Volunteering abroad on your gap year – an alternative to going to university

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Change starts on your gap year

A gap year can help shape your future, so do something that matters.

Are you currently considering alternatives to university? Have you received your A level results? Perhaps they weren’t quite what you wanted them to be or perhaps you are not yet sure what your future plans are.

Results Day and University Clearing can be a daunting process but always remember that there is no wrong path. If you are considering your options after A levels and during Clearing 2020, then perhaps Raleigh Expeditions are the right choice for you!

Raleigh Expedition is a volunteering gap year program for people aged 17-24 that brings young people together from all over the world to impact change for the communities you will work with, environmental change, and change in yourself.

We offer 10 and 7 week Expeditions as well as 4 & 5 week Expeditions in the summer which are ideal for summer holiday volunteering. Expeditions take place in Nepal, Costa Rica and Tanzania.

It’s a gap year experience that you will never forget. You’ll build memories and develop leadership and teamwork skills to apply to your future career and personal life.

During the Expedition you will meet new people, become part of the local community and learn first-hand about local culture. We ensure that communities have the skills and knowledge to continue work done together after you leave.


Community | Environment | Adventure

People are at the heart of Expedition – working together to inspire others to create change that lasts. On an Expedition, you could have the opportunity to do three different types of projects: Community, Environment and Adventure.

Community

You will live and work with local communities, improving facilities and influencing new behaviours that will support communities in the future. You will work with schools and community groups to create awareness about the importance of handwashing and safe water, building water tanks, toilet blocks and handwashing stations; or help improve access to education building schools in indigenous areas.

Environment

Environmental projects give you the chance to play an active role in combating climate change. You will work to sustain natural resources with reforestation initiatives and infrastructure improvements, giving vital access to protected areas. You will work alongside local communities to change habits, for example, promoting firewood alternatives and encouraging the development of a more diverse range of crops.

Adventure

Adventure projects give you the chance to trek through incredible sceneries whilst developing your leadership and teamwork skills. We start and finish our treks together, but you and your team will navigate the route yourselves. It gives you a chance to go back to basics and learn to be self-sufficient, appreciating the environment we live in.

Hear from one of our alumni about her experience on Expedition


Find out more about our Expedition countries

Choose where to volunteer abroad below.

We have chosen these countries because they have large youth populations and volunteers can make the greatest impact. They all face issues relating to water and sanitation and are heavily affected by climate change. We work in rural areas because the people that live there are often the most marginalised. They tend to have poorer access to basic services, lower education levels and a worse standard of living than those in urban areas. Women and children are often the most disadvantaged.


How long can I go for?

10 week Expedition The 10-week programme is the most immersive Expedition. You will get the opportunity to take part in 3 different projects, in 3 different locations, with 3 different groups.
7 week Expedition If you don’t have as much time, the 7-week programme is a great option. You will do 2 different projects, in 2 different locations, with 2 different groups.
4 and 5 week Expeditions We have 4 and 5 week options in July and August. You will work on 1 project and go on a mini adventure.

Expedition dates

Click the dates to choose when to volunteer abroad below.

Secure your place on Expeditions from November this year or throughout 2021! Please click here for more information on our Covid-19 response and our future plans.

November – December 2020

We are exploring the potential to run programmes in late Autumn 2020 in Costa Rica and Nepal, provided it is safe to do so. Provisional dates are:

  • Costa Rica: departures will be between 9-18 November and returning home between 9-17 December.
  • Nepal: departures will be between 13-23 November and returning home between 16-26 December.

Please note these are indicative dates only. All dates will be confirmed in early September 2020.

If you are interested, please click here for more information. To express your interest in taking part in these Expeditions, please get in touch.

February – April 2021

Nepal

Dates Weeks Availability Application deadline
08 Feb – 17 Apr 10 Places available 14 Dec 2020
08 Feb – 27 Mar 7 Places available 14 Dec 2020
02 Mar – 17 Apr 7 Places available 05 Jan 2021

Costa Rica

Dates Weeks Availability Application deadline
16 Feb – 25 Apr 10 Places available 22 Dec 2020
16 Feb – 04 Apr 7 Places available 22 Dec 2020
08 Mar – 25 Apr 7 Places available 01 Feb 2021

Tanzania

Dates Weeks Availability Application deadline
11 Feb – 20 Apr 10 Places available 17 Dec 2020
11 Feb – 30 Mar 7 Places available 17 Dec 2020
05 Mar – 20 Apr 7 Places available 07 Jan 2021
June – September 2021

Nepal

Dates Weeks Availability Application deadline
01 Jul  – 07 Sept 10 Places available 06 May 2021
01 Jul – 17 Aug 7 Places available 06 May 2021
23 July – 07 Sept 7 Places available 27 May 2021
07 July – 09 Aug 5 Places available 12 May 2021

Costa Rica

Dates Weeks Availability Application deadline
29 Jun – 05 Sept 10 Places available 05 May 2021
29 Jun – 15 Aug 7 Places available 05 May 2021
19 July – 05 Sept 7 Places available 24 May 2021
29 Jun – 27 July 4 Places available 05 May 2021
30 July – 27 Aug 4 Places available 03 June 2021

Tanzania

Dates Weeks Availability Application deadline
23 Jun – 30 Aug 10 Places available 28 Apr 2021
23 Jun – 09 Aug 7 Places available 28 Apr 2021
15 July – 30 Aug 7 Places available 20 May 2021
23 Jun – 21 July 4 Places available 28 Apr 2021
25 July – 22 Aug 4 Places available 27 May 2021
September – December 2021

Nepal

Dates Weeks Availability Application deadline
12 Oct – 19 Dec 10 Places available 17 Aug 2021
12 Oct – 28 Nov 7 Places available 17 Aug 2021
03 Nov – 19 Dec 7 Places available 08 Sept 2021

Costa Rica

Dates Weeks Availability Application deadline
09 Oct – 16 Dec 10 Places available 12 Aug 2021
09 Oct – 25 Nov 7 Places available 12 Aug 2021
29 Oct – 16 Dec 7 Places available 02 Sep 2021

Tanzania

Dates Weeks Availability Application deadline
07 Oct – 14 Dec 10 Places available 12 Aug 2021
07 Oct – 23 Nov 7 Places available 12 Aug 2021
29 Oct – 14 Dec 7 Places available 02 Sep 2021

How much does it cost?

As a charity we talk about fundraising rather than costs, and we encourage everyone to do some fundraising for their Expedition.

Expeditions are much more than what is achieved in 4, 5, 7 or 10 weeks. They are about creating lasting change. As well as the communities whose lives you will be impacting, don’t forget you will also be developing skills for your future too.

Expedition length 2021
4 week Expedition $3,400
5 week Expedition $3,950
7 week Expedition $4,950
10 week Expedition* $5,500

*If your household income is £23,000 or under then you could be eligible for the Raleigh Bursary Fund, which provides financial support for fundraising.

We offer lots of ways to help with fundraising and we have supported thousands of young people to reach their target. Find out more information about what’s included and fundraising here.

Feeling inspired and ready to get started? Apply now!