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.
Make your mark
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.
Check out our trips below, or read more about Meaningful Travel »
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.
Lessons 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.
Live a wild-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.
South Africa Wild Adventure
15 days from4.5 34
Wonderful wildlife adventures in South Africa!Our 15-day epic South African volunteering and safari adventure! Combines wildlife conservation, community volunteering, stunning safaris, camping in Kruger National Park, adventure activities and exciting excursions. It’s the ultimate African experience!
Amazon Wildlife Rescue
2 - 4 weeks from4.0 5
Head to the edge of the Amazon and help care for wildlife!Calling all animal lovers in search of an Amazonian adventure! Help care for wildlife at a rescue centre in the amazing Amazon jungle in Ecuador.
Wildlife Sanctuary Volunteer in South Africa
2 - 8 weeks from4.0 20
1-4 weeks from4.5 14
Have an awesome elephant experience in stunning rural ThailandGet up close to these amazing creatures at an elephant project and live in a rural Thai village community. Help bathe the elephants, plant crops and harvest bamboo, and get involved with local community projects. A magical experience!
Volunteer in a School in Kerala - India
2-8 weeks from4.0 2
Make a real difference in children's lives!Volunteer with kids at schools in gorgeous Fort Kochi in Kerala. Help teach English in schools and care for kids as a volunteer in inspirational India!
Wildlife Volunteer Australia
2-8 weeks from4.5 6
Cape Town Community Volunteers
Up to 60 days from4.0 15
Volunteer with Disabled Children in India
2-8 weeks from
Look after disabled children in beautiful Kerala!Become a valued volunteer on this challenging but rewarding project looking after disabled children in beautiful Kerala, India.
Monkey Sanctuary Volunteers
2-12 weeks from4.0 20
Hands-on rehab project with cheeky primates!Join monkey rehab for 2 - 8 weeks, & have a swinging sanctuary time helping to support and return apes, monkeys & other animals to the wild.
South Africa Volunteer & Safari
8 or 10 weeks from4.5 27
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