Leaving home to take a gap year abroad
Taking the first step
I didn’t want to do it. I was so nervous that I would be so homesick. I originally applied and then dropped out. I did not want to leave my friends and family for a whole year! It was actually my mum that kept encouraging me to go. I reapplied with the mindset that I could just come home if I didn’t like it. I fell in love with it on the first day I arrived in the UK, you just couldn’t not love it.
How did you do it?
I applied to gap programs for different schools overseas. I used the Letz Live website where they match you to a school that is suitable for you based on the information you provide. I had to go to Melbourne to do an interview and was matched from there. I applied to a few different schools (it’s a lot of work, but very rewarding). I eventually got a call from a school in rural England offering a job, so I took it.
What was your job like?
We lived outside the boarding house. My day would consist of waking the school kids up, getting them ready, taking them to breakfast and then taking them to school. I helped run P.E classes, swimming lessons and maths classes. I also did jobs like recess and lunch duty, things like that.
I think the youngest kid I had to take care of was six years old. So our job was to be like a big brother or sister to them.
Where did you go?
The school I worked at was about an hour out of London. On the weekend we did trips around England. I just went all over Europe – Spain, Greece, Croatia and just everywhere really. If you ever find yourself there you have to do the paddy wagon trip – It’s a massive bus tour around Ireland. It’s where you meet all the other gappies. I can guarantee you will love it.