University: University of Stirling
Gap year: Bunac
Emma spent a year with the working holiday group Bunac working in Whistler, a ski resort on the west coast of Canada.
Bunac offers a range of working holidays including a summer camp counselling programme in the US and Canada; flexible work-and-travel programmes to Canada, the US, Australia, New Zealand, Britain and South Africa; and volunteering/teaching placements.
Programmes are open to 18-year-olds and over in the UK, the US and Ireland, and last from five weeks to two years.
What motivated you to apply?
After university I wasn’t ready for the real world and the nine-to-five grind. So working abroad seemed like the best option.
How did you fund the year?
I worked while I was away. The money wasn’t amazing, but it was enough to get by on and paid for some travelling along the way.
What are you doing now?
I work for Tourism Tyne & Wear, an area tourism partnership based in the north-east. My job is to promote Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland, North Tyneside and South Tyneside as a tourist destination.
What did you gain from the gap year?
It gave me independence, and also close friends who I am still in touch with.
What was the best bit?
The lifestyle. It doesn’t get better than rolling out of bed to go to work for four hours before hitting the slopes.
What was the worst bit?
Going home to the real world