A gap year volunteer abroad teaches a child the alphabet in Thailand as part of her Childcare Project.

Taking a Gap Year Abroad

Travel the world while you give back and learn through our gap year projects

Make your gap year one to remember and use the year to volunteer overseas or participate in international internships with Projects Abroad. Every year, we see a growing number of Irish students exchanging traditional classrooms for a far bigger one during their gap years – the world itself.

While most gap years are taken by young students taking time off before university, anyone can take a gap year abroad at any stage of their life. More and more people are taking gap years after graduating university, as a career break, or even in retirement.  

Students volunteering with Projects Abroad for their gap year help plant mangroves in Fiji, South Pacific.

Is gap year travel right for me?

Anyone can travel with us for a gap year. It’s a great way for you to develop and do things like:


  • Develop your soft skills. Work with a team, work with different types of people in different cultures, and improve your communication skills.
  • Get practical work experience. This applies to any project you choose. Do a Childcare Project in Ghana to get experience working with children, work in a law firm in China to enhance your CV, and more.
  • Boost your employability or University application. The experience of travelling and volunteering during your gap year gives your applications and CV an extra edge. 
  • Experience personal growth. Broaden your horizons, raise your confidence, and become more mature and independent.
  • Learn about the challenges people face firsthand. Through volunteering, you will get a deeper insight into the challenges that people face today.
  • Meet new people. Our volunteers come from more than 40 different countries. Get out there, network, and build new friendships!

Gap Year Ideas

We offer numerous gap year ideas for anyone planning a gap year abroad. Our Flexi Trips are a great option if you’re looking to be more independent but still want support from us. You can also combine different programmes in various countries for a customised gap year experience.

For a more rounded and organised experience that will take you around the world, look at our Global Gap programme. If you’re interested in travelling with a group, but only want to be away from home for a short time, our Team Trips are for you. 

A gap year volunteer practices football drills with a young player at a Football Project in Ghana, Africa.

Where do I start with gap year planning?

With Projects Abroad, you can choose what you want to do, where you want to do it, how long you want to do it for and when you want to start. Your gap year abroad can be anything from just a few weeks to a full year.

When planning your gap year, we encourage you to think about what you want to gain from the experience. After all, everyone has a different goal in mind for his or her gap year. We recommend considering:

  • Location: Whether you want to be close to home, or as far away as possible, we have you covered. Some gap year volunteers love the idea of travelling to far-flung countries like Fiji, while some prefer sticking a little closer to home in countries like Romania.
  • Language: Speaking the local lingo is a huge advantage and may be a deciding factor when choosing where you go. Or you could decide to start learning a new language or brushing up on what you know by diving headfirst into lessons and practicing with local people. You can do this with French, Spanish, Mandarin, and more on our Language Courses.
  • Temperature: Some like it hot, others prefer cooler weather. Go for what makes you comfortable, like tropical Thailand or the cool mountainous regions of Nepal.

When it comes to organising the nitty-gritty details, the process can be a little overwhelming and time-consuming. Fortunately, we can help you with those. All of our programme fees include:

  • Accommodation
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Three meals a day
  • Airport transfers
  • 24/7 safety and support from resident staff
  • Transport to and from your placement
  • Emergency assistance from our Emergency Response Team

We are also happy to help with booking your flights and giving you visa advice. We can make sure you fly the best routes, with the shortest and easiest layovers.  

Can't find what you're looking for?

If you have any questions about gap year travel and volunteering, we’d be happy to talk to you. Most of our staff have been volunteers themselves, so they’re well placed to answer your questions, big or small.

+353 (0)1 571 5080

or email:

to start planning your project