A student from Witney has been announced as the winner of the 2017 Gap 360 Student Travel Grant and she plans to use the grant to take her boyfriend on a surprise trip around the world after he had to cancel his travel plans last year.
Beth Faulkner (19) from Witney, Oxfordshire and currently studying at Bath University, was announced as the winner after the judging panel unanimously applauded her ‘fantastic enthusiasm and unselfish reasons for entering’. She wins a £3000 grant to spend on Gap 360 programmes.
Beth plans to travel to Africa with her boyfriend of three years, Kyle Faulkner (20) to experience the culture and wildlife. Then she would like to carry on to Australia because last year Kyle had to cancel plans to travel Down Under after a family member became ill.
“I feel on top of the world! I am so overwhelmed and feel very honored,” said Beth.
The Gap 360 Student Travel Grant
The Gap 360 Student Travel Grant is awarded to students from all walks of life to help fund a travelling experience that they might otherwise not be able to take. To win the award they have to demonstrate why they should be considered the most deserving recipient and how it will benefit their development.
First they need to show their passion for travelling and explain why their proposed trip is important. They then need to showcase how they would document the trip via blogging, photography & video, which is a crucial part of the grant.
The ten stand out applicants are then taken forward to a phone interview stage with Gap 360 which enables a more personal, verbal, aspect to be added in. The lucky recipients of the three prizes are then decided.
“Be yourself,” says Beth about applying for the grant and going through the judging stages. “There is nothing more precious in this life than staying true to yourself. You are an incredibly and wonderfully made human being with so many qualities and talents – show them that. They want to know the real you, what you’re passionate.”
The winner and runners-up can choose where and when they go travelling with the grant. Before they go to Australia, Beth is planning to travel with Kyle to Africa.
“The dream is to go on safari” she says. “Going on safari is definitely something I would not be able to afford on a student budget so I’ll be able to tick that off my bucket list! I am an animal fanatic and the goal would be to see a leopard in the wild, I know it’s a lot to ask but I’m hoping luck will be in my favour!”
“Africa seems like such an amazing place with so many different experiences and a rich culture, very different from what I’m used to back home, and it would be a wonderful experience to have, creating memories which will stay with me forever. My Dad went on safari when he was in his twenties and he still raves about it to this day. Hearing all his amazing stories has really inspired me to go and see it for myself – he was overjoyed when he heard I’d be able to go!!
This year there are two runners up awards of £1,500 and £750. These went respectively to University of Warwick film student Stefano Dunn (19) from Surrey & Jade Bowler (17) from Newlands School in Maidenhead.
Stefano showed how his film and photography blog would benefit from the travel experience and Jade, who is still at school, has a burgeoning YouTube life tips channel she wants to expand. The judges felt both had displayed a real ‘get up and go’ ambition which the travel experience would further develop.
Applications for the 2018 Gap 360 Student Travel Grant
Applications for the 2018 Gap 360 Student Travel Grant are set to open again in September. To find out more and register interest search: www.Gap360.com
- This is the 2nd annual Gap 360 Travel Grant Awards
- Over 6,900 young people from across the UK applied.
- The winner receives £3,000 to spend on Gap 360 travel programmes
- Two runners up receive £1500 & £750 respectively towards Gap 360 travel programmes
- Due to the success it is intended to run a 2018 award
- Applicants must be in full time education when they apply and be over 18 when they travel.
Gap 360 is the leading independent gap year travel company in the UK. It operates 200+ programmes in over 50 destinations, from short trips to 24 month adventures. It has a team of expert travel advisors to help plan trips and be on hand for advice whether backpacking, volunteering, working abroad or learning new skills.