The People Who Make it All Happen

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About Us

The StudentUniverse team

StudentUniverse are proud to be the preferred booking partner of gapyear.com and look forward to combining our wealth of knowledge to ensure that you have the best possible service, deals and experience for your gap year, as tailored by our experts. We'll make sure you get where you want to go, when you want to go and do all the things you've dreamt of doing.

Phil Cowie

StudentUniverse Manager

Having spent 7 seasons chasing the snow around the world it’s probably fair to say that I’m a little bit obsessed with skiing! I’ve managed to travel most of the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand off the back of it but there have been one or two dodgy goggle tans… This year I’ve managed to finally make myself go somewhere not snowy, visiting Singapore and Burma with a cheeky weekend in Vegas and then Australia and Thailand coming up. The next major place on my hit list though is Japan for the amazing culture, scenery and to experience somewhere completely different. The biggest travel tip that I can think of is to book things before you go so that you don’t end up too broke to do the things that you really wanted to do - Nobody wants to have to explain to their mates that they missed Milford Sound in NZ or Fraser Island & The Whitsundays in Australia!

Tiffany Wall

StudentUniverse Manager

My Travel bug kicked off with a bang; having never left the UK my first trip was moving to the USA to study in Memphis, Tennessee. After traveling around the states with a quick stopover in Mexico for spring break I was hooked. Keeping up the theme of go big or go home next trip I spent 2 years working and traveling Australia. All the sun, all the fun! Best travel experience so far has been full moon party in Thailand, love the buckets! The dream is to visit Bali and Japan. My top tip is get as much booked in before you leave so you don’t need to worry about running out of money and missing out once you are away.

Alex Butterfield

StudentUniverse Manager

Alex Butterfield

After travelling round the world through 6 continents and over 50 countries I can honestly say I am the product of wanderlust! I began my intrepid travels through South America, living in the Peruvian Amazon for 3 months and travelling through the continent, then moving on to New Zealand where I lived and worked whilst jumping out of planes in Taupo – a must do by the way! After a year of the Antipodean lifestyle I moved on to do some scuba diving through Fiji and Indonesia, then spent 2 months through South East Asia doing the circuit. I finished my expedition with 3 months in India, backpacking and trekking through the Himalayas in Kashmir, one of if not the most beautiful place on this Earth! The next place for me to hit up has to be Japan and the Philippines, Japan for the slopes and Philippines for the beaches and diving. Top place on my list to go (other than Kashmir!) – Ilha Grande in Brazil… an idyllic island off the Coast of Rio with pure white sand which squeaks when you walk on it, and crystal clear turquoise waters you can see through for miles, amazing. Any questions, just ask!

Ollie Harford

StudentUniverse Assistant Manager

My favourite places other than South East London (of course) are the Indochina Loop (where I went around video-blogging with Gapyear.com), Cuba, Eastern/Southern Europe InterRail and the Maldives! I’m planning on heading back to South East Asia asap as well as Croatia for a festival on the coast and also a big trip to South America in hopefully the not too distant future! My best tip for travelling is make friends when you get there and if it sounds fun, give it a go!

Rachel Seidel

StudentUniverse Account Manager

Rachel Seidel

Originally from New Zealand, travelling to a new country was always a luxury growing up, as we were so far away from everywhere! In saying that, it is almost mandatory for all Kiwi's to leave New Zealand and experience the world for a year once you finish school. But my year turned into 4 years as I caught the 'travel bug'! In this 4 years I have worked in 4 different continents and loved every moment, from snowboarding in Japan to hiking the Appalachian Trail in the USA with a summer camp, to working on a remote island in Australia. Now that I am in London, I'm most looking forward to experiencing Europe as much as I can, as it's now all on my doorstep, and I can't wait to get to Norway and Turkey. My best tip for those wanting to experience a new country is to get off the beaten track and get out of your comfort zone, speak to the locals and eat the local food... you won't regret it, and it will make for some amazing stories!

Lucy Goldston

International Travel Consultant

My favourite destinations I have been to are Thailand, New York and Finland and I'm looking forward to an exciting trip through Nepal and India later this year where I will be visiting the Chitwan National Park, Taj Mahal and lots of other amazing sites on the way. My top tips for anyone going travelling are to get involved with as many experiences as possible and don’t be scared to give something new a go. When it comes to the planning bit give me a call and I can help you get it all organised and give you lots of tips!

Hayley France

International Travel Consultant

Having backpacked through South America, South East Asia, Australia and South Africa it is impossible to pick a favourite destination. However, my highlights have to be Bolivia, Colombia, Cambodia and South Africa. Next on my list is Indonesia as I didn’t have time to get there when I was last in South East Asia; I can’t wait to spend some time relaxing on the idyllic beaches and soaking up the local culture. My top travel tip is to pack light and remember that if you do forget anything then it is very likely you will be able to pick it up when you arrive, so don’t stress too much about what to pack!

Sam Webster-Bell

International Travel Consultant

I caught the travel bug whilst on my travels around South East Asia and since then have completed trips to Scandinavia, Morocco, Spain, Central Europe and Turkey. I would consider myself a beach bum at heart, but I really do enjoy learning and studying the cultures I visit and experience. Another big thing for me is the food, trying all the local and regional delicacies is a must in any of my travel itineraries. My top tips for travelling are to speak to the locals, learn about their culture, try their food and make sure you get time to chill out. Travelling is just a long holiday. For trips anywhere around the world, I will be here to help plan your perfect trip, whether that be a 2 week trip to Bali, a working holiday in Australia or a big round the world trip!

Sarah Wroblewska

International Travel Consultant

After Uni I decided to do the best thing imaginable and head off to Australia for an exciting year's travel. On the way I stopped off in the States to see the Big Apple, Fiji to relax on beautiful beaches and catch a glimpse of the Cast Away Island, and New Zealand to experience the extreme sports! Australia was by far my favourite as I spent most of my days on an outback ranch riding horses into the sunset, racing about on quadbikes and mustering cows by helicopter. The next place I’m heading to will be Costa Rica to get a glimpse of the incredible wildlife and Latino culture. My top travelling trip would be to just go with it as the most incredible experiences will come from it and the best of friends will be made. Give me a call and we can get planning your trip of a life time!

Abi Hanks

International Travel Consultant

I have spent most of my life travelling - my whole childhood was spent with my family moving around the USA, Africa and Europe. Once I was old enough to go it alone, I moved to The Netherlands and then Spain to experience and live in new cultures. I have interRailed across Europe, backpacked across South East Asia and spent a few years in New Zealand before returning to the UK. My top tip is simple and only for those looking to have an authentic travel experience; eat and drink everything local and embrace the different cultures! I still want to visit South America, India and Antarctica to play with the friendliest penguins in the world!

Josh Habergham

International Travel Consultant

Having been lucky enough to have travelled all around New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Malaysia with various sports teams I’ve certainly got plenty of travel highlights. Having turned down a lucrative Polo career due to a chronic allergy to horses, a couple of my travel highlights have to be climbing Kilimanjaro as well as completing my dream road trip from Texas to California, whilst simultaneously eating my bodyweight in burgers and ranch sauce. My next travel goal is definitely seeing some of Central America whilst also exploring some of the Australian East Coast I missed the first time round. My best travel tips would be to get involved with the local people and culture as much as possible and always make sure you have a strong pair of flip-flops/jandals/thongs

Mikhaila O'Sullivan

International Travel Consultant

I was bitten by the travel bug from an early age thanks to my parents bringing me to some amazing places- Central Europe, Singapore, Australia and Morocco. Then the time came to finally go and do it myself and so I took off with a backpack as big as myself around SE Asia. Personally I reckon the best way to really get to know somewhere is to live there for a bit, so that’s what I did in Barcelona, NYC and now Laandann. It is so hard to pick my favourite travel moments because I have so many amazing memories and made some great friends but the ones that stand out are dancing in a thunder storm at the Full Moon party, getting my PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Cayman Islands and seeing the sunrise over Angkor Wat. The next place on the list is to get myself on a tour of India. The ULTIMATE dream is to travel around Central and South America- ojalá! My top travel tip is to have an open attitude and just say why not!!

Lauren Thomas

International Travel Consultant

After not even getting on a plane until I was 16, I had A LOT of time to make up for! Since then, I have jumped at every opportunity to visit some incredible places, from InterRailing Europe, to backpacking south east Asia, New Zealand, South America and volunteering in Kenya. If I had to choose a favourite, it would definitely be between Kenya and Bolivia, for the African wildlife and beautiful landscape, and for Bolivia’s manic and addictive rainforest, where everywhere you look you see something absolutely jaw dropping (but shut it quick before the mozzies get in). My best advice as a food lover is to try everything new and eat what the locals are having, and to always keep an open mind and jump on to any new experiences.

Jamie Cavanagh

International Travel Consultant

Jamie Cavanagh

After a few years of lads holidays in Europe I was given the opportunity to go on an around the world trip and I jumped at it! A six month trip travelling around South America, New Zealand, Australia & South East Asia ended up being extended four times and a year later I finally got back to London just in time for the Olympics. The travel bug had well and truly kicked in and I lasted for a month before I was jetting back to Australia! After enjoying the best two years of my life down under, I finally began my final journey home via the countries I had previously missed in South East Asia. The next goal is to go and experience the incredible wildlife in Africa or conquer North America!

Zach Sewell

International Travel Consultant

Zach Sewell Despite several attempts by various male modelling catalogues to feature me on the front cover of their magazine, in the summer of 2014 I flew to Brazil for the FIFA World Cup and then spent the next 6 months winding my way through South and Central America where I finished with a 10 day trip to Cuba. It was an incredible experience and my personal highlights include sailing through the stunning San Blas Islands off the coast of Panama, climbing active volcanoes in Guatemala and partying with the Colombians on an almost nightly basis. There are so many unforgettable experiences and my advice to anyone is to go travelling whenever you get the chance!

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How You Are Protected

StudentUniverse have you completely covered

We know the last thing you want to worry about when you're getting ready for your gap year is being stranded abroad or having your travel plans cancelled and being left out of pocket.

That's why it's reassuring to know that when you book a trip with us you can book with confidence knowing that we are members of ABTA and ar ATOL holders. More specifically, booking a trip with us guarantees you the following:

Airline Failure Protection

If a scheduled airline you booked with us ceases operations, we financially protect you. If you are abroad we arrange other flights at no additional cost, and if you are yet to travel we provide you with a full refund and find you an alternative.

Financial Protection

Many of the flights and flight-inclusive packages on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate

We are a Member of ABTA which means you have the benefit of ABTA's assistance and Code of Conduct. We provide financial protection for your money when you buy a trip. If you buy other travel arrangements such as accommodation, this protection doesn't apply.

Taking care of you from 'welcome' to 'welcome home'

We believe that planning travel should be fun and hassle-free, and here at gapyear.com we guarantee to take care of you from the moment you walk though our doors, call or email us, to the moment you return home, giving you an unbeatable experience.

StudentUniverse is part of Flight Centre, which has been looking after its customers for 27 years. It has stores in 10 countries across the world and has been consistently profitable – generating over £6 billion in sales annually, you can be sure we are in the best position to look after you.

We help our customers in times of crisis

When the Icelandic ash cloud grounded flights in the UK, we made sure customers were looked after. With hundreds of our clients affected, we contacted all our clients abroad to give them peace of mind that we were here to help. We also contacted all our clients who were yet to depart on their travels to make alternative arrangements for many of them; whilst some were travelling for business and postponed their meetings, some were travelling on a once in a lifetime holiday. We know value for money, quality service and peace of mind is important to you. We can assure you that we've got you covered. At gapyear.com we'll provide you with exceptional customer service, informative and accurate updates on your holiday but most importantly, we're here to support you. So when you're thinking about planning your next trip remember, you have peace of mind booking with us.