After a two-year hiatus, St Andrew’s Anglican College has relaunched its GAP Year programme, Beyond.
Three Scottish GAP-year students, Ailsa, Caitlyn and Rachel recently arrived at the Peregian Springs–based school to assist around the College.
In return, three 2022 St Andrew’s graduates, Abi, Lucy Stephenson and Jimmy Rudkin have moved to Scotland for 12 months to work at one of two prestigious partner schools in Edinburgh: ESMS and George Watson’s College.
With visions of Australia filled with monster-like spiders and snakes at every corner, Australia has thankfully not been what the three Scottish girls expected so far.
Despite an early incident with a cockroach, and a brush with the Queensland sun, sport-loving Rachel is now embracing the vastly different fauna and sunscreen and is now looking forward to lots of new experiences.
“I’m most looking forward to being able to work with new people and explore a new lifestyle and way of living, such as checking under my pillow for spiders and not having to layer up with jumpers and jackets to simply leave my house,” Rachel said.
“I’m especially excited to be training with a new swimming squad and be able to work closely with the sports department as I love all sports. I’m also excited to learn more about AFL and seeing what it is all about.
“Since arriving in Australia the gappies and I have been especially amazed at how friendly and kind every single person has been to us and how welcoming everyone at St Andrew’s has been towards us.”
After her GAP year, Rachel, who is also a national-level swimmer, is hoping to study business and marketing at Edinburgh University and continue her swimming career within their high-performing programme.
Caitlin will study medicine at university, and Ailsa aims to study English literature and politics at University of York in England.
A GAP year is when a student takes a break from their formal education to pursue other interests, gain new perspectives, learn new skills, and enjoy real-world experience before entering higher education.
The highly successful GAP year program has been running at St Andrew’s for more than eight years, headed by Tim Barrett.
“Our Beyond programme is designed to connect our students with information and opportunities related to post-Year 12 travel and education,” Mr Barrett said.
“Our long-standing partnership with ESMS and George Watson’s College provides our students with unparalleled access to resources and experiences that will help them to experience the world, develop their inter-cultural understanding and grow skills that will assist them in their chosen future endeavours.
“It also helps empower students to take ownership of their life direction and to improve their knowledge and skills relevant to their potential vocation and go on to make informed decisions about their future career plans.”