15 August 2008

Students 'can benefit' from a gap year

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Employers and universities are encouraging students to take a gap year between A-levels and higher education. The popularity of gap years to destinations like Australia has increased over the past few years, says an expert.

Dr Margaret Noble, the pro vice chancellor of Greenwich University, said many students take this year out to "broaden their horizons and experiences" while others use it for financial reasons. "We've seen many students here who have taken gap years and seen it very much enrich their experience," she added.

A recent report from GapYear.com has found employers increasingly take gap year achievements into consideration and they often set applicants apart from others who have proceeded straight to university. HostelBookers.com recently commented that gap year students to Australia may help shape the travel industry. Companies say they use comments from travellers to the country who write on blogs and websites to make improvements to their businesses. Carmel Beattie, the New South Wales international marketing manager for tourism, said this feedback will improve the tourism industry and maintain the international attraction to a gap year in Australia.

An ETA visa is required for all short-term visitors travelling to Australia. Visa Bureau’s automated application process means that in most cases, they can be granted in seconds.

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