Written by The Leap on 08 / 02 / 2018
Gap Year Advice
Don't panic... it's not too late for a spring, summer Gap Year
Planning, booking and organising can be stressful, especially when you're last minute and spaces are filling up…
If you are trying to get something organised for the next six months then don't panic. We still have spaces in some of our programs that will take you off the beaten track and immerse you fully into a different culture with, of course, a little bit of adventure thrown in for good measure.
These are a few of my favourites which still have spaces left in our April or July departures…
As last week's blog will tell you, it's a country that has SO much to offer. Cambodia has a very recent horror story and is still in the healing process… something that you can play a very important role in. During the Khmer Rouge regime, people were forced out of the cities to work on communal farms and a lot of infrastructures was destroyed. This has left many towns and villages, approximately half the population, without access to fresh water or toilets… and this is where you come in. When in Siem Reap you'll help to build both a well and toilet block whilst spending your afternoons teaching sport, English and computer studies to kids in one of the poorest districts in Siem Reap.
After Siem Reap, we will nip you across to the East, to Mondulkiri, on the Vietnam border. Here you'll help at the Elephant Valley Project, the only legitimate Asian Elephant sanctuary in the country. This area is home to the Pnong tribe, for whom elephants are the heart of the culture. Here you'll get to hang out the with gentle giants, help with their daily care and educate the mahouts on conservation and elephant welfare.
Your grand finale will be on the beaches at Sihanoukville. Think sunshine, white sandy beaches, palm trees and tropical paradise. Between enjoying the beach life you'll help out at Starfish Day Centre, working to keep kids off the street and in education.
Like the sound of Cambodia?
Read more here
Peru is an absolute gem, you may be flying to South America but really you are stepping into the Inca empire. Your journey will start in the colonial city of Arequipa before you head out to live with indigenous tribes in Coporaque, Lake Titicaca and in the Sacred Valley before finishing the trip with the one and only Machu Picchu highlight.
In each community you'll have the opportunity to teach, exchange cultures, contribute to daily tasks in the village and help them to maintain their traditional ways of life by developing tourism as an opportunity for income. Your work will be interspersed with trekking adventures and Spanish lessons to help you chat away to your host families.
Machu Picchu is the undisputed highlight of the trip. We organise for you to do the Salkantay trek - the Inca trail's less known but arguably more beautiful sister. This 4-day trek will take you through winding valleys with breath-taking scenery before arriving at the main event of sunrise.
Like the sound of Peru?
Read more here
This is a country that epitomises the best of what sub-saharan Africa has to offer. Known as the safari capital of Africa it is not only the gateway to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater but home to the snow-capped Kilimanjaro and the pristine beaches of Zanzibar.
The impact the volunteers have had over the last 10 year there has been remarkable and we need to keep the pressure on. For the majority of the program, you'll be based in Arusha where on a clear day you'll have spectacular views of Kilimanjaro. Your days will be spent working at a number of different schools splitting your time between renovation, teaching and care for the kids. Government funded schools in Tanzania are huge and very poor. There are too few teachers which result in huge class sizes and the kids really don't get the support they need. Just a few hours of interaction with volunteers can make a huge positive impact on their development.
Of course, you couldn't go to Tanzania without going on Safari so we'll take you to Lake Manyara where you'll learn about the Maasai culture, help at a school and go on a day's safari through the park.
You'll end your time in Tanzania over on the coast in Dar es Salaam, just across the water from Zanzibar so you can take a weekend break in tropical beach paradise whilst you are there… heaven.
Like the sound of Tanzania?
Read more here
Costa Rica, in the heat of Latin America, is a melting pot of biodiversity and the world's happiest country according to The Telegraph. From lush forests to beautiful beaches and turtle paradise… it has everything you could possible dream of.
The Leap program in Costa Rica is all about conservation - turtles, beaches and mangroves. Chris, the host is a passionate conservationist and will instil his passion in even the most sceptical. Whilst based at Santa Teresa you'll learn Spanish, learn to surf and get stuck into environmental volunteering, anything from beach cleanups with the local kids and initiating a recycling system in the town to surveying the nearby mangroves forests.
The beaches are favourite nesting spots for Olive Ridley, Black, Hawksbill and Leatherback turtles and during the season (June to February) you'll spend some of your weeks conserving these majestic creatures. This will involve patrolling the beaches for nesting and hatching turtles and release the babies out into the ocean once they are strong enough. There's no better feeling than watching hundreds of hatchlings take their first swim.
In order to experience all of what Costa Rica has to offer, we'll also take you off to Monteverde, into the cloud forest for a few days in search of sloths, macaws and other exotic creatures.
Like the sound of Costa Rica?
Read more here
We're here for you. If you book with us you don't need to worry about any last minute planning. It's all organised for you so you can focus on work or those all-important exams knowing you have something truly wonderful to treat yourself when it's all over. It's the perfect solution…a win-win! Book today.
on 08 / 02 / 2018