I’m Ellie, I’m 19 and I live in London. I’ve spent the past four months working as a Gap Assistant at a girls’ prep school near where I live, teaching Maths and Netball to Years 4-6. I wasn’t originally planning on taking a year out between school and university, but after reconsidering some of my university options and hearing about so many of my friends’ travel plans, I realised it was too good an opportunity to miss.

One of the things that drew me to The Leap was the range of places we will be seeing and things we will be doing in just 10 weeks, from living with indigenous communities to working on the paradise-like Galapagos Islands and everything in between. I am planning on travelling on independently once the course is finished and know that, after having stayed in such a range of places with a number of different people, I will have a good grounding in South American culture and be better prepared to continue on my travels.

Hey Ellie!

Hey Ellie!

My job as a teaching assistant means I have spent a lot of time working with children recently and so am thrilled to have the opportunity to extend this experience further, working with children from a completely different culture from my own. I know that, as well as teaching these children, we will all learn a lot from them- not least of all Spanish, of which I know next to nothing!

This will be the first time I have been to South America or, in fact, away from home for more than 6 weeks, so it’s fair to say I am pretty excited for the 5th January to arrive. So excited, in fact, that the prospect of Christmas shopping has been pretty much banished from my mind and instead, my bedroom floor is strewn with sunhats, mosquito repellent, guidebooks, adaptors and sun cream. Oh well!