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.
Teach English around the world
Gap Year Provider: International Volunteer HQ,
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....
Volunteer in Central America
A Raleigh expedition to Costa Rica & Nicaragua is a unique opportunity to experience incredible cultures and help tackle poverty in some of the most beautiful places on earth. You will be working towards: Community resilience, Environment volunteering and an exhilarating adventure trek.
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
Volunteer in Conservation around the world
From Turtle Conservation in Bali and Sri Lanka to Eco-Agriculture Conservation in Costa Rica and Guatemala, International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) provides a range of highly affordable and high quality Conservation volunteer programs around the world.
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.
Borneo Orangutan Protection
Join us on a 6 week extreme jungle adventure to help protect the endangered Orangutan in one of the oldest and most beautiful rainforests in the world. Working with the New Orangutan Rehabilitation Project, we head deep into the jungle to help construct rope bridges, hides and viewing structures. Lo
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.
Affordable Overseas Volunteer Programs From £150
Plan My Gap Year is an award-winning international volunteer placement organisation based in the UK. We provide the worlds most affordable, need-driven and supportive short-term volunteer programmes in Africa and Asia. Our programmes start from just two weeks in duration right up to six months.
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.
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.
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.
Dance Gap Year
New York, New York Cordoba, Buenos Aires, Mendoza, Argentina
Primarily focused on the choreographic process, Dance Gap Year includes dance pedagogy, technique classes and community workshops. Classes are heavily focused in Modern, Contemporary, Improvisation, Hip Hop, and body wellness. Dancers put on a show case and must complete a 50 hour internship.
Nepal Community & Everest Trek
Join us on an amazing 5 week diverse adventure through the Himalayas, exploring some of the most breathtaking mountain scenery in the world. Combine rewarding community work with an incredible trek to the Everest Base Camp for your complete Himalayan adventure!
Big 5 Wildlife Research in South Africa
By far the BEST way to see Africa's wild animals in their natural habitat is as a wildlife research volunteer! Join our team at our beautiful lodge in the Greater Kruger Area of South Africa to study and monitor Africa's 'Big 5' animals (lions, elephants, rhinos, leopards and buffalos!).
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.