Let’s be honest, going on your ‘gap year’ to Australia is becoming a bit of a cliché. Every year, hordes of students finish their A levels and head straight down under, in hope of ‘finding themselves’ or coming home ‘changed’.
Some fall so in love with the place that returning to their home countries is simply not an option but, whether they return or not, you can guarantee that they will be bursting with stories of how they spent a month banana farming in Cairns, au paired in Sydney, or became an expert surfing instructor at Surfers Paradise. No film better encapsulates these platitudes than the second Inbetweeners film, exaggerating these stereotypes with guitars round campfires and people saying that they are on their ‘gap yah’.
All jokes aside, there is a reason why Australia is the most popular gap year destination amongst students. It would be unfair to suggest that this is merely a case of people jumping on a bandwagon.
Australia is home to some of the most stunning coastlines and beaches in the world, and this paired with an incredible climate paves the way for optimum opportunities for activities such as deep sea diving, surfing, and other water sports. Coming from countries like the UK, seldom is the weather consistently hot, so naturally Australia is an appealing prospect given that scarcely a day goes by without glorious sunshine.
The scenery in this huge country is infinitely captivating. Miles of vastly unpopulated land in the Australian Outback, buzzing cities such as Sydney, or the frankly enormous Great Barrier Reef – there really is something for everyone, whether you are the outdoors or indoors type. Any visit to this wonderful country will also be shared with some of the most unique animals in existence. From kangaroos to koala bears, encounters with these animals guarantee to leave behind a special memory.
All the above sounds great. But to mention one negative, the massive time difference makes it unfeasible for Brits who adore football to watch their team, unless of course you are a night owl. Alternatively, it might be a good idea to get into the Australian Hyundai A-League; last season Sydney FC won by 17 points, and according to the latest odds from bet365 are 9/4 to win again next campaign. By getting into Australian football, you can enjoy the sport you love without mucking up your sleeping pattern!
If you are from the UK and get a bit home-sick, although you could not possibly go further in the world, ironically you may feel closer to home than you think. By mingling with lots of like-minded people in a country that also speaks your native tongue, before you know it home will be a fond, yet distant memory.
Australia is a country in demand and when beaches and sunshine await, missing a few football games is certainly not enough to deter thousands upon thousands of students choosing it as their ‘gap year’ destination every year.