Well as you may have guessed by now my name is Andrew Utley, those of you who use the site reguarly probably know me better as Andy or Andy U, pick which ever name you prefer. I`m 18, just left school and I`ve decided to take a gap year before going to uni. I`m not going to bore you with my life story as I doubt you care, if you do you`ve got far too much time on your hands.
At the moment I`m in Japan with a company called GAP Activity Projects who organise placements all around the world for 18-19 year olds. They aren`t run for profit and they even do their own fundraising to help pay for your placement. Have a look at their website http://www.gap.org.uk
My placement is in the Red Cross Hospital and Atomic Bomb Survivors hospital in Hiroshima. There are 2 of us here and about 25 others with GAP spread across the country, although we all flew into Tokyo together for a 2 day briefing at the start. Our basic job description is anything they can find for us to do i.e. moving patients about the hospital, collecting x-ray films that sort of stuff and the rest of the time we can talk to the patients or watch the doctors work.
The placement is for 6 months, finishing in August so hopefully I`ll be able to travel around Japan for a while afterwards before rushing back for uni.
So why did I take a gapyear and why Japan? Well you`ve probably heard most of the answers to the first one already: to have fun, travel and see the world, become more mature, get some valuable experience. Probably the main reason though was just that for once I managed to get enough courage together to decide that I wanted to do something different and not take the easy option and go straight on to uni. So I send my application form off to GAP and its all gone from there, while most of my friends went off to uni I worked all the hours I could in a care home to save up money for 6 months. It was darn hard work and sometimes really pissed me off but haven`t regreted it at all.
I still can`t give a clear reason for wanting to go to Japan. I always wanted to go somewhere in Asia as it seemed so completely different to being at home. I think part of the blame has to go to my friend Gabriel for constantly talking about the place since I`ve known him. The fact that it was where GAP did the project I wanted finally made up my mind.
Well I`m not going to give you huge introduction, if you`re interested read on please. Feel free to private message me or post on this board if you want to know more, or are bored and just want someone to talk nonsense to.
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