As you are starting to think about a gap year, researching it, and weighing your options, many questions are probably coming to mind. Some of which may be: Who should take a gap year? Why gap year is good? How long can a gap year last? How to spend your gap year? Where to do a gap year? When to do a gap year? And most importantly, how will a gap year benefit me?
There are many resources out there that can answer all those questions: should I take a gap year, reasons you should take a gap year, tips for taking a gap year, demystifying the myths of doing a gap year, gap year and options for school leavers. In general, many find that it is a true journey to self-awareness and self-exploration. And the experience ends up guiding them to the right life path for themselves. Read a few testimonials below to help you understand what others have experienced during their gap year and how they have experienced their gap year benefits.
Testimonial from Emily T.
“In 2010, I spent the summer in Varanasi in India teaching photography to teenagers in an underprivileged neighborhood. The program helps lift teenagers up through selling the student’s photography on postcards. Where the profits are then used to pay for schooling and assist with daily living expenses. Through this program, many local students are able to fund not only their schooling but also much-needed additions on their homes. The students I taught back then are now all grown up and I have seen them become incredible photographers, graduate students, and more!
This was a pivotal experience in my life. Although I had been fortunate enough to travel before, this was my first solo trip! It was definitely not without its challenges – living in a HOT climate with no AC, learning to teach through language barriers, being stared at because of my very blonde hair, and learning how to cross a street with motorcycles, dogs, and cows – but it was one of the best experiences of my life! The gap year benefits are endless. It taught me patience, it gave me confidence, and above all else, it broadened my world view. A rare day goes by when I don’t think about this experience. After my time in India, the skills I gained have since led me to lead 3 student trips abroad, assist a National Geographic photographer, build my own photography business, and most recently working in the international education world. It is because of my time in India that I am so eager to help others find their passion and build amazing connections through cultural immersion.”
Testimonial from Martina F.
“Through working in India and Cambodia at grassroots organizations, I not only discovered that I have a passion for travelling and connecting with foreign cultures and especially their people, but I realized that I want to work towards the empowerment of the less privileged people in society who deserve consideration and opportunities. My subsequent work and study choices led me in that direction, and I am still very passionate and invested in what I do.”
Testimonial from Heilwig Jones, Managing Director at Kaya Responsible Travel
“A gap year is the whole reason that Kaya exists. I was working in an advertising agency in London when I took a gap year at the age of 26. I always dreamt of doing a gap year and was so happy when I finally did it. I travelled alone for just over a year, in the end. I wanted to visit Africa, so I volunteered on wildlife projects in South Africa and Botswana which got me closer and more engaged with the issues of conservation than any safari would have. It gave me the confidence to backpack and I went on to explore South Africa then Australia and New Zealand, using a working holiday visa to make some money and get some different work experiences along the way. On my way home I planned to visit Thailand when the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami struck. I got involved with an organization helping with the aid efforts and spent 4 months working with Thai communities.
When I returned home, my gap year made me realize that not enough people were able to really experience other cultures as I had, and how I could use the skills I had to open these experiences up to others while contributing to worthwhile environmental and social development. From this, Kaya was born.
So when people say that Gap year benefits are endless and it can change your life, they really are not exaggerating. It helped me see what really mattered to me and injected me with a passion to make those dreams happen. I hope that you, too, find yourself in your Gap year….then share with us your stories!”
Hope you found this blog interesting. To hear more about the gap year projects and discuss gap year benefits, connect with one of our advisors using the chat now button, or feel free to request a brochure using the button opposite.