Thinking of taking a year off after school to volunteer overseas? There are hundreds of gap year companies and programs. To make sure you choose the right company:
- Compare costs between the companies- some will offer similar services and opportunities for lower costs.
- Ensure you and your parents/guardians will have access to 24 hour telephone support during your placement.
- Ask if you can email people who have participated in the programs so you can gain an independent opinion.
- Ask the company if they will run an information session at your school or where you live.
- Make a list of what the expenses cover (e.g., meals, accommodation, flights, VISA)
The following are examples of companies you can explore.
Cultural Care Au Pair: You can work as a live in Au Pair in America. You must be at least 18 years old, www.culturalcare.com.au
Lattitude Global Volunteering: You can undertake activities such as community service, medical assisting, outdoor education or teaching in countries such as Africa, Mexico, Spain, Poland, Japan, England etc. Placements range from 3 – 11 months, www.lattitude.org.au/
Camp Counsellors USA: You have three options. 1) Camp counsellor leading children in various sports and outdoor adventures in America, Russia, Canada or Croatia over the summer break. 2) Working up to 12 months in the USA, Canada or the UK in a seasonal resort, English pub or a variety of other hospitality positions. 3) Volunteering in one of over 50 projects in Africa, Latin America or Asia. www.ccusa.com.au/
Antipodeans Abroad: You will work with other young people on a sustainable volunteer project in a developing country/area such as Kenya, Nepal, Tanzania, Vietnam, Thailand etc. You can work in volunteer projects such as building/construction, conservation, care work, community work and teaching. www.antipodeans.com.au/
World Youth International: This is similar to Antipodeans in that you work on sustainable programs. You can undertake placements in the following areas- Kenya, Uganda, Nepal, Cambodia, India and Peru. You can undertake projects in building/construction, care work, community work, health and sanitation and teaching. www.worldyouth.org.au
Projects Abroad: You can work in one of 26 developing countries undertaking short and longer term projects such as care work, teaching, conservation/environment, sports, culture/community, archaeology, building and performing arts. www.projects-abroad.com.au/
International Exchange Programs: You can undertake working holidays in the USA, Canada, Ireland, Britain and volunteer in Cambodia, USA, Peru, and South Africa. Working holiday placements include working in the hospitality industry, summer camps and skiing. www.iep.org.au/
Letz Live: You will stay in a boarding school and work as a gap year assistant in countries such as China, Canada, France, India, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, UK etc. Placements range from 3 – 12 months. www.letzlive.org/australia
Work Experience: If you can raise the funds required, you may be able to participate in work experience overseas. The following are two examples of companies that offer these types of placements:
Projects Abroad: Students between 16 – 19 years of age can undertake a two week work experience placement during the mid year holidays in the following project areas: archaeology, building/ construction, care work, conservation & environment, culture & community, law & human rights, medicine & healthcare, and sports, http://tinyurl.com/m3kd8nl
Gap Medics: This program is for students in years 11 and 12 who are interested in studying medicine, nursing, dentistry and/or midwifery in the future. Placements are offered in Thailand and Tanzania during school holiday periods. You will have the opportunity to shadow highly skilled professionals in a clinic during your placement, http://bit.ly/2oH48Ze