An inspiring gap year
Thursday 26 June 2008
Chrissie Stockting, 22, graduated from Southampton University last year with a degree in music. Earlier this year, she became a Raleigh International Venturer in a team of 120 volunteers and spent 10 weeks in Tampasak, a small village in Malaysian Borneo. She tells us why ‘potential employers are noticeably impressed’ by her time off.
Our project was to build a kindergarten from scratch in a fairly poor village that has only a limited electricity supply. By the time I and the rest of my team flew home, having also done some trekking through the Borneo jungle which was quite an experience in itself, all the work was completed, the murals were on the walls and the teachers and helpers were ready to receive the first children.
I found the whole project really satisfying. I’ve known for a long time that I want to be a music therapist, but going to Borneo has really pushed up my motivation and confidence levels and my determination to build a career. Although I felt homesick for my family, I made some really good friends who I have stayed in touch with. One of them was another musician – we wrote songs and played together – and, given that we had such different backgrounds, I found we all worked really well together.
The people in Tampasak have their own ways of making music – at church mostly, but also via a band with electric guitar, bass guitar and drums. They weren’t that great technically, but their enthusiasm really made up for it. I’m looking for work as a care assistant at the moment, so I can get some hands-on experience in music therapy among children or the elderly, and it’s noticeable how impressed potential employers are with my Borneo experience. Between the job-hunting though, I want to volunteer again as soon as I can. This time, it’ll be South America and I want to go as project leader.
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'
- 1 10 ways we damage our teeth – without realising
- 2 There is something wrong but very right about this Bible illustration
- 3 iPhone 'effective power' text: how to be safe from iOS bug that lets people crash your phone
- 4 Photo of wedding guest proposing to girlfriend in front of bride and groom goes viral
- 5 Charlie Charlie Challenge explained: it's just gravity — not a Mexican demon being summoned
£20 - 28k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Graduate Software Develop...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K YR1: SThree: At SThree, we like to be dif...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Are you a recent graduate loo...
£16 - 20k: Guru Careers: A Graduate Editor / Editorial Assistant is needed to ...