Looking for the summer of a lifetime? Why not spend four remarkable weeks on the gap year Bali experience, travelling and volunteering in paradise! Out of Indonesia’s staggering 17,508 islands, Bali is by far the most popular for its ancient culture, extravagant temples, spectacular rice paddies and striking beaches. This gap year Bali experience trip offers you the undeniably exciting chance to explore the wonders of the exotic island, whilst making a positive difference by volunteering at local projects.
JOIN US IN 2022 - 1ST MAY, 19TH JUNE, 3RD JULY, 24TH JULY, 14TH AUGUST & 4TH SEPT
CATCH SOME RAYS & WAVES AT DREAMLAND BEACH
SNORKEL THROUGH THE BRIGHT BLUE WATERS OF THE GILI ISLANDS
CYCLE ALONG THE COAST OF TRAWANGAN ISLAND
TEST OUT YOUR HAGGLING SKILLS IN THE BUSTLING MARKETS OF UBUD
HIKE UP MOUNT BATUR TO WATCH THE ENCHANTING SUNRISE
TASTE THE FRESH FLAVOURS OF TRADITIONAL BALINESE DISHES
TAKE A DIP & RELAX IN THE NATURALLY HEATED SPRINGS
ADMIRE THE TOWERING WATERFALLS THROUGHOUT BALI
VOLUNTEER IN THE TRADITIONAL TOWN OF TABANAN
SUMMARY OF THE REAL BALI EXPERIENCE
The Real Bali Experience offers ambitious individuals the opportunity to join together and embark on a thrilling adventure across Bali. Our local team provides a structured, face-paced and thrilling group itinerary across a number of amazing sites around the country. Your group will also dedicate time to volunteering projects to give back to local communities, developing and showcasing your skills. On the gap year Bali experience, you will arrive into Bali on a set date, joining your group before travelling and volunteering across a 4 week period. This makes the PMGY Experience trips ideal for anyone who wishes to explore and engage in new experiences in the company of others.
Individuals on this experience trip have the unique chance to explore the whole of this diverse island, from exploring ancient Hindu temples to snorkelling with turtles Gili and hiking Mount Batur. Your adventure will pan across the best sites in the entire country, before dedicating your time to meaningful volunteer projects in the south. Across this 28-day itinerary, be prepared for breathtaking sites, friends for life and complete cultural immersion. The gap year Bali experience is perfect for anyone looking to travel within a safe, structured and social environment.
From one destination to the next, you won’t need to worry about a thing. All your in-country transport and accommodation will be arranged by our local teams on the gap year Bali experience. This helps to ensure that your experience abroad is as smooth as possible. Our team will arrange numerous activities for you to enjoy and engage in during your trip. For any spare time, our local experts will be able to help you discover the impressive range of activities you can get involved in during your trip to Bali. A portion of your time will also be dedicated to making a difference within a community in Bali. This will allow you to put your skills and enthusiasm into practice to make a meaningful difference to local communities overseas.
The trip’s group set-up makes the gap year Bali experience an exceptional social occasion. You have the chance to meet individuals from across the globe, forming friendships that will last a lifetime. You will stay together for your entire adventure, sharing moments and memories that will stay with you forever. You will also have the chance to immerse yourself with members of the local community, making your gap year programs in Bali even more special.
Bali’s popularity has increased massively since the 1980s, with tourism-related business bringing in a significant portion of the island’s economy. With paradise beaches, world-class diving and an international yoga scene, there's an endless list of exotic attractions in Bali. However, many tourists are oblivious to the limited opportunities and behind the scenes for local people, where small profits are made for hours of labour.
This makes your gap year Bali experience extremely unique as you get to enjoy the pleasures of Bali, whilst giving back to the community through visiting small businesses and making an impact made at our volunteering projects. Experience everything from black sands to Luwak Coffee (we’ll let you find out why it’s so special!) to miles of stunning beaches; this trip is an opportunity not to miss out on.
With travelling distances so short and plenty of sites to see, it means your 4 weeks are spent enjoying the beauties of the island without having to spend lots of time in transit. Get ready for volcanic mountains, picturesque beaches and plenty of greenery!
Firstly on your travels, you'll get to explore the best of Bali's beaches, from Uluwatu to Canggu. Above all, you'll discover the paradise of Gili Trawangan, with crystal waters, tropical fish and the chance to see wild turtles! After that, it's time to head inland to the mountains, valleys and rivers, to see a different side to Bali. You will get to learn about traditional crafts and skills like sarong-making in small community businesses.
Next, it's time for dazzling sunrises from Mount Batur. There's plenty of temples and beautiful scenery to explore along the way too! Finally, take the chance to delve into the markets, vegan cafes or yoga classes in Ubud. Learn about traditional farming, watch monkeys playing and be enchanted by the expressive Kecak dancing.
During the last two weeks on the gap year Bali experience, you will be based in Tabanan with other volunteers on the Bali volunteer program. This town is traditionally full of paddy fields, famously known as the ‘Rice Bowl of Bali’. The town is buzzing and bustling, but without other tourists in sight. You will be surrounded by beautiful Hindu temples, offerings and traditional rituals on every corner. As a result, you can see the real side of Bali for the people who live here.
Your group will travel together by private minibus visiting some of the best destinations that Bali has to offer, as well as some of the hidden gems most visitors never see. A PMGY coordinator and English speaking guide will accompany you throughout your gap year Bali experience, so you’ll get the chance to learn so much about the country’s culture and history.
Volunteer in Bali to truly immerse yourself in the local culture, spending time in the community and learning about what life is like for the Balinese people. Getting involved in our projects ensures that you’ll make a positive impact during your time on the gap year Bali experience.
The one thing that every visitor to Bali will never forget is the exciting traditions and intriguing culture of the local community. This is coupled with genuine friendliness from locals who can’t wait to welcome you into their lives and share their ways of living with you.
You can choose which project you’d like to do during the online application process. The following projects are available for you to take part in, but please note some do require an additional fee:
In Bali, it can be difficult to afford a high standard of care or education for their children, particularly for families in the relentless farming and fishing industries. Therefore, as a childcare volunteer in Bali, you can support struggling families and childcare centres. By complementing the work of local staff members we can ensure that these children receive the attention and support that they deserve.
It has been suggested that pre-school years are the most important years of a child’s life and an ideal time for learning a foreign language. Above all, this makes time with international volunteers invaluable. Your main role will be sharing your time, enthusiasm and skills to help encourage and care for these children. By exposing them to the English language you are providing them with an early opportunity for social interaction and educational development.
Above all, lesson planning is essential on the gap year Bali experience. Get creative with different enrichment activities to foster positive social development. You can use songs, music, puzzles, interactive props and educational resources to get the kids engaged. Local coordinators will be on hand to support you at the project as well.
The most important thing is that you engage the children, get them excited about coming to kindergarten and learning new things. Your role is not limited to just teaching and volunteers are actively encouraged to get involved in other areas such as arts & crafts, physical education and helping local staff in their day-to-day role. What activities you choose when you volunteer in Bali is completely up to you.
You will be volunteering from Monday-Thursday, usually starting around 9am-12pm, with the afternoon session from 2pm-4pm. You will be transported to the project via minivan, which takes about 10 minutes.
English is a key component in both the formal and informal industries that exist in Bali, as well as the communication mediums that underpin them. This ranges from the schools, offices and banks to the shops and restaurants that make up much of the booming tourist industry in Indonesia today.
As a volunteer teaching English, you get the chance to really make a difference. On your gap year Bali experience, you open up possibilities of developing English for local children in Tabanan. Though English is taught in school by a local Balinese teacher, the opportunity to converse with a native, fluent English speaker is invaluable.
Your main role as a volunteer teaching English in Bali will be sharing your time, knowledge and skills to the local communities. Moreover, by boosting their confidence in spoken and conversational English you can help to maximise their potential.
You may be leading the class alone, working in pairs, or part of a small group. Volunteers are usually scheduled to teach two or three classes per day. These factors depend on the current project need, availability and volunteer numbers.
Timetables tend to be split between two of the placement locations for each volunteer across the week. The Akasa Foundation program tends to be the main teaching project. Akasa runs 3 classes: Kindergarten (3-4 years) and Beginners (5-7 years) classes are usually in the morning and Advanced (8-14 years) classes in the afternoon.
What you teach on your gap year Bali experience is completely up to you, though there may be a topic or curriculum materials that you can follow if you need some inspiration and guidance, from a general syllabus or past volunteer examples.
We have a library of resources on-site for volunteers to use and the children are provided with exercise books and learning books to help facilitate their learning. The local team also run weekly lesson planning sessions, providing volunteers with a fantastic opportunity to both share and discuss ideas, as well as plan for the upcoming week.
The teaching project runs from Monday-Thursday, with class times varying from 8am-4pm. Your timings will be based on your individual schedule. You may have a 5 minute walk to your placement, or for further distances like the Summer Village Program, you will be transported by minivan.
The majority of Bali revolves very much around culture and religion. Even though healthcare has developed tremendously over the last decade, Balinese people are still deeply rooted in their customs and religious beliefs; especially regarding health. As a result, joining as a medical volunteer in Bali will open your eyes to the traditional beliefs of healing along with the evolving care of Western medicine within this region.
Our Bali medical program is a learning experience for healthcare, nursing and medical students looking to pursue a career in medicine. Working in a hospital as a volunteer in Bali is a great opportunity to get close up clinical exposure and learn about healthcare systems in developing countries. In addition, as a medical volunteer in Bali, you will witness a variety of cases. This offers a fantastic contrast to what you might find in your local hospital.
As a medical volunteer in Bali, your main role will be observing the different departments at the General Hospital in Tabanan, learning about and experiencing the Indonesian healthcare system, procedures and culture. In addition, there are opportunities to learn about more traditional beliefs and practices in Indonesia, as well as community outreach projects. For instance, a seminar with a local healer, visiting a local birth clinic, plus elderly community projects.
Volunteers are advised to note that the hospital will not permit applicants who are not studying medicine, healthcare sciences or nursing at university. Unfortunately, there are no exceptions to this rule on the gap year Bali experience.
The medical project takes place from Monday-Thursday. Your schedule and transport will depend on the current opportunities available when you volunteer in Bali. For instance, the hospital placement generally runs from 7.30-10am, which is a 5 minute minivan ride. The birth clinic is visited in the afternoon for 2-3 hours, which is 45 minutes away by private car. The community projects run from 2-4pm, which are 5 minutes away by minivan.
Hands-On Involvement – Your level of involvement at the medical volunteer projects is dictated by a range of factors. First of all your medical experience, but also the duration of program and willingness to get involved. The medical staff are accountable for you whilst you’re under their supervision. Ultimately, it is completely up to them if you are permitted and want to get involved in hands-on procedures.
Previous PMGY medical volunteer in Peru participants have been given the chance to administer IV injections, dress wounds etc. However, please note we can never guarantee or promote hands-on involvement regardless of medical experience or background.
Generally speaking those with little or no medical experience assume a largely observational role. If you are studying a medically related degree, then you should have more opportunity to undertake some more basic hands-on involvement. However, to reiterate we can never guarantee or endorse hands-on experience should you choose to get hands-on. Such a decision ultimately lies with the medical staff.
Indonesia is home to hundreds of different species of animals, many of which find themselves dispersed by deforestation whilst the country expands it’s exporting of goods like palm oil and rubber. As a result, there are now seven centres in the whole of the country that rehabilitate and release endangered animals into their native habitat in the wild. PMGY Bali wildlife rescue volunteers
wildlife rescue volunteers will gain great insight and opportunity to join in on the care of these animals at the wildlife rescue centre.
Within the centre, you will find a range of animals that were victims of poachers and traffickers. The primates and birds looked after have usually been rescued from markets, private homes and businesses where they were kept as pets or for entertainment purposes. This is a huge problem in Indonesia, displacing wild animals from their natural habitats and separating them from their families. Most importantly, these animals need extra care, attention and enrichment in order to improve their wellbeing and daily lives.
On your gap year Bali experience, you can give endangered animals daily support and enrich their lives. On the wildlife volunteer program, you can also get involved in additional opportunities to support the wildlife and environment in Bali. For instance, tackling environmental issues via mangrove restoration.
Your main project will be based at the wildlife rescue centre, which is 5 minutes away by minivan. The daily shifts run Monday-Thursday from 8-10.30am and 2-4pm. While on the project you will work alongside the animal keeper and other staff members who have years of experience interacting with animals.
The beach cleans are about 20 minutes away by minivan, usually from 8-10am or 3-5pm. If your volunteer work in Bali includes the mangrove restoration, you will be transported by private car as it’s about an hour away, normally between 7-11.30am. If you want to volunteer with animals abroad then this is the project for you!
OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER
Itinerary Schedule - The itineraries for our PMGY experience trips are subject to change, as a result of unforeseen circumstances. We will always do our best to notify participants of changes in advance of the program start date. However, activities day to day during time in-country also remain subject to unanticipated changes.
TEFL Course - We encourage volunteers to prepare as much as possible for their teaching program overseas. You can make the most out of your time by completing our convenient, inexpensive and international accredited 60 hour Online TEFL Course. The cost of this course is only 120 USD.
Please make sure you arrive into Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS) on the selected Sunday start date.
Day 1 (Sunday) Welcome to Bali
Om Suastiastu! A member of our local team will be waiting for you at the airport holding a PMGY sign with your name on. Your driver awaits!
From the airport, you will be transferred to a hotel in Tuban, approximately 15 minutes away. The rest of the day is yours to relax by the pool or catch up on jet-lag as you wait to meet your new friends on the Bali Intro Experience and Real Bali Experience.
Day 2 (Monday) Orientation & Beaches in Uluwatu
Your day will begin with an orientation by our PMGY staff member, who will outline everything you need to know to set you up for your two weeks of travelling. This includes safety issues and what you can expect from the group tour.
The adventure then begins in Uluwatu, located on the south-western tip of the island. Initially discovered as a surfer’s spot in 1972, the area attracts many visitors to admire the beautiful beaches and escape the crowds.
First up, Uluwatu Temple; a Hindu religious building located on a 70ft tall cliff front, offering stunning views that extend into the distance. After a tasty Balinese lunch, you’ll have a chance to recover fully from your jet-lag on the stunning Dreamland Beach. As one of Bali’s hidden gems, you’re surrounded by limestone cliffs and white sands – stunning!
Day 3 (Tuesday) Let's Go To Gili!
Hopefully, your body’s not aching too much because it’s an early start to the Gili Islands! More specifically, you’re off to Gili Trawangan (better known as Gili T). You’ll soon shake off your sleepiness as you arrive on your paradise island this morning. But not too fast, first, you’ll need to check-in at your hostel and pick up your bike!
The rest of the day is yours to enjoy the splendours of the Island. On Gili T, there are no motorised vehicles, making push-bikes a popular method of exploring this Indonesian gem. With lengths of passably paved roads around most of the borders, what better or more convenient way to go around than by bike? From sunbathing to waterboarding, Gili T is the place to be!
If you fancy more of an adventure, Gili T is the only island among the Gili’s with a hill that you can climb up to discover a couple of great finds. Firstly, a mysterious shrine sits adjacent to a Muslim burial site, then further up is the crumbling remnants of a WWII Japanese machine-gun bunker. And upon reaching the top, you will claim your prize of a birds’ eye view of the surrounding waters and the majestic outlines of Mount Rinjani on the neighbouring island of Lombok. Sunset or sunrise really offers the jackpot.
Day 4 (Wednesday) Spot Turtles & Swim with Tropical Fish
Stop admiring the blue waters and get into them! Today it’s time to explore the sea and enjoy all the underwater beauty. The waters around the islands are relatively shallow, and occasional sightings of sea turtles roaming freely will be an added bonus. You’ll visit 3-4 snorkelling sites, with a quick stop in Gili Air to grab a snack.
The rest of the day is now yours again to do as you wish on the gap year Bali experience. There is a row of beach bars and restaurants lighting up the shores of Trawangan and there is usually some fire dancers and fireworks on the sand to add to the nightly spectaculars the islands offer up!
Day 5-6 (Thursday-Friday) From Bright Blue to Rich Green - A local way of life
You’ve got the morning to soak up Gili’s bright blue seas before catching your boat back to Bali. We’re now off to Padang Bai, home to rice paddies, mountains, valleys and rivers.
For the next two days, we’re pairing up with Bali Kuno in Tangkup Village, Sideman, to allow you to experience a truly local way of life. Here you will be engaging in numerous activities, ranging anywhere from sarong-making classes to traditional team-building exercises. These two days will really put your Bali experience into perspective, allowing you to better appreciate the Balinese culture and also further develop friendships with other members of your group.
Day 7 (Saturday) Mount Batur Sunrise Hike & Hot Springs
Rise and shine! It’s 12am and time to get moving. We’ve got a 2-3 hour journey to the base of Mount Batur before beginning our ascent to the peak, sitting just over 5,500 feet above sea level.
The sacred mountain draws tourists from all over the island for its breath-taking views over Lake Batur. You’ll make it to the top just after 6am and arrive at the conveniently named ‘Sunrise Point’ to hopefully take in a very impressive sunrise that the lack of sleep will make up for! At 7am we will continue the trek around the entire crater before beginning the descent at the finishing point, around an hour later back down to Toyabungkah Village.
From the village, we will head directly to Toya Devasya Hot Springs for some well-deserved rest and relaxation. Here there are four natural hot spring pools to take a dip in and soothe your aching calf muscles!
After checking in and having dinner you’ll have some free time to relax or play cards with your new friends on the gap year Bali experience!
Day 8 (Sunday) A Relaxing Sunday of Games & Tradition
After your exciting day yesterday, it’s now time to relax and learn about local traditions. With your local guide, you will learn how to play traditional Balinese games. You will gain insight into the history of the offerings made to the spirits and even be able to learn how to craft them yourself.
Day 9 (Monday) Munduk Village & Waterfalls
After a short walk through the lush greenery, you will start the day off with a refreshing dip in the waters of Gitgit Waterfall.
You will have the opportunity to witness one of Bali’s most famous temples: Temple Pura Ulun Danu Bratan. Built into Tamblingan Lake, the complex is surrounded by towering mountains and vast waters, making it a must-see on your gap year Bali experience!
Next, we’ll head to the picturesque cultural centre of Ubud. After travelling it’s time to check-in and relax for the evening.
Day 10 (Tuesday) Time for Ubud!
After breakfast, we’ll start exploring Ubud, the community renowned for its crafts and arts. Ubud is teeming with vegan cafes, crystal shops, chakra cleansing workshops and boho shopping galore. It also has its fair share of chances to visit ancient temples including the Royal Palace, the Tirta Empul temple complex and Campuhan Ridge Walk.
Wednesday is an opportunity to shop until you drop in Ubud’s bustling Art Market – Pasar Seni Ubud. A shopper’s heaven for everything from silk scarves to coconut bowls and baggy pants. Practice your haggling skills as you barter for the best deals. You may wish to spend the rest of your day relaxing in one of Ubud’s many cafes, or do you dare to explore the Monkey Forest?
Day 11 (Wednesday) Rice Terraces & Temples
You’ll be kick-starting Thursday’s adventure with Tegalalang Rice Terrace, a famous tourist attraction for beautiful paddy fields, designed with exquisite beauty in its hollowing rice field. It is precisely located on the hill bank, showing off a spectacular panoramic view of the valley with rice terraces and coconut trees that ornament it. You will see the Balinese farmers do their seasonal rice field daily routines, complete with its system irrigation. We will have our lunch here surrounded by beautiful scenery.
We will then head to Gunung Kawi Temple. A magnificent shrine cut out of the rock, these funeral monuments are thought to be dedicated to King Anak Wungsu of the Udayana dynasty and his favourite queens. You will also have the chance to taste some local coffee and teas.
The final stop of the day is Tirta Empul, a magnificent temple complex devoted to Vishnu, the Hindu God of Water, which dates back to 926 A.D. After admiring the striking temple, it’s time to put on a traditional sarong and sash, and head to the Holy Spring to take part in a blessing ceremony. Once you’ve made an offering to the Gods, you will be led into the pool by the temple priest to be blessed in the sacred waters.
Day 12 (Thursday) Monkey Forest, Traditional Dance & Sunset at Tanah
Today is our last day of adventurous travel on the gap year Bali experience, before heading over to our Volunteer House in Tabanan. We’ll stop off on the way at Sangeh Monkey Forest, watching the cheeky wild inhabitants swinging around the jungle!
What better way can you start a day than with a sugar fix? Our day begins with a lesson all about chocolate and the process that transforms the bean to the bar. Finish off the learning experience with the opportunity to make your own bar and the chance to taste a range of different chocolate varieties.
Next, we’ll make our way to Tanah Lot temple. This incredible temple has been a part of Balinese mythology and ancient Hindu pilgrimages for centuries. It is one of seven sea temples around the Balinese coast, forming a chain where each temple is visible from the next.
Our final stop on the trip – Kecak dancing. This traditional dance involves the dancers expressing stories of dance-drama through bodily gestures, including the intricate use of the fingers, hands and even eyes!
And that’s it! Once another hearty meal has been demolished, you and the group will return back to Tabanan – the heart of PMGY’s volunteer projects in Bali.
The Tabanan region itself has a population of over 350,000, with 10,000 of this concentrated in the city centre. The Volunteer House is located within walking distance to several small supermarkets, fruit shops and cafes. Each evening, the town comes to life with a local market, selling everything from local snacks to fake designer clothes. The projects are located between 5-30 minutes from the volunteer house, with Bemos, small, open-air minibuses acting as your chariots.
Day 13 (Friday) Take a Day For You
Today is a day for you to do whatever it is that you feel you want to do. Whether you want to lay by the beach, do some last minute souvenir shopping or get a massage, today is all about you. Enjoy your day and with so much on offer, you’re bound to have an amazing day.
Day 14-15 (Saturday-Sunday) Time to Breathe!
This weekend is free to travel. You might choose to return to Kuta or Canggu to relax on the beach or enjoy a drink in the sun. Or perhaps you’d prefer taking some time to sunbathe on the rooftop? Either way, this is your time to relax and recuperate before immersing yourself in the volunteer placements!
Day 16 (Monday) Orientation in Tabanan
We’ll begin the day with a full outline into PMGY Bali’s volunteer programs. You will be introduced to the rest of the in-country team and a tour of the local area, with a discussion about the plan for your next couple of weeks.
After your first welcome talk, you’ll head to the Subak Museum. With some of Bali’s biggest rice fields, Tabanan is famously known as the ‘Rice Bowl of Bali’. ‘Subak’ means irrigation in Balinese and therefore refers to the water management of the paddy fields. By the end of your morning, you will be rice experts after learning about traditional farming methods and local traditions that accompany the discipline.
Following a home-cooked lunch, you will be taken to your designated project where volunteers work to meet the local teams and have a first glance of the tasks you will be getting involved in over the next two weeks.
Another talk later, we’ll finish off the day with a tour of the local area.
Day 17-26 (Tuesday-Thursday) Volunteering!
Tuesday is your first day of volunteering, one of our local coordinators will travel with you to your project location. You will be transported to and from our projects daily by our transport network from the Volunteer House. Our project coordinators will be on hand to meet you at the project and introduce you accordingly. Depending on your project you may get the chance to meet other PMGY volunteers along the way!
Depending on which project you choose to do on your online application will influence the daily timings you join us at the project.
The final weekend in between your volunteering is free for you to explore how you wish to on your gap year Bali experience.
You’ll be in personal contact with our local coordinators every day across your two weeks volunteering with us, so if you need anything we are there for you 24/7.
Day 27 (Friday) Free Day
Whether you’ve got some last-minute gifts to purchase, you want to top up your tan or you just need to re-cooperate from the last 4 jam-packed weeks, this day is yours to enjoy!
Day 28 (Saturday) Last Day
Unfortunately, your epic journey has come to an end! Saturday is your last day on the Real Bali Experience, so it’s time to say goodbye and head home or onto your next faraway destination.
If you are heading home then we can help you arrange your return airport drop off. Please note that this is not included in your Program Fee as some people will arrange their own onward travel. If fellow returning volunteers have flights at a similar time to yours you can choose to travel together and split the fee accordingly.
Alternatively, if you’d like to stay on with one of PMGY’s volunteer opportunities in Bali then this may be something that we can arrange. Therefore, you should speak to one of our team members about your options and availability.
* This itinerary is subject to change as a result of unforeseen circumstances.
CHOOSING AN EXPERIENCE TRIP
What are the program start dates for the Real Bali Experience?
The program start dates for the Bali experience trip are as follows –
1st May 2022
19th June 2022
3rd July 2022
24th July 2022
14th August 2022
4th September 2022
Can people from outside of the UK or USA join PMGY?
Of course! Although PMGY was founded in the UK, with offices now extending between the UK and US, we welcome participants of all nationalities onto our programs. Within the last decade, we have hosted tens of thousands of volunteers and travel lovers from across the globe. From France to Italy, Mexico to India, Namibia to Russia and Ireland to China – these are only a handful of the countries participants have joined us from! We want everyone from across the world to have an equal opportunity at experiencing a different perspective on life, and make friends across the world.
Why are PMGY’s fees so much more affordable than other organisations?
The PMGY International Team works hard to ensure that our fees are kept as low as possible. Consequently, this makes our experiences affordable and accessible without sacrificing the safety and quality of the overall experience.
Registration Fees to join our programs are assigned to the high levels of comprehensive support that we are renowned for. This includes telephone and online support staff available 24 hours each day, as well as detailed hand-guides and interactive webinars. Therefore, the remaining Program Fees to join the program go directly to our in-country teams, covering everything for your time in Bali. In general, these fees are reflected in your accommodation, meals, airport pick-up, in-country support and project upkeep during your time abroad. Furthermore, we make sure our fees are transparent, which is something our participants really appreciate.
Similar organisations offer fancy brochures, run large high-street offices and are usually owned by larger travel organisations with many shareholders. As a result, participants are charged an extremely high price to cover all of these overheads. Therefore, at PMGY, we have embraced the online age by focusing everything around an online presence. We have done away with out-dated brochures, an unnecessary high street presence and we are an independent organisation without any outside financial interests.
What are the requirements to join the trip in Bali?
PMGY welcomes gap year Bali experience participants of all nationalities, religions and backgrounds. The minimum age to join the program is 17 and there is no upper age limit. Furthermore, all participants need to have a good level of English, although it does not need to be your first language. Of course, you do not need to speak Balinese. However, you will find that learning a few words in your days with us in Bali will go a long way.
All gap year Bali experience participants must be able to provide a clean criminal background check in advance of joining us abroad. Thus, we are unable to accept anyone who has any previous criminal convictions. In general, no formal experience or qualifications are required for the projects, just lots of energy, enthusiasm and preparation! However, medical and healthcare projects usually require additional documentation before participation begins in-country.
Travelling and volunteering overseas can be both physically and mentally challenging. Therefore, all participants must be fit in both areas. Consequently, if you have any medical/mental health conditions that may affect your participation overseas, then these must be declared to us during your online application. If you have any queries regarding your suitability to participate, we recommend that you contact us before committing to the program.
What date should I arrive and leave the Real Bali Experience?
For your volunteer trip to Bali, you should book your flights to Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar on the selected Sunday after 9:30am. The airport code is DPS. You will be met at the airport by a member of the local team or an appointed driver, who will be holding a named sign. They will take you to your accommodation where you will spend the rest of your day at leisure.
The program ends on the Saturday of your final week. Therefore, you must depart the accommodation on this day.
Are there any age restrictions to be a participant in Bali?
In order to join the gap year Bali experience, you need to be at least 17 years old on the program start date. Generally, the average age range of participants is 17-25.
There is no upper age limit to our programs, and in the past, we have hosted participants up to the age of 70-years old. Whilst we have found that our more mature participants get a lot from the experience, at times individuals have found it more challenging to integrate with a younger crowd. Furthermore, some participants have perhaps expected a higher level of accommodation, the structure within the local community, and general overall communication at the project setup. Consequently, whilst we welcome participants of all ages, we stress that all participants should remain open-minded and flexible. Additionally, participants must appreciate that the majority of our participants are across the 17-25 age range.
When should I apply to join the Real Bali Experience?
For the majority of our programs, you can apply at any time. However, we advise that you apply as soon as possible to ensure we have availability on the program. This is since some of our programs only have limited capacity, meaning that spaces get filled very quickly. Therefore, it is particularly important that you apply in good time if you’re looking to travel between our peak period of June and August. This is because spaces can fill up very quickly during this period. Furthermore, please only apply to the program if you are 100% committed to joining us on the gap year Bali experience. You need to apply online by locating the “Apply Now” button on the individual project page. This will guide you through our online Application Process.
Indeed, once you have applied and confirmed your place on the program, it may be possible to change your start dates and this will not incur a fee. However, please note that this will be subject to availability and any changes should be made at least 45 days prior to your start date.
Can I join the program abroad with my friend/parent/boyfriend/girlfriend?
You’re more than welcome to travel with friends, family members or with a boyfriend/girlfriend. If required, we can make sure that you stay in the same accommodation and if relevant, volunteer at the same project. However, please note the majority of our accommodation is on a single-sex basis. Consequently, we cannot guarantee that you would be able to be placed in the same room.
Please outline in the ‘Special Requirements’ box of your online application if you’d like to make sure you’re placed alongside another applicant/s.
Is it safe to travel to PMGY destinations?
Although our participants work in the developing world, we work hard to ensure that our host locations are safe. Firstly, participant safety in each of our destinations is monitored regularly. Each of our programs has been inspected by a member of the PMGY International Team. Additionally, PMGY closely follows advice published by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Alongside the frequent contact we have with our local teams, we are able to ensure that our participants are never placed in unstable or unsafe regions.
The PMGY International Team have visited and participated in every program we offer. Thus, we have carefully inspected every little detail of our set-up, from the living conditions to local neighbourhoods and even the food you’ll be eating. Through these checks, we are able to ensure that all of our projects are up to scratch. Furthermore, all of our local teams are experienced development professionals, with years of experience hosting international travellers. They are PMGY’s representatives on the ground and assist participants 24/7 throughout their stay. Our teams are therefore always on-hand to assist in any emergencies that may occur. Additionally, our 24 hour international emergency telephone line is always accessible. PMGY’s in-country staff also have access to local medical professionals should these be required during a participant’s time with us.
When you join the gap year Bali experience, we will send you a Volunteer Handbook. This document addresses a range of issues such as health, safety, visas and dress codes. For any unanswered or specific questions, PMGY offers a comprehensive support network, with online and telephone support staff available 24 hours each day. Our advisers welcome participants to ask as many questions as needed for them to effectively prepare for their trip overseas. On a monthly basis, our International Team also hosts both an Introductory Webinar and Safety Webinar. These are interactive opportunities for international participants to learn more about our projects and managing their safety overseas.
When you arrive in-country, you’ll be given a comprehensive introduction to the general program and your specific project. During this session, our team will also cover important safety advice specific to your country. You’ll also be given the opportunity to purchase a local SIM-card. This is something we strongly suggest, so you’re contactable at all times. In like manner, we will provide you with a full list of the important contact numbers that you’ll need to know.
Although we cannot guarantee your experience to be 100% trouble-free we have taken all the necessary precautions to make sure each program is as safe as possible.
When do I pay for my experience program? Can I pay in instalments?
In order to confirm your place on the gap year Bali experience, you need to pay a deposit of 249 USD. The remaining fee is then due no less than 45 days prior to your program start date. During this period if you need to make a change to your trip (destination, program or date) then this can be facilitated free of charge. If you’re applying within 45 days of your program start date then you’ll need to pay the full amount to confirm your place. Likewise, in the unlikely event that we are unable to offer you a place on the program then your payment will be refunded in full within 48 hours of applying.
Payments made in advance of the 45 day window can be made in one lump sum or in several instalments. Payments can be made directly through our website using all major debit and credit cards. We will outline instructions to make payment in our email communication with you. Please note credit card payments are subject to a 5% additional fee to cover the bank charges that PMGY incur. Bank transfers can be accepted by UK participants only.
Can I use Real Bali Experience as part of a university or college placement?
It is certainly possible to use Real Bali Experience as part of your university or college placement. However, PMGY is unable to guarantee that the gap year Bali experience will fulfil the requirements of your establishment. Therefore, participants are encouraged to speak to a member of the International Team to establish whether the required parameters can be met. This should be done in advance of applying to the program. When appropriate, school/college/university representatives are welcome to contact PMGY to discuss further the suitability of the program in meeting the participant’s requirements.
First of all, the PMGY International Team are able to complete paperwork after gap year Bali experience participants have confirmed their place on the program. Additionally, project staff in Bali can also sign-off any paperwork that is required by your course tutors. However, while our team will do their best to complete any paperwork, we are unable to guarantee that we will be able to comply with every learning objective and requirement or your university/college. PMGY regularly receives medical, nursing, childcare and psychology placement students on our projects globally, with ties with some leading universities.
If you’re a course tutor and would like further information about how one of PMGY’s programs could meet the placement requirements for your course, please contact us directly to schedule a meeting.
BEFORE YOU DEPART
Do you offer an online TEFL course?
For PMGY volunteers teaching English in Bali, the only real ‘qualifications’ you need are bags of energy, commitment and enthusiasm. However, if you’d like a chance to do some preparation work before you hit the classroom, we’ve got the perfect introductory online TEFL course for English language teaching abroad.
At only 60 hours and completed online, this course is obviously hugely convenient. The course can be done in your own time, at your own pace and you don’t even need to leave the house! You have got a whopping 75 days to complete the course, so there is no rush and you can fit it in when you can. Obviously, an hour here and there certainly adds up. Therefore there really is no pressure.
Once completed, you’ll not only have acquired key skills for teaching English abroad but also an internationally accredited certificate. If you find that teaching really is your calling, this course can be built upon with more modules in the future. There are 5 modules to this 60 hour course, covering aspects including ‘The Roles of the Teacher’ and ‘Lesson Planning’.
The cost of the course is 120 USD. If you’ve already signed up for one of our programs and would like to enrol on the online TEFL course then please contact us.
Can I fundraise for my Real Bali Experience trip?
With PMGY, the money our participants pay goes towards the structure you receive on the Bali program. The fundamentals of this cover aspects such as accommodation, airport pick-ups, around the clock support from our international and in-country teams, pre-departure training as well as the implementation and monitoring of the projects.
We do our best to keep our program costs as low and affordable as possible, without sacrificing quality and safety. However, with flights, travel insurance and spending money to factor into your overall budget, you may find you need a little bit of help with the finances. Consequently, a large number of PMGY participants decide to fundraise for their trip. In these instances, we recommend that participants on the gap year Bali experience set up an online fundraising page to notify friends and family of your trip.
PMGY have partnered with the online crowdfunding website GoGetFunding for participants to create a personalised fundraising page for their trip. This professional online fundraising service allows you to set financial goals and get the message across about what you’re doing. You can also share your PMGY fundraising page across various social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to spread the word.
Can I raise money for the projects?
The PMGY Foundation is a UK registered charity (1169415). This charity has been created to help provide financial aid and assistance to projects we work with on an ongoing basis. Importantly, the objective of the PMGY Foundation is the prevention or relief of poverty for people living in the communities we support. This is achieved by providing or assisting the provision of education, training, healthcare and general living support. Therefore, we hope that the support offered by the PMGY Foundation helps to enable individuals to generate a sustainable income and be self-sufficient. Consequently, donations made to the PMGY Foundation will be directed to the projects most in need. This is determined by the trustees of the charity during our International Team overseas visits.
If you are looking to help raise money directly for the PMGY Foundation, you can do so via our Virgin Money Giving fundraising page. 100% of all money raised will be donated directly to the projects we support around the world. However, please note that participants are unable to raise money through the PMGY Foundation to help finance the cost of their trip overseas. For gap year Bali experience participants looking for further information on how to raise money for their trip abroad, please visit our fundraising page.
How do I register for your online webinars?
Every Tuesday at 4pm (London time), the PMGY International Team hosts one of four pre-departure webinars. These last approximately 45 minutes each and importantly provide participants in Bali with invaluable advice on their upcoming trip. The webinars are hosted by a member of our International Team, who all have extensive knowledge of our projects around the globe. You can attend (and even ask questions) from anywhere in the world, simply by logging in through your own computer. All you need is a computer, a good internet connection and a pair of headphones. In addition to this, if any family or friends would like to attend the session as well, they are more than welcome to do so.
For individuals who have not yet signed up to one of our programs, but would like to learn more about us, we encourage you to join our Introductory Webinar. Across 45 minutes, a member of the International team will introduce you to the concept of volunteering abroad, our destinations and both social and safety aspects of our programs.
For individuals on the gap year Bali experience who have already confirmed their place on the program, there are three for you to choose from. Please note that you need to sign up for the webinar a few days in advance.
Travel Essentials Pre-Departure Webinar – covers all the basics.
Program Preparation Webinar – covers specifically childcare and teaching community work programs.
Safety & Wellbeing Overseas Webinar – covers the risks associated with overseas travel and how you can keep as safe as possible.
Will I require vaccinations and malaria tablets for my trip?
It is possible that as a gap year Bali experience participant, you may require a course of vaccinations in preparation for your trip to Bali. However, unfortunately, PMGY is unable to legally advise on these matters, since we are not medical experts. Therefore, it is vital that you contact your local doctor or travel clinic a few months in advance of your intended travel. Your local doctor/nurse will be able to advise you on vaccinations and malaria prevention you may need for entry into your program destination. Additional information can be found on the NHS Fit For Travel website.
How do I arrange my flights to Bali?
When you apply to join a trip with PMGY, we cannot guarantee your place on the program immediately. Indeed, on receiving an application, we have to liaise with our local team to ensure there is space available on the program and to assess your suitability for the specific project. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not make any flight and/or travel arrangements until your program has been confirmed by us in writing. Of course, once your place on the gap year Bali experience has been confirmed, you are then free to book your flights either with PMGY or through a third-party travel agent.
After confirming your place on a PMGY volunteer program, we strongly advise that you book your flights as early as possible. This is since it will help ensure that you get the lowest airfare. You can choose to book your flights independently or we can help you with arranging them. PMGY has a wealth of experience in travelling to and from our host countries. Therefore, we know the most affordable ways to travel and the best airlines to use. Therefore, if you would like any assistance booking your flight, you can request an optional flight quote during your online application. Alternatively, feel free to contact us on the phone or by email.
Do you offer travel insurance?
Importantly, having an appropriate travel insurance policy during your time abroad is essential. Therefore, it is mandatory for all of our international volunteers to be appropriately covered across all of their trip dates. This includes your travel to and from the host country, as well as any onward travel. Although PMGY does everything to ensure your trip is safe, inevitably things can go wrong. Therefore, having a travel insurance policy in place helps you effectively deal with any problems you may encounter during your time away.
We have partnered up with the insurance company Endsleigh to create an affordable and comprehensive optional policy. This has been designed with our international volunteers in mind, to cover our participants for all of their travel essentials. The policy is available to anyone across the globe, up to the age of 65 years. The document will cover you for your time on any PMGY destination and any onward travel (excluding the US and Canada). You can purchase PMGY Travel Insurance during your online application or you can contact us directly to arrange it.
How do I obtain a background check?
To join the gap year Bali experience, you’ll need to provide us with a clean DBS or Police Check before you travel. This is a check that must be issued by an official Governmental or Police Body. PMGY have a commitment to the projects we support to ensure the participants we send are trustworthy and of sound moral character. Consequently, we are unable to accept participants who have had any previous criminal convictions.
If you hold a current DBS or Police Check, then we can accept this, providing it is clear and issued no more than 18 months prior to your program start date. You will need to upload a copy of this to your online portal after confirming your place on the program. Furthermore, the DBS or Police Check must be submitted to us no less than 21 days prior to your program start date.
If you don’t have a valid DBS check, then you will need to apply for one. UK participants need to apply for a “Basic Disclosure” through Gov.uk (which serves all people in the UK). This costs 23 GBP and takes around 15 working days to process. Full information on how to obtain a DBS check through Gov.uk is outlined in the Volunteer Handbook, received once you have confirmed your place on the gap year Bali experience.
For gap year Bali experience participants from the US, you can apply for a background check through US Criminal Checks. It costs 17.95 USD and is usually processed immediately. Alternatively, you are welcome to arrange your own background check through your local Sheriff’s Office or governmental body.
For all other international participants, we recommend you obtain a Police/Criminal Background Check through your local police station or official governmental body.
When will I receive my Volunteer Handbook?
All participants in Bali will receive a PMGY Volunteer Handbook once they have paid their deposit and confirmed their place on the program. We will send you an email entitled ‘Welcome to PMGY’ which will include a link where you can download the Volunteer Handbook. Please note that we do not send a hard copy of the PMGY Volunteer Handbook.
This Handbook contains everything you need to know to prepare for your gap year Bali experience. Ranging from what to pack to how to obtain a visa, we do our best to ensure you are ready to hit the ground running. Therefore, it is really important that you read through the Volunteer Handbook carefully once you’ve downloaded it. If you find any of your questions unanswered after reading through this, then our team are always on hand to assist you. You can contact us via email, telephone, Zoom, Facebook, online chat…whatever works best for you!
ON YOUR TRIP
Can I arrange a private room?
All of our accommodation options on the Bali program involve sharing a room with other participants (usually same-sex). Unfortunately, we are unable to arrange private room options for our participants on the Real Bali Experience.
Can you cater for my dietary requirements?
Our teams will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements. However, this cannot be guaranteed on the gap year Bali experience. Consequently, there may be instances where you need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense. Any dietary requirements should be noted within your application and re-iterated to the local team on arrival into the country. Importantly, any concerns for major requirements should be raised with the PMGY International Team before confirming your place on the program.
Are there any public holidays that affect project availability?
We aim to communicate as clearly and accurately as possible all holidays that impact project availability. This information can be found via our Holiday Dates page and in the Volunteer Handbook. However, due to the nature of developing countries, holidays can often be sporadic or prone to change. In turn, these can unexpectedly affect project availability. Therefore in such instances, we ask our participants to be flexible and appreciative of this. These periods often provide participants in Bali with a unique experience to enjoy the festivities and holidays themselves. However, our local teams will always do their best to find alternative project work if applicable/possible.
What is the dress code on the Real Bali Experience?
Dress code varies from country-to-country and sometimes from project-to-project. Importantly, we ask that our participants adopt a smart and responsible image during their time in the communities. Of course, we will outline the specific dress code requirements in your Volunteer Handbook so you know exactly what to pack. In addition to this, our local team will also brief you during your in-country orientation on arrival in Bali.
The general rule of thumb for girls is to cover shoulders, chest, stomach and thighs. In a like matter, for men, shorts should not lie above the knee and shirts should cover shoulders. Whilst we do not wish to impose strict regulations on our participants, we do ask that you respect the local culture during your travels. Moreover, dressing appropriately will earn you the respect of the people you’ll be working with. Therefore, our Volunteer Handbooks, outline preferred dress-codes in detail.
Additionally, it’s also a good idea to take some nicer clothes for the weekends and special occasions. However, please avoid tight and very short clothing. You should also avoid clothing that may have potentially offensive slogans on it. Tattoos and piercings should be covered where possible if your program includes a volunteer placement, particularly if you’re working with children.
How much spending money will I need?
The amount of extra spending money you should take with you on the gap year Bali experience can depend on a multitude of factors. Considerations include what you undertake during your free time and how many souvenirs you purchase! Therefore, if you plan to go for a safari in Tanzania or perhaps go trekking in South Africa, you will need to budget accordingly. However, for general expenses and some independent travel, you should find 100-150 USD per week a suitable amount.
Will I be able to travel whilst on the program?
Your gap year Bali experience involves travelling across Bali with your group. You will follow a set itinerary across your time on the trip. This means that there is no opportunity to take part in any independent travel across the trip dates.
Before booking your flights, we recommend that you look into travel opportunities across dates either side of your trip. It is always great to spend some time travelling and seeing more of the country you wish to explore.
All your accommodation is organised by PMGY on your gap year Bali Experience. During the travelling part of your trip, you will stay at guesthouses or hotels, sharing a room with fellow travellers. All rooms will be single-sex, air-conditioned and have western bathrooms. Wi-Fi should be available, but this may be limited to communal areas.
When travelling, our team will do their best to arrange twin rooms or single beds on the gap year Bali Experience. However, from time to time some volunteers may be required to share double beds, depending on availability. The guesthouses will be basic but clean, comfortable and have the amenities you need.
During the last two weeks of the Real Bali Experience, you will stay in one of our Volunteer Houses in Tabanan. The accommodation is basic but comfortable. You will be living with others on the PMGY Bali volunteer program.
Tabanan is a more traditional town, so you won’t find many other tourists around. However, there is access to local restaurants, convenience stores and ATMs. Each room has bunk beds, shared with between 6-10 volunteers. Volunteers will be provided with bed linen and air conditioning. You will have a designated space to store your clothes as well as a personal locker for storage of your valuables, however, volunteers are encouraged to only bring essential items during their volunteer work in Bali.
Bathrooms are shared, with a shower and western style toilet. The water is often cold, but this shouldn’t be a problem if you volunteer in Bali, as the climate is hot and humid all year round! There is Wi-Fi available within the house, although volunteers should note that this is unpredictable and the signal can be intermittent. International volunteers have several communal spaces to relax, hang out with new friends or prepare lesson plans if you are teaching English. There is also a shared refrigerator to store any personal food items.
A member of our local team will also live at the house during your gap year Bali experience. This ensures that you have round the clock support and security. We will transport you via minivan or private car to and from your volunteer work in Bali, and the cost of this service is included in your Program Fee.
During our busiest months (June to September) you may be placed at alternative accommodation. This could be a nearby guesthouse or one of our summer Volunteer Houses.
During your volunteer trip to Bali, you will be served three meals per day across the whole four weeks of the Real Experience. Most of the meals are traditional Indonesian and Balinese dishes, which typically consists of a lot of rice and chicken, although vegetarian options are always available.
The meals for the first two weeks will usually be served in a buffet format or as part of a set menu.
There is a large choice of restaurants and local warungs (authentic, local food stalls) in Tabanan. The food on offer is traditional Balinese cuisine – typically amazing and mainly vegetarian! There may also be a western option served once or twice every week and there are restaurants serving western food available around a 20 minute walk from the Volunteer House.
* Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements. However, this cannot be guaranteed. This means that there may be instances where you need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense. Any dietary requirements should be noted within your application and re-iterated to the local team on arrival into the country. Any concerns for major requirements should be raised with the PMGY International Team before confirming your place on the program.
* These fees apply to each individual application.
In order to apply to join PMGY you are required to make your Registration Fee payment of 249 USD. In the unlikely event that we are unable to offer you a place on the program then your Registration Fee will be refunded in full within 48 hours of applying. The remaining fee is then due no less than 45 days prior to your program start date. During this period if you need to make a change to your trip (destination, program or date) then this can be facilitated free of charge.
If you’re applying within 45 days of your program start date then you’ll need to pay the full amount to confirm your place. Likewise, in the unlikely event that we are unable to offer you a place on the program then your payment will be refunded in full within 48 hours of applying.
Any remaining payments must be made no less than 45 days prior to your start date. This payment can be made in one lump sum or in several instalments. If you chose to take our insurance or book a flight with PMGY then these must be paid for (in full) at the time of booking.
Payments can be made directly through our website using all major debit and credit cards. We will outline instructions to make payment in our email communication with you. Please note credit card payments are subject to a 5% additional fee to cover the bank charges that PMGY incur.
OPTIONAL TRIPLE CARBON OFFSET SCHEME - 55 USD
PMGY provide participants with the opportunity to contribute towards our Triple Carbon Offset Scheme. This not only helps eliminate your carbon footprint but helps the planet with a positive contribution every time you fly. The Triple Offset Idea for volunteers in Bali works as follows -
🇰🇪 Kenya - 77 mango trees are planted in Kenya. These are capable of absorbing the total carbon emissions for a volunteer trip to Bali and also help provide a sustainable income for local farmers.
🇮🇳 India - 80 days of access to a solar cooker are provided to a family in India. This means the family don't have to spend on firewood and thus reduce their dependence on trees.
🇺🇸 USA - 1.25kg of rescued meals are provided to the homeless in the USA. This recycles wasted food reduces methane emission from food waste which is equivalent to 1lb of CO2 emissions.
This optional add-on can be added during the online application process or can even be added on at a later date. The offset platform is provided by our charity, the PMGY Foundation and ensures that 100% of contributions are put towards high impact projects around the world.