Free time put to good use

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Higher Education -

IN some coun­tries, stu­dents take a gap year be­fore go­ing on to uni­ver­sity. This year al­lows them to see a bit of the world and grow up a lit­tle be­fore mov­ing on to ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion.

In the­ory, ma­tur­ing be­fore re­sum­ing their stud­ies can help them get more out of their ed­u­ca­tion.

In Malaysia, gap years aren’t com­mon but there are prin­ci­ples from the gap year that can be ap­plied to reg­u­lar hol­i­day time.

In­stead of hang­ing about on the beach or at the mall, why not con­sider these typ­i­cal gap year ac­tiv­i­ties?

Vol­un­teer­ing

Get­ting out and about and away from your com­fort zone can be a won­der­ful way to ex­plore cul­tures and cir­cum­stances you are not fa­mil­iar with: like work­ing at a refugee shel­ter.

Or, you can use the ex­pe­ri­ence to see if a cer­tain sort of ca­reer will suit you – like vol­un­teer­ing at the zoo or an­i­mal shel­ter.

Learn a lan­guage

There are amaz­ing short cour­ses avail­able where you can study Ja­panese, French or any other lan­guage just for fun or to make your ca­reer op­tions bet­ter.

For ex­am­ple, if you think you want to work in South Amer­ica, learn Span­ish. If you want to study medicine, and go over­seas, it may be use­ful to study Rus­sian.

Travel and get a job

Go to the other side of the coun­try, rent a room, and work in your cousin’s cof­fee shop or on your aunt’s farm.

It doesn’t mat­ter what you do, just earn­ing your own money, be­ing in­de­pen­dent and learn­ing what it’s like to have a reg­u­lar job will be en­light­en­ing.

And get­ting away from home, in a safe way with adults you can trust to keep an eye on you, will be fun too.

Travel and get a job or work on a farm.

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