Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Gap Year from Study Can Benefit Teenagers; A Year out to Gain Life Skills and Experience Is a Good Idea

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Gap Year from Study Can Benefit Teenagers; A Year out to Gain Life Skills and Experience Is a Good Idea

Article excerpt

Byline: Becci Asquith

PARENTS worry about their teenage children enough without the instant concern that can come with the words agap yeara.

After 12 years of study, many teens want to take a break and experience the real world, while their parents worry about how time out will affect their child's future.

But there are advantages to a year away from the books.

As well as creating memories that will last a lifetime, students can use the year to learn new skills, experience new things and create an impressive CV.

University of the Sunshine Coast careers advisor Clive May said parents need not perceive a gap year as negative because of the potential harm to career prospects.

aIt no longer seems to affect employment opportunities,a Mr May said.

aWe're finding some graduate employers actually prefer graduates to have done their gap year before entering the workforce.

aSome (employers) are losing good graduates after a year because they have gone straight from school to uni to work and suddenly have wanderlust.a

Mr May said travel was a fantastic idea for people who choose to take a gap year.

aThey gain some fantastic independence skills and learn to overcome obstacles,a he said.

aThey learn about different cultures and could even learn another language.

aThey come back with solid experience and more of an idea of what they want to do.a

Travel isn't the only beneficial option for gap-year students and Mr May said teenagers who took time off before university to work or for other reasons often came back with a clearer idea of their career pathways.

aWork often gives them a chance to earn some money and gain exposure to the workforce,a he said.

Mr May said volunteering, combined with work or travel, was great for those who wanted to defer study because they were unsure of what they wanted to do.

aThere are many options for volunteering, which can be tailored to the specifics of what they want.a

aHelping people in need of help can make a big difference and adjust their mindset.a

Cathy Read decided to take time out after high school and travelled to South Africa on an education placement with Latitude Global Volunteering. …

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