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FAQ: Gap years

Tom Griffiths, Founder of gapyear.com, answers your most common questions about gap years.

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Gap year funding

Gap year funding

With so many different gap year activities available the options are plenty. But there's one catch: how do you pay for it all? Don't despair, there is a way.

Personal fundraising

It's amazing how quickly some people can raise the money for a trip, once they put their mind to it. Past ideas have included holding a special dinner with speakers, putting on a concert, running raffles, and sponsored runs. Local businesses may sponsor you or give goods that can be auctioned off. Experience of fundraising can look impressive on future application forms.

Grants, Trusts and Charitable Bodies

There are far too many grant-giving trusts to list them all here. Many of them don't give to individuals, but those that do may let you have anything from a few pounds to thousands. Write to as many of the suitable ones as you can, a handwritten letter outlining your plans is usually the most welcome. If they do give you something, remember to write and say thanks when you get back home.

If you are still at school or college, ask around, there may be travel bursaries available from your institution or locally.

Work and study programmes

You might want to do paid work abroad to cover your living expenses. There are also schemes where money is available for voluntary work or study abroad. European Voluntary Service is for people who want to do voluntary work lasting six to 12 months in another member state of the European Union, and funds†50% of the total cost of each volunteer. The Erasmus programme exist for those who want to travel and study, and having a foreign language is important for them.

Updated: 02/08/2010


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