British students abroad

Venturing abroad is considered to be a common rite of passage for many university students.

Travel organisations from around the UK are now doing the utmost they can to promote their trip offers following the influx of students seeking to go abroad.

Leading travel companies suggest that the amount of younger people planning gap year trips in 2012 was close to 3 million. The competition to attract willing participants has led to more tempting offers, with companies now supporting students who wish to travel after their placements.

The leap in figures is supposedly down to many students seeking to make themselves more appealing to prospective employers following the apathetic turnaround of the economic crisis in Britain.

Financing trips to foreign destinations may seem like a daunting prospect, but making money is not a worry says Invasion Jobs development manager Phil Bowen, who spent time out in Thailand: “Doctors in Thailand earn, on average, the equivalent of £350 a month. If you go over there and teach English, you’d be earning at least £600 a month, as well as having the option to check out the place you’re staying.

South Korea: Alexander travelled here as a Networking post-grad and still teaches English here now.

“The people are very friendly, and you’re always in safe hands.”

Many travel companies are able to put people in touch with organisations that can help if money gets tight, or anything goes amiss. Mr Bowen stated assuredly that: “Nobody is left alone; there’s always somebody around to help.”

David Wild, a representative of the American summer camp organisation Americamp, put the emphasis on there being “something for everyone” with schemes abroad now offering opportunities for everyone to make the most out of travelling.

“We do our best to cater to everyone’s individual skillsets, and give them support to make the most of it while working with us. After you finish with us, we can help you sort out your 30 day VISA and go travelling with the money you’ve made.”

Travelling student Andrew Tennent, who made the journey to Australia 3 months ago, says he has loved every minute of his time abroad.

“It is totally different from England – the weather is amazing and the beaches are paradise. You just don’t get anything like this anywhere in the UK.

“I was terrified at first, especially where money was concerned, but I’ve worked since I got here and have had no problems, and I have friends that are earning even more than me on fewer hours in other places. If you find a good travel company, then money usually ends up being the least of your worries.

“It takes a lot to make the leap, but it was the best decision I ever made.”

Alexander Finch, a post-graduate student who now teaches English in South Korea, echoed Mr Tennent’s appreciative testimony, saying that: “Flying as far as I did to teach English with a Networking degree may seem a little crazy, but I would do it all over again.

“All people need is that encouragement to apply, and I hope they do – coming here helped me to choose what I wanted to do after university, and now I live here. It changed my life.”

Graeme Finch

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