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.
Costa Rica Marine Adventure
Gap Year Provider: Gapforce, Costa Rica
Join our tropical Marine Conservation project in Costa Rica and scuba dive in one of the world's most stunning settings. Once fully trained, volunteer at our Sea Turtle conservation project and help protect marine life. Gain three PADI qualifications. See Manta rays, dolphins, sharks and whales.
Gap Year Provider: Gapforce, 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!
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
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
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.
The Best Way To Become a Ski Instructor - EA Paid Internship Program
EA Ski & Snowboard Training offer paid ski and snowboard instructor internships programs, at 9 world class resorts in Japan! A paid internship is the best way to become a qualified instructor and start working for a prestigious ski school all in one season!
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.
Begin Your Gap Year With a Culinary Adventure
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.
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.
Gap Year Snow Jobs
Looking for the ultimate winter Gap Year? Want to get paid to ski (or snowboard) AND get a qualification? EA Ski & Snowboard provide full training and a guaranteed instructing job... Whats the catch? You just need to be a motivated, personable with a passion for the mountains.
Ski Instructor Course
Join the Skiforce team for an unforgettable season in the centre of centrally located in Morzine, the largest town of the Portes Du Soleil ski area, one of the largest ski areas in the world.
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.
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.
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!
Instructor Training + guaranteed job
Over 2000 qualified ski and snowboard instructors, a 99% pass rate, a great reputation & 29 top resorts across the globe! EA Ski and Snowboard training offer selected courses at the best rates in the industry. Training, exam, accommodation, lift pass, a guaranteed job offer and MORE!
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
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....
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
Camp Counselor Abroad
We’ve been running English camps for French children since 1994! With multiple locations across France, American Village Language Immersion Camps welcome thousands of kids each year. Our caring, fun, and professional counselor team is a part of what makes our camp so loved by our campers!
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.