Offers mountaineering adventures in Ecuador, Nepal and Tanzania along with optional community-based projects.

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

0845 345 8850;

Africa & Asia Venture

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

Cost: £2,490 (excluding flights)

01380 729009;

African Conservation Experience

Join conservation placements in game and nature reserves in southern Africa.

Cost: £3,500

0870 241 5816;

AFS International Youth Development

Live with a host family while working on a broad variety of community projects from human rights monitoring to training street children in more than 50 countries.

Cost: £2,950 minimum

0113 242 6136;

Art History Abroad

Spend six weeks travelling through Italy while studying masterpieces of Italian Art. Improve your drawing and your Italian at the same time.

Cost: £4,950-£5,700

020-7277 4514;


Working-conservation holidays in more than 25 countries such as turtle monitoring in Thailand.

Cost: £350-£950

01302 57 22 44;


Experienced at arranging working holidays in Canada, the US, Australia and New Zealand, along with adventures to South America and Africa including voluntary work.

Cost: £250-£2,000

020-7251 3472;

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.

01653 694197;

Changing Worlds

Volunteering opportunities in Chile, India, Nepal, Tanzania, Australia, New Zealand, Romania and Canada include working in orphanages, schools, farms, hotels or even ships.

Cost: £2,185

01892 770000;

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. Free accommodation and food with weekly allowance

0800 374 991;

Eco Africa

Spend 2-12 weeks assisting on conservation projects in South Africa's game reserves and marine research projects. This includes the only white lion conservation project in the world.

Cost: £1,550-£3,900

01483 860560;


Volunteers assist scientists in 45 countries doing anything from monitoring dolphins in Brazil to researching health and nutrition information in Botswana.

Cost: £495-£2,199

01865 318838;


Conserve endangered wildlife and threatened habitats and promote sustainable development in Madagascar, Tanzania, Nicaragua, Cambodia and the Andaman Islands.

Cost: £1,500-£3,950 (travel not included)

020-7613 2422;

GAP Activity Projects (GAP)

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

Cost: £850-£1,450 (travel not included)

0118 959 4914;

Gap Challenge

Flexible voluntary placements in teaching, care work, conservation and medical support in 13 countries.

Cost: £2,000 minimum

020-8728 7272;

Gap Sports

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

Cost: £1,090-£5,580 (travel not included)

0870 837 9797;


Choose from numerous diving, trekking and scientific research projects in Zambia, Peru, Bahamas, Borneo, Fiji, Ecuador and Nepal.

Cost: £1,375-£2,900

020-7470 8888;


Offers placements as diverse as journalism in Ghana to caring for turtles in the Caribbean as well as medical and business internships.

Cost: £750-£1,795

0870 333 2332;

International Voluntary Service

This international charity has an impressive database of voluntary projects using different organisations from around the world.

01206 298 215;

Inter-Cultural Youth Exchange (ICYE) UK

Volunteers are placed on social and environmental projects. Placements available all over the world.

Cost: £2,850-£3,250

020-7681 0983;

Kibbutz Representatives

Earn your keep through hard manual labour in a self-contained community in Israel.

Cost: £370 minimum or

The Leap

Specialises in eco-tourism with placements in game parks and beaches in Kenya, safari lodges in Tanzania and rural bush camps in Malawi.

Cost: £2,100 minimum

0870 240 4187;

Link Overseas Exchange

Placements mainly involve teaching conversational English, although other options include working in a Tibetan monastery or in a women's development centre.

Cost: £2,250

01382 203192;


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: £2,950-£6,250 (including flights)

0870 241 80 70;


Create your own gap year package by combining volunteering with activities such as coaching cricket, football or rugby with a conservation project in the Caribbean or traversing Africa.

Cost: £1,180 depending on length of trip

0845 121 1996;

Project Trust

Placements in 24 destinations which last a full year. They range from running a newspaper in Namibia to working in the children's ward of a hospital in South Africa.

Cost: £3,950

01879 230444;

Raleigh International

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

Cost: £3,500

020-7371 8585;


Volunteering opportunities within the UK. The scheme aims to provide able-bodied people with an awareness of what it is like to have a physical disability.

020-8675 6095;

Ski Le Gap

Ski/snowboard instructors' course specifically designed for gap-year students from Britain.

Cost: £2,750-£6,200, depending on duration

UK freephone 0800 328-0345, Direct Line 001 819 429 6599;

Teaching and Projects Abroad

Variety of projects from making radio and television programmes in Ghana to pre-university medical programmes in Sri Lanka, along with conservation and teaching assignments.

Cost: £895-£2,295

01903 708300;

Timeless Excursions

Operates solely in India. Programmes include teaching everything from drama to maths alongside conservation projects, restoration of historical monuments and work in orphanages.

Cost: £350 a month

00 91 11 2617 4205;

Travellers Worldwide

Placements range from learning photography in Cuba to lion breeding in Zimbabwe.

Cost: £895 minimum (excluding flights/ insurance)

01903 700478;

Trekforce Expeditions

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

Cost: £2,590-£3,900

020-7828 2275;

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

01926 411122;

Volunteer Study Abroad

Work in a school, orphanage, health clinic, animal welfare or HIV education in Kenya and Tanzania, and, soon, Malawi.

Cost: from £170 a month (excluding flights)

01873 812453;

Wind, Sand & Stars

Offers a four-week journey through the Sinai desert with the Bedouin, working on various projects. Includes mountain and camel trekking

Cost: £1,400 minimum

020-7359 7551;

WorldWide Volunteering

A vast database containing almost 1,000 volunteer organisation and 300,000 placements abroad and in the UK, accessible in many libraries, schools, colleges and universities around the country.