In today’s date, when the level of competitiveness is on the rise and people are constantly trying to achieve higher goals, it has become quite common that they reach a state of saturation and seek peace from traveling to new destinations, experiencing offbeat stuff, and doing things that they’ve never tried before. High school/ college/ university students who are about to wrap up their academic courses, working professionals on a sabbatical, backpackers, or anyone who’s craving for traveling for a considerable period of time, can be seen taking a gap year abroad.
Needless to say, Gap Year is essentially the time when people aim to break free from their comfort zone and step out of the box, to know the unknown and walk down the hidden trails, do things that they’ve never done before and learn more through experiences. We all know that ardent traveler always has a checklist at the back of their mind, which they plan to follow during their journeys and tick off as much as they can.
Most of the gap year travelers tend to opt for volunteering opportunities abroad, which has its own invaluable advantages – experiences that one may not attain otherwise. These experiences stay with a traveler for a very long time; sometimes, even forever! It often helps the traveler in finding his/her true passion and redirects life for good.
Volunteering Solutions has been hosting gap year travelers for more than a decade now, and if you wish to join the can and plan your gap year for 2022 – 2023, then here are some of the most exciting volunteer programs that you can choose to be a part of.
Wildlife Conservation Volunteer Abroad Projects
Tickle your wanderlust cells as you set out for your gap year and volunteer for a wildlife conservation program abroad, spending enough time with them while living amidst the wilderness! If this sounds like a dream, we can fulfill those for sure. Volunteering Solutions offers a wide range of wildlife conservation programs in countries like Thailand, Sri Lanka, Costa Rica, Ecuador, South Africa, Spain, Namibia, Portugal, etc. No matter whether you’re keen to volunteer with elephants or spend time on the beaches protecting the Turtles – your wildlife volunteering experience will turn out to be an incredible one!
You’ll get to learn how the conservationists are working, and gain first-hand work experience while working under their guidance. It’ll be an incredible learning opportunity, and help you to boost your career as well.
Teaching Abroad Volunteering Programs
Make your gap year more meaningful and join a volunteer teaching program abroad. You will get to work as a teacher in an underprivileged urban school or a rural school, where there are limited resources and inadequate staff members. Most of these schools need good English and Math teachers. Share your skills with the little ones and young adults, while you teach them the basics of communicating in English, along with other important subjects. There can be nothing better than volunteering as a teacher, as you can become a role model for these children.
You don’t need to have TEFL certification to be a volunteer teacher abroad. Choose to volunteer in Asia as a teacher or maybe share your knowledge and inspire kids as a volunteer in Latin America. Often, volunteers also take up the cause of renovating the school premises, making them more friendly and vibrant for the kids. Volunteers can also assist in extracurricular activities such as sports and games. If you are someone who loves to hang around with kids, then this is the best option for you!
Community Development Volunteering Programs
What can be better than spending considerable time with your host community, doing something that would lead to overall community development? As a volunteer, one can take up several different kinds of tasks in one project – teach an English class, help out in a childcare center, take art and painting sessions for students, help with the renovation of a school building, be a part of a disease awareness campaign, assist in administrative tasks amongst other such activities.
Internship Opportunities for Gap Year Students
Apart from volunteering, journalism/ media students, as well as medical students on a gap year, can choose to intern abroad as well. Working in an international organization with people from different parts of the world will be an experience in itself. Vol Sol offers a Journalism and Media Internship for enthusiastic students in Thailand. Apart from this, there are various Medical, Healthcare, Nursing, and Dental Internships in India, Nepal, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Peru for students above 18 years, who want to get first-hand working experience. Make the most of your career breaks, and travel abroad to intern.
If you choose to embark on a volunteering trip during your gap year abroad, always remember that there’s a bigger goal to it. Not only will it help you to make a difference but it’ll also let you experience something unique, something that not many people get to know about! Leisure stay, comfortable living, and easy roads may not be a part of your itinerary while you volunteer – but the learning that you’ll gather will help you for life.
Gain new experiences during your gap year journey abroad.
Learning a new skill during your gap year expedition is always a good idea, and if that skill involves learning to cook a new (local) dish, you can’t ask for anything more! During your journey, make sure to befriend the locals, which will give you a unique opportunity to learn the in-house kitchen secrets and savor the delicacies that you won’t even find at the best restaurants!
Opportunity to learn a new language.
While you always have a chance of learning a new language in your own city, guess what fun it would be, to learn it while living with the locals! It might seem difficult to grasp a language without attending proper classes, but while volunteering, you’ll mostly be in touch with the locals, who barely talk in English! Thus, by listening to them, and communicating with them, you’ll eventually pick that up pretty easily!
Explore some of the wonders of the world.
Well, this is the time when you get to tick off things from your bucket list as well. I’m sure many of you out there have been planning to explore the ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru or dreaming of seeing the beauty of the Taj Mahal in India, or probably explore the Angkor Temple Complex, digging into history! It’s quite obvious – we all have our own wish list, and a gap year trip can help in fulfilling those! There are several Natural Wonders as well, which you might want to explore. Plan your gap year properly, so that you get to do all that you’ve been wanting to!
Delve deeper into real-world problems & make a difference.
A volunteering journey is way more different than any other usual tour – it’s an endeavor you take, putting in some effort to bring about some significant changes. Once you travel to a different land, spend time with the not-so-fortunate-ones, and help in healing their problems, you’ll understand that it’s fairly easy to sit at home and discuss problems, but not so easy to work on solving them. It’s going to be one of the biggest lessons that you’ll learn from your gap year volunteer trip, and it’ll benefit you for life.
And when you’ll head back home after your gap year journey comes to an end, you’ll surely be a somewhat different person – more confident & independent, more compassionate with a larger world view, with friends from different parts of the world and experiences to cherish forever!
If you are thinking of doing something worthy in your gap year, you can write to us [email protected], and our team will get back to you, offering the best assistance possible.
Riyanka is a traveler who is keen on exploring different parts of the world. She’s a travel blogger who’s equally passionate about photography. Her quest is to turn all her journeys into beautiful stories. Being a die-hard ‘mountain-aholic‘, her favorite destinations are all around the Himalayas! She can spend days gazing at the snow-capped mountains, binge on Maggi and lemon-honey-ginger tea, and reading Ruskin Bond books.
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