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Projects Abroad Offers Accessible Gap Year Volunteering Options for Anyone

Taking a gap year before embarking onto the next stage of their academic careers is an increasingly popular trend for North American high school graduates. Some, like Malia Obama, are even deferring their college enrollment to do so. With volunteer organization Projects Abroad, a global leader in short-term international volunteer programs, bridging high school and college with a gap year is an option that can still help make a difference around the world for anyone eager to experience it.

Typically, a gap year can take place over a full year, a semester, or even just a month or two spent fulfilling an inner calling before heading back to the classroom. Volunteering abroad is just one meaningful way to spend a gap year, and it’s an option that offers several benefits, says Elizabeth Cauchois, a Program Advisor for Projects Abroad USA.

“Students taking their gap years in developing countries find that their experience as volunteers impacts them significantly. They devote their time, energy, and skills to helping others, learning about cultural exchange firsthand by living and working in local communities, and exploring the world. This gives them a measure of independence and maturity that few other experiences can, and many students feel more confident and prepared for their impending studies. A well-planned gap year can make all the difference.”

Projects Abroad has more than one option for gap year students. Global Gap is a pre-designed gap year volunteering program for a group of students to volunteer together throughout the course of an academic year (eight months). The group travels together to five countries — Ghana, South Africa, Peru, Nepal, and Thailand — to participate in a wide variety of volunteer projects and internships, such as helping local teachers improve their English and learning new classroom management techniques.

Students can also customize their gap year by participating on standard projects of their choice. They can choose exactly what they want to do, where they want to go, how long they want to go for, and when they want to start. This gives gap year students enormous freedom when planning their gap year and their travels can take them across the globe.

“A gap year is accessible to everyone,” Cauchois emphasizes. “We have a number of projects that are available on a budget, but that still offer safety and are well-coordinated. Volunteering abroad is possible on any budget and we are always happy to speak to and advise students who are looking to make their trip a reality.”

A gap year is an experience for anyone, and there are various ways to go about planning a year focused on traveling and volunteering. Learn more about gap year volunteering with Projects Abroad.

9 thoughts on “Projects Abroad Offers Accessible Gap Year Volunteering Options for Anyone”

  1. I thin this is perfect for teens who are not yet sure about what they want to pursue in college. It’s a good opportunity to learn more about themselves and what they want to do in their lives. I didn’t know we had such a program, that’s awesome!

  2. I think this is a great idea for high school graduates. It is an opportunity for them to experience how to truly serve the less fortunate. This will help them be aware of the situations of others in need and it would also give their parents a little more time to get in more savings to pay for their tuition.

  3. Agreed with Elizabeth, this would be helpful for those teen who were not still decided what they want to pursue.

  4. I am so glad there are now programs that encourage students to take a Gap Year so they can volunteer. I remember in college I did a co-op for a year so that I can work and try it out before I finished my last year. The co=op was part of a school program so I still had an advisor and I was still graded. But it allowed me to have some experience under my belt before graduating!

  5. Volunteering is fantastic for anyone at any age! It’s a great way to test yourself and your world view. It can also teach you to be grateful for what you have. People who regularly volunteer have lower risks of depression and tend to live longer so everybody benefits! These organizations are great and students definitely should avail of the opportunity.

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