PARTICIPANT REFLECTION: Matthew Smith

My year in Australia has been amazing. At the end of last year, I was accepted on to the gap year program with Letz Live where I was offered a placement located on the south western coast of Australia. 

Presently, I work within the boarding houses, in the classroom and with the schools maintenance crew. Basically, I am an extra pair of hands which sees me assisting students with their prep / homework, helping with sports sessions and even supervising activities at the beach!

I was considering becoming a teacher and thought a gap year was a great way to fully experience the very best (and potentially) worst of the teaching profession before I enrolled, studied (and paid) for a university degree. Indeed, this year was very much a learning year for me where now I know that teaching is my calling….  I just need to decide if I want to teach in either a primary or secondary school. 

I have been allowed and able to immerse myself into a new culture as well as being encouraged to introduce my own to the school community. I have formed friendships with staff which will span the world. The staff here (particularly in boarding) are now my Australian family.  

I am not going to lie, it is hard to hold a professional relationship with some of the students due to the proximity of our ages but equally this has taught me the importance of self-discipline and will aid me further in life. 

One of my highlights has been witnessing how many kids participate in sport and the amount of sporting opportunities here is endless. I was fortunate enough to have enough free time to play rugby for the local club in town. This gave me opportunities to broaden my friendship base outside of the school community whilst seeing local towns. 


Although I didn’t travel as much as I thought I might’ve, I was very content in my school / town / club environment. I visited Perth on many occasions and always looked forward to catching up with the Letz Live gap’s based there. We formed a tight bond.