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Students take a gap year to learn life lessons

Tuesday, 27 November 2012 15:10

As high school comes to an end for another round of Year 12 students, many young Australians are faced with the challenge of taking the next step into the real world.

Rather than going straight into university, more and more students are choosing to take a gap year out to explore the world, learn more about themselves and focus on what they really want to do with their lives.

Sydney girl Annie Navin completed Year 12 at Barker College, Sydney and embarked on a GapBreak program with Australian company, Antipodeans Abroad, which offers school-leavers the chance to volunteer in a developing country. She has recently returned home after spending 3 months in Ghana, where she lived with a local family and taught children in the village schools.

When asked why she chose to take a GapBreak Annie replied, “Going straight to university never appealed to me so the option of taking a gap year seemed like the obvious alternative. I couldn't think of anything worse than hitting the books again! Whilst most of my friends wanted to follow the party scene in Europe, I knew there was a big wide world out there to explore.

I'm so glad I chose Ghana because I got to live as a local in a part of the world that most people have never heard of. That's something you don't experience as a normal tourist.”

Annie’s experience in Ghana taught her to keep an open mind and to take advantage of every opportunity offered. She reflects on what she learnt from her time away, “Being totally immersed in a developing country takes you out of your comfort zone, but I feel so lucky to have had that experience. I came home and looked at everything differently. People have so little in the way of material possessions, yet they are happy and welcoming.

My Ghanaian family took me under their wing as a daughter and a sister. ”

Annie is now studying a double degree in Arts and Social Work at the University of Sydney, and expresses interest to see more of the world. “When you travel you learn so much about yourself, other cultures and the world around you. On top of that, I had a lot of fun, went to some incredible places and made life-long friendships. I'd love to see more of Africa as it's such a huge and diverse continent.”

About Antipodeans Abroad:
Antipodeans Abroad offers a range of educational travel experiences for high-school students,gap year and university students. Participants provide much appreciated work in disadvantaged communities across Africa, Asia and South America, as well as participating on work and language programs in Europe. Students’ return home with invaluable life experience, increased confidence and personal development.

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For Further Information:
Contact Person: Ebony Holmberg
Phone: (02) 9413 1522
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website: www.antipodeans.com.au