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Home / International News / 2010 / April 2010 / April 12, 2010
British gap-year students hopeless when it comes to geography
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British gap-year students hopeless when it comes to geography

A survey has shown that British gap-year students in the age group of 18 to 30 are useless when it comes to geography, with more than half believing that Timbuktu and Kazakhstan do not exist.


London, April 12 : A survey has shown that British gap-year students in the age group of 18 to 30 are useless when it comes to geography, with more than half believing that Timbuktu and Kazakhstan do not exist.

The study, by travel company sunshine.co.uk, comes as thousands of people plan to see the world at the end of this academic year before going to university because of a shortage of places on courses.he survey revealed that one said Spain was in France, and that more than a third said Atlantis is a real place they can visit in Greece, while one in 10 think equatorial Cambodia is often cold.

It is estimated that between 200,000 and 250,000 people aged from 16 to 25 will go on some kind of extended holiday, from backpacking independently to carrying out organised charity work.

And older people are also deciding to leave everything behind and go travelling. The number of long-stay travel insurance policies sold to customers aged 35 and over by Insure and Go rose by 23 percent last year.

But the survey of 2,865 youngsters shows more than a tenth think New Zealand is part of Australia.

Another seven percent believe Africa is a country rather than a continent, and eight percent think Madagascar is a made-up film title, not realising it is a real island in the Indian Ocean.

Almost half say the Galapagos are Spanish, when in fact they are remote islands in the Pacific.

"It's not unusual for us to receive inquiries from customers who have got the locations wrong or slightly mixed up and we wanted to find out just how good or bad people's knowledge of geography was," the Daily Express quoted sunshine.co.uk co-founder Chris Brown as saying.

"It's interesting to see that a fair few people aren't in the know when it comes to the world around them," Brown added.

For the record, Timbuktu is a city in Mali in sub-Saharan Africa, admittedly hard to get to.

Kazakhstan, in central Asia, borders China and Russia and is the ninth largest country in the world.

Atlantis, in Greek mythology a city which sank under the sea, does not, as far as is known, exist.

And the Taj Mahal is not a curry house in Birmingham but a marble mausoleum in Agra, India.

ANI

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