Great gap year ideas

Make the most out of your gap year: work your way around the world

Great gap year ideas Work with Peruvian locals - © G. Ritchie, Different Travel
By Arvind Malhotra

Don't just take a year off to travel – make a difference with these great opportunities to work and volunteer in exciting destinations around the globe. Arvind Malhotra of GapGuru offers ten ideas for a whorthwhile gap year.


Volunteer for an HIV grants programme

In parts of Northern Tanzania, Africa, 50 per cent of the adult population is HIV positive. Working through a registered charity, an HIV grants programme helps widows to set up small sustainable businesses to maintain their livelihood. Volunteers will provide guidance, advisory support and business training to women working alongside the local team.

Mood Challenge (

Teach football

Football is very popular in Africa, and sports lovers who can teach techniques or simply play games with the children are always welcome. Volunteers work with enthusiastic children organising games and competitions in schools. Even though the infrastructures are quite basic, there’s a lot to keep you busy, and most volunteers quickly form close bonds with the children.

Teach English

The Maasai are a semi-nomadic ethnic group settled in Kenya and northern Tanzania. They speak Maa, as well as Swahili and English, which are the official languages of Tanzania, but volunteers are needed to raise the level of English in schools as there is a lack of good teachers in the area. This is a great opportunity to discover more about this fascinating culture while teaching English to Maasai women and children.

Mood Challenge


Work as a surf instructor

Become a qualified instructor on a gap-year project, and share your passion with others as you teach surfing while enjoying the Australian sunshine.

Flying Fish Online (
Walkin' on Water (


Work for a newspaper

If you have a passion for writing and travelling, you could spend time as a reporter for an Indian newspaper. Discover the country from the inside, chasing your own stories and writing your own articles. What a great feeling to see your name in print with a newspaper that reaches out to millions! There are opportunities in Chennai (South India), working for the local office of a national newspaper.

Volunteer in the slums of Bangalore

The movie Slumdog Millionaire highlighted the conditions in which Indian street children live, and emphasised how much these communities desperately need help. Work with a local NGO dedicated to helping and bringing joy to children in the slums of Bangalore, through a range of fun and educational activities.


Hike the Inca Trail for charity

The lost city of Machu Picchu is nestled in Peru’s magnificent Andes. Discover this pre-Inca site and experience trekking in the unspoiled mountains while volunteering in a school near Cuzco, the historic capital of the Inca Empire. You can also use this trip to raise funds for
a charity of your choice, while having an experience of a lifetime!

Different Travel


Work at a summer camp

Spend your summer working with 6-16 year olds in the USA, with BUNAC. You’ll be involved in an international cultural exchange programme, and participate in instructing and teaching sporting activities, such as canoeing, swimming, climbing and horse riding.



Global Xchange

The six-month Global Xchange programme gathers together young people from different countries so they can make a contribution where help is needed. UK students can live and work with a foreign student, volunteer with him or her for three months in the UK before heading to your partner’s home country for another three months. This is a great opportunity for cross-cultural understanding, and a chance to discover a different side to your own country.

Global Xchange (

Fly around the world

Plan your round the world trip and visit every continent of the world! Fly from the UK to Africa, and then discover Asia, Australia and South America before ending up in the USA. Enjoy the breathtaking landscapes of Kenya and South Africa, visit Nepal, trek through the Himalayas, discover many cities, explore the Andean mountains and finally experience life in New York City. This truly is the trip of a lifetime.

STA Travel
GapGuru (08000 32 33 50,

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