Volunteers on a global gap year visit Machu Picchu on a weekend trip in Peru.

Global Gap Year Abroad

Volunteer your way around the world on our epic global gap group trip

Join us on our Global Gap Year program, starting every September. This is an incredible opportunity that takes you to five different countries around the world in 27 weeks. At the same time, you’ll become part of ongoing efforts to support local communities.

From childcare in Ghana to survey dives in Thailand, you’ll gain international work experience in a range of fields. It’s a fantastic way to broaden your horizons and learn about global issues before going to university. You’ll encounter different cultures and team up with people to address the challenges affecting local communities.

We take care of all the details, ensuring you have a safe trip, and we provide 24/7 staff support. This means all you need to do is focus on making an impact at your placement. On this group adventure, you’ll have the chance to meet people from around the world and make memories that will last a lifetime.

Is a gap year abroad right for me?

If you are a student interested in the opportunity to:

  • Take a break and explore the world before heading to university
  • Use your gap year to decide what you want to study and discover what field is a good fit for you
  • Become more focused and grow as a person through travel
  • Get a deeper insight into global issues and challenges

Then our Global Gap Year program is for you. It’s a way for you to do something worthwhile and exciting before taking the step to higher education.

You’ll get to travel the world and experience different cultures. As a volunteer, you’ll work to address the needs of local communities while immersing yourself in a new way of life. You’ll gain hands-on experience in a range of different fields, from Conservation to Childcare.

You don’t need any previous experience to join our Global Gap program. You’ll be supervised by local staff and receive a comprehensive introduction for each placement.

Gap year travel with a group provides you with a great support system and you’ll make friends for life. Our staff are also available to help 24/7 in each country, so that you can enjoy a hassle-free time abroad.

This trip takes place on fixed dates between September and May each year, and is open to all gap year students looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

How does the Global Gap Year program work?

Our Global Gap Year program is an organized group trip designed for students taking some time out before university. You’ll travel the world with other people your age for a total of 27 weeks, visiting five countries on three continents. We provide 24/7 staff support in each country and take care of all the details. All you need to do is focus on your volunteer work.

There are fixed dates for this trip, which includes a four week winter break over December and January. Your program fee covers:

  • Food and accommodation
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Transfers to and from the airport in each country
  • Flights, including a round-trip ticket home for the winter break
  • Various sightseeing tours and activities in each country

The Global Gap all-inclusive program fee is $29,995. You can book your place on the trip here.

What will I do on this Global Gap Year program?

On this organised group gap year, you’ll get the chance to volunteer in five different countries. You’ll work closely with our local staff members, learning about issues that affect the local community. But it’s not all work and no play. You’ll also go sightseeing and experience the local culture.

This is what you will do around the world.

What you’ll do in Ghana

Your time in Ghana begins with a one week orientation in Accra. You’ll get to meet your fellow volunteers and take part in workshops which will prepare you for your time abroad. These workshops will cover topics such as culture shock and international issues.

You’ll also get to take part in different cultural and social activities, visit some of the different Projects Abroad volunteer projects in Accra, and sample Ghanaian cuisine. As a group, you’ll also visit some of the amazing local sites, such as national parks.

After orientation, you’ll spend three weeks volunteering on our Childcare Project in Akuapem Hills. Here, you’ll get involved in practical work at a local daycare center. You’ll be an extra pair of helping hands for the caregivers and organize fun, educational activities for the children.

This is important work, as the centers we work with are overcrowded. Having a high student-teacher ratio means that children often don’t get enough individual attention. With volunteers there to help, we can make sure the children get all the support they need. 

A volunteer reads aloud to children in Ghana during her global gap year abroad.

What you’ll do in South Africa

The next stage of your trip takes place in South Africa. You’ll spend your first two weeks helping out on our Surfing Project in Cape Town. This fantastic outdoor initiative teaches disadvantaged and disabled youth how to surf. You don’t need to know how to surf in order to join. All you need is to be able to swim, and we’ll teach you to surf.

The last four weeks of your time in South Africa will be spent on a project of your choice. There are some great options to choose from, including:

  • Childcare: Work with children in disadvantaged township communities and support early childhood development.
  • Law & Human Rights: Intern at our local Projects Abroad Human Rights Office, where you’ll get involved in social justice initiatives addressing human rights issues in the community.
  • Nutrition: Support local initiatives to improve nutrition levels in township communities.

See the full range of options on our South Africa information page.

Global Gap volunteers teach children surfing techniques before going into the water at a beach in South Africa.

What you’ll do in Peru

After your four week winter break, you’ll join us again in Cusco, Peru, for eight weeks. You’ll participate in our Teaching Project, helping out with our innovative teacher training program which takes place during the school holidays. Here, you’ll prepare interactive lessons for small groups of local teachers to assist them in improving their own English levels.

In Peru, teachers at public schools struggle with their English. They are usually experts in subjects like science and history, but are then also asked to teach English. As an English-speaker, you can help by assisting teachers with pronunciation and putting together sentences. 

Depending on the scheduling of the teacher training, your Global Gap group may also get the opportunity to spend a week on our Incan & Wari Archaeology Project in the Lucre valley of Cusco. On this fascinating placement, you’ll gain hands-on experience in different aspects of archaeological work.

At the conclusion of your volunteer work, you’ll visit the magnificent lost city of Machu Picchu. After several days of hiking and exploring ruins, your group will spend the few remaining days relaxing in the city of Cusco.

Local teachers receive assistance with their English pronunciation from a volunteer on her Global Gap Year abroad in Peru.

What you’ll do in Nepal

In small yet stunning Nepal, you can choose to spend your four weeks on one of two projects: Conservation or Medicine.

On the Himalayan Conservation Project, you’ll work in the Annapurna mountain range helping to conduct wildlife research and protect the local biodiversity. The area is home to some incredibly unique species, from leopard cats to black bears. On any given day you’ll get involved in a range of different tasks, from bird surveys to community recycling initiatives.

If you choose the Medicine option, you’ll shadow doctors in a busy teaching hospital in Chitwan. This is a great opportunity for those of you with an interest in the field, as you’ll get to learn about medical practices in a different cultural setting. You’ll also get involved in public health outreaches and education programs in the local community.

As a group, you’ll also get to go on a weekend trip with staff to explore breathtaking sites like the foothills of Mount Everest or Chitwan National Park.

A local woman has her pulse and oxygen saturation levels measured by a Global Gap Year volunteer in Nepal.

What you’ll do in Thailand

The last stage of this Global Gap year takes place in Thailand. You’ll spend four weeks on our Diving & Marine Conservation Project near Ao Nang. In your first week, you’ll learn how to become a certified PADI diver. Once you’ve completed the course, it’s time to take part in breathtaking dives amongst the coral reefs.

You’ll conduct research on fish populations and reef damage, and collect undersea rubbish on salvage dives. Out of the water, you’ll assist with:

  • Beach clean-ups
  • Mangrove reforestation initiatives
  • Educational outreach work with local schools

If you’re already a certified diver, you can begin your conservation work immediately without completing the training, or you may take a specialty diving course instead. There are also Teaching and Childcare Projects for volunteers who would like to do something other than the diving program.

Two volunteers prepare to dive at our Conservation Project in Thailand during their Global Gap Year abroad.

What are the goals of this Global Gap programme?

The main aim of this program is to give you a rich cultural experience while supporting important community projects across the globe.

We believe in the importance of cultural exchange, which fosters greater understanding of others. On this 27-week trip, you’ll get to encounter people from all walks of life, as you live and work together. It’s an opportunity to learn from other people, share experiences, and make memories that will last for a lifetime.

In each of the countries you visit, you’ll also become part of our ongoing community projects. Each of these projects is designed to address the needs of the local community. From Conservation to Childcare, you’ll be helping to make a positive impact in the lives of others.

Join us on our Global Gap Year program and gain international travel while giving back as a volunteer on this once-in-a-lifetime trip.

Can't find what you're looking for?

We’d be happy to talk about creating a custom gap year programme for you. Most of our staff have been volunteers themselves, so they’re ready to answer your questions, big or small.

1 212 244 7234

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to start planning your project