AFFORDABLE & TRUSTED OVERSEAS GAP YEAR PROGRAMS

Plan My Gap Year is an award-winning gap year organisation, offering safe and reputable programs in Africa, Asia, Europe & South America. PMGY provide a safe, structured and social platform with gap year travel 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 international gap year experiences.

BALI, COSTA RICA, CROATIA, ECUADOR, GHANA, INDIA, MOROCCO, NEPAL, PERU, PORTUGAL, SOUTH AFRICA, SPAIN, SRI LANKA, TANZANIA, THAILAND & VIETNAM

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BALI, INDIA, NEPAL, PERU, SRI LANKA, THAILAND & VIETNAM

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BALI, ECUADOR, GHANA, INDIA, PERU, SRI LANKA, TANZANIA & VIETNAM

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BALI, GHANA, INDIA, SRI LANKA & VIETNAM

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BALI, COSTA RICA, CROATIA, ECUADOR, GHANA, INDIA, MOROCCO, NEPAL, PERU, PORTUGAL, SOUTH AFRICA, SPAIN, SOUTH AFRICA, SRI LANKA, TANZANIA, THAILAND & VIETNAM

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BALI, CROATIA, GREECE, PERU, PORTUGAL, SPAIN, SOUTH AFRICA, SRI LANKA & THAILAND

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  • STRUCTURED GAP YEAR & TRAVEL PROGRAMS ACROSS AFRICA, ASIA, EUROPE & SOUTH AMERICA
  • INCLUDES WORLDWIDE SUPPORT, AIRPORT TRANSFERS, MEALS, ACCOMMODATION & TRANSPORT
  • HIGH-IMPACT PROJECT CHOICES FOR WORLDWIDE PARTICIPANTS AGED 16+ IN A SOCIAL SETTING
  • SAFETY FIRST APPROACH WITH DEDICATED & EXPERIENCED GROUND TEAMS ACROSS THE WORLD
  • WORLDWIDE MONTHLY START DATE & JOIN AS AN INDIVIDUAL OR GROUP FOR A PERIOD OF 1 WEEK+

World map showing PMGY destinations in Africa, Asia & South America

WHY UNDERTAKE A GAP YEAR WITH PMGY?

Most Affordable – As a responsible gap year travel company, PMGY’s trips are accessible to everyone who wants to make a difference, through low fees and high-impact projects.

 

Best Support – Our international and local teams provide extensive around the clock services to assist you every step of your gap year volunteering journey.

 

Safety Prioritised – With safety a PMGY number-1 priority, we have taken all necessary precautions to ensure all gap year volunteer programs are as safe and structured as possible.

 

Extraordinary Experiences – PMGY’s volunteer gap year trips provide students with an opportunity to truly immerse yourself in amazing cultural and travel experiences.

 

Friendships for Life – Your gap year volunteering abroad not only opens up a doorway for new experiences and exciting memories, but also life-long friendships when meeting new people from around the world.

WHY VOLUNTEER ON A GAP YEAR ABROAD?

Make an impact – PMGY’S gap year programs are designed to enable volunteers to maximise the impact they make in the local community.

 

Develop a new skill – With a range of gap year volunteer programs to consider, volunteers can prioritise the skills they want to improve at the project.

 

Embrace a challenge & Self-development – PMGY’s project are primarily based in developing countries enabling you to push yourself outside of your comfort zone.

 

See the world & experience fantastic cultures – PMGY offers some fantastic gap year ideas for you to embrace new cultures and explore the wonders of the world.

 

Make friends for life – You will meet people from across the globe that you will stay in touch with long after your gap year volunteering.

WHAT IS VOLUNTEER TRAVEL?

Travelling to the developing world – PMGY’s gap year volunteer programs operate in locations that need the most support.

 

Assisting in humanitarian, community & conservational support – Our range of volunteer projects allow volunteers to contribute in different ways.

 

Participating in projects set up worldwide – On your volunteering abroad gap year, you can choose from projects in Africa, Asia, Europe and South America.

 

Experiencing local culture – When developing gap year ideas, it is important to consider how you will immerse yourself into the local culture.

 

Exploring the country and having fun – A focus of your gap year abroad should be about maximising the places you see and the new experiences that you try!

GAP YEAR VOLUNTEERING IN AFRICA

Something special about Africa touches the soul. For the reason that it is a continent of 54 immensely diverse countries. Whether you’re a wide-eyed first-timer or a frequent visitor, Africa cannot fail to get under your skin. The canvas upon which the continent’s epic story is written is itself astonishing.

 

Furthermore, Africa has few peers when it comes to natural beauty. From the endless rippling dunes of the Sahara to the signature savannah of the east, the continent will leave you amazed. In the same vein, jagged mountains, green-tinged highlands and 100s of years of culture are all to be explored. Volunteer in Africa on this once in a lifetime trip and choose the trip duration, volunteer projects and travel experiences that are right for you.

 

During your gap year Africa with PMGY, you can choose to volunteer in:

 

🇬🇭 Ghana
🇲🇦 Morocco
🇿🇦 South Africa
🇹🇿 Tanzania

 

There are plenty of gap year ideas for each destination. For instance, a South Africa gap year could see you volunteer on a wildlife reserve. You could work with children and teach English during a gap year in Tanzania. Alternatively, undertake a medical elective on a Ghana gap year. Finally, you could choose to learn Arabic during a gap year in Morocco.

GAP YEAR VOLUNTEERING IN CENTRAL ASIA

From the steep mountain ranges of the Himalayas that perch in Nepal, to the tranquil and picturesque island of Sri Lanka, not forgetting the global powerhouse enriched in culture India, Asia has it all.

 

Asia’s abundance in physical diversity and variety is one of its standout features. Volunteer in Asia on this once in a lifetime trip and choose the trip duration, volunteer projects and travel experiences that are right for you.

 

During your gap year Asia with PMGY, you can choose to volunteer in:

 

🇮🇳 India
🇳🇵 Nepal
🇱🇰 Sri Lanka

 

There are plenty of gap year ideas for each destination. For instance, an India gap year could see you improve your medical and healthcare skills. You could work with children and teach English to Monks during a gap year in Nepal. During your gap year Sri Lanka with PMGY, you can enjoy elephant and turtle conservation volunteering.

GAP YEAR VOLUNTEERING IN SOUTH EAST ASIA

Southeast Asia stretches across eleven countries from eastern India to China. Every country is unique but across the region, you’ll find blissful beaches and ancient temples. Furthermore, you will enjoy delicious cuisine, lush landscapes and urban jungles across the continent.

 

Travelling and volunteering in Southeast Asia will give you time to embrace the richness of the culture of Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Bali. Furthermore, you can revel in each countries history and become immersed in the communities. You’ll live in these countries rather than just passing through and have a hugely positive impact while you’re there. Volunteer in Asia on this once in a lifetime trip and choose the trip duration, volunteer projects and travel experiences that are right for you.

 

During your South East Asia gap year with PMGY, you can choose to volunteer in:

 

🇮🇩 Bali
🇰🇭 Cambodia
🇹🇭 Thailand
🇻🇳 Vietnam

 

There are plenty of gap year ideas for each destination. For instance, a Bali gap year could see you volunteer at a local government hospital. You could work with children and teach English during a Cambodia gap year. Alternatively, volunteer with elephants on a Thailand gap year. Finally, you could choose to work with local NGOs during a gap year in Vietnam.

GAP YEAR VOLUNTEERING IN SOUTH AMERICA

In South America, you will encounter countless views of the Sierra Madre and Andes mountains. In addition, you will take in a range of wildlife species including leatherback sea turtles, 2-toed sloths and spider monkeys. There will be lasting tastes from each country as you enjoy delicious Peruvian Ceviche or Costa Rican Dados de Queso!

 

South America’s various climates and infinite sights will leave you wishing you never had to leave. Volunteer in South America on this once in a lifetime trip and choose the trip duration, volunteer projects and travel experiences that are right for you.

 

During your gap year South America with PMGY, you can choose to volunteer in:

 

🇨🇷 Costa Rica
🇪🇨 Ecuador
🇵🇪 Peru

 

There are plenty of gap year ideas for each destination. For instance, work with children and learn Spanish during a Costa Rica gap year. Alternatively, undertake a medical elective on a gap year in Ecuador. On a Peru gap year with PMGY, you can work at a dog shelter or wildlife rescue centre.

PROJECT LOCATIONS

🇮🇩 Bali

 

Gap year volunteering projects are based in Tabanan, around 2 hours away from Ngurah Rai (Denpasar) International Airport. Tabanan is the capital town of the regency of Bali with the same name. It is referred to by many as the ‘rice bowl of Bali’. Parts of Tabanan regency lie in Central Bali and others in the west.

 

Tabanan regency is best known for its rolling green landscapes and hills. It is also home to Mount Batukaru – Bali’s second-highest peak at 2,276 metres. Tabanan town itself is a very commercial town, with no shops or entertainment facilities aimed at visitors or tourists. Despite this, the town offers all the amenities you need, such as banks, hospitals and shops. There are lots of minivans available in the town of Tabanan. These are coloured mini-vans that act as the main public transport on the island. These may be useful in getting you to interesting sights in the region. Taxis and private vehicles can be available but are much thinner on the ground in this region.

 

🇰🇭 Cambodia

 

Our gap year programs and accommodation are based in a rural village called Bakod, around 2 hours away from Phnom Penh Airport. Bakod is a small traditional village, based in the regional province of Takeo. It is a poor, rural area where many locals work the land. Some family members will work away from the village, often in Phnom Penh or even Thailand. They will then send money back to support the community in Bakod. The region is far away from the main tourist trail and backpacker destinations. However, these can still be accessed easily across the weekends.

 

Bakod village is located within Takeo province, around 7km from its centre. Takeo borders the provinces of Kampot to the west, Kampong Speu to the northwest and Kandal to the north and east. Its southern boundary is the international border with Vietnam. The provincial capital, recently known as the provincial town Doun Kaev, is a small city with a population of 40,000. Takeo province is a great way for participants to explore and immerse themselves in the roots of traditional Cambodian life. From mingling with the locals to exploring picturesque paddy fields, living in Bakod village will provide you with a truly traditional experience!

 

🇨🇷 Costa Rica

 

PMGY gap year participants are based in Coronado, a very popular suburb of San Jose and home to nearly 60,000 residents. The city is located 10km from San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica.

 

It is set at the foot of Braulio Carrillo National Park, virtually untouched and home to over 150-different species of animals. Coronado offers visitors an opportune ability to encounter both the city life and natural wonders of Costa Rica!

 

Volunteers in Costa Rica are situated in a great location to explore local sites. From hip and historic cultural attractions to natural wonders, it is a prime spot for participants seeking a diverse experience. Coronado is famous for its neo-Gothic architecture. Right in the centre of the city lies the most beautiful cathedrals in Costa Rica, San Isidro de Coronado. Outside the city, you can find yourself at a prime location to be at one with nature! From boat tours through the rain forest, to hiking to the Locos Por el Bosque cloud forest reserve, free time never has to be boring! The city’s transportation hub makes it easy to hop-on a cheap bus to many different regions of the country.

 

🇪🇨 Ecuador

 

Gap year volunteer programs in Ecuador are based in Quito, the country’s capital in the Andes Mountains. The city is the highest official capital in the world, resting at an elevation of 2,850 metres above sea level. Quito is classified as a UNESCO heritage site, still upholding many of its historical features that date back hundreds of years. This city’s location among the mountain tops leaves volunteers in Ecuador with majestic views of city life, wilderness and history.

 

Quito is a unique and centralised location to live and work in. It has all the amenities you could require, such as banks, hospitals, nightlife and shops. There is also a central bus and train station to take you to the many different regions of Ecuador. During your time, you can find yourself at a prime spot to visit the earth’s equator or perhaps enjoy panoramic views from the Teleférico. Perhaps you could even squeeze in a flight to the Galapagos Islands for a long weekend.

 

🇬🇭 Ghana

 

Our gap year volunteering trips are based in Kumasi. Located in central Ghana, the city is around 6 hours away from Kotoka Airport in Accra. Kumasi is Ghana’s second-biggest city and the capital of the Ashanti region. It is a bustling city with so much going on! The surrounding area is made up of rolling hills and rural areas, with a much more laid back approach in life. Although based in an under-developed country, you will find all the amenities you may require. This includes international standard hospitals, banks, supermarkets, restaurants and lively bars. Kumasi’s central location makes it a bus transport hub. This makes it the perfect starting point to explore Ghana during your weekends! You will find our two most popular weekend trips are visits to the Cape Coast and Mole National Park.

 

Every sixth Sunday of the year, Kumasi celebrates the Adae. This is a celebration where the king of the Ashanti Region opens the palace gates to accept homage from his people. The event showcases the Asante lifestyle at its most traditional. Drumming displays, elaborate dancing and rainbow robes make up the general air of fantasy of the Adae celebration. Visitors are welcome and this a really fun experience to be part of. It’s not every day you get to meet a king!

 

🇬🇷 Greece

 

Our gap year abroad projects in Greece are based in Kefalonia, a short distance from the island’s main airport and around 6 hours away from Athens in mainland Greece. Considered the gem of the Ionian Sea, Kefalonia is famous for its green mountains, breathtaking beaches and crystal clear waters. Argostoli is the capital town of Kefalonia and our main project location base. It also happens to be one of the most popular towns on the island.

 

Argostoli’s loggerhead turtles inhabitants prove the biggest attraction for tourists and locals who flock to the Koutavos lagoon to catch a glimpse of them. In addition to an active harbour, there are many shops, restaurants and cafes to keep you entertained. The waterfront is a long promenade that runs adjacent to the main street and provides picturesque views of Argostoli and its surrounding areas. In addition, our second project location can be found across the Bay of Argostoli in Lixouri. Located 35km west of Argostoli, a short ferry ride will take you to Kefalonia’s second-largest community in Lixouri. The town is home to 3000 inhabitants many of whom are engaged with agriculture and tourism. Its main square is filled with old-fashioned cafes and really comes alive in the evenings.

 

🇮🇳 India

 

Our gap year programs are based in Faridabad, located in the New Delhi region of North India. It is around 1 hour away from Delhi Airport. New Delhi is one of the fastest-growing cities in the world. Old Delhi and New Delhi show signs of past and present. Not only does Delhi contain historical gems, but it has all the modern amenities one could desire in a modern city.

 

Volunteers will stay in the city of Faridabad, located in the National Capital Region (NCR) of New Delhi. The city is close enough to absorb the influence of New Delhi. On the contrary, it is also far enough away to offer a quieter setting. Together, these factors mean that Faridabad is a comfortable location to live and work. There are some interesting temples and local parks in Faridabad for you to visit, as well as markets and shopping malls. There are also a handful of cinemas for you to catch a Bollywood flick, should you fancy!

 

🇲🇦 Morocco

 

Our gap year projects are based in the coastal capital city of Rabat, approximately 30 minutes away from Rabat-Salé Airport. Rabat combines the old and new, where Moroccan history spectacularly collides with modern life. Unlike the hustle and bustle of other Moroccan cities, in Rabat, you are left to go about your business. It is calm and relaxed, but busy enough to be exciting and friendly. Rabat offers a much better insight into real Moroccan life than the far more famous Marrakesh or Casablanca ever could. Plus, you’re only a 15 minute journey from the beach!

 

PMGY participants live in Rabat’s Old Quarter, commonly known as the Medina. The accommodation is a basic but comfortable Riad – a traditional Moroccan house that comes with an interior courtyard. Rabat’s Medina is characterised by maze-like streets, traditional markets (souks) and beautiful landmarks. The Grand Mosque and the Moulay Sliman Mosque are perfect examples, both located along Rue Souika. The majority of the projects that we support are in walking distance from the Volunteer House. The local teams’ office is located close to the Medina. This means that participants can always pop in to see our team, to say hello or ask for help.

 

🇳🇵 Nepal

 

We have Nepal gap year volunteer programs in Kathmandu, Chitwan and Pokhara. Each location is unique in its own way. Most placements are based in more rural communities but we do have projects closer to the cities.

 

Kathmandu

 

Kathmandu is Nepal’s capital and only major city. It is a bustling metropolis, rooted in history and rich in culture. Filled with temples, palaces and courtyards, the unique architectural heritage and religious influence make the city a fascinating location. Each volunteer in Nepal will arrive in Kathmandu and spend their orientation period and final night here.

 

During your orientation, you will be located close to the Thamel area, which is the tourist base of Kathmandu. Across your orientation days, you will have time to explore some of the area’s best attractions.

 

Chitwan

 

Chitwan is located in the vast flat and fertile Terai region, close to the Indian border. Its location offers a different landscape to that of Kathmandu and Pokhara, which are closer to the Himalayas. Paddy fields, ox-towed carts and an array of wildlife make this a perfect location for those seeking a quieter location.

 

Despite this, there is still plenty to get involved across your weekends! From bicycle tours to jungle safaris and white water rafting, there is definitely something for every adventure seeker.

 

Our programs are based in a number of villages in the Chitwan National Park district. Famous for its National Park, Chitwan offers a warmer climate and much more laid back experience than Kathmandu.

 

Pokhara

 

Pokhara is located 200km west of Kathmandu, a 7 hour bus journey away. Set around the Phewa Tel Lake and surrounded by mountains, Pokhara is a humbling location. The journey from Nepal’s capital is beyond breathtaking. In the Lakeside district, you are able to find everything you need, from western restaurants to International hospitals.

 

However, if you would prefer a more rustic experience, we have placements in quaint rural settings just outside of Pokhara. Pokhara is the starting point for the majority of the trekking trips in Nepal. It also offers each volunteer in Nepal with an ideal location for paragliding, canoeing and yoga!

 

🇵🇪 Peru

 

Our gap year programs are based in the south-eastern region of Peru within the city of Cusco. Cusco was once the capital of the Incan Empire. This UNESCO World Heritage site rests at an elevation of 3,400 metres above sea level. The city now hosts more than 2-million tourists each year, many of whom are on a journey to visit Machu Picchu. A trip to this World Wonder provides individuals with an opportunity to learn about the origins of Quechua people. While visiting Cusco, you will feel an overwhelming presence of history and culture!

 

Although historical, the city has all the amenities you could require, such as banks, hospitals, nightlife and shops. There is also a train station to take you to the many different regions of the country. The taxi system within the city is very easily navigated.

 

Cusco is a city that you can’t miss while making plans in South America. It is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the Western Hemisphere. People from all around the world travel to the country to witness its beauty with their own eyes! The centre of the city is a combination of old and new. It is indigenous and foreign, which energises the city and leaves everyone buzzing to see more. One of the highlights of the city is waking up early to the sun rising from behind the hills surrounding Cusco. You can lace up your hiking boots, grab a bottle of water and head out on a 2 hour hike to the Temple of Moon. This is just one landmark that lies within a short distance from many of the volunteer homestays. Cusco is an explorer’s paradise!

 

🇿🇦 South Africa

 

Cape Town

 

Our gap year community projects are based in the heart of Cape Town, around 30 minutes from Cape Town International Airport. Cape Town is a truly multicultural city and exhibits stark contrasts. Central Cape Town is an exciting and trendy location filled with a range of cultural heritage sites and a buzzing nightlife. Yet, as you move towards the suburbs, you begin to see what life is like for those less fortunate. The Townships and Cape Flats here highlight the disparity between rich and poor.

 

Our local team’s office and Volunteer House are based in central Cape Town. This means that our international volunteers in Cape Town are perfectly positioned to enjoy the wonders of this amazing city. In your free time, you could be soaking up some history at Robben Island (the infamous offshore prison that held Nelson Mandela), trekking up Table Mountain or surfing the waves of Clifton beach. The choices are endless! You will find our two most popular weekend trips are visits to the Garden Route and Western Cape trips. Other less popular options include the Kruger National Park and marine conversation trips to George.

 

Port Elizabeth

 

Our wildlife conservation gap year programs are based approximately 1.5 hours from Port Elizabeth International Airport. Participants on this South African volunteer project are based in the heart of the project’s reserve, situated on the Eastern Cape. The reserve spans over 6000 hectares, homing not only the majestic Big 5 family but thousands of species of fauna and flora.

 

Across the reserve, the impressive Big 5 can be found roaming freely on the Sidbury plains. Around one corner, you may stumble upon a herd of elephants, cooling themselves off in thick muds. Across the next (if you’re lucky!), a leopard could be jetting off to catch its next meal. The possibilities of what you may spot during your time are endless. Prepare to be awestruck by the diversity of wildlife seen across your experience here.

 

🇱🇰 Sri Lanka

 

Ambalangoda

 

Our Sri Lanka gap year volunteering program (excluding the elephant project) is based on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka, in Ambalangoda. This is approximately 2.5 hours away from Colombo Airport. Ambalangoda is a quaint ocean-side town. It is traditionally a fishing community but is famous for being the major production centre for demonic wooden masks. The town has all the amenities you could require as a volunteer in Sri Lanka. This includes banks, hospitals and shops. In addition, the beach is just a short tuk-tuk ride from the Volunteer House. There is also a central bus and train station and the people are unbelievably friendly in Ambalangoda!

 

Wasgamuwa

 

The volunteer accommodation of the Sri Lanka elephant project is located on a scenic hill, overlooking the Knuckles Mountain Range in the Central Province of Sri Lanka. The house is just 15 minutes from Wasgamuwa National Park, and around 5 hours away from Colombo. The Volunteer House is based in a very remote and rural area. This gives each volunteer in Sri Lanka the chance to truly immerse themselves in the beauty of the Sri Lankan countryside.

 

Wasgamuwa is one of Sri Lanka’s many magnificent National Parks, famous for its large number of elephant herds. The park is home to over 20-species of mammals. It is also identified as one of the Important Bird Areas in Sri Lanka. The closest town to this Sri Lanka volunteer program is Hettipola, approximately a 30 minute drive from the Volunteer House. The town is not accessible from the Volunteer House by foot. The town has the basic amenities you could require, such as a bank, hospital, shops and a bus station. Its public transport links are ideal for getting you to the prime locations in Sri Lanka across your free time.

 

🇹🇿 Tanzania

 

Our volunteer gap year programs in Tanzania are based in Arusha, located in the Kilimanjaro region of the country. This is approximately 60 minutes away from Kilimanjaro Airport. Also known as A-town or Arachuga, Arusha is set amongst a backdrop of the impressive Mount Meru. It’s a really beautiful setting. Arusha is a vibrant town, with good nightlife and a friendly atmosphere. The town is also the gateway to Tanzania’s top safaris and the spectacular Mount Kilimanjaro. This means that there is an endless choice of things for volunteers in Tanzania to get up to across their weekends! From incredible safaris, climbing mountains and visiting traditional Massai communities, there is something for everyone!

 

You will find all the amenities you could need in Arusha including banks, supermarkets and international standard hospitals. It is a welcoming area and really is the perfect setting for a volunteer program. There are plenty of bars and restaurants in town where you can hang out in your free time.

 

🇹🇭 Thailand

 

Pathum Thani

 

Our community gap year programs in Thailand are based in Pathum Thani, located just north of the country’s capital, Bangkok. Pathum Thani is a traditional university province, famous for being home to most of the country’s universities! The province is old, heavily populated by the Mon people. The region is filled with temples, parks and areas to experience Mon culture. Volunteers in Thailand are therefore encouraged to explore these areas during their time!

 

Bangkok itself is a city of contrasts. Modern and cultural, chaotic but refined, traditional and bizarre – you will never get bored in Bangkok! It’s also the perfect base to explore the rest of Thailand and South East Asia. Bangkok is a vast city but the BTS (inner-city rail network) makes getting around the city affordable and simple. Some of the great cultural sites include Grand Palace, Wat Pho and Wat Benjamabophit (Marble Temple). The city has a great nightlife too! Perhaps you’ll hit the backpacker central of Koh San Road. Alternatively, you might choose to catch some live music at one of the cool bars near Victory Monument.

 

Thamairuak

 

Volunteers in Thailand on one of our animal conservation projects are located in Phetchaburi, within the Thamairuak district. This is a rural location approximately 3 hours south of Bangkok. These volunteer opportunities in Thailand are within a 10 minute walk from the local village. There, participants in Thailand can find roadside restaurants, 2-small supermarkets and an internet cafe. The nearby tourist locations of Hua Hin and Cha-am are approximately a 45 minutes drive from the project.

 

🇻🇳 Vietnam

 

Our gap year volunteering projects are based in the north of Vietnam in Hanoi, around 30 minutes from Noi Bai Airport. As the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi does not disappoint and will impress you on so many levels. It has all the attractions a visitor could want, but in no way is Hanoi touristy. With an array of cultural sites and some of the best markets in South East Asia, there is something for everyone.

 

Enjoy a bowl of Pho Bo (noodle soup), grab a glass of Bia Hoi (local beer) and soak up the atmosphere! Hanoi is the perfect location for those looking to really immerse themselves in a community. If you learn about the culture and pick-up a few Vietnamese words, you will find people to be extremely welcoming.

FLIGHTS & TRAVEL INSURANCE

Flights

 

After confirming your gap year abroad, we strongly advise that you book your flights as early as possible. This 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. This means that we know the most affordable ways to travel and the best airlines to use. PMGY have an ATOL Licence to ensure any flights booked through us are financially secured by the Civil Aviation Authority. If you would therefore 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.

 

Travel Insurance

 

Having an appropriate travel insurance policy during your gap year volunteering is essential. It is therefore mandatory for all of our international volunteers to be appropriately covered across all of their trip dates. Although most of our participants experience a smooth ride during their time overseas, occasionally things may go wrong. Having a travel insurance policy in place helps you effectively deal with any problems you may encounter during your time away.

 

Plan My Gap Year Ltd is an appointed representative of Endsleigh Insurance Services Ltd, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). 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).

 

If you’d like to purchase PMGY travel insurance, you can add this option on during your online application. You can also add this to any upcoming trips with us by getting in contact via telephone or email.

PRE-DEPARTURE SUPPORT

Our International Team will work hard to provide extensive levels of support in the build-up to your trip. From our online chat service to email support and telephone conversations, our team are always ready to help. All international gap year programs with PMGY will receive a Volunteer Handbook. This detailed hand guide will provide you with all you need to know in the build-up to your trip. From visa guidance to suggested packing lists, this will be the ultimate guide, helping you plan for your trip abroad.

 

We have Facebook groups for each of our destinations. Here you can find members of our international and local teams, as well as past, present and future participants. These pages, therefore, provide a great forum for participants to network, share experiences and community updates year-on-year.

 

Sometimes it can be difficult to picture yourself on our gap year volunteer programs without yet being there. We, therefore, do our best to further manage expectations before you arrive through a variety of informative and action-packed videos on our PMGY Vimeo channel. These clips help provide you with a visual perspective of what you can expect during your time volunteering with us. Our webinars are not to be missed either. Running on selected Tuesdays, at 4pm UK time, our International Team provides invaluable advice for your upcoming trip. Each webinar covers something different. Our pre-departure webinar covers all of the essentials you need to know and do before joining us abroad. Our program preparation webinar is more project-specific, with advice and information for the time you will spend on placement. Finally, our safety webinar offers you some top tips on how to manage your safety and wellbeing across the pond. For those who are simply interested in learning more about PMGY, our team also run an introductory webinar. This provides an introduction to the volunteer organisation, our background, goals and volunteer opportunities overseas.

 

Teaching and childcare participants may wish to take their program preparation even further, through a 60 hour online TEFL course. This is the perfect introductory course for working with children and teaching English abroad. Participation in this course enables international volunteers to acquire key skills whilst working towards an internationally accredited certificate.

PMGY LOCAL TEAMS

PMGY’s gap year programs are run by our dedicated and experienced in-country local teams.

 

All staff have been fully vetted by our International Team. The committed local community network provides the structure for your stay with us on your gap year. Our local team will arrange your accommodation, airport pick-up, in-country orientation and 24/7 emergency support. Whether you are teaching English in schools or working to support wildlife, our local team will support you. Our team provides a great framework for you to enjoy your volunteer gap year.

SAFETY

If you have not travelled much before, it is really hard to know what to expect. When planning gap year ideas, many international participants (and their loved ones) are often concerned about safety and security. Although we can never guarantee experiences to be 100% trouble-free, 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 a director of PMGY. We have lived 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 staff.

 

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

 

• Local Team
• Project Staff
• PMGY International Team

 

Projects are monitored on an on-going basis to gauge participants’ experiences. With the help of feedback, we are able to continually improve our placements and opportunities. Security and safety are frequently assessed as part of this. We ask our participants to raise any concerns with our local or International Team. This ensures that these can be addressed and/or resolved as readily and appropriately as possible.

 

Through pre-departure and in-country guidance, we do our best to prepare our international participants for their gap year experience. All gap year abroad participants are provided with a comprehensive safety briefing during their orientation period. Our local teams will go through everything from project introductions, to emergency procedures, how to use local transport and cultural differences. During this period, our team also provide participants with a full list of the important contact numbers.

 

Listed below are some general safety tips:

 

• Be modest with the amount of jewellery worn in public
• Do not drink tap water
• Be cautious of beggars or crowds. Incidents can occur when is confusion to distract you.
• Be cautious about removing money in public
• Always try to know where you are going before you attempt long journeys. Be especially careful at night
• Use reputable transport only. Our local staff will be able to recommend some during orientation
• Try to keep in groups at night and never walk alone along dark, empty streets
• The recognised tourist areas can be considered potentially high-risk areas for pickpockets and thieves
• Leave your valuables behind before a night out in the town
• For traffic safety, always keep looking to the left and right and walk slowly when crossing the road
• Do not accept drinks or food from strangers

VOLUNTEER WITH PMGY REQUIREMENTS

PMGY welcome participants of all nationalities and backgrounds. The minimum age to join the program is 18 years, although our wildlife and elephant conservation programs welcome participants as young as 14, in the presence of a parent. There is no upper age limit for gap year volunteering abroad. All participants need to have a good level of English, although it does not need to be your first language. You do not need to speak the local language.

 

All gap year volunteering participants must be able to provide a clean criminal background check in advance of volunteering with us abroad. In general, no formal experience or qualifications are required on our gap year programs, just lots of energy, enthusiasm and preparation!

 

In order to confirm your place on a PMGY program, you need to pay your Registration Fee of 249 USD. The remaining fee is then due no less than 60 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.

 

Please check out our Application Process for more info on how to join our volunteer projects overseas.