Many people now want to take part in voluntary conservation projects as part of their gap year, summer break or career break. There are thousands of conservation project opportunities out there so the first thing you need to decide is what type of conservation work you would like to do.
You don’t have to do a conservation project for a full year. Most gap year conservation organisations run voluntary conservation projects from a few weeks to a few months. The important thing is to decide which volunteering project is going to be right for you, so take a look at the organisations below who offer a wide range of year out or summer break placements working with wildlife and the environment.
African Conservation Experience provide all ages with the opportunity to work alongside experienced zoologists, conservationists, wildlife vets and reserve managers In southern Africa.
Volunteer to work in an ethical and responsible volunteer project, with the full support of Outreach International. Outreach offer a personal service to help volunteers find the placement where they can offer the most and enjoy a rich cultural and personal experience throughout.
International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) is the world's leading volunteer travel organization, providing affordable, safe and responsible volunteer programs in over 30 different destinations around the world. With program fees starting from just USD 10 per day, IVHQ is the volunteer organization of choice for thousands of volunteers every year.
Over 150 projects across 27 countries in Asia, Africa & Latin America. Choose to volunteer or intern from two weeks to six months in the fields of: wildlife and environmental conservation, medical and health, community projects, NGO and business development, sports, teaching and education.
Frontier has over 300 projects in countries throughout Africa, South America, Europe, Asia and Australasia, giving you unlimited adventures and excursions in beautiful locations.
Voted Best Gap Year Company by the Sunday Times. Volunteering, Internships, Summer Gap and Equine placements across Africa, South America and Asia. All programmes contain their unique mix of projects, locations and challenges.
Get up close & personal with some of the world’s most amazing animals like lion cubs, orangutans, pandas, elephants, monkey, kangaroos & turtles, and do your bit to help their survival.
Join a Raleigh expedition and you’ll be helping to protect vulnerable environments in Borneo, Costa Rica & Nicaragua, Nepal or Tanzania. Our expeditions aren’t holidays. They’re challenging and life-changing. If you’ve got the motivation and dedication to make a difference, we want to hear from you.
Fantastic volunteer and internship opportunities for 16 – 75 year olds. Projects run in 28 countries and include Teaching, Care, Community, Sports, Medicine, Conservation, Law and Human Rights and Journalism placements.
Gili Shark & Marine Conservation project is a small grassroots volunteer organization dedicated to marine and land conservation throughout the Gili Matra Marine Reserve in Indonesia through scientific research and data collection.
Providing affordable and worthwhile volunteer programs throughout Central and South America, as well as opportunities to learn Spanish. Browse through our exciting range of work abroad programs. Visit their website
Why Use A Gap Year Organisation To Find A Volunteer Placement?
There are hundreds of companies now that offer work placements overseas on a voluntary basis. Many of these companies are specialists in their fields and have been sending young people on gap years for a long time. Every company has different kinds of experiences on offer, and different approaches to voluntary placements. Some are large, with lots of different locations and programmes all over the world, others are small, and only work with one charity or one overseas community.
So what are the benefits of going with a company rather than trying to organise a placement yourself?
The trip is organised for you.
You are able to work in a variety of places.
Organisations cover most career areas that you could be interested in.
You have the security of a British based organisation behind you.
Food and accommodation, and sometimes flights and excursions whilst there are often included.
You’ll feel a real part of the local community as you’ll be living away from home.
You will meet other people with similar interests and of a similar age.
There are no fixed rules as to how you spend your gap year. You could easily combine a conservation or community volunteer placement with working and travelling to fill your time out or just select one that fits in with your timescale. For example, why not earn money working in the UK in a generic role and gain key transferable skills, then use the money earned to either travel or do some career focused volunteer work abroad?
Gap year organisations offer placements or programmes in most employment sectors, including: Administration and Secretarial, Agriculture and Horticulture, Art and Creative, Business, Care, Children, Conservation, Construction, Engineering, Finance, Fundraising, Health, Heritage, Hospitality and Catering, Human Resources, Insurance, IT, Languages, Study abroad, Law, Marketing and Event Management, Media, PR, Retail, Sales, Science, Sports, Teaching and TEFL, Technology, Transport and Veterinary.
So why not choose a voluntary placement that will complement your CV and boost your career and university choices?