If you want to take a gap year that provides you with fun and exciting new experiences, but also gives you a real sense of meaning and purpose, then you might want to combine seeing the sights and having adventures with making a meaningful contribution in the world. Many people see their gap year as their opportunity to make an impact on a community by signing up as a volunteer abroad and really making a difference.
There are many volunteering opportunities available for you to be a part of on your gap year, depending on what sort of work you want to do. These opportunities range from working to rebuild communtities as a community volunteer, teaching English in deprived areas or getting involved in wildlife conservation. Whatever you choose to do, make sure it means something special to you, as it will mean so much to the people and communities that you help during your gap year.
Doing something meaningful within a community can be an immensely rewarding way to spend your gap year. Help out as an orphanage volunteer and work with kids, bringing meaning into your life and theirs as you bond with chidren from deprived areas of the world who haven't had the best start in life.
One of the ways you can do something meaningful on your gap year is to become a volunteer teacher and ensure the education of future generations across the globe. You could teach abroad with children and give them the advantage of becoming multilingual, or just bring the basics of education into underprivileged communities by teaching kids in Africa and giving them a great start in life.
Helping to conserve some of the world's most wonderful wildlife is another way to make your gap year a meaningful experience. There are so many valuable volunteer projects out there that need your help and support and animals that are in desperate need of protection and care. Become a wildlife sanctuary volunteer in South Africa and meet the Big Five up close, or head off to Latin America and lose yourself in the lush landscape as you encounter endangered species, become eco-conscious and protect the environment and rehabilitate rescued animals on a wildlife project.;
Having a meaningful gap year means not only do you get to see the world, but you get to make a difference too. Working closely alongside a community, you will integrate with locals and their society in a way that passing visitors wouldn't, gaining a unique insight into a new and diverse culture. You'll create unforgettable memories and make some new friends for life along the way! By spending your gap year volunteering, you will ensure that you leave your mark and make the most of the chance for some meaningful travel.
Have an awesome elephant experience in stunning rural Thailand
Get up close to these amazing creatures at an elephant project and live in a rural Thai village community. Help bathe the elephants, plant crops and harvest bamboo, and get involved with local community projects. A magical experience!
41 days or longer
Volunteer with communities and wildlife, and explore the Land of Smiles!
Enjoy a month of unforgettable volunteer experiences and an action packed 12-day group tour. Teach children, care for elephants and explore the Thai islands on this fantastic combo adventure!
27 days or longer
2 weeks volunteering; 2 weeks partying!
Spend 4 weeks in Thailand volunteering, exploring and partying! Choose between teaching, childcare or elephant volunteering, and then travel around the country on our awesome 12-day Thai Intro tour!
2 - 8 weeks
Hands-on experience with exotic furry friends
Become a wildlife sanctuary volunteer and rescue and rehabilitate some amazing creatures in South Africa. Get up close to a range of African animals including monkeys, big cats and servals!
A 3-week India adventure tour plus 2-4 weeks volunteering in Kerala
Explore inspirational India, and then make a difference in Kerala. This is an amazing way to soak up the different sides of India, as you explore the hottest sights and then live and work as part of the community.
Enjoy a rural retreat in the Canadian countryside!
Spend 2-4 weeks in the Canadian countryside helping out on a rural farm! Experience life in the great outdoors, learn about farm living and discover new skills – all in the spectacular surroundings of rural Canada!
Rewarding teaching at local primary schools
Nurture young minds and develop the brains of Tanzania's tomorrow in nursery and primary schools! Get great teaching experience, make a real difference in the community, and see a unique side of African life.