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Why failing your A-Levels isn’t the end of the world

A-Level Results Day is a big moment which can direct your path for the next few years. But while for some the next steps after A-Level Results Day may be clear, for many others it might be a moment of facing the great unknown.

If your A-Level results do not align with your expectations, then we know it can be easy to feel like the world is crashing down. But let’s take a moment to step back and re-evaluate why it may not be the worst thing.

We believe that there are no failures, just redirections! So instead of pursuing further study, perhaps now is to moment to take a gap year, travel the world, and experience the school of life!

Taking time out and ;joining a Raleigh International Expedition might just be the perfect thing for you to do in this moment in time. Here’s a few reasons why!

1. It’s a reset button for personal growth

Failing your A-Levels can leave you feeling stuck, but joining a Raleigh Expedition offers a chance to hit the reset button and embrace a new challenge. Going to university would give you a change, but volunteering abroad will take you even further from the familiar, exposing you to different cultures, landscapes, and challenges. As you navigate through different community and environmental projects on your Expedition, you’ll discover new strengths, immerse into new cultures, develop a profound sense of self-assurance and conquer new challenges which are much bigger than a Freshers Week.

group of volunteers posing for a photo on top of a mountain

2. Real learning happens Beyond the Classroom

While A-Levels are important, they don’t define your entire education. We believe in the school of life! Raleigh Expeditions provide hands-on learning opportunities that go beyond the classroom. Engaging in real-world projects, teaches you skills in community development, environmental conservation and project management, while giving you lots of insight and knowledge into international development, wildlife and biodiversity, as well as the charity and volunteer sector. These learnings can be just as valuable, if not more so, than academic qualifications and open up new careers you had not previously considered.

two woman volunteers smiling for a photo

3. Build you resilience, grit and adaptability

Expeditions are a crash course in adaptability. Whether it’s overcoming language barriers, adjusting to living off grid in a rural community, or handling the physical challenge of a 19-day rainforest or mountain trek, you’ll develop resilience and problem-solving skills that simply can’t be taught in a classroom. Embracing challenges and overcoming them will prove to yourself (and others!) what you are capable of, giving you the resilience needed to know that you can conquer anything you put your mind to!

local and volunteers helping each other

4. Develop a global perspective

Raleigh Expedition volunteers come from all over the world! Our volunteers range from the UK, the USA, the Netherlands, Australia, Hong Kong, Bermuda and many other countries. By working in cross-cultural teams you will gain insights into different cultures and ways of thinking, while also helping you to build a network of friends from many different countries. It also gives you a global perspective which is highly valued in the world of work, and which also makes you a more compassionate and open-minded individual.

volunteers hugging each other and smiling

5. Give back and making a meaningful impact in the world

Going to university and further study may help further your personal and professional goals, but maybe it’s better to take the time to give back to others instead! One of the most rewarding aspects of a Raleigh Expedition is the opportunity to make a positive impact on the communities you visit. Whether it’s contributing to the development of new classroom facilities in indigenous communities in Costa Rica, or supporting education projects in rural South Africa your contribution as a volunteer can leave a lasting impact on the people who benefit from your work. Doing meaningful work like this can help you find a sense of purpose and fulfillment which can guide your future steps in life.

volunteers together picking trash

6. Discovering your purpose and passions

Academia is not for everyone, and for many, their passion and purpose lies outside the world of further study. By embarking on a Raleigh Expedition, you can experience the world of adventure travel, trekking, volunteering, and development work, which might uncover new passions, interests, or career paths that you never considered before. Many of our past volunteers say that volunteering on Expedition ignited a spark in them to follow a newfound passion in their life and career. So why not follow suit and see what you may discover about yourself on an Expedition.

volunteers happily hugging each other

Failing your A-Levels is not a dead-end, but actually an open door to new possibilities. Joining a Raleigh International Expedition can be a transformative experience that helps you build resilience, broaden your horizons, and find your footing in a world filled with opportunities.

Join your Raleigh Expedition in Costa Rica or South Africa. Take the first step and download our Expedition Guide.


Need more information about Expedition?

Consultation call

Whether you have a specific question or want to discuss which Expedition is right for you, schedule a call with a member of the team at a time convenient to you. 

Join an info event

On our monthly online info events, we’ll tell you all about Expedition. Have your questions answered, meet other volunteers and find out what Expedition is really like from an alumni.

Download a guide

Find out all about Raleigh International and Expedition in our helpful information guide.