Recent Gap Assistant Sam Tomlinson shares his adventures from his Australian Gap Year in 2020
It’s hard for me to think that it was just over a year ago that I left the UK and set off on a year-long adventure to Australia. The year itself has flown by and I can say without a second thought that it has been one of the best experiences of my life.
Moving to Australia
At first, the idea of moving to Albany, Western Australia, a place I had never heard of, seemed quite daunting, however as soon as I arrived I felt completely at home. Although being a small town Albany had so much to offer, from beautiful beaches to long mountain walks. We were also only a few hours from Perth meaning we could embrace the city life at long weekends if we wished. Living in Albany gave me an opportunity to see what small town Australia is like, however, I was able to travel down the east coast over Christmas seeing Sydney, Melbourne, Byron Bay and all the famous sites. I was also lucky enough to go to Uluru and Alice Springs on my first holiday which was amazing and a real highpoint of my year.
Travelling on my Gap Year
Travelling was an amazing experience but for me working as a gap assistant was the main part and highlight of my year. At no point did I ever feel bored or fed up as there was always something to do, be it helping out in the day school with lessons ranging from woodwork to mountain biking, or over in boarding working in the houses to taking the children out to go fishing or to the beach at the weekends.
My Job as a Gap Assistant
I mainly worked in the junior boy’s house however I was also able to work in the senior house, which although seemed strange at first looking after boys who were roughly the same age as me, proved to be just as fun. Being a Gappy around the school was a great feeling as it seemed like you were loved by everyone from the seniors to the juniors. It was interesting to see what life was like in a school as a member of staff as opposed to being a student, and how supportive everyone was to each other, as well as how different it was being in a year 5 lesson to being in a year 12 lesson, and how the approach to teaching changes. Every second I spent working as a Gappy I enjoyed and there really was never a dull moment.
What I have gained from my Gap Year
Going on a Gap year was an amazing experience, one that has made me feel more independent and has helped boost my confidence. I now feel able to go travelling on my own around the world. I met so many wonderful people throughout the year, my fellow Gappies, teachers and students, many of whom I will hopefully know and be friends with forever. Thank you Letzlive for giving me this experience and for introducing me to a country that I now love, Australia.