So, you’re just heading into the business end of your A levels and the thought of diving headlong into the books for a degree course is giving you nightmares? You may have considered taking a year out, but not really put much thought into the details of what you’ll get up to.
Change your life and the lives of others
Choosing to make a difference during your gap year will undoubtedly change your life, as well as changing the lives of the people that you will be helping. For those worried about funding these trips, there are trips which combine volunteering work with paid jobs across anywhere in the world you may like to visit.
What’s on offer?
Given the wide range of projects that offer volunteering abroad for students, it can be difficult to know where to start looking. First off, it’s best to consider a few things about yourself. What are you good at? What would you struggle to do? What would you like to do for a career? These are just three of the questions that you will need to consider before making a decision and committing.
Those who want to work in teaching or with young people could spend time volunteering as a teacher abroad, or at an orphanage. Projects include working to help fight poverty in Rio de Janeiro, or work with children with disabilities in Vietnam. Volunteering abroad for students can open many doors to potential careers and give you a great story to tell to your university Admissions Officer.
Sampling the great outdoors
If working with children is your worst nightmare, many other projects are available, for example volunteer building projects are massively popular around the world. Students can go to Costa Rica or Guatemala to help build housing for the communities, or to Thailand to work on renovating and building houses and community facilities.
For those interested in medicine, there are a number of trips to help provide medical services in locations such as Namibia, India or Kenya. Taking on a role such as this will not only look amazing on your CV and provide a life changing experience, but also give you the satisfaction that you are helping to save lives on the other side of the world.
Whether you want to spend a whole year travelling and helping others, or a few weeks or months is more your style, there are options available that will suit everyone’s taste and budget. Remember that there are also trips which include paid work in addition to the volunteering, a massive help if funds are tight!
The Ultimate Adventure!
If you’re looking to try and spend a year working, why not try your hand at working on an Australian ranch in the outback? Following a week learning how a ranch works and getting to grips with the work, you can get the opportunity to work for a year as a ranch hand. Remember that this being Australia, the right attitude will get you a long way.
John Franklin is an expert on planning senior class trips in a range of destinations. He does however wish that volunteering abroad for students was a thing