Asia Venture (AV)-from Gap year to Employment

www.aventure.co.ukIn January 2009 I was privileged enough to embark on one of AV’s 16 week projects,in my case, in Malawi. This was, without a doubt, a landmark period in my life todate. Plunging myself into a group of almost thirty strangers, in an alien country faraway from my comparatively simple ... [ Read more... ]

Making the most of your year-out-Chloe's story

 Making the most of your year out After a hard year of studying and A-Level exams, I decided what I needed more than anything else, was a rest from education. University had always been part of my plan, but it could wait. As one of the younger students in my ... [ Read more... ]

Care work with Children in Nepal with Projects Abroad

Care work with Children in Nepal with Projects Abroad Evangelina Fozard joined a Care Project at a Nutritional Rehabilitation Centre in Nepal through Year Our Group founder member Projects Abroad in December 2013. Volunteering in another country was an experience I will never forget. Up until then I felt ... [ Read more... ]

Care & Conservation Volunteering with Projects Abroad

Hugo Legenne joined a 2 Week Special Care & Conservation Project in Costa Rica arranged with Year Out Group founder member Projects Abroad in summer 2013. Hugo has also now applied to join Projects Abroad again in Ghana in summer 2014. My experience in Costa Rica was a wonderful ... [ Read more... ]

An African Bush Adventure with The Leap

Julia Froud (19), South Africa Horse Safari Leaper April 2013Thank you to everyone at the leap who gave me the opportunity to have some of the best weeks of my life in South Africa. It's almost been a year since I left SA but only yesterday did I share a ... [ Read more... ]

Himalayan Adventure with African and Asia Venture (AV)

I decided to travel to India during the summer of last year. It seemed such an exciting place to visit, so different from the UK, and through an organisation called AV (Africa and Asia Venture) I found a project online, teaching in the North East of the country. Up ... [ Read more... ]

Sports coaching and teaching in a Nepal with PoD

Chloe spent her university holiday travelling in Nepal and decided to spend 2 weeks volunteering with PoD in Pokhara. Volunteers are part of the PoD team in Nepal helping to provide additional support to orphans and street children. Volunteers can teach sports lessons at the local schools and help improve health, ... [ Read more... ]

Sports coaching in Ghana- Volunteering with PoD

Aaron spent time volunteering with PoD in Ghana coaching sport; he is already planning his next PoD volunteer project! He helped to set up the village football team.Sport coaching projects in Ghana allows volunteers to share their love of sport with children in a rural African village through sports lessons ... [ Read more... ]

Lucys Canadian Ski Course Success

I went to Banff in 2013, for twelve weeks and I can safely say that it was the best experience of my life so far. Before the course, I was doing my A Levels and applying for university. I applied for a deferred place, so that if I got in, ... [ Read more... ]

Frontier South East Asia Ethical Adventure Trail

Hannah Banks enjoyed a 10 week adventure trail in Cambodia that included a four week teaching placement organised by FrontierExcitedly I left England behind and headed straight for Bangkok; after meeting the rest of the trail we embarked upon a three week venture around Thailand: visiting the historical and cultural ... [ Read more... ]

A Scot in Sri Lanka

Jamie Snedden is on a one year teaching placement in Sri Lanka arranged with Project Trust.  He arrived in September 2012 and this blog describes how he's faring at the halfway stage.February began with my first visit from family. Having failed twice to reach Sri Lanka- once due to the ... [ Read more... ]

Teaching, photography and volleyball in India

Kym Anderson (19) was a Particip8 volunteer in India, 2011/12. She is now the Finance and Fundraising intern at Project Trust, but took some time out of her day job to share her thoughts on her volunteering experience. I volunteered in Sevalaya in India, which is a big project based ... [ Read more... ]