Tag Archives: Gap Year

The Problem With Little White Girls (and Boys)

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Perfect, succinct article about why people, young or otherwise, from the minority or ‘first’ world going on these feel good trips to the majority world in the name of ‘charity’ is a bad thing. This is partly because it is much more cost effective and environmentally friendly to send the funds directly to give the jobs to skilled natives, but do click through to read the article for more.

Pippa Biddle

White people aren’t told that the color of their skin is a problem very often. We sail through police check points, don’t garner sideways glances in affluent neighborhoods, and are generally understood to be predispositioned for success based on a physical characteristic (the color of our skin) we have little control over beyond sunscreen and tanning oil.

After six years of working in and traveling through a number of different countries where white people are in the numerical minority, I’ve come to realize that there is one place being white is not only a hindrance, but negative –  most of the developing world.

Removing rocks from buckets of beans in Tanzania. Removing rocks from buckets of beans in Tanzania.

In high school, I travelled to Tanzania as part of a school trip. There were 14 white girls, 1 black girl who, to her frustration, was called white by almost everyone we met in Tanzania, and a few teachers/chaperones…

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Aside

totally-wasted

There isn’t an easy one size fits all solution to this, but universities need to become more flexible. There should be options based upon the subject, the student’s previous qualifications, and whether they’ve had a gap year.

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Should Year 1 Count (in British University Degrees)?