Volunteering gap years are extremely popular and give gappers the chance do something beyond just jetting off to exotic locales. It provides the chance to give something back to the less fortunate and also looks great on a CV for when it comes to looking for a job.
If you’re looking into a volunteer gap year and you’ve started looking to see what’s out there, the names of a few schemes will probably come up time and again. If you’ve not gotten that far yet and you’re just starting your research, here are some of the most popular gap year volunteer schemes out there.
More than 30,000 people have gone on a voluntary scheme with Raleigh International. In its own words, Raleigh’s goal is to cater to “ordinary people who want to do something extraordinary with their lives, make a difference in the world and new friends along the way.”
The charity takes young people aged between 17 and 24-years-old, career breakers and even retirees on expeditions to places like India, Costa Rica and Borneo, to name a few.
VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas)
VSO fights against poverty in some of the most impoverished parts of the world. It sends hundreds of volunteers to around 40 different countries every year, with schemes ranging from six months to two years long.
The sorts of volunteer work you can expect to do will depend on the country you’re volunteering in and what your skills and experience are. It could involve something like health care, community work or social care. This could be a particularly appropriate gap year scheme if you’re interested in a career in health or social care.
GVI (Global Vision International)
Global Vision International (GVI) have been on the scene since 1998 and sends around 3,000 volunteers away to around 150 projects in 40 countries around the world. It’s a non-religious voluntary organisation which focuses on issues like environmental research, conservation, education and community development. GVI trips last anywhere between a week and 12 months.
There are plenty of other organisations out there doing similar work and work in specific niches like Frontier and Trekforce. If you have an idea of a particular field in which you want to volunteer, like animal care for example, search online for animal care volunteer schemes, and so on.