According to UCAS, university applications reached a record high this year, with an extra 8,000 students competing for the same number of places as were available in 2010. With many candidates reapplying after missing out last year and tuition fees set to rise to a maximum of £9,000 in 2012, the rise is simple to explain. However, Arvind Malhotra, founder and Managing Director of GapGuru, a specialist gap year travel company, argues that missing out on your place can be turned into something positive, by spending a gap year doing something worthwhile.
“Whether you’re planning to reapply next year or head straight into the job market, a gap year offers numerous benefits. Those who volunteer, work or travel with GapGuru develop a range of skills, build confidence and add unique life experience to their CV. The intense competition for university places is reflected in the graduate job market so it’s important to take the initiative and do something worthwhile. Nowadays, employers look for applicants who stand out from the crowd and the personal and professional development that a gap year offers can differentiate you from others.”
Arvind points to GapGuru’s range of overseas volunteer projects and internships as real opportunities for personal development and to gain direct experience in competitive professions such as teaching, journalism and medicine. Jennifer Ridenton took part in a medical internship in India in February 2011: “The medical internship with GapGuru was a truly wonderful experience that opened my eyes into the everyday life of a doctor. I observed and I learnt more than I ever thought I was able to”. Experiences such as Jennifer’s highlight the benefits that a gap year can give you and should encourage others to turn their disappointment into opportunity.
For more information on any of GapGuru’s gap year programmes, please visit http://www.GapGuru.com or call 08000 32 33 50.
# # #
GapGuru is a gap year specialist offering a range of exciting volunteering, teaching, internship and travel programmes in 11 countries across the world.