Transition Year volunteer measures the blood sugar of a young girl in Sri Lanka.

5 Reasons to Volunteer Abroad During Your Transition Year

By Holly Hubble | 08th October, 2019
Updated on 16th October, 2019

So, you’ve have decided to do Transition Year, and now you need to plan your work experience placements. You may be asking yourself “What can I do for work experience?”. You could try to get experience at a company in your hometown or look at doing volunteering work nearby. But, have you ever thought about taking this opportunity to travel the world? You can gain amazing life experience and make a real impact all at the same time!

Sound interesting? Well, we have a wide range of Transition Year opportunities available including:

  • Childcare
  • Teaching
  • Building
  • Conservation
  • Medical internships

You can choose a project related to your future career or your personal passion!

We have several options for Transition Year students; however, our most popular choice is our High School Special trips. These are group trips specifically for 15–18-year-olds, which run on set dates throughout the year. This includes during term time, making them perfect a perfect option for your Transition Year work experience.

However, if you’re looking for a longer-term project or maybe even a combination of a few different projects, you could also join us on one of our Flexi Trips. These run year-round, you can join at any time and stay for as long as you like.

So why should you volunteer abroad for your work experience?

#1 You’ll make a real difference and get the chance to be a part of something bigger!

The world is constantly changing. It’s no secret that we’re facing several major challenges, like:

  • Climate change
  • The issues surrounding our oceans and rainforests
  • Plastic pollution
  • Animal rights
  • Human rights

And the list goes on! It can be hard to know where to start when you want to help and make a positive difference.

There is the popular saying "I am just one person, what difference can I really make?" and the answer is a big one! Because joining us on a project, even for just one or two weeks, means you’re joining the community of thousands of other volunteers who join us every year. By working together, we can make a real impact.

On some projects, you’ll get the chance to see an instant change. For example, when working on a Care & Community Project, you’ll spend time renovating a school and instantly see the gratification on the children’s faces at their freshly painted classrooms.

However, when planting mangroves on one of our Marine Conservation Projects, all you will see is the small seedlings. But you can rest assured that you’ve been part of helping us grow a diverse eco-system!

We’re champions of Responsible Volunteer Travel, so all of our projects will allow you to work closely in the local community and work towards our long-term sustainable goals.

Medicine in Tanzania

#2 Experience new Cultures

As we all know, it’s a big world out there and it’s easy to get comfortable in our hometowns. Getting the chance to experience new cultures has a positive impact in so many ways.

  • It will broaden your horizons! The first thing you’ll notice when volunteering abroad is how different everything is compared to back home. You’ll get the chance to learn about new traditions, try new food, and maybe even learn a new language. You may experience a bit of a culture shock but we will provide you with country-specific cultural training which will help you adapt to this quickly and our professional local staff will be there to support you through this transition.


  • It’s easy to take life for granted. All the things we have in life that have always been there for us, such as clean drinking water, good sanitation, electricity, and fresh air. When experiencing new cultures it really puts life into perspective and makes us realise that not everyone has these luxuries. When you return home you’ll notice how differently you look at life and it really makes you appreciate the small stuff, which is actually the big stuff that we often take for granted!


  • Be happy! Thailand is known as ‘The land of smiles’ for a very good reason. However, Thailand is not the only country that is good for this; in all of our destinations, you'll notice the positive energy amongst the locals and how happy they all are. This is infectious and it is very true that when someone smiles at you, you smile and then your smile is passed on to another person like the domino effect. This is definitely a positive habit to take back home with you!

#3 Make new friends from all over the world

This is quite possibly one of the best parts of volunteering abroad. You’ll be with a group of volunteers from all over the world at a similar age to you. At the start of the two weeks, you are complete strangers, but by the end, you will have made friends for life!

Being together 24/7, making memories, experiencing new worlds and cultures really creates a bond like no other. Best of all? You can then travel more by visiting your new friends all over the world!

This was my first time travelling by myself and before I left, I was very apprehensive and nervous. However, all the Projects Abroad staff members and the other volunteers, were so lovely and all helped me settle in quickly. Although I only spent 3 weeks in Nepal, I made amazing friends so quickly! We all still keep in touch everyday and we're already planning our reunion!
Erin Davie - Medicine & Healthcare High School Special in Nepal

Community clean up in Sri Lanka

#4 Use your Transition Year work experience to enhance your CV

Choosing what to study can be tricky, it’s very hard to know what career path you want to take before ever experiencing the working world. This is where an internship or volunteer placement can give you that first-hand insight into what to expect.

For example, you may want a career in the Medical industry but then realise you then faint at the sight of blood! Or, on the flip side, you may find a career within a passion of yours that you never thought was a possibility to have a profession in. 

With Projects Abroad, you’ll get the chance to work alongside professionals, see what their day to day roles are, and develop your own personal skills. For example, on a Medical Project, you will learn crucial skills such as taking blood pressure and suturing classes. Meanwhile, on a Childcare Project, you will learn how to prepare lesson plans, and work alongside a local teacher to teach a classroom full of children.

Regardless of which project you choose and whether it ends up being related to your future career or not, there is no doubt that volunteering abroad will boost your CV and improve your employability. It will provide you with invaluable life experience and will be something you are able to refer to during future interviews, as well as provide you with professional and personal skills. You will learn:

  • The importance of time management
  • How to develop professional relationships
  • Team work
  • Working independently and using your own initiative
  • Strengthen your own self-confidence
  • And much more!

#5 Make memories to last a lifetime!

We all know the saying "In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take!". Travelling across the world by yourself or even with friends may seem scary at first, but it is never something you will regret! These experiences are the stories you will be telling in years to come, to your family and friends, your future children and even future grandchildren!

Holi Festival in Nepa

When you look back on your life, it’s the adventures you took that stand out, almost like a highlight reel of your life. If this is your first trip abroad without your family, that makes it even more special. This will be the one to give you the famous travel bug, and without a doubt, it'll be the one you remember for the rest of your life!

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Want to know more about our Transition Year Projects?

Get in touch with our Projects Experts. They'll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

+353 1 571 5080

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