A gap year volunteer abroad teaches a child the alphabet in Thailand as part of her Childcare Project.

Gap Year Volunteer Abroad Programs

Use your gap year to explore other countries, realize your potential, and gain real-world experience

Unlock your potential and use your gap year abroad to discover what you’re capable of. With Projects Abroad, you’ll gain real-world experience and support communities in need at the same time. It’s an exciting and different way to start the next chapter of your life after high school.  

On a gap year program abroad after high school, the experience can be designed to benefit your exact interests and goals. You can explore a career you’re interested in, like medicine or law, and add relevant work experience to your resume. We have options for students who’ve deferred their college acceptance, and for those who don’t feel they’re ready for university just yet. Whatever your motivation, we’ll be there to help you find what you’re looking for.   

There’s a lot you can get involved in by volunteering abroad on your gap year. You can protect endangered ecosystems and wild animals on a Conservation Project. Or, give children the educational support they desperately need on a Childcare Project. If you’re eager to be more independent, we recommend our Flexi Trips. You can also join a group of gap year students on our Global Gap program, or join shorter Team Trips.   

All of our programs focus on implementing long-term, sustainable solutions. We don’t believe in quick fixes. So no matter how short or long your gap year abroad is, you’ll be part of ongoing efforts to make a real difference.

Filter by:

1-3 of 203 Projects

This picture shows two male cheetahs focused but resting in the shade and was taken on one of our wildlife conservation volunteer opportunities in Botswana.
Africa’s Big 5 and Wilderness Conservation in Botswana
See this project
  • Completely flexible dates
  • Anyone aged 16 or over can join
  • From 1 week
  • From $3,570 CAD
Projects Abroad volunteer collects Giraffe data on the Kenya Conservation Project
Giraffe & Lion Conservation in Kenya
See this project
  • Completely flexible dates
  • Anyone aged 16 or over can join
  • From 1 week
  • From $3,295 CAD
A large lemur balancing on a pole in the rainforest spotted by volunteers during their rainforest conservation volunteering in Madagascar with Projects Abroad.
Lemur Research and Protection in Madagascar
See this project
  • Completely flexible dates
  • Anyone aged 16 or over can join
  • From 1 week
  • From $3,570 CAD
Load More

Can't find what you're looking for?

We’d be happy to talk about creating a custom gap year for you. Most of our staff have had gap years abroad themselves, so they’re ready to answer your questions, big or small.

(+1) 917 810 4744

or email:

to start planning your project

Why should I volunteer during my gap year?

We want you to get the most out of your gap year. So, depending on your goals, we’ll help you put together a gap year travel program that will benefit you the most.

Here are six of the most popular reasons our previous volunteers chose to volunteer abroad for their gap years:  

  1. Explore a career path: Explore potential career paths and discover what you’re passionate about. It’s also a great way to find out if you have what it takes to pursue a especially challenging career, like medicine or law. If you’re not sure what you want to do, you experiment and spend time on various programs and internships. 
  2. Gain practical experience: Get your career off to the best start with global experience. You’ll learn directly from local professionals by working alongside them. For example, you can shadow doctors in Kenya, or sit in on meetings with lawyers in China. With real-world experience under your belt, you’ll give your resume an extra edge over the competition.
  3. Get an international perspective: People around the world are struggling with different challenges and issues every day. You’ll gain a deeper insight into these global issues, and you’ll learn about different ways to help people where it’s needed most. 
  4. Become a part of positive change in the world: At Projects Abroad, our first goal is to benefit the communities we work in. Each of our volunteer projects and internships is ethical, well-supported, and part of a better future. We work with continuing management plans to make sure our impact is sustainable. We track our impact using resources like our own Global Impact Database. You can read about our impact to find out what you’ll be a part of.
  5. Travel and tick countries off your bucket list: Use your gap year to broaden your horizons, immerse yourself in new cultures, and explore breathtaking landscapes. It’s an opportunity to see the world as a new classroom!
  6. Discover what you’re capable of: Travel can be a transformative experience. Seeing a different part of the world will give you a fresh perspective of who you are in the world, how you can help others, and what your strengths are.

Projects Abroad will support you every step of the way. We can help you choose where to go and which projects to select. Wherever you go, our staff will be available to make sure you have the gap year of your dreams.

Students volunteering with Projects Abroad for their gap year help plant mangroves in Fiji, South Pacific.

What can I do for a gap year program?

Our gap year programs are individual plans designed specifically for you. You can choose to gain experience on an internship, or do service work. We can help you customize the perfect gap year for you, and you can also combine different projects and countries.

Our Flexi Trips are ideal for customized gap years. You can choose various types of work, such as:

You can also participate in a Team Trip if you’re interested in teaming up with a set group to tackle a specific challenge in a short period of time.

Global Gap Program

We offer a fully planned 27-week volunteer adventure that will take you around the world. Our Global Gap Program is designed to give you the full volunteer experience. You’ll experience new cultures, contribute to sustainable projects, and learn something new about the world and yourself.

You’ll team up with a group of other volunteers from around the world. Together, you’ll travel to five countries and participate in various programs. These include:

  • Childcare in Ghana
  • Community development in South Africa
  • Teacher training in Peru
  • Conservation work in the Himalayas and a medical internship in Nepal
  • Marine conservation and diving in Thailand

On Global Gap, our staff also include organized excursions to amazing sights and attractions, like Machu Picchu in Peru or Table Mountain in South Africa!

Next Steps

Our accreditations