To develop almost all of the skills required to thrive in a world that is rapidly and constantly changing, (resilience, leadership ability, team-work skills, initiative, persistence, emotional intelligence, optimism, determination and courage) young people need to be prepared and eager to step outside their comfort zone. They need to try new activities and seize opportunities. They need to be doing this as early as possible rather than waiting until they complete secondary school or post-secondary studies.
Students and parents need to keep up with the constantly changing tertiary landscape. It really is true that knowledge is power. The right knowledge can help students gain entry to very popular courses and even avoid being one of the many tertiary students who don’t make it past the first four or five weeks at university or TAFE.
Completing voluntary work in an overseas country is a great way for students to really taste life and another culture while making new friends and gaining new levels of confidence. Projects Abroad offers voluntary work projects in 28 developing countries around the world.
Cultural Care Au Pair organises work placements for young Australians so that they can live with a family in the USA and care for their children. In essence, they will be full time nannies. Participants are paid weekly pocket money which is approximately US$195 a week. This is great money considering that all living expenses are already covered. Many young people choose this as a wonderful GAP Year option.
Antipodeans Abroad offers a number of exciting and challenging programs for students completing secondary school as well as for students completing tertiary studies.
Camp America has been running since 1969 and thousands of young Australians have enjoyed this as part of a GAP year. It is a highly structured experience – safe, but exciting and challenging.
Taking a break after completing secondary school can give young people the breath of fresh air many desperately need. Many students are burnt out after the hard work they have put in leading up to those final school exams. Many are also unsure about the future and a GAP break may give them the time they need to really think before making important decisions about future courses and careers.
Students should be aware of the latest trends in the constantly changing tertiary landscape. What are institutions looking for in prospective students? What skills, experience and qualities are highly regarded? What are tertiary institutions doing to attract the best students?