TIMES ARE TOUGH FOR STUDENTS
- The recession
- Youth unemployment
- Graduate unemployment
- Tuition fees
THINGS ARE NOT GOING TO GET BETTER ANY TIME SOON
Option 1: Get a job
Option 2: Go straight to university
Option 3: Go travelling
Option 4: Get work experience
Option 5: Go volunteering
I hate studying? I want time for myself?
I want money to spend?
I have skills that can earn me a living?
Go to job centre, employment agencies
Look in local papers
Talk to schools careers service
There are always ‘unsocial’ jobs available
PROBLEMS? Not enough well-paid jobs locally?
Lose contact with friends?
I need training for a career?
OPTION 2: GO STRAIGHT TO UNIVERSITY
WHY? Better career prospects
Higher lifetime income
Lifelong intellectual and cultural enrichment
Fun and friends
HOW? Apply at school / college through UCAS, or
Apply after ‘Results Day’
PROBLEMS? How to choose the right course
Might I drop out?
Tuition fees, living costs, graduate debt
Are there enough jobs for graduates?
WHY? I need a break!
See the world, new experiences
Fun and friends
HOW? Use student travel specialists: STA Travel
Get safety & health advice
COSTS? How long is a piece of string?
PROBLEMS? Will it improve my career prospects?
Drunken British teenagers on the rampage?
Will I want to go to university afterwards?
WHY? Improve your CV and employment prospects
Put some money in the bank for university
Rethink your HE & career plans
HOW? Choose: UK or overseas?
UK: YINI, Accountancy, PGL, holiday companies, etc
UK: Day release degrees
Overseas: BUNAC, Oyster, Gap Canada, Work NZ, etc
PROBLEMS? If you work overseas, there will be costs
Will you miss out on the fun?
Will you spend all the money you earn?
WHY? Experience a different world
Give something back, make a difference
Time and space to rethink your future
Improve your CV and employment prospects
HOW? Raise the money (a valuable experience)
Research reputable, ethical organisations
Minimum 2 - 3 months project work
Independent travel afterwards
PROBLEMS? Costs: £2000 to £5000
Will you want to go to university afterwards?
What do your parents think about gap years?
PLAN FOR A VOLUNTEERING GAP YEAR
(A gap year lasts 15 months)
Most gap organisations offer short projects
HOW LONG? 2 weeks to 3 months
Summer after A levels
OUR ADVICE: Give the project as much time as you can spare
“Every important decision I have made since has been influenced by my gap year experiences” (Minty Gilders, ex Africa & Asia Venture)
“If you look at the “buzz” words for any application form or job interview, you can relate them to a gap year experience: teamwork, leadership, initiative, independence, creativity, resourcefulness, motivation.” (Amy Daw / Green, ex Lattitude)
“My gap year gave me the time to pick up new skills and qualifications …..and helped to guide my career choices. The biggest impact my gap year had on me was increased confidence and maturity.” (Rupert Laing, ex Africa & Asia Venture)
“My decision, age 16, to do a year away is probably the best choice I have made, and I am reaping its benefits to this day.” (Chris Hitch, ex Project Trust)
“It has been a great way to experience the culture of a country close up, whilst developing a lot of skills important in my future career and personal life.” (Alex Clarke, ex Raleigh)
“The school was absolutely fantastic and the teachers were lovely. They obviously needed our help and really appreciated everything we did.” (Ellen Fitten, Oyster Worldwide)
“ I gained knowledge useful for my degree, got sponsored through uni, and I have a year of work experience on my CV.” (Joseph Harris, Year in Industry)
WHAT CAN YOU DO IN A GAP YEAR?
The main options
Teaching and community work worldwide
Expeditions and conservation work worldwide
Caring for the disadvantaged (UK or overseas)
Paid UK placements in engineering, finance and management
Working with children: au pair, summer camps, activity centres
Skills development: IT, office, business, languages
Sports and outdoor pursuits: play, be coached, coach children
Work & travel programmes: N America, OZ & NZ, China, Russia, etc
Work experience: medical, law, journalism, tourism (UK or overseas)
…… and many more
Art History courses in Italy
Drama at Stratford-on-Avon
Ski & watersports instructor courses
and many, many more
A break from study and examinations
Independence & confidence and a sense of achievement
A chance to rethink your future
You will get more out of university
Learn new skills
Improve your employment prospects
Getting things into perspective
Fun and new friends
SOME OPTIONS WHICH CAN PAY FOR THEMSELVES
Industrial / commercial placements
Social / caring work
Working with children
‘Work and Travel’ programmes
THE HIGH COST OPTIONS
Teaching / community work overseas
Expeditions / conservation work
Outdoor pursuits and sport
OUR ADVICE: If you DON’T join a project you may spend just as much money doing other things, or doing nothing!
Paid work for part of the year
Work as you travel
Letters to businesses and charities
DON’T ASK YOUR PARENTS TO PAY!
How to choose your gap year organisation
Decide what you want to do.
Look at several organisations that match your interests.
(Sources: our database; Year Out Group; gapadvice.com; websites)
Get contact details of past participants. Talk to them.
(Was there a selection process? Were they met on arrival? Was there in-country support? What work did they do? What accommodation was provided? Did they feel safe? Was it value for money?)
E-mail us if you wish to.
(Lawrence Lockhart, email@example.com)