Gap Year Volunteering
A decade or so ago, few people took gap-years between school and university, and those who did are likely to have spent the time on a whistle-stop tour of different locations; passing through a country's tourist spots; barely even scratching the surface of the cultures they were surrounded by.
Nowadays people are increasingly keen to incorporate a period of gap year volunteering abroad into their plans; spending time both living and working in a new community on a voluntourism trip, and therefore gaining a much deeper appreciation and understanding of the country and its people.
Planning your Gap Year Abroad
Some people are fortunate enough to have the resources to fund their gap year volunteering. Others will need to first work for a period at home. Others still may be able to fundraise part, or all of the cost, from generous friends and family members, local businesses or even members of the public.
With Projects Abroad you can choose what you want to do, where you want to do it, how long you want to do it for and when you want to start. This gives you tremendous freedom when planning your gap year volunteering. Go to our Projects page to see what you can do. Go to our Destinations page to see where you can do it. If you can't decide then you can always call one of our Programme Advisors who will talk through your volunteer travel options with you. If you wish we can even put you in touch with one of our ex-volunteers.
You will probably want to spend some of your time abroad exploring the country or region you are in by doing some independent travel. We strongly recommend you do this after your period of gap year volunteering; you will have a greater understanding of the country, the people - and hopefully the language - by then, and you may find other like-minded Projects Abroad volunteers to travel with.
We do not have a lengthy selection process and we won't interview you. All we ask for is the name of a teacher or tutor who we can approach for a reference. This is your gap year and we want to work with you to make sure it is as rewarding as it possibly can be.
Meet a Gap Year Volunteer
"After finishing high school I decided I wanted a Gap year before university. I had already travelled a fair amount with my family, but this was my first independent trip overseas, hence the fact that I wanted to go away in the knowledge that I would be supported by Projects Abroad along the way. I spent three months on a conservation placement in Mexico, helping to protect the endangered Olive Ridley Turtle species. I was living in a tropical paradise and working alongside an extremely diverse group of people, simultaneously contributing to something extremely important and worthwhile. Working alongside professional biologists, our weekly work included releasing hatchlings, protecting the corral and patrolling the 14 km stretch of beach for nests both day and night. My three months away were in fact the best of my life to date. I took away from it a greater sense of self belief, confidence and maturity."
Conservation in Mexico
For over 20 years Projects Abroad have been experts in volunteering abroad, work experience and gap year placements.
Founded in 1992, Projects Abroad has now sent nearly 100,000 volunteers from all walks of life to volunteer projects in the developing world.