Australian gap years rise

by Ella FAIRCHILD on August 15, 2012

An increasing amount of  British school leavers are heading to Australia to enjoy a gap year Down Under, as suggested by new figures.

Applications for working holiday visas to Australia improved by seven per cent over the 12 months that lead up to June 2012 to June 2011, as revealed by statistics that were released by the Australian  Department for Immigration and Citizenship. In the meantime, applications for second working holiday visas, which were introduced four years ago for parties interested in extending their time Down Under by an additional year, rose by 28.5 per cent.

Figures released exclusively by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service have highlighted that the amount of students applying for university has dropped by seven per cent – a trend that has mostly been put down to steep increments in tuition fees in the UK, with some institutions tripling their rates. Including gap years, young Britons have been looking for other things to do with their time than university after leaving school.

For many reasons, such as sharing the English language and numerous cultural or historical links to the UK, Australia has always been among the most popular destinations for British gap year students. Another attraction is that anyone aged 18 to 30 years old can apply for a working holiday visa if they wish and rebuild their finances at any point of their year in the country, even if they have used most of their budget on travel.

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