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You are here :: Family Holidays » Is A Gap Year Good For Your Child?
Is a gap year good for your child?
For many a gap year seems the natural thing to do before heading out into the adult world of 9-to-5 work, pensions, and saving towards your first home. It's a final opportunity to live with people of your own age, free of at least some of the constraints of modern living, and experience the trials and tribulations of another culture. Getting the most out of this experience is vital, and the first step towards achieving this is deciding what it is you want is to get from it. Volunteer work offers the opportunity to upgrade and add to your existing skills. It’s an opportunity to show that you can survive and thrive in an alien environment, where possibly you will be looked to for direction and for many can deliver a boost their confidence as well as providing some excellent material for an improved CV.
The focus is obviously on helping others, but this can be achieved in a great many different ways, choosing the opportunity that allows you to grow in the fashion that is important to you is key.
It’s important to look upon volunteering as a two way process. You are giving your time and energy toward to a worthy endeavour and receiving confidence, improved skills and the knowledge you are moving the world in the right direction. The correct matching of volunteer and cause can be a life changing opportunity.
Organisations such as originalvolunteers.co.uk seek to match volunteers with established opportunities. As these partnerships are longstanding and well tested, anyone embarking on such a trip can be assured of a safe and useful experience. Most opportunities ask for an upfront fee to deal with registration and transportation then an on-going weekly fee for food and accommodation. This can vary between £50 and £90 a week.
So, where to go? The opportunities are as diverse geographically as they are in the skills they require. One person may relish the thought of providing teaching support to orphans in Malawi, another may wish to visit Mexico, where similar teaching opportunities exist. Active individuals should consider visiting Ghana where groups are engaging with street kids through the universal language of sport. If you want to leave a more permanent mark then several schemes are about building for the future. Why not visit Peru to take part in vital building projects or Ghana, where conservation projects are in much need of man power.
Whatever your preference it’s guaranteed that assisting like-minded individuals towards the common goal of improving the lives of those less fortunate than ourselves will produce some great memories and lifelong friendships. It’s also a chance to truly realize how lucky we are in the Western world and to begin to foster a feeling of gratitude for the privileged position we occupy in the world.