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.
Affordable Volunteer Abroad Programs from £120
Gap Year Provider: International Volunteer HQ, Africa, Asia, South & Latin America
IVHQ provides safe, responsible, and extremely affordable volunteering placements in developing countries all over the world. Each year we place thousands of volunteers on our programs abroad, making us one of the world's most trusted volunteer organizations.
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.
Explore the Adventure Capital of the World in Queenstown NZ!
Our Explorer Series are designed with the same mind blowing philosophy we use for all our programs, but we add into the mix the social and cultural experiences that can only be found when you immerse yourself into a community by exploring it from the inside!
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.
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!
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.
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.
Trusted and Affordable Farming Volunteer Programs
Africa, Asia, South & Latin America
Are you willing to get your hands dirty to help make a difference in communities in need? International Volunteer HQ offers a range of outdoor work and agriculture volunteer programs in developing countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America.
25 day Adventure Hong Kong to China
This jam-packed tour takes you camping on the Great Wall, bamboo rafting in Yangshuo, and hiking on Hong Kong’s famed Victoria peak. Visit the adorable pandas in Chengdu, see the Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an, and learn some awesome kungfu moves.
Construction and Renovation Volunteer in Africa, Asia & Australasia
If you’re looking for a chance to get your hands dirty volunteering to help underprivileged communities with construction projects, look no further! Aiming to improve the quality of life for under-privileged citizens,the construction work improves the local living conditions.
Explore and protect the Malaysian Rainforest
Join a Raleigh expedition to Borneo and spend 5, 7 or 10 weeks living deep in the Malaysian Rainforest. You and your team of global volunteers will be working to protect it for future generations. You'll also volunteer in a rural community and trek across stunning landscapes.
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.
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!
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.