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17-24

Raleigh Expedition

Life changing volunteer abroad programmes for young people on our Raleigh Expeditions in Costa Rica and 
South Africa.

Home | Raleigh Expeditions

What is Raleigh Expedition?

Raleigh Expedition is a truly unique international volunteer experience for young people (17-24). You can take part in different projects, equip yourself with new skills, create lasting change and work with communities to take urgent action on the world’s most important issues.

Whether you are taking a gap year or want to do something meaningful in your summer, join young volunteers from across the world and a community of thousands of Raleigh Alumni.

“33 years on from Expedition I still feel the positive impact.”

Terry | Raleigh Alumni

Which countries can I go to?

We currently offer two different countries for our Expeditions.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica in one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, home to national parks, volcanoes and stunning landscapes. The country’s national motto, ‘pura vida’ (pure life), is more than just a saying but a way of life.

Learn more about Costa Rica projects

South Africa

The Greater Kruger area lies between Mozambique, Eswatini and the world-famous Kruger National Park. This area encapsulates Africa at its heart. It is a wildlife haven with natural beauty unlike anywhere else.

Learn more about South African projects

What makes Raleigh Expedition unique?

Volunteering with Raleigh International is an immersive, one-of-a-kind experience. Described by our volunteers as “absolutely life-changing”, it’s a journey you will never forget. Don’t expect tourist hotspots, five-star hotels and 24/7 wifi (we promise you won’t miss it); instead, expect a memory-making adventure full of fun and rewarding experiences.

Be with people your age

Apart from team leaders and staff, you will be grouped with people aged 17-24. This is unique to Raleigh.

A community environment like no other

Share the experience with the same group for the duration of your trip. Learn to help and support each other and make friends for life.

Varied experiences

You will have the opportunity to take part in up to three phases contributing to community and environmental projects allowing you to gain more skills and experiences.

Diverse and Inclusive

Volunteers join diverse teams of young people from across the globe as well as volunteers from the country you are based in.

Real adventure

Raleigh Expedition is an exciting and fun experience that will push you out of your comfort zone (in a safe environment!).

Future ready

Gain the skills, confidence and perspective to play a leading role in building a better and more sustainable world for everyone.

Over 25 and looking for a Volunteer manager role?

Our Volunteer Managers (VM) are the driving force behind the Expedition and are vital to ensuring the programmes run smoothly and effectively. You can apply for these roles on the main application page.

Volunteering is a life changing experience. You not only learn life lessons and help make an impact on the world but also gain experience.

AnnaRaleigh Alumni

Need more information about Expedition?

Consultation call

Whether you have a specific question or want to discuss which Expedition is right for you, schedule a call with a member of the team at a time convenient to you. 

Join an info event

On our monthly online info events, we’ll tell you all about Expedition. Have your questions answered, meet other volunteers and find out what Expedition is really like from an alumni.

Download a guide

Find out all about Raleigh International and Expedition in our helpful information guide.

How does a Raleigh Expedition work?

Whilst on Expedition, you can take part in up to three project phases.

01. Community projects

Imagine a world where everyone has access to clean water and basic hygiene services. Where everyone, even the most marginalised have access to education. You can play your part in making this a reality by working on impactful projects alongside local communities.

02. Environmental projects

We don’t need to tell you that our world is facing unprecedented environmental challenges. Our projects make small steps toward long-term impact. You will take an active role in protecting natural resources and vulnerable environments.

03. Adventure Leadership

Our leadership adventure projects take teams on challenging treks through rainforest and up volcanos on a variety of stunning routes that tourists don’t get access to. This is a chance to develop your leadership skills and learn about the power of team effort.

The Raleigh Impact

Over the years Raleigh has made some significant impacts on communities, the environment and people

100

Over 100,000 people now have long-lasting access to safe and accessible hygiene facilities and access to toilets, handwashing and drinking water.

900

Raleigh young people have planted over 900,000 trees to help combat climate change.

65

Volunteers have built or rehabilitated more than 65km of trails and conservation infrastructure

500

Over 500 rural households supported to protect income from environmental challenges.

Why choose Raleigh?

Raleigh International are committed to transformative volunteer experiences with long-lasting cultural and environmental impact. Our projects are developed alongside local communities to ensure our work is ethical, responsible, and relevant to the needs of these communities.

With over 40 years of experience running Expeditions for young people, Raleigh International offers real adventure without compromising safety.

  • Raleigh is a global community of over 55,000 alumni and supporters from over 100 countries
  • Volunteers have contributed to over 100 million volunteering hours on 600+ Expeditions.
  • We have worked alongside 198 rural communities reaching 100,000 people
“The togetherness and the acceptance, the hard work and the culture is (Raleigh’s) intrinsic value.”

Joanna | Volunteer Manager

Choose your country

We currently offer two different countries for our Expeditions

Costa Rica

Volunteer in one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, home to national parks, volcanoes and stunning landscapes. The country’s national motto, ‘pura vida’ (pure life), is more than just a saying but a way of life. 

View our Costa Rica programmes

South Africa

The Greater Kruger area lies between Mozambique, Eswatini and the world-famous Kruger National Park. This area encapsulates Africa at its heart. It is a wildlife haven with natural beauty unlike anywhere else. 

View our South Africa programmes

Expedition length

With 3 different expedition lengths you are sure to find a programme that fits.

10 Weeks

The 10-week programme is the most immersive of our Expeditions. You will take part in all three project phases, in three locations and with three different groups.

Prices from£3,995$4,900

7 Weeks

If you don’t have as much time, the 7-week programme is a great option. You will take part in two different projects in two different locations, with two different groups.

Prices from £3,570$4,400

4 or 6 Week Summer Expedition

These special Expeditions run only between June and September. 6 weeks will allow you to participate in all three phases in a shorter time frame or take in one full project and a shorter trek on the 4-week expedition. Perfect for a summer break.

Prices from £2,350$2,900

Raleigh Expedition
Change starts here

On Expedition, you will create unique memories to last a lifetime and partner with communities to identify where change is needed most to create a positive, lasting impact.

“My experience on my Raleigh Expedition has given me foundational skills and confidence in my next life choices.”

Marie | Raleigh Alumni

WHO

Who can go?

We welcome applications from young people aged 17-24 from all over the world.

Our expeditions are challenging but we are here to support you from when you apply. All you need is an open mind, commitment and a desire to do good!

We are proud to have volunteers from a range of backgrounds and life stages. Raleigh Expedition is a safe and inclusive environment where young people can bring their authentic selves on programme.

If you are aged 25 and over, we have volunteer manager positions available.

WHEN

When can I go?

We run three cycles every year during the following times.

CYCLE 1 – February – April
CYCLE 2 – June – August
CYCLE 3 – October – December

Expedition lengths vary from 4 to 10 weeks.

Apply (17-24)

How will Raleigh Expedition benefit my personal development?

Through a Raleigh Expedition, you will gain new knowledge and unique experiences. These support University applications and personal statements as well as help develop character and invaluable life skills.

Personal development

  • Leadership
  • Initiative
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Self-awareness
  • Mental resilience
  • Endurance

Professional and educational development

  • Problem solving
  • Committment
  • Communication skills
  • Team working and collaboration
  • Planning

Culture learning

  • Understanding of global issues
  • Cultural understanding
  • Experience and learn different languages

Raleigh volunteers go on to make a difference long after Expedition. 7,625 young people have developed entrepreneurship skills and started more than 2,000 micro-enterprises which give them sustained, safe, fair and dignified work opportunities.