How a gap year in Asia helped one student to find direction for her life and career
Ask Roosa Rautiainen about the benefits of her gap year study abroad program in Asia and Bali, and she’ll give you a bunch of them. She gives you an almost endless list of great things that happened to her, as she was willing to travel to the other side of the world as an 18-year-old. Among other things, she could figure out what studies she wanted to pursue and help her land jobs in her chosen field. This interview was conducted as a part of our gap year survey in the spring of 2016.
“I traveled and studied simultaneously during my gap year in Asia.”
She had just finished high school and turned 18 when she boarded her plane to Indonesia and Bali.
“It was a great chapter in my life; I have great memories. The timing was perfect, as I had just finished high school.”
She chose to jump into the adventure and never had to look back. Instead of asking herself, “What if I had been bold enough?” she faced the same question the other way round.
“I had been dreaming about Bali for a long time and found the Asia Exchange website by accident. I got a chance to travel and study simultaneously, exactly what I needed back then.”
A gap year had been in Roosa’s plans for a long time, but she wanted to use it sensibly. She just needed a little help by coincidence.
“I have thought many times what would’ve happened if I had not left there. It was such a great preparation for my life and studies.”
Read more: Results of our gap year survey – A gap year teaches new skills and brightens the future.
“I’m sure the gap year study abroad program in Asia has boosted my employment opportunities.”
During our interview with her, Roosa worked as a group travel specialist at Kilroy FINLAND youth travel agency for a year. She switched to that position from Aventura travel agency, which focuses on long journeys.
“I’m sure my gap year in Bali has boosted my employment opportunities,” she admits. “Employers have always been interested in it and paid attention to it on my C.V. Especially as I work in the field of tourism.”
Not only did the gap year help her in job hunting, but also in choosing a suitable major before that. Roosa studied tourism management in the Finnish city of Porvoo after her experience in Bali.
“I was interested in tourism in general before my trip, but the whole gap year reinforced the idea of studying tourism as well,” she says.
Finding a suitable study field and earning better employment opportunities were immensely valuable, but they were not the only benefits Roosa felt she gained from the gap year.
“I had a first real chance to speak English in my life. It was of real importance to get a chance to study in a foreign language and to live in a foreign culture”, she recalls. “It gave me self-confidence and prepared me well for the future.”
“It helped me grow towards adulthood.”
On the other hand, studying at distinguished Udayana University allowed her to see what it takes to look at a university. She even got some credits transferred into her degree later in Finland.
Living abroad for the first time as an 18-year-old was also an experience some only dream about.
“It helped me grow towards adulthood. I felt like I already had some real-life experience when I started my studies in Finland.”
Are you interested in doing a gap year in Bali yourself?
Find out more about studying abroad in Bali.
Asia Exchange is a Finnish company that provides study abroad opportunities in the Asia Pacific for students worldwide. Want to get travel tips , and new blog posts delivered straight to your inbox? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter! If you have any questions about studying abroad, contact us! We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.