At a glance
- Get Started: Download this trip's itinerary
- Experience a different kind of project every two weeks!
- Do conservation work in Nepal
- Help disadvantaged communities with Public Health and Childcare Projects in Cambodia.
- Support disaster relief work by Building classrooms in Nepal.
- Explore the UNESCO temples of Angkor Wat and take a safari at Chitwan National Park.
Throughout the yearSee Dates
Is this Gap Semester in Asia right for me?
If you are 17-24 and seeking a chance to discover the world in a structured, meaningful, safe and engaging setting, you should read on. This program is designed to allow you to explore new cultures and gain exposure to a variety of fields through hands-on experiential learning.
If you have finished high school and have passion, energy and an open mind to really find out what it’s like to live and work in other countries, this program is perfect for you!
We explain more about Gap Semester Projects and what they involve below. While most of these projects focus on volunteering, we can facilitate internships during your Gap Semester if you need to fulfil requirements for school. Just let us know when you apply to join.
What will I do in Cambodia and Nepal?
Nepal - 5 weeks
Fly to Kathmandu and support our building project for 3 weeks. Explore temples and markets, taste new cuisine, and discover a unique culture. You’ll then travel to Pokhara for a weekend trip where you will get views of the Himalayan Mountains. Afterwards, you’ll travel to Chitwan National Park to support Conservation efforts, helping to preserve natural habitats for many critical species. During your stay, you will also experience an unforgettable safari adventure!
Weeks 1-3 - Building work in Kathmandu (possible to switch to another social project if you prefer)
Weekend Trip - Visit Pokhara
Weeks 4-5 - Join the Conservation Project in Chitwan National Park
Cambodia - 5 weeks
You will spend most of your time in Cambodia’s busy capital city, Phnom Penh. Join a mixture of worthwhile projects to support disadvantaged communities. One week will also be spent in Siem Reap to visit historic and cultural sites such as the world-famous Angkor Wat! You’ll get involved with community outreach events to highlight various social or environmental issues.
Weeks 1-2 - Join the Childcare Project in Phnom Penh
Week 3 - Explore Siem Reap to learn about Cambodian history and culture
Weeks 4-5 - Join the Public Health Project in Phnom Penh
Work alongside builders, engineers and architects to assist with classroom construction. Kathmandu is still recovering from the 2015 earthquake that devastated the region. Your assistance will make a clear and visible impact in developing the local community and enabling more children to access education.
- Renovate existing classrooms
- Support the construction of new classrooms, toilets and washing facilities
- Learn how to mix cement, dig foundations and lay bricks
Learn more about our Building project in Nepal.
Enjoy a weekend trip to explore the foothills of the Himalayas. Tour the lake, visit caves and temples, David’s Fall and Peace Stupa. Watch the sunrise from Sarangkot.
Head to Chitwan National Park to begin your Conservation adventure. Stay in a small village surrounded by rice paddy fields.
- Work with conservation specialists in the community forest adjacent to Chitwan National Park
- Monitor species and conduct biodiversity surveys
- Check camera traps for Bengal Tigers
- Conduct surveys on the greater one-horned rhinoceros
- Raise awareness about ongoing conservation efforts through workshops and lessons in local schools and communities
Childcare and Education
The focus of our Childcare Project in Cambodia is to ensure that young kids learn the skills they need to thrive once they leave school. You’ll provide extra support for teachers in overcrowded and understaffed preschool and primary schools. You’ll teach through play and other creative activities.
- Create lesson plans with help from our local staff
- Support early childhood development through games, arts and crafts.
- Focus on literacy work and conversational English.
- Promote good hygiene practices and teach about nutrition
You don’t need previous experience working with kids. We’ll provide training, workshops, and resources so you’ll have everything you need.
Read more about supporting Early Childhood Development in Cambodia
Explore Siem Reap
Learn about the Khmer Empire by visiting the world-famous Angkor Wat and other temples in the jungle. You’ll visit floating villages on the Tonle Sap Lake and have some free time to relax or explore Siem Reap.
After returning from Siem Reap you will have the opportunity to join our Public Health initiative. You’ll work alongside nurses and doctors to provide outreach visits and mobile clinics to communities that have little to no access to healthcare.
- Learn basic medical skills from our experienced staff
- Conduct health checks alongside professionals
- Teach children about healthcare, nutrition, and hygiene
- Record, analyse, and report data for our Global Impact Database
Throughout your journey you will be immersed in local culture. Dedicated local staff will support and work alongside you every day. You'll learn from them and have an insight into regular life in each country.
Join workshops, excursions, and visits to historical sites! The history of Cambodia has been turbulent and tragic. You’ll learn about the mighty Khmer Empire and explore Angkor Wat. During your first week you'll also visit the Killing Fields, hearing the heart-wrenching history of the Khmer Rouge Regime. Whilst learning about their rise to power and subsequent fall, you'll get a better understanding of how Cambodia is still recovering, and why your work will help make an impact.
Nepal is also rich in both culture and natural beauty. Sitting between India and Tibet, Nepal is a mix of both, while being entirely unique as well. Between the temperate rainforests of the south and the massive heights of the Himalayas in the North, Nepal has a little bit of everything. During your trip, you will get to explore all these different environments, spending time at temples, learning about cultural practices, and spotting wildlife in National Parks.
Experiential Learning: Reflective Journals
During the program, you will be encouraged to take some time to reflect on your experience. Each group member will join a series of reflective exercises and prompts throughout the program. You’ll be given a journal that you can write in that has questions to help you reflect on your time abroad. These become great ways to process your experience but also a great memento to remember your trip after the program is over.
Where in Cambodia and Nepal will I work?
Phnom Penh sits on the banks of the Tonlé Sap and Mekong Rivers. However, for all its growth, there remain areas of poverty and marginalization in the city. These are the communities your work will focus on supporting.
Even with Cambodia’s history of war, the city is rapidly developing to keep up with an expanding population and growing tourism industry. In some places, it can be an intriguing mix of traditional and modern life. And, around every corner, your nose will be led to some of the most delicious Cambodian food. The city also boasts a lively nightlife and a great selection of spas and restaurants.
As you walk the streets, you’ll be greeted by saffron-clad monks, chaotic traffic, and some of the friendliest locals you’ll ever meet. You can spend time at the many Buddhist temples, sample delicious fish amok or Cambodian chicken curry, or visit one of the local markets and modern malls.
The cultural and tourist centre of Cambodia, Siem Reap retains some of its colonial French influence. With sprawling night markets and an assortment of exciting street food, Siem Reap is a great place to explore and learn more about the culture of Cambodia. From here, you’re also within easy reach of the world-famous Angkor Wat. Hundreds of ancient temples are scattered throughout the jungle and are an unforgettable sight.
You’ll spend your first 3 weeks in the bustling city of Kathmandu. Explore ancient temples and marvel at the Himalayas.
Chitwan National Park
You’ll live and work on the edge of Chitwan National Park. Surrounded by rice paddy fields, you'll experience rural life and nature.
Food and Accommodation
You'll share accommodation with other Projects Abroad volunteers and interns during your Gap Semester Trips. This is a great way to get to know your fellow volunteers and interns, share experiences, and explore your surroundings in your free time together.
The accommodation is safe, clean, and comfortable. Your programme fees include three meals a day.
You will live in a shared apartment with the other group members in Phnom Penh, and a guesthouse in Siem Reap. A cook will provide your meals each day. You will eat at restaurants in Siem Reap.
You will stay with host families in Kathmandu. You will share accommodation with other members of your group and get to immerse yourself in local culture by joining a family. During the Conservation Project, you will stay at a guesthouse with the rest of your group on the edge of Chitwan National Park.
Find out more about our accommodation.
We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.
Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.
Measuring our impact
Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.
Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.
Safety and staff support
Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
Not quite what you’re looking for?
Take a look at the following pages where you'll find collections of similar projects: