If you are opting for volunteer work you will not get paid, but voluntary work, usually in the form of helping others with projects that they could not otherwise afford to undertake, can often be the most rewarding type of gap year. We have too many options to list everything on this page, but have selected a few of our current favourites. Please use the following search to discover plenty more volunteer projects.
Culture and Volunteer experiences in Asia, Africa and South America
Gap Year Provider: TRU Experience Travel, Worldwide
Begin with an orientation to the country you have chosen, it is great way to embrace your new environment and become familiar with the new culture. After this fun packed orientation you will be able to begin on your volunteer project, from Teaching, Conservation, Construction or Healthcare.
Teaching Jobs Abroad
Gap Year Provider: Oyster Worldwide, 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!
Medical and HIV/Aids Volunteering in South Africa
As a medical volunteer in a rural Zulu area of South Africa, you will gain real insight into the daily struggles of those living in poverty. Through clinic work, home-based care initiatives and HIV education, you will make a positive difference in the lives of those less fortunate.
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.
New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, South Africa
A JST adventure is like no other! Join extraordinary crews on our tall ships, the only in the world that allow disabled and able-bodied people to sail together. We voyage to stunning locations around the world. No matter what sailing experience you have, you're set for a life-changing voyage!
South America Explore
An 8 week South American adventure combining Spanish lessons, a Trek to Machu Picchu, volunteering at our jungle animal sanctuary and a visit to the Galapagos!
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....
Jasper 11-week Ski or Snowboard Instructor Course
Improve your skiing and learn how to teach others to ski on our 11 week instructor course. Get your CSIA level 1 and 2 so you can find work as a ski instructor next season or just have the most amazing gap year in the Canadian Rockies
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!
Dolphin Conservation in Zanzibar
Help us protect Zanzibar's wild dolphin population by researching the impact that tourism is having on these amazing animals. You will get up-close encounters while learning how to swim ethically with dolphins, all the while contributing to marine conservation on this stunning tropical island.
Support Orphaned and Vulnerable Children in Cape Town
The focus of this project is to care for and support abandoned and orphaned children in emergency care homes and after-school care facilities in Cape Town. Volunteers get to live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, all the while assisting with early childhood development.
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.
Explore the Adventure Capital of the World in Queenstown NZ!
Summer in New Zealand. There aren’t many places you can travel the length of country barefoot and get along just fine with a smile and a good attitude. Our program is all about giving you an authentic kiwi experience, an all-inclusive activity-filled program that leaves you to focus on having fun!
Ski and snowboard instructor paid internships
Coronet Peak, Queenstown
Snow Trainers has teamed up with Coronet Peak to offer you an amazing opportunity to work and train with their legendary ski school. Based in beautiful Queenstown you'll train for your internationally recognised Level 1 & 2 qualifications while gaining valuable work experience at the same time.
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.
Teach English Abroad
A Projects Abroad teaching placement is ideal for anyone who would like to make a positive contribution across the developing world. Your role will include working with local schools, NGOs or universities, where you will find yourself taking classes or teachers with lessons.
The volunteer gap year courses above are just a small selection of what we can offer. Use the following search to discover lots more gap year volunteering options:
While developing countries may have the greatest need for volunteers, volunteering work is available in all corners of the world. We list a wide variety of different types of volunteer work, including community development, teaching, ecological conservation, marine management, sports coaching, research, working with children, working with animals, and much more.
Often the voluntary work you will undertake will have a huge benefit to the local environment or community, lending a much needed hand, and genuinely inspiring others by example. But there is no harm in thinking about the benefits for you personally. So why should you volunteer?
- You will get the opportunity to meet new people, often from different cultures and ethnic backgrounds. Working with a diverse group of people will help develop your team work skills and give you new knowledge - this may include new skills and undiscovered talents that you did not previously know you possessed.
- You will also develop excellent time management skills as most volunteer projects are not as strictly controlled as "nine until five" paid work. Though thorough training and support is usually available.
- You will be able to build your personal skills. Working with and talking to your fellow volunteers will aid your communication skills and your overall confidence will receive a boost.
- The work experience you will gain could quite easily lead to a new career path when you get home. You could also benefit from the ideas and experiences learned on your gap to further your existing carrer upon your return.
- You will have great fun. There is little point going on a year out if you are not going to enjoy it. Through meeting and helping other people, and really making a difference, you are bound to enjoy yourself.
Finally, don't forget to update your CV after you return from your volunteer work. Volunteer experience can look great next to your formal qualifications and is often viewed favourably by employers.