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Gap Year Ideas

(21 Posts)
mamamedic Tue 04-Sep-18 19:05:19

My DD was supposed to be off to Medical school this month but unfortunately missed her Chemistry by a grade so is resitting itconfused and planning to reapply for 2019. That will all be done by mid November this year and she has the rest of the year to spend exactly as she chooses! Sounds like bliss to me! But she is really lacking any enthusiasm as all she thinks about are all her mates cracking on with their degrees and that is where she really wants to be. I have no doubt she'll move beyond this but it's abit grim now as they're all at IKEA whilst she's studying Year 13 Chemistry again and destined for another few months of living at home.
So I'd like to do some groundwork for her and research the really worthwhile things she could do during between Nov 2018 and Sept next year. I think it should be something that will help with her reapplication to Medical School but also something really worthwhile. No problem with abit of backpacking or bar work for some of the time but having had a privileged upbringing, I'd really like her to see how some less fortunate people live (at home or abroad) and for her to get a real sense of her own worth if she feels she can make a small difference.
I realise this should be coming from her, not her mother. But at the moment she's not feeling it! I'm hoping I can whet her appetite with some great ideas.
Have any of your DCs done something with their gap years that has really made a difference to them or to others? I'd be v grateful for any ideas or pointers.

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titchy Tue 04-Sep-18 19:11:44

How can she have a full gap year if she's retaking Chemistry? Or are you somewhere in the world that does Autumn resits? In which case Working as a care assistant is the obvious choice, with maybe a bit of travelling next summer for a few months.

mamamedic Tue 04-Sep-18 19:12:44

Yes resit is in November.

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titchy Tue 04-Sep-18 19:21:39

Can you say where in the world you are then. Someone might know some opportunities in your part of the world.

whiteroseredrose Tue 04-Sep-18 19:25:11

Aren't there programmes where you can help in hospitals in Africa? A friend's DD did it for a couple of months.

mamamedic Tue 04-Sep-18 19:42:34

Yes we're in England!
During the last couple of years she's worked in a hospice once a week for a year and also in a Primary School. She's also done various bits of work experience in hospitals. All good but perhaps more as a bystander than actually doing a proper days work.
She could go and volunteer in Third world but if poss we'd like to avoid these travel companies who charge you £2,000-3,000 for your kids to go for a couple of weeks. I think she'd really enjoy that but I'm told the Medical schools don't rate them as they're a sign of middle class parents. Which, I'm told, is a bad thing to be in this process!

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Leeds2 Tue 04-Sep-18 19:48:33

I'm guessing she would be better based in the UK, so that she can easily attend any interviews?
That said, she could look at something like Camp America for next summer when she will have a better idea of what she is doing. Have a few friends' daughters who have done that, and enjoyed the experience.

Etino Tue 04-Sep-18 19:48:55

ICS, the international version of NCS The Challenge. They have to find raise you pay £800 or £1,500, depending on parental income and it’s an absolute bargain, that covers pre training, flights, accommodation with local families and a stipend for 3 months overseas. They live and work with host country volunteers and do meaningful work.
Projects Abroad is a more straightforward volunteerism set up but offers interesting work and opportunities.

titchy Tue 04-Sep-18 19:55:20

How can English students do November resits? I thought they were international only? Maybe I'm wrong!

Also to warn you and her there is no guarantee of an offer again. Resits can often be ignored, especially by med schools.

But yes care work in U.K. followed by some abroad.

mamamedic Tue 04-Sep-18 20:09:57

Thanks Leeds2 and Etino. I've never heard of ICS so will definitely investigate.
titchy, she did the IB which has Nov resits. Actually I didn't realise that A levels weren't the same.
She's luckily been told by the Med Schools who gave her offers this time to reapply next year with the higher Chemistry grade and they'll repeat their offer. Phew!
I'm told though that this year, since the introduction of the linear Alevels, more and more Med Schools are accepting resits.

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Racecardriver Tue 04-Sep-18 20:12:19

I would suggest giving her some cash to start her own business. It will be more c of a learning experience than travel or volunteering and will be immeasurably useful to her for the rest of her c life if she makes ab effort to learn everything.

goodbyestranger Tue 04-Sep-18 20:16:58

I would suggest earning money for the first few months and then spending it all on travelling to places she won't get to go to easily once she's finished her training and is squeezed for leave. In short, have some fun!

Oneteen Tue 04-Sep-18 20:24:04

One of my friends DD's is raising funds at the moment for a full Gap Year project in 2019/20.. through projecttrust.org.uk/social-care/
they also do an 8 month project too - maybe worth a look although I think they select 12mths in advance.

ZiggyStardusters Tue 04-Sep-18 20:32:19

My DS worked in a restaurant from July - Dec, did a ski season working as a hotel assistant from Jan - April then dud the ubiquitous travelling around SE Asia from May - July. Just time to squeeze in a family holiday in August, plus a few more restaurant shifts to build up some cash, then off to uni in Oct.

He funded everything himself and started looking for the ski season work in Sept - that's very competitive. For him the mix of work / travel, and getting to ski every day was a perfect experience. I was proud of the way he planned everything, and now, on reflection a couple of years down the line, it was an experience that he really benefited from.

eatyourveg Wed 05-Sep-18 07:19:17

ds3 did part of his gap year as a teahcing assistant in a prmary school serving a deprived area. It really opened his eyes to see first hand what other families' situations are. He is now considering teaching as a fall back career to the one in his degree area.

Lots of vacancies this time of year - a decent wage (approx 15K FTE) and 2 terms of full time work.

Needmoresleep Wed 05-Sep-18 09:55:10

DD did a ski season with a well known family ski company. It was tough - four to a room and long hours, but she has perfected her 360, and built all sorts of skills including time management, team working, and experience of working with families and children. Plus cooking and cleaning. And managing to live on very little sleep She saved some, which has been a useful buffer at University, and then worked in upstate New York with Camp America, which was great. Lots and lots of sport and though the pay was low she saved enough for some travelling afterwards.

Medicine is a long course, and she has absolutely no regrets about taking a year out and doing something different.

BackforGood Thu 06-Sep-18 23:55:18

Another here thinking that care work would be a good grounding pre medicine
and/or switch the volunteering to a special school - working with children with complex needs might be additional relevant volunteering experience. Or look at any of the groups for particular areas of need in adult.... Stoke Club... Dementia Cafe..... Parkinsons support group..... etc etc.

LoniceraJaponica Wed 12-Sep-18 18:38:19

All the medical schools we looked at ast year were pretty clear that they wouldn't accept resits unless there were extenuating circumstances.

In the end DD was unsuccessful in gaining a place. The irony is that she got the grades. She has realised, I'm relieved to say, that she doesn't want to do medicine. I don't think she has the stamina and the resilience.

ProfessorLayton1 Wed 12-Sep-18 19:00:24

I have been looking into gap year ideas and a lot of children who want to pursue medicine apply to work as Health care assistants - exposure to medicine, decent pay , ability to work in a team and helps to see how important every single person' s role is in healthcare. These skills won't go waste even if she does not want to do medicine.

mamamedic Wed 12-Sep-18 19:05:30

Yes I'm not certain my DD is ready for what she might be in for!😬 And I think if she's in this same position next year, she'll take the hint!

The medical schools seem to be softening their rules. Esp this year after the A levels have become linear.

She's had assurances in writing from her chosen unis that they'll consider her as long as she gets the Chem grade up. They are Birmingham, UEA, and Southampton. Birmingham have said they won't need to reinterview her. She may also try either Hull/York or Exeter who have welcoming policies for resits.

BUT there is obviously no guarantee. She's got a higher UKCAT this year which may also help.

What unis did your daughter try for? I know sometimes they SAY they'll consider retakes but just don't in reality.

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mamamedic Wed 12-Sep-18 19:12:35

ProfessorLeyton1 Thank you for that. I agree with you. It shows some commitment too. She worked at a hospice for a year which opened her eyes abit!
As of yesterday, she's found a weekly evening slot in the local Street Team. They serve hot meals to the homeless every night from a multi story car park!

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