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Meet the Gap Scholars
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Meet the Gap Scholars

Each year since the beginning of the programme we have awarded Gap Year Scholarships to young geographers who might not have considered or been able to afford to travel overseas on a gap year. Each Gap Scholarship is worth up to £4,000 which can fund travel, accommodation and the costs of a placement such as a conservation project, an expedition or a cultural exchange. This year's Gap Scholars are the last to be supported by the Learning and Leading programme which comes to an end in September 2016. No more grants are therefore available.

Students have received expert guidance from the Society and were mentored by geography undergraduates to help them plan a meaningful gap experience with a view to positively impacting on their future studies and career.

See below to find out what previous Gap Scholars have done and what this year's intake are planning to do.

2015 - 2016

Ieva Aliejunaite

Olivia Bloy

Lois Boyd

Is spending seven weeks volunteering on a conservation project on the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, followed by 2 months of  independent travel in Ecuador and Peru.

Ieva's Instagram

Is spending two weeks exploring Iceland then six weeks travelling independently around New Zealand. She will then spend three months in India working on a women's empowerment project. 

Olivia's blog

Is spending a month in Hanoi on a Vietnamese language course followed by a month volunteering in an orphanage in Cambodia. She will spend a further month independently travelling through both countries and Thailand.

Lois' blog


Chloe Carter


Regan Duff


Naeema Hafesji

Chloe is spending four months travelling independently through Australia and New Zealand. She will then volunteer as a rugby coach in a school in Samoa for two weeks followed by a week of independent travel there.

Chloe's blog Chloe's Instagram

Regan plans to spend a month volunteering in a nature reserve in Madagascar followed by a month travelling in New Zealand. He will then spend a further month inter-railing through Europe.

Reagan's blog

Is spending 9 weeks on an internship with the USGS in California followed by 2.5 months travelling independently through Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina.

Naeema's Instagram

2014 - 2015

Arif Hussain

Grace Simkins

William Parker

Grace Simkins

William Parker

Spent one month in Tanzania doing some volunteering, going on safari and climbing Mt Kilimanjaro. He then went to Beijing for five weeks to complete a Mandarin language course. More details (PDF) 

Travelled independently through Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Travelled to Iceland to do some conservation-related volunteering and independent hiking.


Emma Hulland


Theo Smith


Soraya Kebbouche

Took part in a 5 week community project in Fiji before travelling independently through New Zealand for two months. More details (PDF)

Spent two months volunteering and adventuring in Borneo before travelling independently in Australia and New Zealand for three months. More details (PDF)Theo's blog

Spent 6 weeks volunteering in Naples before back-packing through Europe independently for 2 months. More details (PDF)


Alexandra Sears


Jack Warriner


Ellie Geare

Jack Warriner

Volunteered for 1 year in an orphanage in Cambodia, teaching English and working on health and social care projects. More details (PDF) Lexi's blog

Volunteered on a conservation project in Peru for four weeks then spent ten weeks independently travelling in Peru and Bolivia.

Spent six months travelling independently through New Zealand and Australia. More details (PDF)


Andre Clacken-Lewin


Conor Campbell


Amy Wood

Spent 9 months travelling independently through south America from Argentina to Mexico and finishing in Cuba. More details (PDF) or Andre's blog

Spent two months in Thailand and Singapore then 4 months working on a farm in Australia. More details (PDF) or Conor's blog

Took part in a 5 week community project in Fiji before travelling independently for six weeks in Australia, a month in Thailand and 3 weeks in China. More details (PDF)


Jerrylyn Saguiped


Marcella Cilia


Will Allman

Spent 10 weeks on an overland tour from Kenya - South Africa followed by 3 months of independent travel in south east Asia. More details (PDF) or Jerrylyn's blog 

Spent six months completing an internship with the US Geological Survey in California. More details (PDF)

Spent ten months travelling independently and volunteering in Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. More details (PDF) or Will's Twitter feed

2013 - 2014

Victoria Adeyi

Daniel Evans

Lynn Munro

Gap Scholar Daniel Evans

Gap Scholar Lynn Munro

Volunteered on a community development project in Fiji then travelled through New Zealand.

More details (PDF)

Victoria's blog »

Researched permafrost in Alaska and independent travel through the west coast of USA.
More details (PDF) »
Daniel's blog »

Lynn volunteered on wildlife reserves in South Africa.
More details (PDF) »
Lynn's blog »


Andrew Robinson


Angela Rose


April Blair

Gap scholar April Blair

Internship at US Geological Survey in USA and travel to Hong Kong and New Zealand.

More details (PDF)

Andrew's blog »

Spent 3 months volunteering in Tanzania then 1.5months volunteering in Peru.

More details (PDF)

Elephant conservation volunteer in Thailand and independent travel to The Philippines.

More details (PDF)


Matthew Churm


Comfort Enoch-Moye


Evie Hawker

Gap scholar Matthew Churm

Travelled to USA and Sicily. More details (PDF)

Spent 3 months volunteering in a children's refuge in Peru and independently travelling. More details (PDF)

Spent 3 months volunteering and travelling in Ecuador followed by 2 months volunteering in Malaysia and the Maldives. More details (PDF) or Evie's blog 


George Smith


Georgia Murphy


James Totton

Six week solo trek through the Adirondack Mountains, USA. More details (PDF) or George's blog  

Spent 2 months volunteering on a project in Tanzania then 3.5 months travelling independently through India and Nepal. More details (PDF)

Internship investigating the effects of climate refugees in Bangladesh and independent travel in Nepal, Vietnam, Thailand and Singapore. More details (PDF)


Jonathan Fry


Lorna Burnell


Abi Ridley

Gap Scholar Lorna Burnell

Gap Scholar Abi Ridley

Spent 3 months volunteering on a community project in Nepal.

More details (PDF)

Travelled in Iceland, New Zealand, Australia and Cambodia
More details (PDF) »
Lorna's blog »

Explored her heritage in India and undertook voluntary work.
More details (PDF) » 


Tara Wales


Joshua Nimmins


Daniel Crewe

Gap Scholar Tara Wales

Gap Scholar Joshua Nimmins

Gap Scholar Daniel Crewe

Travelled in Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, South Africa and New Zealand to further her understanding of development.
More details (PDF) »

Volunteered in USA on water conservation and disability programmes.
Joshua's blog »

Travelled through central and eastern Europe and to Iceland to see the Northern Lights.
More details (PDF) » 


Amar Jilka


Emily Marsh


Jemimah Larbi

Gap Scholar Amar Jilka

Gap Scholar Emily Marsh

Gap Scholar Jemimah Larbi

Undertook an internship in China and voluntary work in Peru.
More details (PDF) »

Travel and teaching in India, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia. More details (PDF) »

Teaching English in China then travelled to Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Philippines. 
More details (PDF) »
Jemimah's blog »


Nia Rees


Torquil Hall


Emma Crewdson

Gap scholar Nia Rees

Gap Scholar Torquil Hall

Gap Scholar Emma Crewsdon

Travelled to Peru to learn Spanish and volunteer with young people.
More details (PDF) »
Nia's blog »

Cycled 2640 miles around the North Sea to see the Fjords and glaciated areas.
More details (PDF) »

Geophysics work experience in Singapore and Malaysia and travel in Australia and New Zealand.
More details (PDF)

2012 - 2013

Amy Donaldson

Amy Bennett

Denzel Johnson

Gap scholar Amy Donaldson

Gap scholar Amy Bennett

Gap scholar Denzel Johnson

Visited volcanic regions in St Vincent and Sicily.
More details (PDF) »

Undertook conservation in Cambodia and Costa Rica.
More details (PDF) »

Travelled and volunteered in the Americas over his gap year.
Denzel's blog »
More details (PDF) »


Jade Dyer


Sophie Garrett


Jake Shah

Gap scholar Jade Dyer

Gap scholar Sophie Garrett

Gap scholar Jake Shah

Travelled on an overland tour through USA.
More details (PDF)

Took an overland tour through South America.
More details (PDF)

Travelled in Austria, Turkey and Cuba.
More details (PDF) »


Rowan Blackmore


Siobhan Totterdale


Emma Byhurst

Gap scholar Rowan Blackmore

Gap scholar Siobhan Totterdale

Gap scholar Emma Byhurst

Conservation and travel in New Zealand, Chile and USA.
More details (PDF) »
Rowan's blog »

Travel, work and volunteering in Japan, Australia and USA.
More details (PDF) »
Siobhan's blog »

Taught in Malawi and worked in a summer camp in USA.
More details (PDF) »

2011 - 2012

Nathan Carlton

Samantha Armstrong

Rosie Ryan

Gap Scholar Nathan Carlton

Gap scholar Samantha Armstrong

Gap scholar Rosie Ryan

Undertook conservation work and travel in New Zealand.
More details (PDF) »

Toured overland through Africa, volunteering and travelling in South America.
More details (PDF) »

Worked in Australia and travelled in New Zealand and USA.
More details (PDF) »


Rebecca Pearce


Rebekah Akingbala


Sophie Wild

Gap scholar Rebecca Pearce

Gap scholar Rebekah Akingbala

Gap scholar Sophie Wild

Undertook a conservation project in Costa Rica.
More details (PDF) »

Took a French course and travelled in Canada.
More details (PDF) »

Volunteered on a turtle conservation project in Kenya.
More details (PDF) »


Sean Cox


John Nguyen


Stuart Fielding

Gap scholar Sean Cox

Gap Scholar John Nguyen

Gap Scholar Stuart Fielding

Travelled in South America and undertook a community building project in Peru.
More details (PDF) »
Sean's blog »

Travelled in South America, undertaking community construction project in Peru.
More details (PDF) »
John's blog »

Undertook conservation projects, paid work and independent travel in Australia.
More details (PDF) »


Shannon Salisbury


Matt Slater


Elizabeth Garrard

Gap scholar Shannon Salisbury

Gap scholar Matt Slater

Gap scholar Elizabeth Garrard

Volunteered in a Moroccan orphanage, travelled in Hong Kong, Australia and Fiji.
More details (PDF) »

Travelled to Norway, worked as a language assistant in Spain and interrailed in Europe.
More details (PDF) »

Worked in Australia, travelled in New Zealand and an overland tour of South America.


Emily Hargreaves


Thomas Unsworth


Ruth Van Tongeren

Gap Scholar Emily Hargreaves

Gap Scholar Tom Unsworth

Gap scholar Ruth Van Tongeren

Volunteered in a Hong Kong school, travelled in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Thailand.
More details (PDF) »

Volunteered on a conservation project in Ecuadorian Amazon, and travelled in South America.
More details (PDF) »

Undertook voluntary work in a USA National Park and travelled through USA.
More details (PDF) »
Ruth's blog »

RGS-IBG links
Learning & Leading gap year scholarships

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