Adventureworks

Take a mountaineering adventure lasting no more than a month with optional community-based projects in Asia, Africa and the Americas.

Cost: £1,500-£2,250 + costs for volunteering phase

Contact: 0845 345 8850; www.adventureworks.co.uk

Africa & Asia Venture

Teach a variety of subjects or join a conservation or community project, culminating in a safari. Destinations: Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, Botswana, Nepal, India and Mexico.

Cost: £2,690 (excluding flights)

Contact: 01380 729009; www.aventure.co.uk

Art History Abroad

Spend six weeks studying masterpieces of Italian art and soaking up this beautiful culture. Improve your drawing and knowledge of Italy simultaneously.

Cost: £5,400-£5,950

Contact: 020-7731 2231; www.arthistoryabroad.com

Base Camp Group

Become a qualified ski/snowboard instructor in France or Canada on a part-time or full-time course.

Cost: £1,245-£6,595

Contact: 020-7243 6222; www.basecampgroup.com

Bunac

Take a working holiday in Canada, the US, Australia and New Zealand, or opt for doing voluntary work in Peru, Costa Rica, Ghana and South Africa.

Cost: £390-£895

Contact: 020-7251 3472; www.bunac.org/uk

Camphill Communities

Join communities for disabled children and adults and provide therapy support, workshops and recreational activities in a choice of countries.

Cost: Volunteers pay for their own transport.

Contact: 07765 482114; www.camphill.org.uk



Camps International

Muck in with other volunteers at Camp Kenya near Mombasa, building and maintaining a local school and various conservation projects, before heading off to climb Mount Kenya, go on safari, or get wet’n’wild with the various watersports on offer.

Cost: £1,300 per month (excluding flights)

Contact: 0870 2401843; www.campsinternational.com

Changing Worlds

Sign up for volunteering opportunities in Chile, India, Nepal, Tanzania, Australia, New Zealand, Romania and Canada. These include working in orphanages, schools, farms, hotels and zoos.

Cost: £2,185

Contact: 01892 770 000; www.changingworlds.co.uk

Community Service Volunteers (CSV)

Spend time within the UK providing vital social care, such as supporting university students with disabilities, working with children with special needs or looking after people in homeless hostels.

Cost: Free accommodation and food with weekly allowance.

Contact: 0800 374 991; www.csv.org.uk

Eco Africa

Spend two to 12 weeks assisting on conservation projects on South Africa's game reserves and marine research projects.

Cost: £1,550-4,395

Contact: 01483 860560; www.ecoafricaexperience.com

Earthwatch

Volunteer to assist scientists in 45 countries doing anything from protecting China's black bears to excavating mammoths in South Dakota to studying koala ecology.

Cost: £495-£2,137

Contact: 01865 318 838; www.earthwatch.org/europe

Frontier

Conserve endangered wildlife and threatened habitats, or promote sustainable development or teach English in a school in Madagascar, Tanzania, Nicaragua, Cambodia and Fiji and the Pacific Islands.

Cost: £1,100-£4,000 (travel not included)

Contact: 020-7613 2422; www.frontier.ac.uk

GAP Activity Projects (GAP)

Enrol for a variety of placements in 32 countries such as conservation, caring for the disadvantaged, and TEFL placements to name a few.

Cost: £1,200-£1,650 (travel not included)

Contact: 01189 594 914; www.gap.org.uk

GapGuru

Sign up for all sorts of trips to India including paid placements in hotels, voluntary work in underprivileged schools, opportunities to learn salsa dancing and the chance to simply explore India.

Cost: £940-£2,400

Contact: 0870 609 1796; www.gapguru.com

Gap Sports

Take part in sports and outreach projects in Africa and Latin America, ski/snowboard instructor courses and professional training at international golf, rugby, cricket and scuba academies.

Cost: £1,295-£5,580 (travel not included)

Contact: 0870 837 9797; www.gapsports.com

Gapyear.com

Log on to this website which is bursting with everything any gapper needs to know. Provides travel tips, travellers' tales, country information, last-minute placements and much much more.

Contact: www.gapyear.com

Global Vision

Choose from an array of volunteering programs, training courses, expeditions and job placements abroad.

Cost: £250-£2,995

Contact: 0870 608 8898; www.gvi.co.uk

Greenforce

Choose from numerous marine and terrestrial conservation projects in Tanzania, the Bahamas, Borneo, Fiji, Ecuador and Nepal.

Cost: £1,400-£2,300

Contact: 020-7470 8888; www.greenforce.org

i-to-i

Consider placements as diverse as paid teaching positions in Thailand, China, South Korea and Poland to television work experience in Honduras.

Cost: £750-1,795

Contact: 0870 333 2332; www.i-to-i.com

International Voluntary Service

Browse this international charity's impressive database of voluntary projects using different organisations from around the world.

Contact: 01206 298 215; www.ivs-gb.org.uk

Inter-Cultural Youth Exchange (ICYE) UK

Volunteer for social and environmental projects for six or 12 months. Placements are available all over the world.

Cost: £2,900-£3,300

Contact: 0870 774 3486; www.icye.co.uk

The Leap

Fancy eco-tourism? Work in a treehouse eco-lodge in the jungles of Guyana or learn polo on an Argentinean Estancia.

Cost: £1,630-£3,304

Contact: 0870 240 4187; www.theleap.co.uk

Link Overseas Exchange

Do a six-month placement teaching conversational English in China, India and Sri Lanka. Other options include working in a Tibetan monastery or in a women's development centre.

Cost: £2,520

Contact: 01382 203 192; www.linkoverseas.org.uk

NONSTOPSKI

Ski non-stop for 11 weeks or three months in the Canadian Rockies and come out with an instructor's qualification at the end.

Cost: £2,050-£6,250 (including flights)

Contact: 0870 241 8070; www.nonstopski.com

Madventurer

Create your own gap year package by combining projects such as tsunami development, preserving rhinos in Uganda or coaching rugby in Fiji.

Cost: £750-£3,970 depending on length of trip

Contact: 0845 121 1996; www.madventurer.com

Mondo Challenge

Volunteer on small-scale community-based education and business programmes in Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Kenya, Gambia and South America while living with local families.

Cost: £700-£1,400

Contact: 01604 858 225; www.mondochallenge.org

Outreach International

Sign up for a range of gap year projects of three to six months' duration in Mexico, Cambodia, Ecuador and The Galapagos Islands. Help at an Aids/HIV project in Cambodia or a dolphin training project in Mexico.

Cost: £3,300 for three months (including flights)

Contact: 01458 274 957; www.outreachinternational.co.uk

Project Trust

Choose a placement from one of 24 destinations, lasting a full year. They range from working for an NGO in Mauritania to helping the Maseru Save the Children Village in Lesotho.

Cost: £3,950

Contact: 01879 230 444; www.projecttrust.org.uk

Quest Overseas

Spend four to six weeks on a project and six weeks on an expedition traversing South America or Africa.

Cost: £4,800

Contact: 01444 474 744; www.questoverseas.com

Raleigh International

Take a trip to Costa Rica/Nicaragua, Chile, Ghana, Namibia and Malaysia split into three phases: working on an environmental project, a community project and a challenging trek.

Cost: £2,995 minimum

Contact: 020-7371 8585; www.raleigh.org.uk

Teaching & Projects Abroad

Choose from living with a nomadic family in the Mongolian steppe or a law internship in China or go for a teaching, archaeological or conservation assignment.

Cost: £895-£2,595

Contact: 01903 708 300; www.teaching-abroad.co.uk

Timeless Excursions

Join a project in India. Programmes include teaching any subject to protecting elephants and turtles to media placements.

Cost: £398-£1,920

Contact: 020-7402-5576; www.gapyearinindia.com

Travellers Worldwide

Learn capoeira in Brazil, or work in an elephant orphanage in Sri Lanka: these are just two projects from an extensive range on offer

Cost: £995-£2,850

Contact: 01903 502 595; www.travellersworldwide.com

Trekforce Expeditions

Travel to Central and South America and south-east Asia. Projects include conservation, teaching and trekking.

Cost: £1,600-£3,900

Contact: 020-7828 2275; www.trekforce.org.uk

VentureCo Worldwide

Spend one month studying a language and then work on a local aid project, ending in a two-month transcontinental expedition.

Cost: £4,000-£5,500

Contact: 01926 411 122; www.ventureco-worldwide.com

WorldWide Volunteering

Log on to a vast database containing 1,200 voluntary organisations in 215 countries and 350,000 placements abroad and in the UK, accessible in many libraries, schools, colleges and universities around the country.

Contact: www.wwv.org.uk

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