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ABOUT US

BASICALLY WE'RE DIFFERENT

Plan My Gap Year provides a safe, structured and social platform with volunteer, travel and immersion opportunities, available from 1-40 weeks. With over 10 years of experience and expertise, PMGY is widely regarded as the global leader in affordable and trustworthy volunteering experiences.

 

PMGY’s volunteer programs are accessible to everyone who wants to make a difference. This is achieved through low fees and high-impact projects. Our fees are 100% transparent – something our international volunteers really appreciate.

 

Our structured programs create the perfect platform for you to see the world and meet like-minded people. Most importantly, you are able to engage in meaningful volunteer work. We have teams in the UK, US and our host destinations, providing support around the clock throughout your time with us.

 

There is also a great social element to our programs. You are able to get in touch with fellow volunteers via Facebook before you set off. Our projects receive volunteers from around the world throughout the year. This means there’s no need to worry if you’re planning on travelling solo!

Our aim is to make our volunteer programs accessible to motivated travellers, irrespective of their financial capacity. We focus on providing the core requirements of a volunteer program: safety, structure and social experience.

 

We are 100% transparent with our fees. Therefore, you know exactly how much of your money goes towards the local community.

 

Compared to a number of volunteer organisations out there, PMGY’s opportunities are significantly cheaper. Similar organisations offer fancy brochures, run large high-street offices and are usually owned by larger shareholder driven travel organisations. As a result, participants are charged an extremely high price to cover all of these overheads. Therefore, at PMGY, we have embraced the modern age by focusing everything around an online presence. We have done away with out-dated brochures and unnecessary high street presence. We are an independent organisation without any outside financial interests. Furthermore, as our reviews will testify, our support service and structured volunteer programs are second to none.

Your safety is our top priority. Naturally, we can never guarantee a volunteer experience to be 100% trouble-free. However, we have taken all necessary precautions to ensure our programs are as safe as possible.

 

Every program that PMGY offers has been personally inspected and selected by the PMGY team. We have stayed in the accommodation, experienced the orientation and worked on the volunteer projects. Through our frequent visits and daily communications, we have built strong, trusting relationships with our local staff.

 

In the unlikely event that something was to happen, volunteers have various layers of support available to them:

 

• Local Team
• Project Staff
• PMGY International Team

 

All our local teams have years of experience hosting international volunteers. They are PMGY’s representatives on the ground. Moreover, they are on-hand to assist PMGY participants 24/7 throughout their stay. Additionally, our 24-hour International Emergency Line is always accessible.

 

We appreciate that it can be unnerving travelling abroad. To read more about how we manage and promote health and safety overseas, check out our safety page.

Our International Team works hard to support our volunteers every step of their journey. From the moment a participant signs up, to the day they arrive home, our team is available. With heaps of online information, detailed hand guides and accessible communication means, no question should ever be left unanswered.

 

Through our literature, we aim to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of what you can expect with PMGY. Each of our online volunteer project pages provides thorough overviews of what you need to know about each program. Through this, we hope to provide you with all the information you need to choose your best-suited destination.

 

Our International Team works hard to ensure that all literature is as up-to-date and accurate as possible. However, for any unanswered or specific questions, PMGY offers a comprehensive support network. This includes online and telephone support staff available 24 hours each day. Our team welcomes participants to ask as many questions as needed when deciding whether a project is right for them.

 

On confirmation of your place, each international volunteer with PMGY will receive a Volunteer Handbook. This guide provides further advice on how to prepare for your trip. Key information includes ideas on what to pack, how to obtain a visa and information about the local culture.

 

Each week, a member of the PMGY International Team will host an online webinar. For prospective participants, one of these, per month, is our Introductory Webinar. This presentation offers an interactive opportunity for prospective participants to learn more about PMGY projects.

 

For participants already signed up to a PMGY program, there are three webinars available to help prepare for a program abroad:

 

Travel Essentials – everything our participants need to know before joining our teams in-country)

 

Program Preparation – providing participants with a strong foundation to partake in their project

 

Safety & Wellbeing – safety advice to ensure participants are best prepared to avoid potential risks during their time overseas

 

These interactive sessions provide participants with invaluable advice for their upcoming trip. It also acts as an additional opportunity for participants to ask questions.

 

Our in-country team will collect participants from the airport and help them to settle in. Across the first couple of days, our international volunteers will also take part in an orientation course. This introductory session works to teach our participants everything that they need to know about their destination. This will include advice on staying safe and what to expect from your upcoming volunteer experience.

 

All our local teams have years of experience hosting international volunteers. They are PMGY’s representatives on the ground. Moreover, they are on-hand to assist PMGY participants 24/7 throughout their stay.

Our responsibility is not limited to our travellers but also the projects we support. At PMGY, we provide a safe, structured and social platform for volunteering, travel and immersion opportunities.

 

We work extremely hard to ensure that our opportunities are affordable for everyone who wants to make a difference. This means that our fees are 100% transparent. This is something our international volunteers really appreciate.

 

Your safety is our top priority. Naturally, we can never guarantee a volunteer experience to be 100% trouble-free. However, we have taken all necessary precautions to ensure our volunteer programs are as safe as possible. You can read more about how we manage and promote Health & Safety overseas here.

 

In addition, all PMGY participants are required to provide a Criminal Background Check before they travel. This check must be issued by an official Governmental or Police Body. We have a commitment to the projects we support. For this reason, we must ensure that the volunteers we send are trustworthy and of sound moral character. Consequently, we are unable to accept participants who have had any previous criminal convictions.

 

At PMGY, our International Team works hard to support our volunteers every step of their journey. From the moment an individual signs up, to the day they land back home, our team is there to assist them. We work hard to ensure that our participants feel as prepared as possible before joining a volunteer opportunity. This is achieved through our extensive literature, webinar sessions and accessible contact services. Such a level of communication is vital to ensuring that a participant’s skill set matches the needs of the project.

 

It is essential that our projects are need-driven and making a positive impact. We work closely with our local partners to ensure that our volunteers are contributing to the local community. Furthermore, we work hard to frequently assess the feedback of the community we serve. This includes the local people, our local teams and international volunteer network. This helps to ensure that our volunteer programs are as productive and impactful as possible.

 

If you are interested in reading more about how PMGY manage Responsible Travel overseas, you can do so here.

We really know our programs. Every volunteer program that PMGY offers has been personally inspected and selected by the PMGY team. We have stayed in the accommodation, experienced the orientation and worked on the projects. Through our frequent visits and daily communications, we have built strong, trusting relationships with our local communities and teams.

 

We carefully assess each application we receive to ensure that your expectations and skills are suited to the volunteer project. Individuals are encouraged to get in touch if they have any uncertainties of their best-suited program. Whatever your query, you can feel assured that our team speaks from experience. At PMGY, we are really happy to talk you through anything!

 

Our International Team has travelled extensively, been to the projects and love talking about them, so do get in touch. It gives us a great excuse to wax lyrical about the programs!

One of the best aspects of volunteering is meeting some amazing like-minded people. We place thousands of volunteers every year, providing a platform for a social experience! Living and working alongside other international volunteers provides fantastic opportunities. For the reason that you will create treasured memories together of your experience abroad.

 

In many of our destinations, we provide our own exclusive Volunteer House accommodation. By providing shared volunteer accommodation, we ensure a strong social element. In addition, our local team is always there to help you plan any independent travel!

 

Why not check out our Instagram page and see more about what our international volunteers get up to?

JUST A HANDFUL OF OUR WORLDWIDE TEAM

AT YOUR SERVICE 24/7

STEPH SMITH

Steph started her PMGY story in 2014 as a volunteer in India, and has since coordinated in Sri Lanka and Bali. Steph is an adventure lover, who really enjoys exploring new places, experiencing new cultures and meeting new people!

QUE NGUYEN

After graduating as an English teacher Que wanted to give back and help her Vietnamese community by introducing new skills and ideas. This well travelled, professional mum and her fab team will welcome you to Vietnam with open arms.

KETUT SRI ARIANA PENDIT

Ketut has been hosting volunteers for almost a decade after seeing a lack of opportunity for children from less well-off families in Bali. Commonly referred to as the ‘Bali mum’, Ketut welcomes everyone to Bali with arms wide open.

SETH KARIKARI MENSAH

Seth or ‘Kari Kari' has devoted his life to development work, is a huge Chelsea football fan and adores lasagne. With a strong sense of community he loves being in the thick of things and will certainly be your Facebook friend for life!

DHARSHAN JEGASUNDARAM

A core member to everything backstage! Dharshan is our accounts guru from the V-Ignite team in Sri Lanka. With over 5 years of expertise, Dharshan may be the biggest WWE fan and is the go to guy for anything finance related.

DARRYL CLEMETT

Darryl or 'Kiwi' is a cool, laid back New Zealander who has spent a number of years living in the UK before settling down in Thailand. A keen golfer he also loves his rugby and cricket. Along with his wife Sopida they will ensure you have a ball on your trip.

JAMES & CHELSEY NATAI

Married in late 2018, James (from Tanzania) and Chelsey (from the US) together coordinate PMGY Tanzania’s program. From James’ cracking sense of humour, to Chelsey’s down-to-earth wisdom, you couldn’t really ask for a more well-balanced duo!

JOSH MCENANEY

A real NewcastleLAD, Josh has a wealth of volunteering experience across Africa and Asia, including hosting large groups of PMGY volunteers. This party loving, globe trotter loves spending time with his family, mates and watching footie.

EMMA GOVER

Emma began her PMGY journey volunteering in Vietnam, continuing with the team in Sri Lanka for a couple of years, until joining the PMGY International Team in 2019. Emma is a travel addict who loves to immerse herself in a new way of life!

JASON HAN

Jason hosts all PMGY Cambodia volunteers in a rural village south of Phnom Penh. A lover of sports and socialising, a day in Jason’s company is never boring, advising all volunteers to ‘expect the unexpected’ during their time abroad.

VISHY BHANDU

Vishav is a busy man. He is a dad of two and coordinates all of PMGY’s projects in India. He loves rock and reggae music and is passionate about cricket - surprise, surprise! He also likes to cool off each day with some yoga or meditation.

ALI BENSEBAA

Ali is a smart cookie with lots of qualifications from his time studying in both New York and Morocco. He's also multi lingual, crazy about travel, hard working, committed and a right laugh. So you'll be in excellent company during your time in Rabat!

ASIM NARESH

Our Big Bro is a funny character, full of many talents! Asim manages all of the PMGY projects across Nepal and welcomes all participants in Kathmandu. Outside of the projects, whether it’s sports, theatre or politics, Asim is your man!

ASHIKA SENEVIRATHNA

After winning PMGY’s In-Country Director of the Year Award 6 years running, Ashika really is the backbone of PMGY and has hosted hundreds of volunteers. His big loves are his family and travel. He always goes above and beyond for PMGY volunteers.