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Gap year stories

Below are Gap Year Stories written by people who have explored, worked, volunteered, trained or studied with one of our members. They'll give you a good insight into the different motivations for taking a gap year and the choice on offer.

Be Inspired!

The joy of a teaching placement in Malawi

During her gap year Laura took a teaching placement in Malawi.  She fell in love with her students and the country.  Her experience helped her to decide her career path and she is now at university training to become a teacher. In January 2011, I embarked on the adventure of ... [ Read more... ]

A Human Rights Placement in Accra, Ghana

Ishaq Mahmood is an undergraduate with a strong interest in Human Rights and inter-faith relationships.  In August 2011 he spent two weeks in Accra, Ghana on a human rights placement arranged with Year Out Group founder member Projects Abroad. "I decided to choose Projects Abroad after finding that they would be ... [ Read more... ]

Care Placement in Ethiopia - Christina Coppola

Christina Coppola from America relates her experience working with female street children in Ethiopia on a gap year placement arranged with Projects Abroad.  Her time in Ethiopia certainly had an impact on her and she made a difference to the lives of the girls both inside and outside the classroom."I ... [ Read more... ]

Business Internship in Shanghai, China

I'm Rosanna Bartley and my gap year internship in Shanghai was arranged with Projects Abroad.Shangahi is just completely different to England - it takes a couple of days to get used to things, especially the amount of people, in all places, at all times. The supermarket on a weekend was ... [ Read more... ]

Teaching in Tanzania: A Rewarding Experience

Rachel Savin spent four months of her gap year teaching ‘underachieving' children in Tanzania on a placement arranged by Africa & Asia Venture.  She found it a rewarding experience. Read her story.Teaching these kids is like nothing else. Of course, when people ask you at home "ohh, are they really ... [ Read more... ]

With The Leap in Kenya and Quest in South America

I've been to the most amazing places, seen the most amazing things, and met some of the most amazing people. From teaching Maths to eager eyes in classrooms in Kenya to reaching Machu Picchu after 4 days of trekking the fabulous Inca Trail in fancy dress, I have had some ... [ Read more... ]

Trekforce - Expedition Leader Training (ELT)

Incident management section"A  whirlwind week of snake bites, parang wounds and drownings. The instructors played their roles to perfection, ridiculous though their injuries were.The idea was to push every ELT to his/her limit and test their resolve. Imaginary scenarios were thrown at us from all angles; at all times ... [ Read more... ]

Ozforce: Two Stories of Work and Travel in Australia

"I just returned from Australia a couple weeks ago. I had an amazing time. Ashley and I had the opportunity to travel to the Great Barrier Reef, New Zealand and Hawaii before returning home. It took us a month but it was a great trip!I also wanted to provide ... [ Read more... ]

Medforce volunteer describes her elective in Fiji.

"My Fijian journey started about a year before I was due to go on my elective and when I finally got there it certainly did not disappoint!I feel that my elective consisted of three different sections so I will talk about each in turn and share my experience of ... [ Read more... ]

Greenforce - Wildlife Conservation Project in Africa

Well Tanzania... where to start! Arrived late at night, so in the morning Joe took me for a great walk around the area and introduced me to some locals and the adorable kids. Felt really welcomed by everyone in Uchira, and they really do appreciate the work we contributed to ... [ Read more... ]

Greenforce - Marine Conservation Project in the Bahamas

"In 2011 I arrived at Stony Cove in the Bahamas. To even begin to tell you everything that happened while we were there would take up far too much space, so I'll try and keep it to the best bits.The first impressions of the place were breathtaking, a white ... [ Read more... ]

At Travellers they like making friends!

Especially with like minded people who are doing wonderful things around the world.  One such friend is The Abraham Foundation - an inspiring organisation based in New York.  The Foundation's aim is to discover, develop and support grass root conservation initiatives.  They have successfully been doing so for years! ... [ Read more... ]

Volunteering with AV was the start of bigger things…

  For many of Africa & Asia Venture's (AV) volunteers their time on project is often the start of something much bigger, igniting a spark of inspiration to get involved further - whether it be returning to their school time and time again, starting their own charity or becoming involved with ... [ Read more... ]

Bursary graduate benefits from teaching place in Ghana

First arriving in Ghana was incredible; I have done some travelling before but never for so long. Stepping off the plane and the first thing to greet me was a great gust of heat. I was slightly nervous and apprehensive because I have never been to Africa and I ... [ Read more... ]

Teaching Environmental Studies in South Africa

When Lauren Queen completed an environmental law module during her degree course, she knew that this was the path she wished to follow.  She realised also that she needed practical experience and so took a voluntary work placement with Lattitude Global Volunteering and was also grateful for Lattiude's graduate ... [ Read more... ]

Teaching in Kenya isn’t as scary as you might think!

Before leaving for my project I had no plans to really be involved that much in the classroom as I probably had the same thoughts as many people - I'm not experienced enough to teach a large class of children in England, let alone in Kenya and would I ... [ Read more... ]

A split volunteer placement in Madurai, India

Geraldine Borg is a psychology graduate and psychotherapist who lives in Malta.  She recently completed a split placement in Madurai, India teaching in the morning and working in an orphanage in the afternoon. I'm not sure how my love for India began, but I do know that I had wanted ... [ Read more... ]

Teaching in a Primary School in Zambia

I taught at a Primary School in Livingstone, Zambia and from the first day I knew I was going to be happy. Every single person from the nursery children right up to the owner of the school gave me an incredibly warm welcome! The children were amazing as ... [ Read more... ]

A bespoke gap year program in South Africa

Gina, who is a dance instructor in Los Angles, wanted to use her skills as a volunteer in South Africa.  Travellers representative in Knysna was happy to oblige and set up this placement. I spent the last month in Knysna, South Africa working at a Youth Development Center in ... [ Read more... ]

Teaching, caring & learning Portugese in Brazil

Teaching English at CIEP and at Salguero Samba School. I taught English to children of mixed ages and abilities in two different institutions. Before I left I attended a two-day intensive TEFL TIME course organised by Travellers but other than that I had no previous experience of teaching. The ... [ Read more... ]

Gap year internship in South Africa = full time job

GRAPHIC DESIGN, ADVERTISING, PUBLISHING & WEB DEVELOPMENT WITH 2HEADS, KNYSNA 2010 Where to start? Let me see... I had been working full time as a Digital Designer for about 3 years when I decided a change was needed. I always wanted to work overseas so casually I started looking ... [ Read more... ]

A gap year love story

December 2009: Just thought I'd leave a little message about how much Travellers changed my life! I took a gap year in South Africa back in 2005 and took part in two placements (one in Knysna and one in Port Elizabeth). Loved both immensely! My first placement was ... [ Read more... ]

Spanish School and Orphange Volunteering in Honduras

Spanish School and Orphanage Volunteering with Frontier in HondurasFrontier volunteer Denise Bartlett talks about her ‘truly inspirational' time spent learning Spanish and working in an orphanage in La Ceiba, Honduras Flying into La Ceiba airport, I had little idea of what I'd let myself in for. ... [ Read more... ]

Stephs placement in Belize with Blue Ventures

Steph was out in Belize in March/April 2011 and loved it so much she decided to stay for a while longer!  Here's what she had to say:"Less than two weeks to go in Bacalar Chico Dive Camp (BCDC)... Belize it or not, despite living in wooden huts, washing with ... [ Read more... ]

Pennsylvania high school to gap year in Tanzania

Amanda graduated from high school in Pennsylvania in 2010. She spent months searching for the right program and figuring out exactly what she wanted to do and where. She decided to spend 3 months teaching in Tanzania with a charity called Village Africa through the volunteering organisation PoD. "In searching ... [ Read more... ]

Career Break Teaching in Nepal

Caroline is a secondary school teacher from London who decided to take a career break for a year and volunteering around the world. "I decided this year that I would like to take a career break. During my year out, I have decided to work in various volunteer projects. ... [ Read more... ]

Conservation & Environment in Peru with Projects Abroad

With the end of my A-levels in sight I decided that despite not taking a gap year I should do something exciting with my long summer holiday. Going away with Projects Abroad fitted the bill perfectly, not only could I go to the jungle, somewhere I had always dreamed of ... [ Read more... ]

Being a 'Farang' in Thailand

My name is James Colclough and I went to teach in Thailand over the summer of 2010, which was one of the greatest choices I have ever made. I always wanted to do some volunteering and chose to go to Thailand because I had heard lots of great things ... [ Read more... ]

Gap Year Teaching in Kenya Secures First Job

Sean Walsh graduated from Newcastle University in 2009.  His first attempt to secure a graduate job was unsuccessful so he decided to take a gap year placement teaching in Kenya arranged through Africa & Asia Venture (AV).  On his return he got the first graduate job he ... [ Read more... ]

Teaching street children in Vietnam

I chose to be involved in this project as I wanted to get to know a different culture 'from the inside' and I really feel I've achieved this.  The volunteers have made all of us very welcome and have gone out of their way to take us to see the ... [ Read more... ]