Q. Where and when did you spend your gap year overseas?
A. I was in Pattaya, Thailand during 2013.
Q. What is your fondest memory of your time overseas?
A. Being an avid lover of travel, the best part of living overseas is the opportunity to explore not only the country you are based in, but also the numerous other neighbouring countries. I often found myself discovering new (and sometimes weird) things every day and when we had long weekends or school holidays, I would shoot off to Cambodia, Laos or somewhere in Thailand to explore the endless amount of beaches, markets and temples.
Flights were always super cheap so it was never a problem to get around, plus I always had my fellow gappies as travelling companions. I would say the highlight undoubtedly was heading to Angkor Wat in Cambodia to witness the sunset over the temples, it was one of the most amazing things I’ve seen anywhere in the world and is an experience that will last with me forever.
NB the food in Thailand was also a massive highlight!
Q. Where are you now / what are you doing?
A. After moving to the UK and working at a major travel provider for a number of years, I decided to relocate to the beautiful Gold Coast in Australia to commence studying commercial aviation as it has been a lifelong ambition to become a pilot.
How did a gap year (positively or negatively) assist you when you returned home and in later life?
You really can’t put a price on working in a foreign country with people of all different backgrounds. It has given me so much confidence when approaching new people and situations as I have no issues engaging with people from all walks of life as a result of my experience. I’ve walked into many job interviews where I haven’t been asked about my prior work experience, rather It was my experiences overseas that has given me the edge. Being able to engage with people is in my opinion, the most fundamental skill to have in any area of life!
Q. What advice would you give to those considering a gap year?
A. Don’t hesitate, it is super cliché but you only really get once chance to fully immerse yourself into a new culture and live overseas. As you get older life changes pretty quickly as you finish studying or buy a house and it becomes impossible to go and really experience a place as if you were a local.
Do some research about different programs and really get a grasp of what you think will suit you as an individual the best. It can be daunting; but don’t feel as if you are alone, many have walked in your shoes and I am sure you won’t meet a single person that wasn’t grateful for taking the plunge and heading out into the world.
Q. Would you do it again?
A. Absolutely! There is quite simply nothing like and it does make for some good stories to tell your friends when you come back.