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.
1 to 3 weeks
Volunteer in schools on the stunning Yasawa tropical islands!
Become a teaching volunteer in the breathtaking Yasawa Islands in Fiji. Make a difference and experience the real Fiji off the beaten track in this island paradise!
1 - 3 weeks
Scuba dive in azure seas on this marine conservation experience!
Become a marine conservation volunteer in fabulous Fiji. Make a difference and scuba dive around the stunning Yasawa Islands on this unique volunteer experience.
Help Buddhist monks learn English!
Head over to Sri Lanka and help Buddhist monks of all ages to improve their English! Discover Buddhist culture and make a difference on this fantastic cultural volunteer experience.
2 or 4 weeks
Gain pre-veterinary experience for your CV in South Africa!
Boost your CV with some amazing animal welfare experience, and work with wildlife, livestock and domestic animals at game reserves, farms and rural villages in South Africa!
3 - 4 weeks
Inspire and care for kids in Indonesia!
Make a difference in Bali on this teaching or childcare volunteer programme! Enjoy a cultural introduction week, then work with experienced teachers to plan creative, educational lessons that the kids will love!
Make a difference on a medical placement in Africa
Get some unbeatable hands on experience in beautiful Malawi! Work with rural communities and help raise awareness about health issues and provide treatment and support for local people.
Help with turtle conservation on an unspoilt Balinese island!
Volunteer at an incredible turtle conservation project on an idyllic Indonesian island in Bali. Enjoy a cultural immersion week then head to an unspoilt island to volunteer with turtles.
4 months or longer
An epic round-the-world adventure of a lifetime!
Tick off four continents on this unforgettable globe-trotting experience! Look after wildlife in South Africa, get adventurous in Thailand, go beach-hunting in Australia, explore stunning landscapes in New Zealand and enjoy an unforgettable American road trip – all in one incredible package!