What does a placement as a Gap Assistant look like?
Working and living in a Brisbane boarding school as part of the Australian Gap Year program is an amazing experience and a fantastic chance to gain some work experience before heading back to our home country to start working full time or studying. This year has given us the opportunity to meet some amazing people, learn more about ourselves and the world plus just have an absolutely awesome time!
A typical day as a Gappie goes a little like this:
5am– early start to go around the boarding house waking up the girls for rowing practice. Through the windows we get to watch the sunrise over the city. As the morning goes on we also wake up other girls for soccer training, basketball training and early morning study. The boarding house begins to get busy with girls getting ready for school and leaving the house to go to breakfast and on to school from 7:30am.
8am– Gap Assistants head back to the staff area for some breakfast and some like to have a nap!
10am– we spend the morning relaxing in the staff area, watching Netflix, reading and chatting with some friends and family online. We may spend some time planning and looking into our next holiday.
12:30pm– we head into the junior school and help out with a couple of classes, this may be in the language department, english, maths or science etc. It is a lot of fun helping the little ones with their work, helping them with their reading and teaching them about our favourite subjects. Or some days we are outside helping the P.E department set up outdoor activities and games.
3pm– time to head back to the boarding house ready to welcome the boarders back into the house after a day at school. We stand at the door and mark off everyone’s names as they walk back in the door. Most girls have stories to tell us of the events of the day, funny jokes or might need someone to talk to if they have had a bad day at school. As Gappies we are there to listen to each of the boarders and to provide support.
4:30pm– everyone heads down to the library for study time. As the boarders do their homework our job is to supervise, making sure they are doing their work and to provide help when they need it.
Some afternoons of the week we might be rostered on to go to help out coaching the netball or hockey teams, travelling on the bus to the local fields and assisting the head coaches with the different teams.
6pm– dinner time in the dining room. Everyone lines up to get some delicious food from the school cafeteria.
7pm– back to the library for the last little bit of homework and study.
8pm– everyone heads back to the boarding house. Once back in the house we walk around the house helping some boarders with the last of their homework or playing a card game or just supervising them as they read or watch tv.
9:30pm– bedtime comes around quickly and it’s now time for lights out. We walk around the house turning off all the lights, saying goodnight and reminding the girls to go to sleep. Then it is time for us to clock off for the day and go to chill out in the staff area.
Life as a Gappie is often hard work, long hours, early starts and late finishes but it has been the best experience ever. We have learnt to work hard and really treasure our days and nights off, working hard during term time to then go and have a lot of fun travelling throughout Australia during the school holidays.
We have learnt so so much! Each day is filled with laughs. Working with children is fun, thrilling and at times really challenging but so rewarding. This experience has allowed us to grow as people, to learn a lot and to have so much fun! If you are thinking about doing a Gap Year- do it! You won’t ever regret it!