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Personal Development

There are many ways to develop as an individual on a gap year or career break:

Learn some new skills – you might decide to take a course or get a qualification in something you are interested in, such as a TEFL qualification (Teaching English as a Foreign Language),  a PADI qualification (learn to scuba dive), or become a ski or snowboard instructor.

Improve on existing skills – you may be keen to develop your understanding of a certain subject, such as taking a course in a specific language or gaining experience coaching your favourite sport.

Gain work experience – why not see what internship or work experience positions are available overseas, so you can return home with a greater understanding of your chosen career path. Alternatively you could take part in a rewarding volunteer project, or find a paid work role.

Improve your employability – you can use your time effectively during your gap year or career break, and through constructive travel you could build on key skills for your CV/resume, and develop your personal skills such as time management, organisation, awareness, and adaptability. You can also gain from improving inter-personal skills such as communication and interaction, listening, and teamwork. You will return with a deeper understanding of global issues, showing you have initiative and can adapt to any situation life throws at you.

Challenge yourself – a gap year or career break can be a time for you to stretch your limits and find out things about yourself that you might not have found out otherwise. Face your fears and test yourself, and you are bound to learn a lot. Volunteer and see if you can control a class of kids in Asia, throw yourself out of a plane high up above the beautiful New Zealand landscape, or come face to face with Great White shark on a marine conservation project in South Africa.

Shape your career – a gap year or career break adventure can be a key ingredient in making decision about your future career, as you will come back a more mature and independent individual, with a revised perspective on life, after having the freedom and time to put some thought to your prospects and where you want to aim for in life.

You may be undecided about what you want to do at university, for a career or in your next stage of life, so you can take the time before starting your next venture to refresh and compose yourself on a gap year or career break. Many universities and employers welcome the fact that individuals take time out to develop on a personal and interpersonal level.

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Testimonials
  • "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
     
  • "I loved this volunteer project in the orphanage in Buenos Aires. So many great kids, who love to play and learn from you. I really enjoyed the cooking lessons in the bakery, and the kids really liked to do face painting and arts, which was really fun, it was great to be able to put smiles on their faces. I will treasure my memories of my trip to Argentina for a long time."
    Susan Tanner , Care Work, Argentina
     
  • "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
     

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