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Gap year volunteering - why get involved?

Written by The Leap on 11 / 07 / 2017

Gap Year Advice

Gap year volunteering - why get involved?

Gap year volunteering is definitely, one of the most rewarding things that you can do on your year out. Just imagine making a difference within a local community by doing something as simple as teaching young children some English…easy!

Take everything that you know about Gap year volunteering, and put it to the side because we, here at “Leap Towers” are going to share a few secrets with you about why you should volunteer on your gap year.

1. Confidence!

Yes…Confidence. This is one of the most important reasons to get involved with volunteer work. Being abroad can seem totally daunting, you are in a foreign place, with people you don’t know and doing things that are putting you outside of your comfort zone.

But believe it or not, that is one of the best things that you can do…it might sound cheesy, and you are probably thinking that you have heard this all before, but hear me out.

I am talking about self-confidence. Gaining trust within yourself by developing new skills and constantly learning and doing things that you might not have had the chance to do…that in itself can be a real confidence boost as you can unlock the full extent of your potential.

Volunteer Work can really help to bring out your confident side as you are constantly meeting new people, making friends, and overcoming challenges that you never thought possible.

2. Enhancing a CV

Of course, school is over and you are looking forward to a year of travelling and having fun; and that is very important. But whilst you are having fun…why not have something that you can apply to your CV to show Universities and future Employers exactly what you did on you gap year that was of benefit to you and others.

For your gap year to be worthy of note on your CV, you’ll need to show that you have achieved something other than getting really good a drinking cocktails on a beach in Madagascar...Whilst it is a good skill to have…potential employers will be looking for a bit more when it comes to choosing you over the next candidate.

To a future employer, 10 weeks in Tanzania Teaching Children and volunteering would be seen as a priceless experience from which you would have gained invaluable assets…exactly what universities and employers will be looking for.

Not only does volunteering give you valuable experience, but it makes you eminently more employable! Imagine, going away and doing something that you love, and it is benefitting you in more ways than one as it will make you stand out amongst other candidates, proving that you are committed to making a difference, no matter how big or small.

3. Pursue your passion

We all have our passions, and luckily most of them are available for volunteering abroad, which means that you will most definitely be able to follow your own area of interest.

If you are looking to Scuba Dive in Madagascar for 10 weeks or help to protect pacific beaches and tropical rainforests in Costa Rica, you will be able to do so.

This is an incredible opportunity to get out into the world and follow your dreams, and there is really no better time to do it. You are at a stage in your life, where you have just finished A levels, and already the dark cloud that is the rest of your life is starting to draw nearer. So before you are consumed by the daily terrors of adulthood…why not get out and see the world doing what you love!

The world has so much to offer, there are countless cultures to explore, people to meet, music to listen to and foods to try.

Your passion is something that makes you who you are, and you never know where following your passion can lead you. It can open so many doors, and even lead you to pursue a career, in ways that you didn’t think of before, or in ways which did not seem possible.

Volunteering on your gap year, ultimately allows you to do exactly what you want to do. For far too long you have been expected to sit in class and listen to a lecturer, get good grades and thrive in areas which don’t particularly interest you…Now it is time to do something for yourself, to follow your dreams, it always seems impossible until its done!

4. Making a difference

Volunteering is fundamentally about making a difference. Whatever your contribution is to the local community…will make a difference.

In fact, your presence, more often than not, is of use, as the money that you spend will help boost the local economy, and in turn, really help make a difference to the quality of life in that area.

This is something so small and so simple that it can often be overlooked! There are more ways to be directly involved within the community and helping to make more of a difference, however… you have to start somewhere.

Ultimately, volunteers are placed where they are, because they feel passionately about what they are doing. They are striving to make a difference by helping, whether that is by aiding in the conservation of an area, or teaching children by providing their own knowledge and engaging with the area in order to help it grow.

Although this might appear to be a cheesy point to make, I think it is also the most important. Making a difference is important, there are so many lives out there, why not help to make each and every one a little bit better… in any way that you can.

5. Meeting new people

When you are off volunteering, you will not be alone. Meeting new people on your travels will be one of the most memorable and enjoyable parts of travelling.

You will meet people whom you will have common ground with as you are both spending vast amounts of time together, working on a project that you have both chosen…meaning that you will definitely have something to talk about!

This is another amazing opportunity and definitely one of the most important reasons as to why you should volunteer on your gap year.

The people that you will meet and the memories that you will make are incredible. Life is all about connections, and you will never know when they will come in handy.

Go on!

What makes a volunteer truly great is the passion that they give. Do you have what it takes? Go ahead, and start applying for positions, and remember…If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you!

Check out our gap year programs

We have award winning 'planet saving' programs across Africa, Asia, South and Central America.

Reducing plastic in our oceans, protecting turtles and saving the rhino is just the tip of the melting iceberg.

All experiences include a mix of projects and adventures, travelling with a team and, of course, are risk assessed.

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Here at The Leap we can help both team traveller through our programmes and/or the backpacker.

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Yes please, let's keep life simple.