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ENCOUNTER VOLUNTEER PROJECTS

Plan My Gap Year offers 6 to 40 week gap year volunteering programs across AfricaAsiaSouth America & Round the World. These tailor made trips are the perfect stress free way to volunteer and travel across a range of countries in one or more continents, on one trip!

PMGY Encounters start on selected start dates every month throughout the year and participants can join us for up to 4 weeks in each destination. Volunteers are provided with an extensive pre-departure support service, airport pickup, orientation, meals, accommodation, project transportation and local support.

The majority of participants are first-time solo travellers, therefore safety and support is our top priority to ensure you have a positive volunteering experience.

REAL AFRICA ENCOUNTER – GHANA, TANZANIA & SOUTH AFRICA

Spend a life-changing 6, 9 or 12 weeks of volunteering across the world’s second-biggest continent in Ghana, fascinating Tanzania & epic South Africa!

FROM 1,635 USD

6-12 WEEKS

MORE INFO

REAL ASIA ENCOUNTER – SRI LANKA, INDIA & NEPAL

Sri Lanka, India and Nepal! We can’t think of a more sublime combination of exotic and fascinating countries to volunteer in over 6, 9 or 12 weeks.

FROM 1,485 USD

6-12 WEEKS

MORE INFO

REAL SOUTH AMERICA ENCOUNTER – CR, ECUADOR & PERU

Embark on this stunning trip across Costa Rica, Ecuador & Peru where you are guaranteed to experience all aspects of South American lifestyle and culture.

FROM 1,935 USD

6-12 WEEKS

MORE INFO

REAL SOUTH EAST ASIA ENCOUNTER – VIET, CAMBODIA & BALI

If weeks spent volunteering around one of the most colourful parts of the world sounds enticing, then this combo of Vietnam, Cambodia & Bali is ideal.

FROM 1,575 USD

6-12 WEEKS

MORE INFO

REAL TASTER ENCOUNTER – SRI LANKA, INDIA & BALI

Our top destinations mixed into one trip! Don’t miss your chance to sample and a make difference in sleepy Sri Lanka, inspiring India & beautiful Bali!

FROM 1,485 USD

6-12 WEEKS

MORE INFO

ULTIMATE ROUND THE WORLD ENCOUNTER

An epic journey across 10 enthralling destinations and 4 breathtaking continents. If you are looking for the ultimate trip, then this is your Encounter!

FROM 5,775 USD

20-40 WEEKS

MORE INFO

WHY JOIN PMGY'S GAP YEAR VOLUNTEERING PROGRAMS?

Most Affordable – PMGY’s programs 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 PMGY adventure.

 

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

 

Extraordinary Experiences – With PMGY, you have the opportunity to truly immerse yourself in amazing cultural and travel experiences, ensuring you leave with unforgettable memories.

 

Friendships for Life – Your PMGY experience 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.

GAP YEAR VOLUNTEERING PROGRAMS

REAL AFRICA ENCOUNTER

This Africa gap year experience provides the opportunity to spend a life-changing 6-12 weeks volunteering across the world’s second biggest continent. Get to grips with Ghana, travel the core of Tanzania and soak up the delights of South Africa. Something special about Africa touches the soul. For the reason that it is a continent of 54 immensely diverse countries. Some of these countries remain deeply troubled. On the other hand, other countries have been profoundly uplifted. On this 6, 9 or 12 week Africa gap year experience, you will get the opportunity to visit 3 of the continents most visited destinations.

 

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.

 
 

REAL ASIA ENCOUNTER

This Asia gap year experience takes in Sri Lanka, India and Nepal. We seriously can’t think of a more sublime combination of exotic and fascinating countries in Asia to volunteer in. An action-packed 6, 9 or 12 weeks lie ahead of you!

 

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.

 
 

REAL SOUTH AMERICA ENCOUNTER

This South America gap year experience takes you to Costa Rica, Ecuador and Peru. We seriously can’t think of a more sublime combination of mysterious, picturesque and charming countries to volunteer in. Join us on a mind-blowing 6-12 weeks and be sure to improve your Spanish language in each country as you learn Spanish abroad.

 

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.

 
 

REAL SOUTH EAST ASIA ENCOUNTER

This South East Asia gap year experience will take you volunteering to Vietnam, Cambodia & Bali. These destinations are some of the most diverse, colourful and spiritual countries in the world. South East 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. Your 6, 9 or 12 week volunteering adventure will take in three of these amazingly exotic but very accessible countries.

 

Spending 6-12 weeks travelling and volunteering around Southeast Asia will give you time to embrace the richness of the culture of Vietnam, Cambodia and Bali. Furthermore, you will have the opportunity to 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.

 
 

REAL TASTER ENCOUNTER

This intro gap year experience package includes our top three destinations of Sri Lanka, India and Bali. We have provided a program that combines our three most popular destinations. More specifically, they are the countries that regularly receive top feedback from our trip participants for the overall experience they provide. As a result, this itinerary is perfect if you are a first-time solo traveller looking to sample your first trip of a lifetime! Alternatively, if you simply want to experience three amazing cultures and well-structured programs then this Intro gap year experience is for you too!

 

Your 6-12 week adventure travel intro gap year experience will begin in the idyllic island and natural beauty of Sri Lanka. You will then move on to experience the culture of India and iconic sites such as Taj Mahal and Jaipur. Finally, you will finish your intro gap year experience in the beauty of Bali and its temples, volcanoes and island hopping beaches. The volunteer programs in each of Sri Lanka, India and Bali are based off the beaten track in local communities where positive impact can be maximised. Volunteer on this once in a lifetime trip and choose the trip duration, volunteer projects and travel experiences that are right for you.

 
 

ULTIMATE ROUND THE WORLD ENCOUNTER

This gap year around the world trip is the ultimate volunteer and travel the world program we offer! Tailor your around the world gap year program to an epic 20, 30 or 40-week journey. Explore the world in 10 enthralling destinations on this unique program. As a result, you are sure to take in the best the globe has to offer along the way. International volunteers looking for the best gap year experience should look no further! Volunteer and travel across four epic continents on this Ultimate gap year experience!

 

This combination of gap year volunteering programs is an amazing opportunity to make all your travel dreams come true. Our PMGY travel experts have aimed to make the program structured and accessible to all! Therefore, if you are looking for an inclusive budget travel gap year experience then this opportunity is for you. Update your travel blog and share your social media story as you make a positive impact in local communities on this around the world gap year program. Volunteer on this once in a lifetime trip and choose the trip duration, volunteer projects and travel experiences that are right for you.

FLIGHTS & TRAVEL INSURANCE

Flights

 

After confirming your place on one of PMGY’s gap year volunteering programs, 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 time abroad 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 volunteers 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 volunteers 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 volunteer trip abroad.

 

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

 

Sometimes it can be difficult to picture yourself abroad 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 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 volunteers 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

Our PMGY gap year volunteering 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 networks provide the structure for your stay with us as a volunteer on your gap year volunteering programs. Our local team will arrange your accommodation, meals, airport pick-up, in-country orientation and 24/7 emergency support. Our team provides a great framework for you to enjoy a unique volunteering experience with us on your gap year volunteering programs.

ORIENTATION

When you arrive each country for your gap year volunteering programs, you will receive an orientation from your in-country team. This day will usually be broken down into two components. The first portion will usually be dedicated to all the theoretical aspects, from ‘dos and don’ts’, to safety aspects, project information and team introductions. The remainder of the day is usually used to introduce you to the local area. The local team will teach you how to locate every essential you may need during your time. They will also be able to help you arrange your money and a local SIM-card. Please note that the exact itinerary of the orientation will vary from country-to-country.

SAFETY

If you have not travelled much before, it is really hard to know what to expect. When anticipating their time overseas, many international volunteers (and their loved ones) are often concerned about safety and security. Although we can never guarantee volunteer 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, volunteers 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 volunteers’ experiences. With the help of volunteer feedback, we are able to continually improve our placements and volunteer 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 volunteers for their time abroad. All 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

GAP YEAR VOLUNTEERING PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

PMGY welcome volunteers of all nationalities and backgrounds onto our gap year volunteering programs. The minimum age to join the program is 17 years and there is no upper age limit. All volunteers 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. However, you will find that learning a few words in your days with us in each country will go a long way!

 

We do recommend that volunteers on our South America gap year experiences speak a basic to intermediate level of Spanish. Volunteers engaging in volunteering opportunities in Peru are only required to speak a basic level of Spanish. However, we find that the ability to speak a good level will greatly enhance your overall experience. English is generally not widely. Consequently, if you do not speak a reasonable level of Spanish, you may find it difficult to communicate. This may make your experience on the volunteer programs in Peru frustrating.

 

All 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 for the projects, just lots of energy, enthusiasm and preparation! Volunteers on one of our medical or healthcare projects may be required to provide additional documentation before participation begins in-country.

 

Your 1 USD deposit must be paid within 7 days of the application being successful to confirm your place. Your remaining fee will be due in full at least 60 days before the program start date.

 

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