Taking a gap year? Raleigh can help you decide what to do after school

4th January 2019

Being unable to get a place at the university he wanted to attend, Akash Pandey took a gap year and applied to Raleigh. He spoke to us about how volunteering in ICS and Expedition has helped him find his way through that time.

“After my study application was rejected by a university abroad , I took a gap year and was in a dilemma about what to do with my life. I have always had a keen interest in volunteering and helping people, but never found an opportunity to do such things. However, I soon found Raleigh’s website while surfing the internet and applied to ICS volunteering. I was invited for the assessment, I was unprepared, but to my surprise, got selected.”

“I was placed in the community of Aap chaur, Makwanpur, and during this placement I learned many important life lessons whilst getting the opportunity to improve my self confidence, communication and leadership skills. After the completion of the ICS programme, I became much more interested in this field of work, so chose a similar course in university. I found that all of the skills, knowledge and experience I had developed really helped me to grow more.

Akash conducting a water safety test in community

“In the following time period, due to my eagerness towards this field of development and the impact of my time with ICS, I decided to sign up to Raleigh’s Expedition programme.  I have been working with a diverse group of people, applying the skills and knowledge I gained in ICS and learning about being professional, sensitive, how to work under pressure and improve my cross-cultural communication and personal skills. In the first few days, one of my deepest fear was public speaking, as I always felt that I would be laughed at for making mistakes. Later I realised that without making mistakes, I wouldn’t learn and now after working with Raleigh I’ve seen noticeable improvement in my personal development. I’m a completely different person now who wants to work with new people. I have that zeal to learn new things and do something with a positive impact in my home country.  

Akash building a handwashing station in Gorkha, Nepal

“During my experiences with Raleigh, the most important thing that I have learned is that personal life skills are important for people to move forward and progress in life. To learn from one another is the greatest achievement in the world, and we all have the ability to bring change to people and within ourselves. Not everyone will be successful in life, but people should spend their time in doing what they love, and that is exactly what I am doing.”

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