It has been a busy time here at Venture since the New Year.

In terms of content, our focus has been on updating and adding to our gap year section. We now have more articles dedicated to why students might consider a gap year, how they can save up for their trips of a lifetime and what opportunities are available to them whilst away.

Those students taking a gap year can sometimes be forgotten in the rush to provide support to others going into further education or work. However choosing what to do during time out can be a daunting task. Therefore we’ve dedicated this issue to the benefits of the right gap year experience.

Happy reading,

The Venture Team

backpacking salt plains

Even Students Planning a Gap Year Need Guidance

Taking a gap year, either before or after university, has become a rite of passage for many young people. Often this is driven by the desire to spend a few months travelling the world and meeting new people, without the pressure of study or work.

Yet with the proper guidance and a little planning, a gap year can both be a fantastic learning experience and a useful building block for future career success. This is because people on a gap year develop key skills and experiences (often without realising!) which make them extremely employable.

The stereotype of the gap year backpacker on a quest to ‘discover themselves’ may have become the butt of many jokes, but in truth travelling gives people the space to learn about themselves, their skills and their values, insights which help them to understand the direction they want to take in life.

At the same time, the sense of adventure which leads many to take a gap year soon turns into a lesson in independence as you are robbed of home comforts and the security of family and friends.

You are forced to navigate countries where you do not speak the language, an experience which teaches you to be flexible and adaptable. Through this you quickly discover new ways of communicating with those who do not speak English. All of these experiences can then be called upon when back in the UK, especially as gap year returners enter the world of work.

jumping on beach

Such skills can be developed by anyone on a gap year, whether they choose to spend this time working, volunteering or backpacking abroad. However, in order to make the most of these opportunities, it is key that young people choose the right gap year option for them.

The wealth of companies now offering gap year ‘experiences’ can be overwhelming and so it becomes difficult for young people to know if a working holiday in Australia, backpacking around South America or time spent as a volunteer English teacher in Thailand (to name just 3 popular options!) is the most productive way to spend their time out.

This is where Venture’s updated gap year section can help. We have broken down the gap year experience. Our rewritten guides offer impartial information to help young people find the path that suits them, whilst our new gap year travel section offers hints and tips on where to go and what to see.

Whether young people need guidance on the opportunities available, the costs involved, or the practicalities of travel, the website now acts as their first point of call, guiding them through the process of planning a successful, enjoyable and worthwhile gap year. Visit our gap year section to see all of the new content

Hands in air

Develop Resources for your Classroom

On Tuesday 19th April schools and colleges are coming together in Leeds to discuss the resources which are needed to inform students about studying, working or volunteering abroad. This will be your chance to influence the resources we publish on Venture as we share ideas and look for solutions to meet your needs.

Location: 1 Eastgate Leeds

Time: 3.30pm

Following the workshop, all participating institutions will have access to the resources during their development. This will allow you to further shape these aids, making sure they will effectively work for you.
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New on Venture

Alongside the revamped information on the practicalities of planning a gap year, our research team have added new country guides to Bolivia and Colombia, two countries which are becoming popular gap year destinations.

We have also added gap year travel guides to South America and India.

Over the coming months the focus of our research team will switch to developing our planned new suite of classroom resources. However if there is anything you would really like to see added to Venture email us – venture@aspire-igen.com