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Gap Year Vs Uni

(22 Posts)
PinkPantherMum Wed 06-Mar-19 11:04:06

My dc has been accepted onto a Gap year with Project Trust, and sis now trying to fund raise close to £6.5K. Has anyone had any experience of their teen going away on anything like this, and what if anything should I be aware of, and what can I do to help. Any insights suggestions ?

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BubblesBuddy Wed 06-Mar-19 15:05:17

Quite frankly, it’s an expensive jolly isn’t it? I simply would not do it for that amount of money that your DC doesn’t seem to be raising themselves. I’m not sure what this is teaching DC. I would go to university immediately or do a gap year that involved work and self improvement that directly led to a job or greater understanding of his field of study. My DDs friends who went to work abroad after their degree learned so much more, including another language. Think twice in my view.

BubblesBuddy Wed 06-Mar-19 15:07:29

Sorry! Did you mean “is trying to fund raise”
Not sis! I though you meant your sister! Ok. I still think it’s a ridiculous amount of money to “do good”. He could do a lot of good here for £0.

BackforGood Thu 07-Mar-19 00:04:48

I'm inclined to agree with Bubbles
Why not work from end of A Levels (so late June) for 6 months, and go off 'traveling' / having adventures from January for 3 /5/ 8 months using what (s)he has earned ?
Otherwise it is just some really expensive holiday for "rich kids". If it is through some inner need to 'do good', there are lots and lots of ways to volunteer without paying £6.5K for the privilege.

ShanghaiDiva Thu 07-Mar-19 02:02:44

I have a negative view of this type of opportunity -
what life skills do 18 years olds generally have that cannot be provided by the local community of the country they are visiting?
If you want to support people in LEDCs - look at KIVA loans - helping people to set up their own business and provide work for local people. I don't think it looks great on a cv - rich kid jolly. As previous posters mentioned you don't need to pay 6K for the privilege of volunteering. I do a lot of voluntary work as I live in China - costs me only my time and can't think of anything an inexperienced 18 year old could offer me that I could not find locally.

PinkPantherMum Thu 07-Mar-19 18:19:32

Its definitely not a jolly, he will be teaching English, and will gain a Diploma, and gain teaching experience at the end of the years volunteering. The money covers the flights, insurance, food and also board and lodgings with a host family. So I suppose seems expensive, but all in all I think he will come back as a more rounded person, with lots of soft skills, as for travel, He can do that at weekends while he is not teaching.

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PinkPantherMum Thu 07-Mar-19 18:22:23

He had to go to the Hebrides, to train for the selection, and since he has now been successful and been accepted onto the program, (not everyone who went for selection was accepted), he will have another 2 weeks of training before he leaves. I agree its not for everyone. This company has been going since the 1960's.

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Moanymoaner123 Thu 07-Mar-19 18:37:25

He would be better off getting a job in the UK and then travelling for fun once he's earnt a bit. Fundraising for this is wrong, if he wants to do it earn the money, not ask people to pay for him to go and get some pictures with impoverished black children so he can look worthy. These teens going abroad do not bring any value to the communities they visit, these already disadvantaged children do not need a conveyor belt of 18 year olds coming to 'teach' for a year then disappearing. He wouldn't be employed teaching English in the U.K. (And there are loads of opportunities to do this) would he? Because he has no qualifications or experience. Would you want your kid being taught by essentially another kid who has had 2 weeks of training? Nope thought not. That £6.5k would probably pay a qualified teacher from the country for a year or more.

Project Trust will be making a healthy profit with all their claims of offering a worthy addition to your CV, which in many cases is not looked upon well by employers at all. My ex went to rural China to teach English and it was very clear that westerners were tolerated because they brought in much needed money, but there is no respect for these 'white saviours' from the people they are 'helping'.

titchy Thu 07-Mar-19 19:11:20

If he wants to teach English he should be doing a CELTA qualification. Internationally recognised and means he can go wherever he wants and actually earn some money rather than give it to a company's shareholders. Cost around £1500.

PinkPantherMum Thu 07-Mar-19 20:15:59

Thanks for the feedback. He is teaching Piano lessons, to earn the money ( he is a musician), and will be running craft activities at Summer Fetes, and selling home made cakes etc to raise the funds, He is not planning to ask any charities, or friends and family for the money.

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PinkPantherMum Thu 07-Mar-19 20:30:59

Titchy, I will look into the CELTA qualification, don't know anything about it.

Moanymoaner123 you are entitled to your views. You obviously didn't have a very good experience with it. My son does have qualifications. He will have an A level in English, and several other A levels before he goes. Yes he doesn't have a teaching qualification, but he is not going to teach them a subject he hasn't learnt already, He will be teaching Primary school kids, not secondary age kids any ways. The kids in his school frequently go into Primary schools in England to do work experience with teaching youngsters how to read, and write etc already, albeit with guidance. How is is this different to what he will be doing out on Gap year ? I didn't say he will be unsupervised. As for "White Saviours" thats a bit harsh. We are not a rich family, and we are not white, and he will be working hard to raise the funds himself.

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PinkPantherMum Thu 07-Mar-19 20:34:28

The difference here is he will get a chance to immerse himself in a new culture, and language, and if the country where he ends up didn't want "Rich" Westerners, they would continue with these schemes.

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PinkPantherMum Thu 07-Mar-19 20:42:09

The whole thing will last a year, so its not a short term thing. Of those of you, who know some one who has been on something like this, and how long did it last ? Is a year too long ?

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titchy Thu 07-Mar-19 20:50:09

and if the country where he ends up didn't want "Rich" Westerners, they would continue with these schemes.

They don't get much choice! These companies just tend to go in and do stuff. They don't work with local communities to find out what they actually need (which will be qualified engineers and health care professionals, not green around the gills teenagers), they turn up, bribe them with a bit of cash (tens of pounds, not thousands of pounds), and charge kids thousands, most of which lines the pockets of shareholders, not the communities they purport to help.

Hollowvictory Thu 07-Mar-19 20:51:15

£6500 would go a long way to a pgse which would be of much more value to him than a 'diploma'. Even a TEFL is a much better option. This all sounds very dodgy.

ShanghaiDiva Fri 08-Mar-19 00:41:04

If primary kids where he is volunteering need teacher then why not employ a local person to it, rather than an 18 year old with no experience?
Having an A level in English does not make him a teacher. Native speakers often do not have a great understanding of how their language works. Ask your son when we use the present perfect continuous and why so many non-natives find this tense difficult to use? If he wants to teach overseas - go to university, do a pgce and get some experience or do a CELTA course.
If there is one thing LEDCs are not short of it's unskilled workers. They don't need inexperienced kids on a gap year jolly to 'teach' in their schools.

Myfoolishboatisleaning Fri 08-Mar-19 00:47:53

How is sending untrained young people to volunteer with vulnerable people going to help communities?

BubblesBuddy Fri 08-Mar-19 07:37:06

I think DS is going whatever! I think the idea of the post was really for posters to rubber stamp what a good idea it is! I still think it’s an expensive jolly. I would still push on with the degree and go abroad afterwards.

Peridot1 Fri 08-Mar-19 08:05:40

It’s interesting to read different view points. I didn’t know much about these type of things but was keen for DS to do something on a gap year to push him out of his comfort zone a bit and I know of teens who have done these things. Spoke to DS and he wasn’t keen. But he has come up with the idea of doing a TEFL course himself - he looked into various volunteering overseas things and thought he’d rather teach English than do any manual labour!

He hasn’t made any concrete plans as yet though. Is def doing a gap year is rather than after uni though.

Needmoresleep Fri 08-Mar-19 10:58:23

Has he considered the classic ski season/Camp America type thing?

DD had a great time working and playing hard. I don't think she saved much but it paid for her to travel round the US for a few weeks.

Honning Sat 08-Feb-20 15:44:20

just in case people look at this thread again... My daughter has been abroad with Project Trust this year and has had a really awful experience. It turns out that she is not alone in this - lots of young people drop out for various reasons (they don't publish their drop out rates - but through Instagram she saw a high proportion drop out)- many of them due to a lack of support. I should however, also say lots of young people have really positive experiences with Project Trust, so its by no means universally negative. The problem with Project Trust in our experience is that if things go wrong Project Trust are completely disinterested. In hindsight, it would have been massively cheaper to arrange a placement ourselves with Workaway or WWOOF or something similar. The point of using Project Trust and paying £6k was in order to have help if things went wrong - in the event, this 'support' proved to be completely non-existent. We have come across other parents saying exactly the same thing- so sadly, our experience isn't a one off. The legacy of dealing with a bad experience like this is confidence crushed and a feeling of failure, not to mention the annoyance at having lost £6k on an awful experience.

2todo Sat 08-Feb-20 16:44:04

I know someone who also dropped out of Project Trust this year @honning - Whereabouts was your daughter's project? Perhaps schools and colleges should think twice before raising the profile of such schemes.

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