Leanne Tyme studied Spanish and French with CESA Languages Abroad.
Why did you choose to participate in a gap year program?
I wanted to have a gap year in which I could both learn and enjoy myself at the same time. As I will be studying French at university, I wanted a course that would allow me to improve my language skills and give me some time to do some exploring outside of classes.
How did you decide which gap year programne was right for you?
First I had to decide what I wanted to get out of my gap year, and from there it was easy. I did a lot of research and I spoke to the CESA Languages Abroad team who were really helpful and gave me a lot of guidance. They helped me choose a program that fit exactly what I wanted with regards to the time frame and location.
What was a typical day like in your gap year experience?
For the most part, I had morning classes, so that consisted of classes starting around 9 a.m. Then, around midday, we had lunch. I really took the opportunity to try loads of different restaurants with the friends I had made in class. Finally, I would either participate in one of the activities that the school organized or one that I had found by myself on various social media groups.
What was the most memorable moment of your gap year?
This is a difficult question because I have honestly had so many incredible moments. However, if I really had to narrow it down it would be between two trips. The first, was a spontaneous trip to Annecy. We decided to go there while eating kebabs at 5 a.m. after dancing the whole night–with only six hours until the bus departed. The second was a boat party hosted by the language school in Montpellier, we sailed away into the sunset with a barbeque and sangria and most importantly great music and company!
What advice do you have for teens looking at gap year options?
I would say be clear from the start about your goals for the year because that will help you narrow down your options a bit. There are so many programs, which can be overwhelming, but planning it well and asking questions of the people who are there to assist is so helpful. I like to be super organised, so I bought a notebook especially for my gap year and wrote down everything. Don't just copy what your friends are doing, do something that you know you will genuinely enjoy.