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GAP YEAR | VOLUNTEER ABROAD | WORK EXPERIENCE OVERSEAS

 

CALLING ALL GROWN-UP GAPPERS, CAREER BREAKERS AND MATURE VOLUNTEERS!

The opportunity to discover the world and make a difference while having an exciting travel experience is for everyone!

  • Did you go straight into a job after university and feel it’s your turn to travel?
  • Jealous of letting your kids have all the fun on exciting gap years?
  • Maybe you’ve taken a gap year already but still have the Travel-bug?
  • Are you retired and now you want an adventure?

All our programmes are open to all ages. Just choose the one that appeals to you - it could change your life!

Career Breakers: Our Projects make perfect career breaks and give you an excellent entry on your CV or résumé. In the current economic climate, that is a very good thing!

Grown-Up Gappers: If you’ve always thought that gap years and volunteering are for the 18 year olds out there, think again. Whether you’re stuck in a rut and need some time out to refresh your soul and get back your inspiration, or whether you’re just travel mad and think it’s time for another adventure, we’ve got the project for you.

Mature Volunteers and Retired Gappers: Our projects give you the perfect opportunity to contribute your skills, to make a difference in the world AND have a fantastic adventure!  And talking about adventures, read how Sally Blake (49) changed her life completely when she did our Tango Dance Course program in Argentina.

More and more career breakers, grown up gappers and retired gappers are now venturing into the unknown – why not live and work in a community that is so far removed from the routine existence of the Western world it’s impossible not to come back with a brand new perspective, higher energy levels, greater motivation and a general sense of increased clarity and peace! "This reminds me of why I became a teacher in the first place. Also, I was totally knocked out by the snorkelling, it was like swimming in a marine aquarium. In fact I wondered whether I had died and gone to heaven!” Paul White (40), Malaysia. Paul did 4 placements over 4 years.

Travellers placements are extremely flexible and start from only two weeks – so even if you can’t take a sabbatical, you could still join us on a project! Your ideal placement can be catered around your specific requirements and flexibility.

Click here to read a Case Study by Volunteer Deanne Michelle Peterson on her Multi-Marine Conservation & Street Kids Projects in South Africa which she did to rebel against turning 40!

Click here to read a Case Study by Volunteer Lesley Rogers on her experience at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage in Sri Lanka.

We will happily put you in contact with past volunteers who have been on our programs and we have much more information on each of our projects with specific details such as whether you will live in a home-stay with a local family or a hostel, what the working hours are, exactly what the work involves, what other volunteers are booked, availability and so on.

No qualifications are required - only enthusiasm and a desire to absorb a new culture and way of life. Below is some feedback from some past volunteers taking full advantage of the Grown Up Gap Year Experience!

So what are you waiting for? Don’t let all the kids have all the fun! Have a look what’s available to you and what you and the world can offer each other. There’s a community somewhere waiting with open arms for you!

Remember ALL of our projects are open to ALL ages, so if you haven’t found your perfect project yet, have a look at a full list of projects. 

Volunteering abroad is quite a dramatic step often with life changing results. Travellers has been sending volunteers of all ages on worthwhile placements in 20 destinations worldwide for over 16 years. Many of our older volunteers choose to take time out from work, or in between jobs, to fulfil a lifetime’s ambition or to spend their retirement productively. Many adults don’t realize that these gap year experiences are also available to them. It is less common to don a rucksack and head off into a jungle village once we grow up, or so people think. However, it is happening more and more and with a growing number of mature volunteers - you will not be alone in your venture into the extraordinary! We’ll also be there to support you every step of the way, with over 16 years experience in 21 destinations worldwide, meaning that your adventure into the unknown doesn’t have to be daunting.

Report written by Travellers staff in South Africa:
Denise is a little older than the other ‘gap year’ volunteers but she has settled in the house extremely well. I went up to Tembelitsha last week and caught her in ‘mid teach’. She really came across as the real deal. She is considering changing her career to teaching and so she is quite serious about her placement. The children absolutely love her and have given her plenty of ‘love letters’! She is a natural and hopefully her time here will make her realise that and give her the confidence to go into teaching! Personally I love having her here; and I used to live close to the area she comes from so I get to reminiscence with her quite a lot.

And if we still haven’t convinced you, read what some of our past grown-up gappers and career breakers have to say:

  • “As an older volunteer with a family, it was important that I had support, which I certainly did. THANK YOU VERY MUCH for making it so much easier.” Nayna Kennedy, 53
     

  • "I absolutely loved my placement at Owairaka, so much so that I am going to stay next term as an employee!

    As a trained teacher in America I was interested to see how other county's education systems are run and I was immediately taken in and accepted as part of the Owairaka family. I got to spend time in 6 different classrooms a week working with children of different ages and abilities. I learned more about education and myself than I could have expected and I have Travellers to thank for that. I would have never done something like this and got the wonderful experience I did without this program. I made long lasting relationships with some staff members and the children really touched my life. I can't wait to get back to my classroom in America and use some of the techniques I learned in New Zealand!"
    Andrea Mangione
     

  • "It’s a wonderful experience and something you’ll never regret doing. At the risk of sounding cheesy, it has changed my perspective on so many things. Most importantly, though, it’s made me realise that even if I can’t change the world, I can make a small positive difference. And not just to other people but to myself as well. We have made friends for life and there are people I can’t wait to see when we go back." Steve and Jennifer Chilingirian, Kenya
     

  • "Well, I have been back in the country for 2 weeks and my is it hard. I do miss Sepilok (the people, the orangy's, the rest house staff) terribly. There were lots of tears on the last day I can tell you. I just wanted to thank you very much indeed for what has definitely been the best 2 months of my life. Albert (the Malaysia Organiser) is fantastic and was extremely helpful. And most importantly the new accommodation, is superb. The staff there are fantastic and it is a real home from home. They made us feel really welcome and I felt like one of their family. I am definitely going back to visit in a year or two." Julie Fox, Malaysia

  • “…we chose Travellers because of the level of support they offer their volunteers and the huge range of projects they’re involved with. Plus, they’re very flexible about the amount of work you’re required to do. You have the freedom to do as much, or as little, as you want. They turned out to be brilliant and I’d really recommend them to anyone considering voluntary work overseas..” Steve and Jennifer Chilingirian, Kenya
     

  • "The heat, amazingly, doesn’t affect me at all. I feel alive, younger (!), fitter (and HAPPIER) than I’ve ever been, and nothing bothers me. What can I say - it is just amazing, inspirational, mind-blowing. I love it there, can’t get enough. I adore the children and they seem to have taken to me. So much to say - I think you get the picture. I LOVE IT, & THANK YOU. Much love, Angela x" Angela Cotton, Kenya
     

  • "Everything was very well organized and received all the information in plenty of time. The in-country support staffs were excellent as this was my second time on the project and I have always found them to be caring, kind and helpful. Very happy with Travellers and have booked again to go back in 2010 and 2012 to do the project again and will continue to go every two years." Charmaine Quinn, Malaysia
     

  • "Well I made it here and thought I´d drop you that line that you requested to let you know how it’s going.

    It has been absolutely great so far ....not easy but a most amazing experience.
    The center was just like your pics and great . It was a bit of a shock to be sleeping in an open sided hut with only a mosquito net between me and the jungle ....but I survived…! I am back in Cusco now (with the luxury of a hot shower!) and internet!

    I was only there for a short time. I had to work with plants, leaf traps and biogardens mainly. However the main ´´guide´´ Tilman (who was brilliant) did send me off with a special bird watching man and that was great. Overall it has been truly wonderful.

    On Monday I am off to Machu Picchu with all the crowds and then on another trip to the jungle up in Iquitos...so I will make the most of Cusco this weekend!"
    Tim Clark, Peru
     

  • "Our experience was everything we thought it would be and we felt that we saw the real Kenya and how the locals live which is what we wanted. We were able to visit the slums and also another children’s home (which was excellently equipped and clearly showed us what can be done with the right resources) therefore we were glad we were at Calvary as we were able to make a positive difference and have come home eager to raise some funds to improve the situation there.

    We met some wonderful people and are keen to return sometime next year."
    Steve and Jennifer Chilingirian, Kenya
     

  • "My major role was to pass on information to the visitors about the dolphins and their environment and to ensure every level of dolphin – human interaction was managed in a safe and appropriate way. This was particularly important during the dolphin swim tours where I was assigned the position of swim tour guide and was responsible for the safety of all visitors while snorkelling with dolphins out in the ocean.

    In addition to these regular volunteer duties, I also participated as a research volunteer. Working alongside researchers from Murdoch University, part of my role was to collect survey and photographic data along with various other geographical and weather related details. This information provides a solid baseline source of information on the dolphin’s general group densities, movements and site preferences and how they vary over time.

    It was a tremendous experience for me to work with the Dolphin Discovery Center. I will take the skills I've learned into my next endeavours and the joyful memories will stay with me always!"
    Danielle Peterson, Australia
     

  • "Everything was very well organized and received all the information in plenty of time.

    The in-country support staff were excellent as this was my second time on the project and I have always found them to be caring, kind and helpful.

    Very happy with Travellers and have booked again to go back in 2010 and 2012 to do the project again and will continue to go every two years."
    Charmaine Quinn (She is in her 50's and has now done the Orang-Utan project twice and plans to do it every 2 years and is booked for 2010 and 2012!).

Do you dream of a proper adventure?

Do you want to spend your energies and efforts on something more worthwhile?

Did you ever dream of cultures new and exotic?

Can you see yourself raising Orang-Utans in a rainforest?

Scrubbing an elephant in a river with a coconut husk?

Teaching cheeky children in Africa or Asia to speak English or to play cricket?

Is it time for a dramatic step?

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Grown-up gapper volunteering overseas with Travellers Worldwide

1. Volunteering with Street Kids in South Africa is so rewarding, you’ll really make a difference to the lives of these children.
2. Conservation & Community Development in the amazing Amazon of Peru. Don’t worry if you don't have any experience, you’ll be taught a great deal on this placement.
3. Teaching Indian Children English, IT, Drama... and more. Infinitely satisfying, with lots of cultural activities and sights to see.
4. Working with Orphans in Buenos Aires in Argentina - Making a Difference!
5. Monitoring Whales and Dolphins in Mauritius – a fantastic experience working with a local NGO on this paradise island, participating in worthwhile marine conservation with marvellous marine life.

RECOMMENDED PROJECTS

Working with Children in Brazil is simply fantastic, you’ll never get bored of their big smiles. You can volunteer in a wide variety of different schools and day care centres and teach a wide variety of subjects. No experience necessary.

Teaching Underprivileged Children in India is hugely rewarding. The children are wonderful and will be so excited to learn from you.

Walk with Lions on a reserve in Zimbabwe. If you’ve ever fancied getting up close and personal with lions, this is the project for you....and you’ll be helping a brilliant cause all at once!

The Elephant Orphanage we work with in Sri Lanka is a popular tourist attraction  -and you have the chance to work behind the scenes with these majestic animals.


One of our 60+ volunteers, Ruth Kitcatt, getting up close and personal with an elephant in a Wildlife Park in India A moment savoured by both!


40-something Paul Edmunds was one of the Travellers volunteers filmed by the BBC for their "Grown-Up Gappers" series. Here he is in Ghana, introducing cricket to the children for the first time


Tim Clark deep in the Amazon Rainforest in Peru


Watch Graham Jenkins (an older volunteer) washing an elephant and hear what he has to say about his placement at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage in Sri Lanka


"Overall my placement was the most incredible experience of my life – a beautiful park, delightful people and wonderful animals. I will remember it all with gratitude and joy for the rest of my life." Neil Munro, 66