Gap year guide: Listings

Be More

Choose from five projects in South Africa: a child care centre, an Aids hospice, teaching life skills, working with street children or in a rehabilitation programme.

Cost: £725-£904 per month

Contact: 020-3214 6024

Blue Ventures

Specialises in marine conservation in Madagascar, Malaysia and Fiji. Learn how to scuba-dive and protect the environment at the same time.

Cost: £1,400-£3,400

Contact: 020-3176 0548;

Bruce Organisation

Work with street children across Latin America. Volunteer opportunities include getting out-of-school children to return to the classroom, helping abandoned pregnant teens, animal protection and gardening.

Cost: £308-£555

Contact: 00 51 4494 992 4445;

Caledonia Languages Abroad

Study, work or volunteer while perfecting a second language. Learn Spanish in South America or Spain, French in France or the Caribbean, Portuguese in Portugal or Brazil. Russian, German or Italian are also offered.

Cost: £900-£1,660 for a month

Contact: 0131-621 7721 ;

Community Service Volunteers (CSV)

Reduce your carbon footprint by staying in the UK to volunteer. Work in refugee programmes, homeless shelters and young offenders' institutions, or care for disabled students.

Cost: Free accommodation and food, with weekly allowance

Contact: 0800-374 991 ;

Coral Cay Conservation

If you're passionate about the underwater world and conservation, then spend up to four months scuba-diving in the Philippines or Tobago.

Cost: £750–£3,050

Contact: 020-7620 1411 ;

Ethical volunteering website

Take a look at this website before choosing a gap-year company. It provides sound advice and recommendations on how to ensure the placement you choose genuinely helps the host community and country.

Contact: 07720 461716 ;

Frontiers Foundation

Work on the Arctic border in Canada as a teaching assistant for 10 months or constructing houses for low-income families for a minimum of three months. Some relevant experience needed.

Cost: Salary of $50 a week and all living expenses paid.

Contact: 001 416 690 3930 ;

Global Xchange

Take part in a new initiative run jointly by the British Council and VSO. Spend six months volunteering with young people from different countries in an exchange programme whereby you spend half the time in their country and half in the UK.

Cost: £600, all other costs covered

Contact: 020-8780 7500 ;

International Voluntary Service

Check out the IVS databases for a variety of projects such as art workshops with disabled people in Croatia, helping in a national park in Botswana, or working with visually and physically impaired children in Bangladesh. You may need to be flexible with dates.

Cost: varies depending on project, some free.

Contact: 0131-243 2745;

iSPiiCE – Integrated Social Programmes in Indian Child Education

Immerse yourself in Indian culture. Choose from the following projects: women's empowerment, street children, education, child care and health care, lasting from two weeks to three months.

Cost: £290-£1,190

Contact: 00 91 9805 401 998;


Spend a month overlooking the Indian Ocean in Mozambique, while working on community or medical projects.

Cost: £160–£270

Contact: 00 27 797 456 778 ;

Nexos Voluntarios

If you are looking for a serious placement working with an established NGO in Peru, this could be for you. Placements in education, public health, environment, business and development, and human rights, generally lasting one to three months.

Cost: £1,050-£2,970

Contact: 0051 1242 6670 ;

Original Volunteers

Supervise kids' art activities in Brazil for £83 a week, live with an Indian family and volunteer on local community projects for £47 a week, or teach in Thailand for up to 12 weeks for a flat fee of £100, and much more.

Cost: £195 one-off fee, plus the weekly charge.

Contact: 0800-345 7582;

People and Places

Volunteer on a bicycle project in South Africa, work with lemurs in Madagascar, conserve Swaziland's savannah or ecotourism project in Gambia, to name just a few.

Cost: £1,025-£2,695

Contact: 0870 0460 479;

Quest Overseas

Runs 14 projects across Africa and South America, such as rainforest sustainability in Ecuador, helping children prepare for carnival in Rio de Janeiro, and a water relief project in Kenya.

Cost: £3,630-£4,680

Contact: 01273 777 206; www.


Tailor-make a placement for yourself in Kenya working for an HIV/Aids charity. Work with sensitisation, outreach programmes, caring for sufferers, fundraising and research etc.

Cost: £210 per month

Contact: 00 256 414 595 996 ;

S H A D (Support and housing assistance for people with disabilities)

Volunteer in the UK and give people with disabilities the same choice that is available to the able-bodied.

Cost: free accommodation in London, £60 weekly allowance

Contact: 020-8675 6095;

South Africa Volunteers

Become part of South Africa's Port St Johns community. Volunteer in a school or boys' home, work in a life-skills centre or co-operatively set up a coffee base cash crop.

Cost: £25 per day

Contact: 00 27 721 023 949 ;

Student partnerships worldwide

Help combat HIV/Aids by volunteering on youth empowerment and health education schemes in India, Nepal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia for five to 12 months.

Cost: £3,600

Contact: 020-7976 8070;

Ticket to Ride Worldwide Surfing Adventures

Learn to surf in Costa Rica, South Africa or Mozambique and qualify as an SSA level-1 surf instructor and Surf Proficiency Awards lifesaver, and hopefully earn some money afterwards.

Cost: £3,195–£6,495

Contact: 020-8788 8668 ;


You don't need to go abroad to get involved in a community volunteer project. Check out the Timebank website and search for projects in your local area.

Cost: Free

Contact: 0845 456 1668 ;

VEEP Nepal

Immerse yourself in Nepalese culture by working in an orphanage, teaching English, learning Nepali or raising awareness of environmental and health issues. Projects last two weeks to five months.

Cost: £215-£700

Contact: 00 977 1449 7282 ;

Venus Volunteering

Meditate with Thai monks, learn Thai boxing, undertake a nursing placement, turtle conservation, teaching, or school development, all in Thailand.

Cost: £300-£1,200

Contact: 07518 356 223;;


Opt to live in Sri Lanka, India or Thailand for one to six months teaching English, working as a language assistant or on a community project.

Cost: £900-£2,000

Contact: 0845 094 3727;

Village Education Project (Kilimanjaro)

Teach English to village children on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania for six months or more.

Cost: £3,250 including flights

Contact: 01732 743 000;

Volunteer Africa

Work in an orphanage or on a grass-roots community development project in rural parts of Tanzania for four to 12 weeks.

Cost: £1,295-£2,275


Working Abroad

Cloud forest conservation in Ecuador, leatherback sea turtle research in the Caribbean, wilderness conservation in Nevada (cost: £110 regardless of length of stay). Some other projects have age limits.

Cost: £380-£1,689

Contact: 01935 864 458 ;

Worldwide Volunteering

Check out this mammoth database containing 1,700 voluntary organisations with the potential for 1.5 million annual placements across 214 countries.

Contact: 01935 825 588 ;

WWISA: Willing Workers in South Africa

Opt to spend two weeks to three months living and volunteering in Kurland village. Work in housing initiatives, kids camps, environmental programmes, a primary school, day-care centre, organic farming and healthcare assistance.

Cost: £700-£2,240

Contact: 00 27 445 348 958 ;

2 Way Development

Aimed at graduates, this organisation places skilled volunteers with experienced NGOs all over the world. Projects involve helping victims of child prostitution in Cambodia, or psychosocial rehabilitation in Botswana, and last at least six months

Cost: £950

Contact: volunteer@2waydevelopment. com;

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
love + sex
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Seth Rogan is one of America’s most famous pot smokers
filmAmy Pascal resigned after her personal emails were leaked following a cyber-attack sparked by the actor's film The Interview
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
Life and Style
A statue of the Flemish geographer Gerard Kremer, Geradus Mercator (1512 - 1594) which was unveiled at the Geographical Congree at Anvers. He was the first person to use the word atlas to describe a book of maps.
techThe 16th century cartographer created the atlas
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Ashdown Group: Graduate Application Support Analyst

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree have recently been awa...

SThree: Recruitment Resourcer

£20000 - £21000 per annum + uncapped commission: SThree: As a graduate you are...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate / Junior Software Developer

£24000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Graduate/Junior Software Deve...

Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot