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									Expanding Horizons Gap Year Fairs 2007 Preparing for a Gap Year Fair

Visiting an Expanding Horizons Gap Year Fair is an excellent way to explore the wide range of opportunities available to you in your year out, and is an invaluable step in the vital planning process. A Once in a Lifetime Experience
Your year out could be one of the most exciting and fulfilling times of your life. Wherever you go and whatever you do, you have the opportunity to learn new skills, experience new situations and grow in confidence.

Planning is Everything
The key to getting the most out of your year, without a doubt, is planning. The difference between a well-planned gap year and a poorly planned one at worst can be the difference between having a fantastic, safe experience and a nightmare. At the very least, you may miss out on opportunities that might otherwise have been open to you, had you known about them. Most employers and Universities recognise the value not only of a well-planned year out, but also of the planning process which itself can lead to the development of new skills.

Do Your Research
So where do you start? The internet has a vast amount of information about opportunities available to you during your year out. Some good places to start are listed below. Talking face-to-face with representatives of organisations at a Gap Year Fair is an invaluable opportunity – and to get the most out of it you should prepare for it well. Research in advance the organisations who will be present at the fair (links to their websites can be found on the individual event pages on the Futurewise website: www.myfuturewise.org.uk) – find out what they have to offer and write down what you would like to know when you talk to a representative. Some excellent books on taking a Gap Year are also available.

Recommended Reading:
Opportunities in the Gap Year: The essential starting point for an effective and well-planned gap year. Study Gap: A guide to the wide range of short courses - from language skills to snowboarding - that can be built in to any gap year experience: enhance your CV by adding new skills and awards.

Both these titles are available at the Online Shop on the Futurewise Website www.myfuturewise.org.uk

Lonely Planet (2005). The Gap Year Book. Available on the Lonely Planet Website: www.lonelyplanet.com Take any opportunity offered to find out more about taking a gap year.

Ask as Many Questions As Possible
Use your time at the Fair to ask as many questions as possible. The Year Out Group provides a list of pertinent questions to ask an organisation you may be interested in. These can be found at: http://www.yearoutgroup.org/checklist-students.htm

You may well find that the knowledge you have gained at the fair has raised yet more questions. Get in touch with the organisations and talk to them. They will be more than happy to help, and will be impressed by your resourcefulness.

Enjoy the Fair!

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All Gap Year Fair enquiries to: Sue Duke, Gap Year Fairs Administrator. Boundary House, Westbourne Road, Emsworth, Hampshire, PO10 7RN. Phone/Fax: 01243 374659 Email: sue.duke@isco.org.uk

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