You’ve just finished years of school, and you are at a bit of a crossroads. You could head straight back into education, or you could take...


You’ve just finished years of school, and you are at a bit of a crossroads. You could head straight back into education, or you could take a little break. Choices, choices… Well. More colleges and universities are encouraging students to take gap years, and it has a lot to do with the rate of personal growth you can achieve in a gap year. You might decide that ultimately it’s not for you, but in the meantime here are a few reasons that you might be thinking about taking a gap year.

Adventure

It goes without saying that if you have a year off the chances are you’re going to make the most of it. You’re young, likely don’t have the type of job that can’t function without you, not serious payments yet, and probably no children either. There is no other time in your life that you will get this opportunity. So take it while you can.


You'll Know You

This is a big one. When you dive straight into university, you might find that half way through your course you just aren’t doing what you truly love. All of that time and money has been wasted. If you take the time out, to travel, to work, to meet people and to work out who you are, the chances are when you come back and go to university you’re going to know who you are, what you love and be able to manage the expectations much more easily. The perks of that? Lowering your stress levels by miles, because you’re going to be more relaxed, capable and that little bit older. A year makes a lot of difference.

Money

On that year out, you’re going to have to learn to manage your cash perfectly by yourself. In college, you are laden with debts, money worries and trying to work out the cheapest way to do everything. When you’ve got a year of personal money management under your belt, you’ll be able to cope with whatever is thrown at you. And, if you really start to get bogged down, a quick search on https://budgetboost.co/best-companies-to-refinance-student-loans/  will help you relax again. Knowing what your options really are, and how to handle money down to the last cent is more beneficial than you’ll ever know.

Stand Out

When it comes time for applying for jobs, you might feel like you’re in a disadvantage being an old graduate, whereas actually having a year of activities in place of studies, then completing your degree looks impressive. As long as you make the most of that year out, by volunteering, working, travel, even some smaller courses, then you’re going to have an edge. Soaking up culture is just as important, so make sure you get that across on your CV.

Space

This can be the first time in our lives we have really had the time to stop and slow down and think about what we really want. Long waits for trains, beaches, plane journeys - all provide the perfect backdrop to just ‘be.’

Hello! When you are a student , improving your academic essay writing skills is one of the most invaluable things that you can do. Afte...

Hello!

When you are a student, improving your academic essay writing skills is one of the most invaluable things that you can do. After all, you will write tens of these things in pretty much every subject that you can possibly study, and if you can make each one read better, you have a significantly improved chance of upping your grades. But if writing has never been your forte or you simply need a few tips to improve, you have certainly come to the right place.


Make an Outline

Some people are naturally impatient and want to start writing straight away. And while this may be a temptation, you should start a plan before you go any further. Otherwise, you could easily find yourself drifting off on a tangent and not staying focused on answering the question in hand. After all, you wouldn’t set out on a journey without a map - or at least downloading the map on your smartphone! A basic plan gives you something which you can keep referring back to time and time again whenever you need it.

Understand the Basics of Spelling and Grammar

While spelling and grammar tools have improved significantly over the past few years, it is still worth having a general understanding of these things yourself. Even if you have never thought of yourself as being highly skilled when it comes to spelling and grammar, there is no reason why you can’t improve your skills. Another option is to read more into professional proofreading and copy editing. But if you can upgrade your own skills now, this will save you a lot of time and effort in the future.

Catch Yourself if Veering on Tangents

The longer an essay is, the more likely it is that you are going to drift off on tangents. So, when you are writing, you should make a conscious effort to catch yourself to check if what you are saying is still relevant. This way, you won’t have to delete hundreds of words further down the line. While there is nothing wrong with adding in some colour to your essays, you need to make sure that you are always referring back to the initial argument that you are trying to make.

Write a Proper Conclusion

Many people can write a fantastic essay, but they always come unstuck when it comes to the conclusion. But this is what ties all your research together and should not simply be a restatement of what you have already said in the introduction or some generic sentences which don’t really say anything at all. This can be one of the hardest skills to perfect. Rather than pulling something together after a long essay-writing session, you could always come back to it with fresh eyes after giving yourself a break or even sleeping on it.


Hopefully, these four tips have given you something to think about when it comes to significantly improving your academic essay-writing abilities.  

( Image Source ) When you’re looking for ways to see the world, you have a lot of different options available to you. Some people wil...

people gathering under orange paper lanterns

When you’re looking for ways to see the world, you have a lot of different options available to you. Some people will want to spend their time relaxing, soaking up the sun and spending as little time working as possible. Others, though, will want to get more out of their time away, exploring and finding adventures wherever they go. When it comes to a place like Malaysia, luxury can often be the best thing to seek on your journey. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring what Kuala Lumpur has to offer is this area, going through the best areas to stay as a tourist.

Desa Park: Starting with a place which was designed for luxury living, it makes sense that Desa Park City would appeal to those looking for a slice of something finer. Filled with fancy hotels and posh people, coming to a place like this will feel like putting yourself into a movie, especially if you’re used to living in a much more modest situation. The area is best known for the food it has on offer. With cuisines coming from all over the world, it’s easy to find something which everyone will be able to enjoy. Of course, though, if you want to do this properly, you’ll need a good few days to sample all of the best restaurants.

Bukit Bintang: Widely known as the shopping district of Kuala Lumpur, it’s easy to see who this area will appeal to the most. With retail stores selling products from practically every market, it’s easy to find yourself lost in the mood for spending. Of course, though, this isn’t all the region has to offer, with a big slice of history being found here. Sri Mahamariamman Temple was built over 150 years ago, with several renovations since. Like many of the temples found in this city, this one is still active, giving you the chance to see traditional Buddhist ideals at play, and this is something most people can only read about.

The City Center: Few cities have quite as much going on in their center as Kuala Lumpur. Home to the world’s tallest set of twin towers, the Petronas Towers, tourists come from all over the world to see this slice of the place. Thanks to its popularity with outsiders, there are loads of hotels available in this area, making it very easy to find somewhere to stay. Along with the towers, you will also find plenty of wildlife. Boasting both a bird park and an aquarium, there are far more animals here than you will find in most cities, making it worth checking out this side of the city.

China Town: While a lot of people associate this sort of area with newcomers to a place, Chinatown in Kuala Lumpur is where the city first began. As Chinese immigrants started to settle on the banks of a nearby river, people soon realised just how good the land was for keeping humans happy. Like stepping into another world, visiting this part of the city will be very different to the rest of the time you are in the city, with a strong sense of Chinese culture to be found here. This area isn’t exactly rich, but it is still extremely popular amongst tourists, making it worth including it on this list.

Bangsar South: Going back to spending money, it’s time to focus on another shopping district. Bangsar South is a lot quieter than many of the other regions found in Kuala Lumpur. Lacking the hectic street vendors, it has normal shops which will be much more like the ones you have at home. For some, this subdued nature of this area will be boring. Of course, though, if you have a family with you, this is exactly what you could be looking for. With easy access to the rest of the city, you won’t miss out on anything when you choose this sleepy but luxury part of the city.

Sentral: Acting as the main transport hub for the city of Kuala Lumpur, Sentral is a great place for anyone who would like to see the whole place. Giving you access to trains, planes, buses, and taxis, this region is well placed when you’re looking to get more out of your journey. Thanks to its great links, Sentral is filled with high-end hotels and luxury businesses. This gives you the chance to get out of the city for the day, coming back to a delicious meal and place to relax. If you’d like to do something different, though, you can find a butterfly park in this part of the city, and this is a great place to visit.

Bukit Nanas: Holding onto a large piece of its heritage, this is one of the few places in the world where you can find a rainforest within a city. As the last remaining section of the Kuala Lumpur forest, getting the chance to see this is a rare treat. The area has a large walkway built through it, giving you the opportunity to see the place from above. Along with this, though, you will also find the Kuala Lumpur Tower in this area. Well known as an icon of the city, this is something any guest will want to see. When something is as popular as this, wealth simply doesn’t matter, and you will want to see as much as you possibly can.

people going downstairs during daytime

It takes a lot of time and effort to get bored of a modern city. With every place like this being home to its own unique set of venues and attractions, you will have loads to see from the moment you step off of the plane. Of course, though, if you take the right approach, going through the place with a fine comb, you will find exactly what you’re looking for. This is an approach which yoo few people take, especially when visiting such a different part of the world.

Hello! Let’s be honest - most of us want to at least be recognisable to people , and for people to think that we are particularly uniqu...

Hello!

Let’s be honest - most of us want to at least be recognisable to people, and for people to think that we are particularly unique in some way or another. The truth is that this is a pretty normal human instinct, and rather than feel bad about it, we can utilise it to try and improve the way in which we relate to our lives. If you are keen to try and stand out from the crowd a little more, then there are a number of things you can try doing which ar likely to be pretty effective in ensuring that this happens. That will mean that people respect you more - but more importantly, that you respect yourself - and that will lead to a much more fulfilling social life for you. Let’s take a look at some of the ways to stand out from the crowd much more effectively.


Focus On You
First of all, the irony here is worth repeating: if you want to stand out, you have to not really focus on the crowd. Having an attitude which is all about what people think of you will be sure to make you either invisible or unpleasant to be around, and in either case you wont’ get what you want. What this is all really about is ensuring that you focus on yourself, rather than the opinions of those around you. You can’t ever change their opinions for them anyway, so you might as well ensure that you are just doing your thing. Ironically, once you focus on yourself in that way, you will find that it does have a positive effect on your social life, and that you stand out for merely being so personally confident and radiant. It’s a powerful thing, and worth investigating.



Look Unique
By focusing on your looks, and how you present yourself, you can be sure to stand out much more effectively from the crowd, and often in such a way that you are able to make it a much happier experience too. It is great if you have one thing which is distinctly you and your style, whether that is ear stretchers or a particular colour that looks great on you. Whatever it is, it will ensure that people associate you with a particular thing, which in turn makes you unique and interesting to be around.


Be Sociable

Finally make sure that you are focusing on being sociable and making others happy if you really want people to notice you. You will be amazed at what a difference this makes, and actually it is one of the most powerful things you can do. It will also ensure that you are living a full and happy life, and that those around you are too, so it is definitely something to focus on as best as you can. If nothing else, it makes for a much better way of living.

Hello! University is one of the most progressive and important experiences a person can have in their lives. There are so many things t...

Hello!

University is one of the most progressive and important experiences a person can have in their lives. There are so many things that play a part in the whole uni experience, and it’s fair to suggest this is something that will be different for everybody. The best thing you can do is to dive into the process head on and make sure you think carefully about the best way of ensuring you have the full experience.

There is no right or wrong way to approach university life, but there are certainly ideas that will help you make the most of things in the future. There are certain ways you can throw yourself into the lifestyle that can really give you an edge and make things more enjoyable. Take the time to indulge in these ideas, and use them to make your university experience complete.

Open Your Mind

You need to make sure you do as much as you can to go into this experience with an open mind. There are a lot of new cultures, backgrounds, and races that you will encounter when you are at university. There are so many different and diverse people you will encounter who might be different to what you are used to. And you need to go into the process with an open mind and not be afraid of things that are new.


Choose Your Accommodation Wisely

It is also very important to choose the right accommodation when you start uni as well. You want to make sure you are living somewhere secure and safe that will allow you to remain sociable as well. Student accommodation is affordable and enjoyable, and it is important that you choose somewhere that is going to help you improve your social status within uni.

Get a Part-Time Job

While it is true that university is about study and learning, it is also about helping to prepare you for the working world. You have to make sure you are focused on improving your future, and getting a part-time job is one of the most important things you can do. This will provide you with income in order to help you through uni, as well as setting up contacts for the future.

Take Your Studies Seriously

At the end of the day, you are at university in order to learn, study, and enhance your future. There are so many excellent benefits to getting a great education, so you have to make sure you make time for your studies. You need to make sure you think about getting the best from your studies, and this means taking things seriously and dedicating time to your education.

As you can see, there is a lot to think about when you first start out at university. And the more you can do to embrace the different facets of this lifestyle, the better it will be. Think about how much it takes to improve your experience, and you will be well-placed to understand why it is so important to make your time at university count.


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Hello! There is no better time to travel than right now – although that’s not always possible, so thinking ahead to 2019 is also good!...


Hello!

There is no better time to travel than right now – although that’s not always possible, so thinking ahead to 2019 is also good! Whether you are planning a family holiday or an epic gap year, there are so many amazing and exciting places to see – I find that the more places I visit, the more destinations I want to add to my bucket list. So here are just 5 exciting destinations to visit in 2019.

tokyo, japan, nightlife, travel, holiday, destination, travelling, backpacking

Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo is unlike anywhere else and needs to be seen to be experienced. Despite being incredibly busy, the locals are known for being super polite, and the younger generations’ fashion is really fun and colourful.

You will not want to stop eating and exploring, which is ideal because the food is delicious (although most of it will not be familiar!) and the public transit is the busiest in the world. However, it is also incredibly efficient and clean – so that makes up for the busyness.

Be sure to experience the beautiful temples and shrines and walk around the gardens for some respite from the busy urban city.

tanzania, africa, travel, travelling, holiday, destination, safari, kilimanjaro, beach

Tanzania
One of the biggest draws to visiting Tanzania is the fact that it is the home of some of the biggest game reserves and parks in Africa. If you want to see the Big Five, then there is no better place. If you time your trip right, you could also catch the Great Migration, which is where over a million wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle take on the yearlong trek between Tanzania’s Serengeti and the Masai Mara in Kenya. It really is a sight to behold. Alongside seeing the animals in their natural habitats you could also spend time relaxing on the white-sand beaches or taking a boat trip across the turquoise waters.

Iceland, travel, rural, history, europe, travelling, holiday, destination

Iceland
There are very few places in the world quite like Iceland. If you visit between May to June you will experience 24-hour daylight, or around the 20th - 22nd June jump on a tour to experience the midnight sun.

Another incredible natural phenomenon is the aurora borealis or Northern Lights, which can often be seen between September and April, so you’ll have to choose between the two! The Geothermal baths are a must visit to bathe in, and it wouldn't be the “Land of Ice and Fire” if it wasn’t for the glaciers and volcanoes that cover the island.

Dubai, holiday, travel, travelling, destination, skyline,

Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Over the past 20 or so years, Dubai has sprung up from the desert and become one of the most exciting places on the planet. The skyline is breathtaking and this cultural melting pot is home to incredible diversity, which makes it a perfect place for anyone who wants to eat their way around the world while staying in one place!

It boasts over 300 days of sunshine per year and has fantastic beaches to relax on. Dubai doesn’t do things small, from the tallest buildings in the world to the biggest mall which hosts incredible giveaways in January, including prizes such as gold and cars. You might end up coming back richer than when you left!

Maldives, travel, travelling, backpacking, honeymoon, beach, sunbathe, lounging, relax,

The Maldives
If you are looking for some ultimate luxury, book yourself a trip to the Maldives; it’s an absolutely stunning place to relax and indulge. For a little more adventure, try some watersports such as snorkelling, surfing and jet-skiing or just rent a private yacht to spend a day sailing around paradise. The food is delectable and you can treat yourself to a spa treatment in your beachside villa. Bliss.

I could easily go on and on with other places to visit in 2019 – there are just so many options! 

Where are you planning to visit? Let me know in the comments!

 Best wishes on your holiday booking!



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Hello! Travelling can have a huge impact on the world. Sure, it can really help a destination’s economy be boosted by all the extra ca...


Hello!

Travelling can have a huge impact on the world. Sure, it can really help a destination’s economy be boosted by all the extra cash brought in by tourists, but there are also some big negatives that can affect the local community too. For instance, it often leads to gentrification that can price local families out of the cheap areas. Not only that, though, but the environmental impact can also be huge as long plane journeys and car travel can damage the environment.


Because of this, a lot of eco-conscious tourists and travellers now try to give back while they are on vacation. By doing so, they can improve the local community at the destination they travel to, and lessen the overall impact of their travels. Is this something that you are interested in? Here’s a quick guide that can help you give back while travelling the world.

Take an ethical tour

If you are interested in travelling with a tour group as part of your trip, you should investigate the company you book with. Ideally, you should always book with an ethical tour group. These are ones that donate part of their profits to local charities based in the areas they travel to. Some of them will even hire local people to help create jobs in the area. It’s always best to go with these ethically minded companies rather than ones that don’t try to fix the negative impact they have on local communities.

Volunteer with a local charity

Some charities welcome tourists to volunteer with them while they are travelling. This is usually a very popular option with people who are on their gap year. But, as you can see from the example set by Kirk Chewning, you don’t have to just be on your gap year to help out with a charitable organisation. If you are travelling through a region that has recently been blighted by disaster, you might be able to help with the relief effort. Alternatively, you might want to travel to an African country and help to build schools and wells.

Support local businesses

Of course, supporting charities isn’t the only way you can help local people. If you buy products from local businesses, you will be helping to keep their economy afloat as well. Similarly, it is always best to use public transport rather than hiring vehicles from outside companies. It may not seem like much, but you will actually be providing a big boost to the local economy.

Donate unused air miles

If you are a member of an airline loyalty scheme, you will have probably been collecting air miles for quite some time. Got some air miles leftover that you might not use? Well, if so, you can donate these to a charity of your choice. Most charities accept them and use them to fly out their workers and volunteers so that they can help on the ground in developing areas.

There are lots of ways to give back while you are travelling. Which one will you try out?

Hello! If you are looking to make the most out of your gap year, you will be thinking about partying or earning some money. The good n...


Hello!

If you are looking to make the most out of your gap year, you will be thinking about partying or earning some money. The good news is that you have many more options that you can think of suddenly. You can take on an apprenticeship, a course, or a work experience abroad and see the world before you get your head down and study hard for your degree.

Below you will find a few tips on how to plan your gap year and make the most out of it.

Travel, photography, gap year, university, holiday, volunteering, study abroad, course, driving, hiring a car,
Image via Flickr

INTERNATIONAL VOLUNTEERING
In case you would like to spend the year travelling the world, but don’t want to spend a fortune, you can get your costs covered  by an international organisation. You will be able to get free food and accommodation, and volunteer in remote locations, such in wildlife sanctuaries or within disadvantaged communities. You can volunteer in Central America and meet new people, while discovering your true mission.

STUDYING ABROAD
You might also want to take on a short course abroad and expand your horizons. You might be able to pick up a new language and improve your people skills. No matter if you are interested in marketing, business, or hospitality, you will find a course. Check out various opportunities to study at a prestigious swiss hotel management school and find new opportunities and interests, even job prospects in Europe.

FOREIGN APPRENTICESHIPS
You might already have a degree or skill you can put to good use and increase your knowledge about your selected industry. Foreign apprenticeships will help you get a better view of the global economy and understand the industry. If you come back with more knowledge than the rest of your future classmates, you will have a competitive advantage on the job market.

TEACHING ENGLISH
Many students choose to teach English during their gap year. The good news is that you will get to know new views, cultures, and languages, so you can improve your employability. You will be able to make friends for life, and even get free language courses and accommodation. You will, however, need to complete an ESL course before you can get a position at your selected destination.

HIRE A CAR
This may be one for those who have taken a few years out and have passed their driving test but it is still a mode of travel to a foreign country that is often overlooked. Whether to drive on to a ferry and head to Ireland or fancy going across to Europe and driving as far as land can take you, there are so many places you can go with your own car. However, if you fancy going that bit further, you can look into hiring a car! Not only do you get to experience a country behind a wheel, but you get to experience a new type of car and in some places, that is an adventure in itself. Beware though as many places only allow you to hire a car if your over 21 or have had your license for at least three years. Check the fine details!

Not learnt to drive yet? How about spending your summer learning!

university, gap year, travel
Image via Army.mil

Talking of driving...

Fancy staying at home and getting nervous about university? Then another good way of spending your gap year is test driving various courses. Some colleges and universities have open days or weeks to help you make an informed decision about your education. You might also spend the time to take on online free courses, so you can find out whether the topics still appeal to you, before you make your final decision about the university or college. Instead of enrolling and finding out later that the course is not for you, it is possible to visit some of the lessons to see if you can get used to the schedule and the teaching methods.

It is important that you spend your gap year as productive as possible. Time never stops and never comes back, so you have to turn this free period to your advantage.
Don't worry about making the right choice right now! Life changes so do what you enjoy doing!

- KC xx

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