Gap Year Volunteering
Taking some time off before college (or after, or whenever really) is a wonderful opportunity to explore your interests and the world around you. Our volunteer programs are a great opportunity during a gap year to volunteer, develop your areas of interest, learn new skills and experience diverse cultures. The stats on gap years are not officially recorded, but the trend has been growing over the last decade. Colleges are beginning to realize the benefits of gap years on incoming students; in fact Harvard’s acceptance letter now encourages them!
“One new perspective I have brought back to my daily life is to appreciate everything, the good and the bad. I have always been a positive person, but my volunteer experience abroad has taught me how important it is to let go of the little inconvenience in life and really appreciate the small things.” – Karisa D. – Nepal
Top Reasons To Volunteer Abroad on a Gap Year:
- Life Changing Experience: No matter your reasons for taking a gap year, there’s no doubt that you’ll come out of the experience a new person. Taking the time to explore the world around you and seeing how you can impact it is an invaluable experience. Volunteering abroad will teach you more than you ever thought about others and yourself.
- Help Shape Your Future: Volunteering on a gap year can help you decide where your true passions lie. Taking the time before college or between stages in life to explore different directions will help you have a clear idea of where you want to go in the future.
- Greater Sense of Direction: Volunteer abroad can also set you apart from other college applicants. You’ll have had the time to decide your areas of interest, narrowing down your specialty and the major that you truly want to pursue.
- Better Prepared For College: Your time volunteering on our programs will no doubt prepare you well for many of the experiences that you’ll face in college. Volunteering and living abroad will not only give you a sense of independence but is a great way to build self-confidence. From meeting new people, to time-management to working in groups, there are countless lessons to be learned volunteering abroad that overlap with college experiences as well.
“Volunteering has been a self-sacrificing, enriching act that has given me much more than I gave. I am a much better person now and my perspective has changed so positively. What an amazing, life changing experience in all aspects of my life this project has given me.” –
Eileen M. – Great Britain
Planning Your Gap Volunteer Year
Whether you’re looking for medium term programs, long term programs or a combination of both we can help you plan the perfect Gap Year volunteer experience.
Medium Term Volunteer Projects
Volunteers arrive on the same day (usually about 1-3 international volunteers) and attend an orientation
hosted by a project leader to help the volunteers acclimate to the country, the community, and the project. Volunteers will be transported to their accommodations by the project leader, and slowly given more independence throughout the duration of the project. Volunteers will not be accompanied the entire time by a project leader, but will always have them for support when needed. The projects offer a more independent and cultural immersion experience.
Length: 1-6 months
Typical Accommodation: Host Family or Dorm
Experience Level: Great for students looking to volunteer over the summer or a semester in their area of study. May require local language knowledge.
Only open to volunteers aged 18 and older.
Long Term Volunteer Projects
In many communities that we have been working in for over 30 years we have developed very close relationships with our local partner organizations and community members. These projects are typically our most diverse types of projects and can range anywhere from one week to a year in length. These projects are less structured and are great for volunteers looking to craft a personalized experience. You select the dates you arrive and depart. Choose from a variety of work types and work with the community members to craft your own experience. Great for student groups looking to customize their experience.
Length: 1 week to 1 year
Typical Accommodation: Host Family or Dorm
Experience Level: Varied. There is no guarantee that other volunteers will be working in the community when you arrive.
Recommended for confident travelers prepared to be fully immersed in local culture or a group that wants to serve together.