Lattitude Blog

Introducing Ghana

  • Posted by Lattitude Australia at 12:01 pm on January 25,2017
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You have just finished high school and passed all your exams. Congratulations! Is your next step straight into four years of university? With 20% of first year university students dropping out, why not take some time to see the world and discover your passion before committing to a degree? Step off the academic treadmill and check out these experiences that may help you discover a little more about who you are and where you see yourself in the world! Looking ahead to 2018, we’re going to cover a list of gap year destinations that are rapidly gaining popularity!

This week we’re looking at:

Ghana

If you’re wanting to get off the beaten track, see what life is like somewhere different from home, and use your sports skills to inspire kids, Ghana is right up your alley. Using sports as a teaching tool for personal development is nothing new, but what about using sports to engage and organise youth in issues affecting their community?

Located in West Africa, bordering Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso, Ghana is a friendly country and a great introduction to the continent of Africa for first time travelers. While tourism in Ghana is growing every year, we wouldn’t say it’s swarming with tourists. The people are welcoming and helpful, and there is so much to see here! In your off time from inspiring the kids, visit the rainforests in Kakum National Park, see wildlife by horseback in Shai Hills Reserve, or even the Sacred Crocodiles in the northern village of Paga.

Gaining Life Skills while Teaching in Fiji

  • Posted by Lattitude Australia at 03:09 pm on September 20,2016
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Michael Sleeman volunteered with Lattitude last year as a teacher in Fiji. He’s excited to tell you all about his experience and what he was able to learn before going off to uni:

I was in Fiji working in a high school where my primary role was as a teacher and teacher’s assistant in the maths and physics department. I was also in charge of coordinating the Duke of Edinburgh Award programme at the school; helping out with various extra-curricular activities; and occasionally assisting with supervising the boarders. I was staying with a local host family and so, in addition to my work commitments, I got to participate in Fijian family life.

Read more.

Updated – 2017 Available Placements

  • Posted by Lattitude Australia at 02:08 pm on August 04,2016
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If your plans for 2017 have recently changed, check out which placements we still have available and apply today. Interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis. Once you apply, you’ll be contacted to interview within a week in our office or over Skype.

Where can you make a difference in 2017?

UK
Outdoors Activities Assistant: March – LIMITED

Japan
Caring Assistant, & Community Worker: September – OPEN

Poland
Teacher:  September – OPEN

Fiji
Teacher:  July – OPEN

China
Teacher: August – OPEN

Canada
Outdoor Activities Instructor: May – OPEN

Ziah in Canada

  • Posted by Lattitude Australia at 12:05 pm on May 30,2016
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When I was in Year 11, I was fairly sure that I wanted to go to university after school, but I wasn’t fully sure what I wanted to do when I got there. It can be hard to choose a career path to take with so little experience outside of school. I wanted to take some time after finishing school to go out and do something different. So I decided to take a GAP year.

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Giving students an edge before and after university

  • Posted by Lattitude Australia at 09:03 pm on March 07,2016
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Going to university is a big step in a young person’s life. Where they go for school and what they study can land them well outside of their comfort zone. What can prepare them to be far from home, away from family and friends, in a new environment, and saddled with new responsibilities? Some students take a summer job or do a bit of travel. What type of opportunity would allow them to use that time to grow more independent, confident, and goal oriented?

Chloe in her classroom in China

In 2012, Chloe Dempsey volunteered on a teaching placement in China and is now a student at the University of Western Australia studying a double degree in law and politics / international relations. She says her experiences in China “completely shaped my university experience and gave me the opportunity to explore a whole other life path that I never would have gone down otherwise.” Since her time with Lattitude, she has received two high-profile scholarships that have opened up many career opportunities for her.

She says that gaining experience working with people in Asian cultures can really make you stand out in the job market. “Now it seems that opportunities just continuously arrive through my Chinese connections. I have been through many interview processes, and received offers from top-tier finance and law firms. I think in those processes what has differentiated me has been my passion for and experience in China. I now feel like there is another world of opportunities for potential careers simply because the nature of China’s reach globally is so all-encompassing.”

She tells us that the location of her Lattitude placement had a big influence over the depth of her cultural experience, “because we were in more remote locations, our experiences were fundamentally different to when you come to China to work or study on exchange, which is almost always in big cities where your immersion level is not necessarily so great.”

Oliver in his classroom in Fiji

Oliver Piccolo signed up for a Lattitude placement in Fiji in 2015 and tells how his volunteer experience “presented the perfect opportunity to mature into a young adult and perfect life skills that helped me immensely with entering university.”

Building resilience and independence is a fantastic benefit to a young person participating in Lattitude programs. “Volunteering overseas in a completely new country with a new culture required me to adapt to new situations and environments I had never been in before. As university was a completely new environment for me I had to adapt, just like in Fiji.” He told us that if he hadn’t done a teaching placement overseas, adjusting to university life, “would not have been as easy as it was.”

Georgia with her netball team in Malawi

Georgia Dearlove has recently returned from her Lattitude placement in Malawi and just started her first semester at Victoria University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in teaching. Beyond just saying that her time as a teacher there was “one of the best experiences I’ve ever had,” Georgia expands on how it has helped her personally and professionally. “I think my confidence levels soared the first day I taught.” She told us that before she left on her placement, she was a “stressor and a perfectionist, with a lot of anxiety.” But on returning from a four month teaching placement in rural Malawi, “I learned how not to stress so much, how to better deal with situations, how to control a classroom, and how to engage kids in subjects that may not necessarily be their favorite.” She says that it’s really opened her eyes to different career opportunities, “It definitely gave me the option that I don’t have to teach in Australia, I can teach anywhere in the world.”

Check out the full interview with Georgia when she stopped by our office to chat about her experience in Malawi.

If you are a Careers Advisor, email: marketing@lattitude.org.au to book a returned volunteer to speak with your students about overseas placement opportunities today!

Support for Fiji after Cyclone Winston

  • Posted by Lattitude Australia at 05:02 pm on February 29,2016
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Homes destroyed in Fiji after Cyclone Winston

On behalf of our volunteers in Fiji and the communities we work with, thank you for all your support following Cyclone Winston. All 30 Lattitude volunteers in Fiji are safe and well and by now in stable locations with access to supplies. Cyclone Winston made landfall in Fiji on February 20th 2016. As a Category 5 Tropical Cyclone, it is the strongest to hit Fiji on record. Having done an estimated $500 million in damage, many are left without their homes, community centres, and schools. Fijians are strong and resilient but housing has been damaged and destroyed, food and water supplies are low, and Fiji is in need of assistance.

Many of our dedicated volunteers are placed in this beautiful country each year and bring a piece home in their hearts after they leave. With so many returned volunteers having personal connections with the villages and towns affected by the storm, they have created online fundraisers to begin rebuilding their beloved communities. Please see the list below for information about the specific communities they are supporting.

Read more.

Teaching ‘Down Under’ in Vietnam

  • Posted by Lattitude Australia at 10:01 am on January 28,2016
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Country: Vietnam Role: Teacher

Lattitude volunteer Bella mixes it up in English class in Vietnam and teaches her students the alternative Australian national anthem, Down Under by Men at Work.

Teaching on Ovalau Island in Fiji

  • Posted by Lattitude Australia at 11:01 am on January 13,2016
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Country: Fiji Role: Teacher

Lattitude volunteers Maddy, Cassie and Rachel talk about their teaching placements on Ovalau Island in Fiji and share some great tips about how to make the most of your own volunteering experience.

Hokey Pokey across the world

  • Posted by Lattitude Australia at 09:12 am on December 23,2015
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Great video of Lattitude volunteers teaching the infamous Hokey Pokey at their placements in Africa, Asia and the Pacific!

Excitement abounds at camp in Canada

  • Posted by Lattitude Australia at 10:12 am on December 11,2015
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Country: Canada Role: Outdoor Activities Instructor

Lattitude volunteers Peirce & Stella talk about their exciting placement at a YWCA camp in Canada.  Fun activities like high ropes courses, zip lines and climbing walls are the order of the day with lots of enthusiastic campers!