Choosing Europe as your gap year desination means you are closer to home, but still throws up a bewildering choice of projects and opportunities. Whether you already have something in mind, or are just searching for ideas, take a look at some of our favourite European gap year courses below. You can choose to volunteer or get paid in a wide range of subjects.
Au Pair Jobs Abroad
Gap Year Provider: Smaller Earth, Worldwide
Smaller Earth are the UK's leading overseas Au Pair company. We match thousands of participants to families across the globe in countries such as America, Spain, Italy, China and New Zealand. With placements lasting from 3 months to a year, we have the perfect international job waiting for you.
Begin Your Gap Year With a Culinary Adventure
Gap Year Provider: Dublin Cookery School, Ireland
Want to spend you winters on the slopes, your summers on a yacht and be in demand anywhere your adventures may take you? Our intensive PROFESSIONAL 3 MONTH CERTIFICATE COOKERY COURSE takes the fear out of cooking, boosts your confidence in the kitchen and gives you employable skills wherever you go.
Housekeeping Assistant, France
PGL's Housekeeping Assistant roles in France are a good platform to get started in hospitality and fantastic job to enjoy with a team of like-minded people from around the world. First impressions are always important and you can help deliver a positive and lasting first impression for our guests.
Instructor Training + guaranteed job
Over 2000 qualified ski and snowboard instructors, a 99% pass rate, a great reputation & 25 top resorts across the globe! EA Ski and Snowboard training offers selected courses at the best rates in the industry. Training, exam, accommodation, lift pass, a guaranteed job offer and MORE!
Teach English around the world
If you want to volunteer to teach English then we could send you to Costa Rica, Bali, Peru or Kenya! We have access to lots of programmes where the work you do will make a real difference to the children you teach. Find out more here....
Teaching Jobs Abroad
South Africa, Tanzania, Nepal, Romania, Brazil, Chile, China, Thailand
The demand for English teachers around the world is astronomical, take China, where there are 350 million people learning the language at any given time. Combine teaching and TEFL courses or volunteer in sports or childcare projects to create a rewarding adventure and experience!
Ski and Snowboard Instructor
Lovell Camps are looking for a qualified ski and/or snowboard instructor to join our team for 2017. Instructors will be working 5 hours a day on the hill, either 5 or 6 days per week and we are looking for candidates who are motivated and passionate about working with children.
Summer Projects for 16-19 year olds
Our Short-term Special Projects for 16-19 year olds offer teenagers the chance to volunteer and make a difference during their summer holidays! Projects Abroad has a wide range of projects from our Care & Panda Project in China to Conservation Projects in Peru.
Medical Work Experience
Tanzania, Romania, India
Our projects offering medical experience are an excellent way to boost your university application and to give you a great foundation towards your medical degree. Get practical experience with both medicine and healthcare and at the same time be helping those who really need it.
Australia, Canada, Thailand, China, Romania, New Zealand
Chose from instructing, hospitality and support roles in one of our Canadian ski resorts. Experience the Aussie Outback or the cosmopolitan city of Sydney or Auckland. We offer the chance to earn money teaching in China or Thailand.Travel, gain experience, get to know the locals and enhance your CV!
Medical Experience Abroad
By volunteering on a Medicine & Healthcare Project you will have the opportunity to experience the challenges faced by medical institutions across the developing world. You will have the chance to gain work experience whilst helping some of the poorest people in the world.
Bear Grylls Survival Academy - Instructors Course
Forest of Dean - Gloucestershire UK
Aside from the opportunity to work alongside Bear’s skilled team as the Academy grows on an international scale, passing the course provides an accredited, professional qualification that equips participants with the necessary skills for leadership & teaching adventurous training at various events
Volunteering on a Building Project with Projects Abroad will give you a great opportunity to help construct, repair and build houses or classrooms across the developing world. Whatever you are involved with you will have the opportunity to make a long term difference to the community.
Ski Instructor Course
Join the Skiforce team for an unforgettable season in the centre of Val d' Isere, the Mecca of European Snowsports, Skiforce is based in the only ski school in Val D'Isere that runs full Instructor Courses. The Ultimate Val D'Isere Instructor Course with free Heli ski!
Childcare Gap Year
Brazil, Chile, Canada, Romania, South Africa, Tanzania
Volunteering on childcare projects puts beaming smiles on the faces of vulnerable children. By simple interaction and play, be part of helping children learn English and supporting their carers who really appreciate your help. Oyster offer worthwhile projects in Africa, North and South America.
Culinary Gap Year Adventure in Ireland
DCS's 1 Month Cookery Course is a fun way to learn a marketable life-skill. The 4 weeks are packed full of hands-on cooking, inspiring recipes and the latest techniques. The confidence you gain and the skills you acquire will create opportunities for the rest of your exciting year.
London, Paris, Barcelona, Cote d’Azur, Florence, Rome, Venice, Vienna, Prague, Berlin, Amsterdam
Do you want to experience the best of Europe this summer? Join our group of like-minded travellers and our expert leader as we take you to 10 mind-blowing countries in just 25 days!
Chef - 2017
We're looking for a positive, motivated and experienced Chef at our Suffolk based centre, Walnutree Manor. In this role you will provide good quality food to staff and children aged 6 to 18 years of age. This will include breakfast, lunch and dinner for a maximum 300 covers daily in busy period
Conservation Gap Year
Australia, Costa Rica, Galapagos, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Namibia, S.Africa, Malaysia, Borneo, Romania, Ecuador
Make a genuine difference with Oyster's many links to charities and organisations from around the world. Volunteer with exotic wildlife and help with environmental conservation by choosing from a variety of beautiful and exotic locations. Volunteer from as little as one week to up to 12 months.
Canada, Romania, Brazil, South Africa
Take part in coaching a range of sports including football, rugby, cricket, netball, swimming or skiing. Help and support groups of disadvantaged children around the world or enjoy combining your love of skiing or snowboarding with instructing. Combine sport and travel passions and make a difference
Trusted and Affordable Medical Volunteer Programs
Africa, Asia, South & Latin America
Looking to gain invaluable experience for your medical career and assist communities in real need? International Volunteer HQ offers affordable volunteer programs for pre-medical and medical students in developing countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America
Looking for something else? We have plenty more gap year ideas to inspire you.
Popular Europe Destinations:
France, Italy, Romania, Spain
Quick Europe Facts:
Population - 0.75 billion
Languages - Every country has its own national language.
As a UK citizen, you are permitted to travel and work without limits withing the EU.
Some people take a gap year with little or no preparation. They may pack an oversized rucksack with most of their worldly goods and buy a rail ticket that will allow them to cross the channel into France or Belgium. But beyond a vague plan to head for Greece or Italy or somewhere equally warm, and take causal jobs along the route, they see the free spirit aspect of travelling an integral part of a European adventure.
Other people like to have everything planned before they go. This can range from a simple plan to stay in a certain country or city between set dates, to pre booking accommodation to the exact day, like a well organised military campaign. No matter how detailed your plans, nor whether you are staying for few weeks or a full year, if you are this second type of person, who likes to have some idea of what you are going to do during your gap year in Europe, then this page is for you.
Europe has a lot to offer, whether you try to squeeze your experience into a couple of weeks or several months. Our advertisers offer a huge range of European courses and job types, voluntary and paid, in many European countries. Seasonal grape picking, learning to become a ski instructor in the Alps, take part in an expedition in the Arctic, medical work experience in Eastern Europe, teaching English as a foreign language or paid fundraising in the UK.
I knew I wanted to take a gap year before I started university but I wasn't interested in the type where you go and sit on an Indonesian beach for weeks on end doing nothing. My intended university course had an option for some Italian modules which I wanted to take. My Italian wasn't (still isn't) perfect, so I decided a language course would be a good way to spend my year out.
After a heck of a lot of research I decided to travel with ESL. They were offering an Italian language course suitable for beginners at the Torre di Babele school in Rome. The price was right and it was flexible enough to cover what I wanted to achieve so I signed up for a 24 week stay in the Italian capital. What an amazing place! The school was pretty central and my accommodation wasn't too far away. I chose to be housed with a local family to begin with as I thought it would be easier to get settled with some help rather than being alone. They were lovely people which was a real bonus.
The standard course doesn't take up too much time during the week so there is plenty of opportunity to explore the city. The language school even help organise excursions to places of interest. Our Naples trip was amazing and really helped the group to bond. The time absolutely flew past, but my Italian language skills improved dramatically through being completely immersed in the language. I had tried to learn before so knew the basics, but this is definitely the way to learn. And a great way to spend my time.