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
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!
Sumatra & Bali Orangutan Conservation
Indonesia, Sumatra, Bali
From the jungles of Sumatra to the beaches of Bali, this 4 to 8 week program combines volunteering on our unique Orangutan protection project with an amazing South East Asia island adventure!
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!
Wildlife Conservation in Malaysia - turtles, tigers, scuba diving
We manage several conservation and community projects in Malaysia. Join us in the Perhentian Islands on our coral and diving research project or our turtle project. We have 2 tiger and rainforest conservation projects one in Merapoh and the other at Royal Belum State Park. Contact us now.
Medical Volunteer and Internships
Many hospitals are understaffed and require assistance with basic treatments and more complex procedures if you have the credentials necessary. You have the opportunity to help people back to health.An incredible opportunity to gain medical experience as an Intern or Volunteer abroad.
Volunteer with the Maasai Tribe in Tanzania
Work with one of Africa’s most iconic tribes, the Maasai, near Africa's highest mountain - Mount Kilimanjaro. Your support will give members of the tribe who have not had access to education as a child a second chance at education in adulthood, and empower them to earn an income for their family.
Teaching and Youth Development in Cape Town
As a teaching volunteer in Cape Town, you will educate, support and empower children who come from disadvantaged township communities. This is an exceptional opportunity to visit one of the most beautiful cities in the world, while also contributing to the future of it's poorest citizens.
Trusted and Affordable Sports Volunteer Programs
Africa, South & Latin America
Keen to share your love of sport with students from low income communities? International Volunteer HQ offers a range of affordable sports volunteer programs in developing countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America.
The Ultimate African Adventure
Spend 5, 7 or 10 weeks living and working alongside a remote Tanzanian community whilst working on a life changing water and sanitation project. Protect some of the world's most vulnerable environments and trek through stunning landscapes in the diverse Southern Highlands of Tanzania.
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.
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.
Volunteering / Internships with Animals
Take part in an incredible opportunity to spend time volunteering with majestic animals during your gap year! Set in spectacular locations around the world the projects will bring you close to the animals as you take part in their daily routines.
Teaching in Livingstone, Zambia
Join us near the 'Adventure Capital' of Africa, Victoria Falls, and offer much-needed teaching assistance at under-staffed Zambian schools. This is an opportunity to give individual attention to children who really need it, assist local teachers, and to gain some valuable teaching abroad experience.
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.
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.