Students save by spending year working

18:25, Dec 17 2012
Joel Dalloway
SMART MONEY: Joel Dalloway has worked since leaving school in 2011 so he will not need to get such a big loan for studying music at university next year.

Some Timaru school leavers are working before starting university to get ahead of a student loan.

In the 1960s, a gap year was usually spent going on an OE or working as a volunteer in a Third World country for the experience.

Joel Dalloway left Mountainview High School in 2011 and has been working at the freezing works since. He plans to go to Otago University to study music in February with a kick-start of about $14,000 of his own money.

"I will still need to take out a loan," he said. But it will not be as much as some other students.

His parents had taught him how to be frugal and he did not like to waste money, he said. "Starting life with a debt is not ideal."

A friend of Joel's, Josh Pavelka, also plans to work for a year before embarking on tertiary education.


He left Timaru Boys' High School at the end of this year and is uncertain which sciences he wants to study. He also wanted to go flatting and get used to paying bills before starting at Otago University.

Both know of people going straight to university from high school and a few who, like them, are spending a year saving first.

University of Canterbury College of Education Associate Professor Lindsey Conner said many of the students who applied for teaching qualifications took gap years, which made them an asset.

"They can use these experiences to provide interesting and relevant contexts to apply to their study and when they are teaching."

The Timaru Herald