Molly tells us all about her Gap Year in the UK
Molly arrived in the UK earlier this year in January for her Gap Year. While the start of her journey was a little different because of the pandemic, she was able to easily obtain a travel exemption and embark on the adventure of a lifetime. Upon arriving in the UK schools have remained open and she’s been able to make the most of her time in the UK. Find out more about what it’s like to live and work as a Gap assistant in the UK, hints on travelling, secret London tips and British culture.
Why did you choose to do a gap year?
I decided to take a gap year as I really wanted to do a bit of travelling before I started studying at university. Hoping to gain some more independence and confidence, whilst also exploring the world. I was also quite unsure towards the end of school what uni course I wanted to study, allowing a gap year to help direct me in a possible future pathway. Luckily for me, I had Gap students at my school, so was influenced to take a similar Gap Year myself. I was excited to experience the fun, craziness and amazing opportunities similarly to what the Gap students at my school experienced.
What’s been the best part of your gap year so far?
I have really enjoyed my day to day role as a gapper at my school, as well as meeting new people and travelling all around the UK with them. Working in a school as a gapper gives you many opportunities to be involved in all areas within a school. This helps to build strong friendships with all of those surrounding you. I’ve enjoyed coaching sport such as cricket and tennis as well as teaching and lifeguarding swimming lessons. I enjoy assisting in classes like design and technology, art, library lessons as well as working with the nursery and reception classes down in the pre-prep school.
Working within boarding is also heaps of fun, being involved with many movie nights, tennis matches, running the slip & slide and pool parties on hot days. As well going on some fun excursions to adventure parks and wildlife parks. I have made great friendships with my other gappers and numerous staff members. I’ve felt very welcomed into the UK, having many opportunities to explore areas of England with them.
Share some secret spots or travel adventures from the UK with us?
Since being in England I have travelled into London venturing around Notting Hill, Paddington, Waterloo, visiting Tower bridge, Buckingham Palace and the London Eye. I’ve learnt how to use the underground tubes, have had picnics in Hyde park and explored the Borough and Portobello food markets.
Over the Half term break, myself and my other gappers travelled to Bath and Bristol, as well as Cornwall. We visited Port Isaac and Polzeath, where we went surfing and had many beach barbecues. Over summer we are planning on travelling to Spain and Greece, and hopefully venturing up to Scotland and Ireland.
Tell us about the friends you’ve made
I’ve made some really close friends since being in England. I have a fantastic group of gappers, one of them being an Aussie and the other two being local English residents. We enjoy spending time together outside of being in our Gapper roles, having travelled around England together throughout half term. Living with 2 other gappers that are from England has enabled me and my other Aussie gapper to meet more people, and explore and experience the British culture. We have been able to meet many of their school friends and family and even visit their homes and have Sunday dinner roasts. We also go to their favourite local pubs and watch the football and have ventured down to the coast of England and stay in their holiday houses.
What’s surprised you most about the UK?
The ease of getting around the UK has greatly surprised me. Particularly using public transport and the short distances between locations makes it very easy to get around and explore the UK. I have also enjoyed how safe I feel traveling around the UK and how everyone is so obliging towards foreigners.
The school environment and structure is quite different and surprising as well. Some schools finishing their school days at 6pm, as well as also having Saturday school for games and matches.
What would you say to someone thinking about doing a gap year?
Just do it!! Taking a gap year will be one of the most amazing and rewarding years of your life. You will make many lifelong friends from all over the world and create lifelong memories. As well as having the opportunity to visit some of the world’s most famous tourist attractions. You will gain independence and confidence living away from home in another country. You’ll pushed outside of your comfort zone, having amazing opportunities put in front of you that you would rarely get to experience.
If Molly’s story has inspired you then it’s time to get ready for your Gap Year in the UK! Applications have been extended for our January 2022 intake.