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Image by Esther Tuttle

1 . Take a Breather

Take a mental health year and recharge your batteries. Give yourself a great opportunity to catch your breath before you dive headlong into work or studies. Avoid the common burn out from going to university straight out of high school. Not only will you return to work or study feeling refreshed and motivated but you will also get better results. 


2. Travel

Traveling is something we often fail to prioritise in our busy lives, but the benefits of exploring the world are huge. So different from reading about it or watching on a screen. The best way to experience a new country is to give yourself time to immerse yourself in a new way of life. The Apprencisheip gives you the time to get to know South Africa. You will interact with a culture completely different than the one that you are used to. You will travel by boat, bus, game vehicle, kayak. You will swim, dive, paddle, hike, and jump.   Experience the remote African Wilderness. Dive on a world heritage site. Meet people from around the world. Visit remote indigenous communities. As you take on each activity with an open mind and heart you will gain a better understanding of Africa than any tourist can. You will gain a new global perspective, having discovered profound new relationships with yourself and the world around you. We explore Ballito, Durban, Sodwana Bay, the Wild Coast, the Big 5 Game Reserves, Zululand, Tugela Valley, and many more places in the KZN.


3. Be the Next MacGuiver

Most adults do not know how to install their dishwasher, weld a barbeque stand, repair a surfboard, or wire in an intercom system. The Apprenticeship will expose you to hundreds of practical skills through hands-on workshops. These skills will be useful for the rest of your life (not to mention help you survive a zombie apocalypse). The ability to know how to make a plan, and not rely on other people, is invaluable. Technical experiential learning includes:


  • Workshop Best Practice (Layout, Safety, Housekeeping, Tools & Equipment Repair)
  • Welding (Safety, Joints, Machines, Faults, Tools, Materials, and Types – MIG, TIG, Stick, and Gas)

  • Mechanics (Vehicle Fundamentals, Servicing, Trouble Shooting, Maintenance, and Parts)

  • Knife-Making (Handcraft a knife using the ancient art of Blacksmithing)

  • Sewing & Tooling (Industrial and Domestic Machines, Repairs, Hand-Sewing and Leatherwork)

  • Plumbing (Installation, Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Working with Copper and Plastic piping)

  • Building (Introduction to Drawing, Measuring, Cost Estimations, Planning, and Bricklaying)

  • Carpentry (Reading plans, Marking Out, Use of Hand and Power Tools to complete a project)

  • Electrics (Installing Plugs, Fuses, Lights & Sockets; Maintaining & Trouble Shooting 220V & 12V Wiring) 

4.  Build Global & Business Competence

Do you know how to renew your passport, apply for a visa, pay your taxes, license a car, open a bank account, or start a company? Do you know how to distinguish wines? MC a function? Plan a fund-raising ball? There is a lot that people are assumed to know how to do, even though no one ever teaches it. We play rather than teach this module, to ensure full buy-in. There is no room for boredom in our high-stakes business game, with astonishing rewards and ‘interesting’ forfeits. Topics include:

  • Professional Identity (creation of a CV, Motivational Letters, and managing a personal branding using a Digital Presence).

  • Personal Administration (applications and renewals of Passports, Visas, Licences, and managing the payments of Water, Rates, and Electricity).

  • Personal Financial Management (Tax Registration, Income Returns, VAT, Accounting, Invoice Generation, Banking, Credit, and the use of Spreadsheets to manage budgets and cash flow) 

  • Entrepreneurial, business and Legal (Entrepreneurial workshops, Business plans, HR, Recruitment, Marketing, Finance, SWOT, PR, Dispute Resolution, and Letters of Demand)

  • Hospitality Business and Event Managing (Tourism, Event Planning, Project Management, Wine Tasting, Debating, Public speaking, MC’ing, and Presentations).

5. Survival

Turn back the clocks. Be one with your ancestors. Experience a more primitive life. The huge success of the SURVIVOR television series is a testament to the longing that we all have to return to a more basic way of living. The Apprenticeship course culminates in a beach survival adventure on one of the most beautiful beaches on earth. Throughout the year, the apprentices will build skills necessary for the wilderness survival: making a shelter, making (and using) a speargun, forging a knife, robbing beehives, fishing, sea-harvesting (seaweed, mussels, and oysters), forest foraging, and growing your vegetables. An incredible adventure that will leave you with formidable inner confidence, strength, determination, and ability to adapt and handle any challenge. 

6. Work as a Counselor

Upon completion of the CIT and Master Class (which is the first semester of the Academy course), you are eligible to work as a Sugar Bay Counselor! Finally, a gap year that pays! Unlike most other jobs, this job pays you to have fun! Having fun is your FIRST and MOST IMPORTANT job requirement. And it's so easy to have fun! You will be a role model to young children who gets to incredible people, make friends for life; live in the most beautiful spot on earth; receive all your board and lodging for free, be able to enjoy the fabulous lifestyle of Zinkwazi Beach; teach cool classes like dance, art, surfing, and BMXing and make a huge difference to the lives of many children And you can further use your camp-counselor qualification to work abroad, in one of the 15,000 summer camps in the USA. A great way to travel, have fun, make friends, get experience, and build references.

7. Work as an Aupair, Teacher, or Sports Instructor

if you’re passionate about education and enjoy spending time with children. Working as a counselor is only one of the many careers open to you after graduation. Many others go onto becoming an au pair, in SA or abroad, others go and teach English Abroad, and many others go on to study teaching as a career.

  • Aupair: Being an Aupair is one of the most popular ways to travel and earn money. After graduation, your CV will be sure to stand out from the rest of the crowd with your First Aid Qualifications and Lifeguard qualifications, and Training in swim Instruction, Teaching (Theory and Practice), and Child psychology Courses. Boost your CV further by getting references and work experience as working as a counselor.

  • Teaching English Abroad: If you discover that you have a real passion and gift for teaching children, and want to travel after graduation, why not teach English as a foreign language? Many graduates have traveled to remote corners of the world as teachers after completing their TEFL or TESOL course. This is an incredible way to earn money while traveling and also making a difference in the lives of young people.

  • Sports Instructor: Combine a love for the sport, with a passion for children and a gift for teaching, and become a sports instructor. Whether its teaching swimming, surfing, or scuba diving, many graduates have gone onto becoming sports instructors either as a short term way to earn money while studying or as a career.

  • At the heart of all our activities is a connection-to-nature philosophy.

  • Sports cross cultures, countries, and languages to unite people from every end of the earth. You don’t need to be able to speak the local language or know someone’s life story to connect with them on a deep level. Gap year sports coaching allows you a special glimpse into the heart of the locals and will leave a lasting impression on all involved. Sports coaching jobs abroad are a great way to use your skills to help those in need. Inspire passion and drive in those you coach and help them gain your same love of sports. Use sports coaching as an opportunity to mentor youth in the community and feel fulfilled by your addition to community development. 

  • SURF CAMP KZN famous beach culture, laid back attitude, and of course surfing lifestyle is at your fingertips on this program.

  • Join other surf enthusiasts from beginners to pros and experience what it’s like to be a real surfer

  • Teaching Profession: Many of our other graduates have gone on to realise their passion for children and education by doing a professional teaching qualification. You will be fulfilling a major need by helping educate, inspire, and uplift the young people of our world.

8. Work as a Lifeguard, Skipper, or on a Yach

After doing the skippers course, lifeguard course, and Deckhand workshops, many graduates realise they want to make a career out of working on or near the water. We bring in a lot of professionals to speak to you who have made careers out of working on the water (eg International Yacht Captains, Professional Lifeguards, and Professional Surfers) to show you some ways this can be done well. We have graduates working as Lifeguards at Dubai International Water Parks. Some graduates are head lifeguard on Australian beaches. Others have gone to work on the yachts in the Caribean. SCUBA qualifications, SUP and Surf instructor rating, and Deckhand experience (Boat Launching, Handling & Loading, Towing a Skier, Engine Trouble Shooting, and Practical Skipper Hour) to stand out amongst the crowd and land a job on a dream-yacht.

9. Discover a Hidden Passion

  • Whether it’s photography, organic farming, or international relations, this can help you find dormant interests. It can help you discover your personal goals and then provide the resources to achieve those goals. find their path in life. 60% of young adults said the hands-on experience of their gap year either helped them discover the right career or confirmed that their choice was the right one. 

  • Hospitality Business and Event Managing (Tourism, Event Planning, Project Management, Wine Tasting, Debating, Public speaking, MC’ing, and Presentations).

  • Agriculture Hands-on exposure to a range of farming practices including animal husbandry (hunting, game, crocodile, bees, and snake farming) and crop production (banana, sugar-cane, cannabis, tea tree, and macadamia farms) 

  • Combining Adventure & Sports; Farming & Agriculture; Nature Conservation and Personal Development in one practical program, makes the program unique. It enables students to learn valuable and practical life skills in general, and also for the professional world.. Gain clear direction:

  • Take time to reach the right path – it’s not unusual to feel unsure about what you want to do next, either at university or for work. Taking a gap year allows you to take time out to give you the space to make an informed decision 

  •  If you are unsure of what to do after school, we can help to provide a clear sense of direction as you discover your strengths and passions and find direction for your future. 

10. Fitness

  • Time spent outside has great health benefits

  • Independence

  • Programs challenge you both mentally and physically. Your courage will be tested daily so plan on bringing your A-game. If you’re more of a Netflix binging couch sitter (hey, no judgment here) this may be a little too extreme for you. Comfort will be thrown out the window and you’ll be living life in a way you haven’t before. 

  • A taste of South African lifestyle that a tourist can only dream of 

  • Will be very physically fit. And in amazing shape, The physical program provides a critical role in the development of character and self-belief in the young men. The foundation for lifelong habits of fitness and health and also an enjoyment of various adventure sports.

11. Prep for University

  • graduate college with a higher GPA – Students who take gap years have shown they graduate with higher GPAs than students who go straight to four-year colleges, regardless of other factors such as high school grades and test scores.

  • “As long as you are doing something worthwhile in years out, such as traveling, work experience, or charity work, etc, we recognise that this year’s experience will broaden your skills and experience.”

  • – Cardiff University

  • Gap years are finishing higher education faster than their peers and finding it easier to secure successful and fulfilling careers. 

  • students who take a gap year “come to college with new visions of their academic plans, their extracurricular pursuits, the intangibles they hoped to gain in college, and the career possibilities they observed in their year away.”

  • And if you are worried that a gap year will derail your academic and career path, research shows that 90% of students who take a gap year return to school within a year. College is not a four-year commitment any longer, “at most public universities, fewer than 20% of students graduate in four years.” Many students take six years to finish a degree or never finish at all. “An investment in a gap year might be money saved later if a student is more focused when they return to college."

  • Universities are overwhelmingly positive about taking gap years as long as they are constructive and worthwhile 

  • A gap year is a very useful time in which to improve skills, earn money, travel and generally gain maturity and self-reliance.” – Cambridge University

  • You will leave more independent and mature, and be in a far better place to make the most of university. Many universities are showing preference to students who display commitment, passion, and perseverance to something bigger than themselves. Although some people advise not to do college deferral, it gives you increased college success and better preparation for heavy homework that requires diligence and hard work, two qualities you can gain through a gap year program. Students who do this course will get into university with more focus and maturity

12. Community Work

  • Address the needs of the local community

  • develop wilderness and leadership skills while engaging in hands-on service and an inspection of the critical development issues facing Africa

  • Volunteering is an important part of humanity and what better time to do it than on your gap year. You will be helping one of many communities in need and can sleep easy at night knowing you are making the world a better place. 

  • get to experience this in a hands-on way by undertaking volunteer conservation work alongside National Parks staff in two coastal National Parks. The project is a three-way collaboration between Pacific Discovery, Surfaris, and the New South Wales National Parks & Wildlife Service. Explore African cultural history and community-based development, the sugar cane worker's life, conservation issues, traditional Zulu culture, the rise and fall of the Zulu empire, and the colonial legacy. Engage in community-based service initiatives, likely focused on education and health in rural villages, with approximately ... hours of service credit


13. Self-Improvement

  • Learn about yourself while you learn new skills and give back to the community

  • You can do just that —all while you 1develop real-life leadership skills you will develop extensive experience in creative problem-solving

  • Self-sufficient and effective communication A gap year is a great opportunity to do something independently and live away from home for a while 

  • Become more independent whilst also receiving full support from ... 

  • Nurture important personal and leadership skills the opportunity to learn about themselves and learn how to interact with the earth. develop extensive experience in creative problem-solving

  • Develop your skills such as organisation, communication, confidence, teamwork, and initiative

  • You will make a huge impact and

  • You will gain just as much, or more, from the experience as the local community. uncover individual needs and wants, and help you discover what’s most important to you.

14. Become Fearless – Adventures

  • Should push your comfort zone, throw you into a new environment, and keep you on your toes? If it feels like this is taking the words right out of your mouth, then gap year adventure programs are the choice for you! and snake catching.

  • Live life to the fullest. Not be afraid to dive into new and unknown experiences, no longer stand in the way of me and of my happiness. Have a real adventure off the beaten track. Get to know a country, culture, language, and project and feel that you have got to know somewhere different in the world

  • Travel will bring you adventures, stories, and memories to last a lifetime. change your life strength of character, and a feeling that I could conquer any obstacles that came in my way.

15. Boost Your Job Prospects

  • The skills you learn here will bring you many skills that employers look for: courage, teamwork, curiosity, service, open-mindedness, and a willingness to try something new. The grit you’ll acquire can be the cornerstone of your future success. You will gain work experience employers are desperately looking for.

  • and have a great talking point on your resume.

  • A constructive gap year can enhance a CV, and can significantly improve your chances of getting an interview.

  • Many employers find that applicants who have taken a gap year are more motivated, self-aware, and confident than their counterparts a gap year has helped many successful people map out their career paths

  • it will Improve your CV by ensuring that you stand out from the crowd to future employers

  • Taking the time to learn a variety of skills and reflecting upon your passions will set you up for success both personally and professionally

  • Get a job or study ready: You (and your resume) will thank yourself later. 


16. Be Happier in Your Career

  • Fireside chats from inspirational people who have made a career out of following their passion. The focus will be on careers in sports, adventure, and travel. Speakers will include Kingsley Hollgate, Professional athletes, tour guides, and experts in the working international travel adventures (TEFLA, International Yachts, and Camp

  • be happier in their careers. Young adults who have taken a gap year “overwhelmingly report being satisfied with their jobs” after college A Gallup poll in 2017, revealed that 85 percent of people hate their jobs. The average person will spend 90,000 hours or one-third of their life working. You don’t want to be doing something you hate for that much time. By spending some time and doing some research you can come up with the next step after your gap year that is right for you and will eventually move you towards the life you want. Because it’s not about what career should you choose, it’s about what life you should choose. Hit the trail towards a unique career. Who wants to sit in an office all day anyway, especially when you can be a rafting expedition leader?!

17. Experiential Learning

  • Break down classroom walls You’ve been sitting in classrooms for years. Get out from behind your desk, and into the real world, and learn real skills there's no substitute for learning by doing. practical experience rather than theory experiential learning Learn skills you never could in a classroom t brings the academics to life, adding relevancy and practical application to the material. Living and learning in our environment present endless teachable moments and never-ending opportunities to learn.

  • While academics are an integral part of each voyage, Sea|mester is vastly different from learning in a traditional classroom setting. We tailor the voyage around cultivating an immersive and relevant experiential environment, one that is more conducive to in-depth learning and a better understanding of the coursework. As a small team of 16 or 24, this means more familiarity, more practice, and one-on-one support around the clock.


18. Have Fun and Make Lasting Friendships

  • I met a truly exceptional group of people, people who I was able to get to know in such a deep and personal way due to our shared experience

  • You will meet other young people with aspirations and goals similar to your own.

  • Become an active member of a community. Networking with like-minded people.. Join a group or make new friends and meet new people – exploring the world and joining a project that you are passionate about means that you will meet lots of like-minded people, and often make friends for life

19. Internships

  • Internships in different sectors of Hospitality, Maintenance, and Building Industries 

  • opportunity to intern in a position at a resort or with a building company internships are the quintessential resume booster and tend to open doors down the line thanks to the skills learned and relationships built—the perfect combination of business and pleasure when it comes to gap year activities. Take this one step further by doing a gap year internship abroad and you’re sure to stand out in a pile of resumes. Gap year internships allow you access to helping and learning about local communities while giving you tangible work-related skills. Opportunity to intern in your field of interest, on a building site, in the marketing office, events management, and many more. No matter what you’re interested in, there is an internship out there for you. Companies need interns to support them with their missions and are happy to have you on board. Find your perfect fit to set you up for success in your field when you return home.  Gain work experience – whether it be on an internship, a volunteering project, or paid work, the experience is essential for many careers and universities. Experience does not even need to be relevant to the field you might want to work or study in – just to demonstrate that you held a position of responsibility, had to stick to deadlines, worked hard, and challenged yourself is the most important thing

20. Journalism

  • a journalism internship abroad is a sure way to set you up for success in your journalism career. Channel your creativity into productivity and build your writing/photography portfolio with exciting pieces from around the world. Beat out the competition by gaining exotic journalism experience.

  • Social media (Photography, Videography, Journalism, and Media with practical experience in writing blogs, taking and editing data, and the production of film clips)



21. Wildlife Conservation

  • You’ll learn about the conservation initiatives of - monkeys, mongoose, bushbuck, porcupine, resident pair of fish eagles, flocks of raucous hornbills

  • Discover wild and amazing places,

  • An outdoor gap year in the wilderness, learn the secrets of mother nature,

      how our that unique history has shaped its flora, fauna, and people. Our warm climate,          friendly people, unusual wildlife, and dramatic natural beauty make it a fantastic place        to experience.

  • Leave inspired to become a game ranger, to spend your life conserving our beautiful planet. impassioned and educated on earth systems and environmentalism

  • Interested in biodiversity, conservation, and sustainability?

  • Join our mission to protect endangered environments

  • Real environmental threats and community activism

  • Find out about working in a game reserve.

  • Gain exposure to wildlife and to

  • Learn and understand the basics of life on a reserve, such as ass fence patrols, conservation activities, the game captures. Find out what practical and theoretical training is required to become a qualified field guide. Intro to astronomy. knowledge of weather and climate, basic ecology, animal identification, and management understanding the environment and how these animals live together within it

  • Fully immerse yourself in the life of a safari 

  • Scuba Diving

  • Get ready to have your breath taken away, literally. Whether you’re in it for marine conservation or just love the feeling of being 60 feet under the surface, scuba diving programs have it all. Learn how to drive safely while contributing to research and conservation programs working to save the inherent beauty of underwater life.

  • Scuba diving courses allow you to see a part of the world that few have access to. Defeat human limitations by breathing underwater and collecting research on the mysteries that lie under the water. Rest easy knowing that your work isn’t just fun, but also helps ensure that the wonders you are seeing will still be around for future generations.


22. Marine Big 5

  • Our coastlines’ natural diversity is staggering - coral reef, lush rain-forests, and the most beautiful beaches.

  • Local Wildlife is abundant, colorful, and visible – sea turtles, whales, dolphins, and colorful reef fish. And the Marine Big 5 are on our (sandy) doorstep – sharks, whales, dolphins, penguins and seals – and their existence is under threat. South Africa is the “great white shark capital of the world. We learn more about sharks and their behavior so that their population decline can hopefully be controlled and reversed. 

  • Conservation Projects contributing to marine conservation and eco-tourism measures to improve the damaged marine world. the marine ecosystem is very much reliant on all animals, and as such you will also be doing all that you can to preserve all of the Marine Biosphere

  • Observe marine life, Learn about marine life – from the perspective of the sharks and animals in it! Director is a shark lover and a lot of time will be spent in appreciation of these beautiful creatures. 

  • Dive with sharks

  • Whale-spotting at numerous beach walks along our journey.

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