How a gap year in Bali helped one student to find direction for her life and career

Ask Roosa Rautiainen about the benefits of her gap year in Bali, and she’ll give you a bunch of them. In fact, she gives you an almost endless list of great things that happened to her, as she was willing to travel to the other side of the world as an 18-year old. Among other things, she was able to figure out what studies she wants to pursue and helped her to land jobs in her chosen field. This interview was conducted as a part of our gap year survey in spring 2016.

gap year in asia - gap year in bali
Roosa has been traveling a lot. Chile 2013 – San Pedro de Atacama

“I got a chance to travel and study at the same time, exactly what I needed back then.”

She had just finished high school and turned 18, when she boarded her plane to Indonesia and Bali.

“It was a fantastic chapter in my life, I have great memories about it. The timing was perfect, as I had just finished high school.”

gap year in asia - gap year in bali
Peru, 2013 – Colca Canyon

She made a choice to jump into the adventure and she never had to look back. Instead of having to ask herself “What if I had been bold enough?”, she has faced the same question other way round.

“I had been dreaming about Bali for a long time and found the Asia Exchange website by accident. I got a chance to travel and study at the same time, exactly what I needed back then.”

A gap year had been in Roosa’s plans for a long time, but she wanted to use it in a sensible way. Basically she just needed a little help by coincidence.

“I have thought many times, what would’ve happened if I had not left there. It was such a great preparation for my life and studies.”

Read more: Results of our gap year survey – A gap year teaches new skills and brightens the future

“I’m sure the gap year has boosted my employment opportunities”

At the time of our interview with her, Roosa was working as a group travel specialist at Kilroy FINLAND youth travel agency for a year. She switched to that position from Aventura travel agency, who focus on long journey travels.

“I’m sure my gap year in Bali has boosted my employment opportunities”, she admits. “Employers have always been interested about it and paid attention to it on my C.V. Especially as I work in the field of tourism.”

Not only did the gap year help her in job hunting, but also in choosing a suitable major before that. Roosa ended up studying tourism management in Finnish city of Porvoo after her experience in Bali.

“I was interested in tourism in general before my trip, but the whole gap year reinforced the idea of studying tourism as well”, she says.

Finding a suitable study field and earning better employment opportunities were immensely valuable, but they were not the only benefits Roosa felt she gained from the gap year.

“I had a first real chance to speak English in my life. It was of real importance to get a chance to study in a foreign language and to live in a foreign culture”, she recalls. “It gave me lots of self-confidence and prepared me very well for the future.”

Gap year iin bali boosted Roosa's self-confidence, - Madeira, 2014
The gap year also boosted Roosa’s self-confidence preparing her for the future. – Madeira, 2014

“It helped me grow towards adulthood”

Studying at distinguished Udayana University, on the other hand, gave her a chance to see what it takes to study at a university. She even got some of the credits transferred into her degree later in Finland.

Living abroad for the first time as an 18-year old was also an experience some only dream about.

“It helped me grow towards adulthood. I felt like I already had some real experience of life, when I started my studies in Finland.”

Interested in doing a gap year in Bali yourself?

Find out more about studying abroad in Bali

Asia Exchange is a Finnish company providing study abroad opportunities in Asia Pacific for students from all around the world. Want to get travel tips and new blog posts straight to your inbox? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter! If you have any questions about studying abroad, feel free to contact us! We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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