At a glance
- Get Started: Download this trip’s itinerary
- Experience a different kind of project every two weeks!
- Do conservation work in the Himalayan Mountains
- Help disadvantaged communities with Microfinance, Public Health and Childcare Projects in Cambodia.
- Support disaster relief work by Building classrooms and help local staff on our Teaching Project in Nepal.
- Explore the UNESCO temples of Angkor Wat and take a safari at Chitwan National Park.
Throughout the yearSee Dates
Is this Gap Semester in Asia right for me?
If you are 18-24 and seeking a chance to discover the world in a structured, meaningful, safe and engaging setting, you should read on. This program is designed to allow you to explore new cultures and gain exposure to a variety of fields through hands-on experiential learning.
If you have finished high school and have passion, energy and an open mind to really find out what it’s like to live and work in other countries, this program is perfect for you!
We explain more about these projects and what they involve below. While most of these projects focus on volunteering, we can facilitate internships during your gap semester if you need to fulfil requirements for school. Just let us know when you apply to join.
Work alongside Projects Abroad and our local partners to support entrepreneurs in and around Phnom Penh. Many of the poorest people in Cambodia lack access to banks and loans. You’ll help provide interest-free micro-loans to get their businesses up and running.
- Help people develop business plans
- Assist with workshops on basic business skills and accounting
- Visit beneficiaries at their homes and businesses
Childcare and Education
The focus of our Childcare Project in Cambodia is to ensure that young kids learn the skills they need to thrive once they leave school. You’ll provide extra support for teachers in overcrowded and understaffed pre-school and primary schools. You’ll teach through play and other creative activities.
- Create lesson plans with help from our local staff
- Support early childhood development through games, arts and crafts.
- Focus on literacy work and conversational English.
- Promote good hygiene practices and teach about nutrition
You don’t need previous experience working with kids. We’ll provide training, workshops, and resources so you’ll have everything you need.
Provide education to remote communities in and around Siem Reap. Teach about the environment, basic health, nutrition and other important topics that are often ignored in regular classes.
- Visit remote communities
- Create workshops and games to involve community members of all ages
After returning from Siem Reap you will have the opportunity to join our Public Health initiative. You’ll work alongside nurses and doctors to provide outreach visits and mobile clinics to communities that have little to no access to healthcare.
- Learn basic medical skills from our experienced staff
- Conduct health checks alongside professionals
- Teach children about healthcare, nutrition, and hygiene
- Record, analyse, and report data for our Global Impact Database
You'll be based in a primary school and work alongside local teachers who will guide and assist you.
- Teach children English and make lessons fun and engaging
- Design resources to contribute towards a literacy-rich environment
- Assist teachers with subjects like music, science, sports, art, life skills, and hygiene
- Attend workshops about the education system in Nepal
Work alongside builders, engineers and architects to assist with classroom construction. Kathmandu is still recovering from the 2015 earthquake that devastated the region. Your assistance will make a clear and visible impact in developing the local community and enabling more children to access education.
- Renovate existing classrooms
- Support construction of new classrooms, toilets and washing facilities
- Learn how to mix cement, dig foundations and lay bricks
Head up into the Himalayas to begin your Conservation adventure. Stay in the beautiful town of Ghandruk, perched among mountains and rice fields.
- Work in the Annapurna Conservation area alongside local experts
- Monitor species and conduct biodiversity surveys
- Check camera traps for Snow Leopards
- Raise awareness about ongoing conservation efforts through workshops and lessons in local communities
Where in Cambodia and Nepal will I work?
You'll start your journey in Phnom Penh. The Capital of Cambodia sits on the banks of the Tonlé Sap and Mekong Rivers. However, for all its growth, there remain areas of poverty and marginalization in the city. These are the communities your work will focus on supporting.
Even with Cambodia’s history of war, the city is rapidly developing to keep up with an expanding population and growing tourism industry. In some places, it can be an intriguing mix of traditional and modern life. And, around every corner, your nose will be led to some of the most delicious Cambodian food. The city also boasts a lively night life and a great selection of spas and restaurants.
As you walk the streets, you’ll be greeted by saffron-clad monks, chaotic traffic, and some of the friendliest locals you’ll ever meet. You can spend time at the many Buddhist temples, sample delicious fish amok or Cambodian chicken curry, or visit one of the local markets and modern malls.
The cultural and tourist center of Cambodia, Siem Reap retains some of its colonial French influence. With sprawling night markets and an assortment of exciting street food, Siem Reap is a great place to explore and learn more about the culture of Cambodia. From here, you’re also within easy reach of the world famous Angkor Wat. Hundreds of ancient temples are scattered throughout the jungle and are an unforgettable sight.
While Siem Reap city is prosperous, the surrounding province is one of the poorest in the country. You'll conduct community outreach events and workshops in these areas.
You’ll spend your first three weeks in Nepal around the city of Bharatpur in Chitwan District. This fast growing city is full of sacred religious sites, as well as forts and palaces. It’s popular with tourists due to its close proximity to Chitwan National Park. Bishazari Tal wetland also lies on the southern side of the city and is a popular bird watching site. Spend time exploring the many colourful markets, and gaze in wonder at the snow-capped mountains surrounding the city.
You’ll live and work in Ghandruk during your Himalayan Conservation project. This picturesque village is located in the Annapurna mountain range (part of the Himalayas). Ghandruk is home to truly spectacular views, as well as plenty of friendly people. You’ll stay at a family-run guesthouse with other members of your group. Pokhara, one of the largest cities in Nepal, is the closest city. Simultaneously vibrant and laid-back, Pokhara is home to plenty of attractions and restaurants, making it an ideal weekend getaway spot.
We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.
Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.
Measuring our impact
Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.
Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.
Safety and staff support
Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
Not quite what you’re looking for?
Take a look at the following pages where you'll find collections of similar projects: