Gap Year Volunteer Programs
Volunteering as a part of your gap year provides the opportunity to do something different to mark the end of your schooling - its travel with a purpose! It gives you the chance to see the world from a local perspective and become a part of the fabric of a community; to work as a part of a team of locals and volunteers from all over the world towards worthwhile, sustainable placements. Taking the time to live and learn about communities in the developing world is a truly significant step to take and an unbelievable way to spend your first months out of school.
Volunteering overseas on your gap year opens up a world of opportunities for growth and knowledge. Volunteering is challenging however allows for you to be immersed in new sights, sounds, smells and responsibilities… every one of our volunteers grows personally from their time abroad in different ways. It might be a quiet confidence from your newfound ability to haggle in an African market, or a deepened respect for how other people get by. Volunteering allows you the chance to learn more about yourself and the real world, while engaging and making a valuable contribution to communities in the developing world.
After completing school, Emma volunteered in Tanzania on teaching and medical projects. She planned to study medicine and the medical internship helped prepare her for this, while the teaching gave her a very different connection to the local community. She worked at a charitable school for disadvantaged children of all ages and helped with English and maths lessons as well as arranging plenty of outdoor activities.
Projects: Teaching, Medicine
Duration: Five months
'My time in Tanzania was incredible. I spent 3 months teaching in a school and 2 months in a hospital - challenging and inspiring experiences! Volunteering was an indescribable experience that changed me in ways I could not imagine; I made wonderful friends along my journey and found a second home in such a brilliant country.'
What can I do in my Gap Year?
With over 1,000 unique projects in 30 developing countries across the globe, deciding what to do can be the most daunting part of the process. Past school leavers have been involved in placements ranging from teaching English in a remote Ghanaian village, helping conserve marine life in Cambodia, volunteering at a centre from children with special needs in Sri Lanka, to supporting families in Kenya - the options are endless.
Volunteering on a gap year is also an excellent way to test out a career or study path you’ve been considering and the career benefits of time overseas before they start university. If you’re hoping to study medicine, law, journalism, business, nursing or international development, then Projects Abroad can provide an internship which gives you the experience of a lifetime and also allows you to test the waters, before committing to that five year degree.
Do I have to volunteer for the entire year or can I still volunteer if I’m planning to start uni next year?
Volunteering on a gap year, doesn’t mean you have to take a whole year out, you can volunteer at any-time during the year or even before Uni starts; whether it’s from one month to six. You choose your own dates and we work around your schedule - the projects are completely flexible!
Thanks to our full-time Projects Abroad staff employed in all of the countries we work, we take on volunteers every-day of the year so there will always be other volunteers either at your placement or staying with you at your host family, whenever you choose to travel.
What’s next? When should I apply?
Your next step is to take your time to look over our website, ask us plenty of questions and together, we will work out the best placement for you and your friends. We are very flexible and will do our best to meet any requirements or preferences you have.
In terms of the best time to apply, we generally need three months to comfortably process an application. However, the longer the time between applying and departing the better chance we have at securing a programme that is tailored to your needs and preferences, so once you’re set on exactly what you want and have had all of your questions answered, this is when you should apply! On the other hand, if you decide at the last minute that you would like to volunteer overseas give us a call and we may be able to make arrangements at short notice for you.
You can read more about the process of choosing a project, applying and preparing for your trip here.
Many people only get one chance to take on this sort of an adventure, so make it count and do something extraordinary!