Rationale For Taking A Gap Year English Language Essay

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to renew batteries - tired, worn out, wondering what life is all about!  Get away from it all, reassess your priorities and return to work refreshed.

to look for a new direction in life - perhaps you made a mistake in your career choice.  Rather than change career and compound the error, get away from it all and consider your options.

as a reaction to a personal tragedy - to start to recover from the loss of a loved one or divorce, a fresh challenge can get you back on your feet.

to gain new skills and knowledge - learning a language, putting yourself under physical pressure, team work: these are all beneficial when you return to your normal routine.

The advantages of travel

The broadening of life experiences, when you see something new. gaining a perpspective on your own life, reassessing values, learning a foreign language, meeting a diverse range of people, going back to your own roots (if your parents or grandparents were immigrants), visiting some of the famous landmarks of the world.

First advantage of travelling is visiting interesting places and meeting new people. It is connected with getting to know other cultures and traditions which is surely valuable. Secondly, it is usually said that journeys educate, so whilst travelling as well as exploration we can make our knowledge wider. Also we become more experienced and ready to cope with surrounding world if we learn something while being in journey. Furthermore, travelling is the best solution for those of us who suffer from boredom or want to get away from ?grey reality? and experience great adventure. Journeys give to people a little fun and also make dreams come true. 

The benefits of volunteering

Who gains more from volunteering in a developing country - the children or the volunteers? What skills could you develop while volunteering? Could you teach football, English, art, music or computer skills?

The benefits of volunteer work -- for anyone, of any age -- are virtually endless. Volunteer work expands your understanding of other people's lives. It gives you a new view of the world and the problems within it; it also shows you how hard people will work to solve those problems. There's no better cure for the blues than helping someone who's worse off than you are. It seems paradoxical, but volunteer work amid the most severe social problems can often be an abiding source of personal hope. Volunteering also strengthens your résumé. It often teaches you new skills. You might learn a new language or a new computer program. You'll almost certainly learn some interpersonal skills, and you may get some on-the-ground training in how an office functions day to day. After volunteering, you can apply for jobs with some demonstrable hands-on experience. If my experiences in sport subjects or other skills are very good, I would teach other.

Our Country - Thailand

Map

History

In the word Thailand, there is the word "Thai" what means free. So Thailand means "land of the free". In the early 13th century the empire of the current Thailand was ruled by the King Ramkhamhaeng who died in 1365. This period was glorious and joyful at this time. Thailand has had 17 constituitions and charters since the political reform in 1932 of the absolute monarchy. The form of government during this time has ranged from military dictatorship to electoral democracy, but all governments have accepted a hereditary monarch as the head of state. The current capital Bangcock established in the time when Thailand was under the rule of General Taksin until the first King of the Chakri Dynasty succeeded. In 1933, through the Siamese coup d'etat, the constitutional monarchy became the official government of Thailand. The revolution in 1973 resulted to a unstable and short period of democracy. During the 1980s, Thailand was under the ruling of Prem, a democratic strongman who had stored parliament politics. In 2001, the democrat Thai Rak Thai party came into power led by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. In 2006, a new coup d'état was successfully launched by Thailand's Army Commander-in-Chief Lieutenant General Sonthi Boonyaratglin.

The cultural diversity of the country

Religions: There are four main religions, Buddhism, Muslim, Christianity and Hinduism, in Thailand. Most of Thai people are Buddhism 95% whereas Muslim is the second large proportion in Thailand which is 3.8%. Christianity and Hinduism are very important religions in Thailand as well. The percentage of these two religions is 0.5% and 0.1% respectively.

Ethnicities: Thailand contains more than 30 ethnic groups varying in history, language, religion, appearance, and patterns of livelihood. However, the Thai, akin to the Lao of Laos, the Shan of Myanmar (Burma prior to June 1989), and the Thai groupings of southern China, comprise about 75% of the total population of Thailand. The Thai may be divided into three major groups and three minor groups. Major groups are the Central Thai (Siamese) of the Central Valley; the Eastern Thai (Lao) of the Northeast (Khorat); the Northern Thai (Lao) of North Thailand; and the Southern Thain (Chao Pak Thai) of peninsular Thailand. Minor groups are the Phuthai of northeastern Khorat, the Shan of the far northwestern corner of northern Thailand, and the Lue in the northeastern section of northern Thailand. The several branches of Thai are united by a common language.

Language: Thailand's population is relatively homogeneous, with more than 98% speaking a Tai language and sharing a common culture. This core population includes ethnic Tai (50%), Chinese or partly Chinese (40%), and Malay (5%). English is only spoken by the elite.

Education: All children have access to free, compulsory education from the age of six to twelve years of age. Almost ninety percent of primary school children attend either public schools or those run by Buddhist monasteries.  In 1995-96, there were about six million students enrolled in primary schools.  After the primary years, the attendance rates drop to just over fifty percent for secondary education, during the same school year listed above, only 3.8 million children attended lower- or upper-elementary schools.

The Thai government is talking about raising the required six years of education to nine years, although Thailand's literacy rate is one of the highest in Southeast Asia, at almost 95%.

There are many universities to choose from and and over 600,000 students did enroll and attend institutions of higher learning during the early 90s.  The largest universities in Thailand are located in Bangkok (Chulalongkorn University, established in 1917) and in the north (Chiang Mai University, established in 1964).

Education in Thailand is provided mainly by the Thai government through the Ministry of Education from pre-school to senior high school. A free basic education of twelve years is guaranteed by the constitution, and a minimum of nine years' school attendance is mandatory.

Formal education consists of at least twelve years of basic education, and higher education. Basic education is divided into six years of primary education and six years of secondary education, the latter being further divided into three years of lower- and upper-secondary levels. Kindergarten levels of pre-primary education, also part of the basic education level, span 2-3 years depending on the locale, and are variably provided. Non-formal education is also supported by the state. Independent schools contribute significantly to the general education infrastructure.

Class: The Thais can be broken down into various regional groups with their own regional varieties of Thai. These groups include Central Thai (also the standard variety of the language), the Isan (more closely related to the Standard Lao of Laos than to Standard Thai), Lanna Thai and Southern Thai. Modern Central Thai has become more dominant due to official government policy, which was designed to assimilate and unify the disparate Thai in spite of ethnolinguistic and cultural ties between the northeastern Thai people and the people from Laos for example.

The modern Thai are predominantly Theravada Buddhist and strongly identify their ethnic identity with their religious practices that include aspects of ancestor worship, among other beliefs of the ancient folklore of Thailand. Indigenous arts include muay Thai (kick boxing), Thai dance, makruk (Thai Chess), and nang yai(shadow play).

Important considerations

The skills we might be able to offer

We both have many skills to offer for volunteering in a gap year. In Thailand there are many poor families which don't have enough money to survive in their home country. In this case the parents normally send the children to work or to beg for some money. Therefore we can help them to spent time with their children and help them to improve not only their english language skills, also we are able found an institutions for a small village, where the children could learn something how they can raise their skills in the future. Also we could use our technological training and try to teach the folk how to work with. Surely there are many things what the folk of the villages needs, like pipes for fresh water. So we can show them how to install pipes and help building houses.

Dos and don'ts in Thailand (social etiquette that you must adhere to if you are not going to upset people)

All cultures have their own perspective of dos and don'ts in their home country. Therefore you have to prepare your self. Thais (people called in Thailand) know that foreign visitors have their own customs and different behaviours of doing things, but if you are aware of some of the do's and don'ts you will earn respect from your Thai hosts. Let's talk about some dos and don'ts in Thailand.

Dos:

Do respect all Buddha images. Buddha images are held sacred and sacrilegious acts are punishable by imprisonment even if committed by foreign visitors.

Do dress properly when visiting a temple.

Read more advice about visiting Thai temples

Do remove your shoes before entering a temple, somebody's house and even some shops.

When to take off your shoes

Do treat monks with the highest respect.

Do try and keep calm no matter what the problem or provocation may be.

Do eat with a spoon. Use the fork to load food on to the spoon.

Don'ts:

Don't show disrespect towards the Thai Royal Family.

This man ignored the advice. Read what happened to him

Don't cross your legs when you are in the presence of a monk. This applies whether you are sitting on the floor or in a chair.

Don't touch a Thai woman without consent. Despite the image portrayed in some bars and clubs, the majority of Thai women are conservative.

Don't be overly affectionate in public. This has changed in recent years and younger Thai couples can be seen holding hands, but snogging your boyfriend or girlfriend in the middle of the shopping mall won't win you too many friends. As with many things, Thais know that behaviour in the West is different to Thailand so you won't be chased out of town for holding hands with your partner, but resist the temptation to do so inside temple grounds.

Don't sunbathe nude. This is offensive to most Thai people although nobody is likely to say anything to you if you do so.

Source: http://www.thaizer.com ; Date: 11/29/2012

How we will raise the money for a big donation

There are many ways to raise money for a big donation. An important point when asking people to donate money is that you are clear about what you are asking people to donate the money for. You must be clear that you are asking people to donate money to help you. We will raise money by host a talent show, where people from outside, like tourists and rich people are going to pay for tickets to see a show accomplished by talented parents and children from the poor villages, whose were trained by us.

Conclusion

The advantages and challenges of cultural diversity

Your "base tolerance" would be much further higher than if you were just placed in a homogeneous cultural setting. Learning to live with varied customs and traditions from various cultures will "open your eyes" to the fact that your own culture is just one of many that exist around the world, and as you gain insight into this colorful tapestry, you will find yourself not just "tolerating" other cultures (and the attendant idiosyncracies you may find vis a vis your own culture) but actually CELEBRATING this diversity in all its splendor and glory!

What do you think is the best solution for overcoming discrimination, conflicts and wars?

You can still find discrimination and wars spread over the whole world. There could be many solutions to find the right answer to fight in an effective way against discrimination and wars. One working solution to fight against discrimination and wars would be to host multicultural events spread over the whole world, where people from all different cultures over the world can meet each other. So you could prevent constructing prejudice from the people to other cultures. People have to be enlightened of behaviours of other cultures and ways to live.

Do you think learning about Cultural Diversity might help to reduce conflicts?

I think learning only with the theory of cultural diversity might not help to reduce conflicts. For preventing conflicts in the future people have to meet other cultures like in a gap year. Every time when you notice, someone comes back from a gap year abroad, his or her mindset is changed. If the people would travel to other countries, they would learn unconscious about how to reduce conflicts.

How do you think you would benefit from taking a gap year?

From a gap year, I would benefit with many new skills I've learned abroad. For example, some dos and don'ts which you don't have in your home country, you have to meet and to learn them in your country abroad. The next point is, you will eliminate some prejudices which you maybe read in newspapers from your home country.

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