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Alex Dyer: What are my Gap Year Options?

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Volunteer Programs - This is a great opportunity to help out those less privileged. You have the chance to work in a local community. You can teach, work in an orphanage, and help to build new homes and community buildings.

Teaching English in a School - this is a fantastic chance to gain some amazing experience working in a school. You'll teach English to children as a second language, working closely with them to read and write.

You don't have to be a teacher, you just have to inspire and build confidence in children.

Conservation Projects - These projects are great for people who wish to help preserve the environment. This includes turtle conservation and animal welfare.

Animal Work - This is similar to the Conversation projects, but is centre (a Zoo) based, working with animals including horses, pandas, elephants and if you're brave enough (and have insurance) tigers. 'Occasionally volunteers are asked to participate in research and help with providing medical care for pandas. You will also have time to watch, photograph and become completely captivated by these cute, loving animals.'
Conservation and animal projects are a fantastic thing to do if you're applying to do Veterinary Medicine or Science at University. The experience is priceless and looks amazing in your Personal Statement. A must.

Sports Programs - This again is a valuable asset to add to your Personal Statement and C.V. You have to opportunity to teach sport in a local community and in schools. You can combine a sports program with a volunteer program teaching sport and say English.

Top ten reasons to go on a gap year:

1) The experience - There are so many great experiences that can be gained from a gap year. Meeting people, experiencing different cultures, helping others and acquiring a huge sense of achievement, to name a few.
2) Teaching English in a School - Pictures speak louder than words.
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Teaching abroad is a fantastic chance to gain some amazing experience working in a school, whilst really racking up some brownie points on the CV for university applications. Learn how to teach English to children as a second language whilst working closely with them to read and write. Teaching experience isn't required, just a passion to inspire and build confidence in children. It's an amazing opportunity to help others.

3) Help Animals and regenerate Conservation areas -
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4) Goodbye parents and annoying siblings - enough said.

5) Build your confidence - a gap year is about meeting people, exploring a new country and learning different ways of life. All this will help to build your confidence and efficacy.

6) Travel - "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain.

7) Learn a language - plenty of people who go on a gap year are inspired by new ways of life and the new languages that they encounter. Picking up on local language and trying to learn it is a great thing to do.

8) Drop in university applicants- University may not be for everyone! You may need some time off to have a think about University and whether to apply or not. It's always good to have some time off to reflect and have a think about which career path to take.

9) Grow your hair like Brian May and grow a beard like Brian Blessed. You won't have another chance! 2012-09-14-Brianblessed.png

10) Learn to be yourself and don't turn into this guy.

We organise a variety of different gap year choices that can strengthen your university application and are relevant to your chosen course. With the ever-increasing competition for university places (even with the current drop) it is always advisable to do something worthwhile in your year out. Tutor House is pleased to be able to offer students some exciting opportunities to volunteer in Asia