Gap year volunteering

Apply now

Change starts on your gap year

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

Raleigh Expedition is a volunteering gap year program 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.


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.


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 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 our volunteers

Nepal volunteer Harry

“When I received my A-level results they weren’t what I was expecting so I decided I wanted to take some time out before further education, but I wanted this to be useful time spent. Raleigh provided an opportunity to make good use of my time and allowed me to take some time away from home to think about my next steps – whether it be university or a career.”

– Harry, Nepal volunteer

Tanzania volunteer Charlotte

“You learn so much on Raleigh that you wouldn’t learn in a classroom and skills that will prepare you for the workplace in terms of communicating with people and motivating yourself. Raleigh provides an alternative to things such as ski season and offers challenging environment for people to learn more about themselves and develop lots of new skills.”

– Charlotte, Tanzania volunteer

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.
June – September 2020


Dates Weeks Availability Application deadline
30 June  – 06 Sept 10 Places available 05 May 2020
30 June – 16 Aug 7 Places available 05 May 2020
22 July – 06 Sept 7 Places available 27 May 2020
06 July – 08 Aug 5 Places available 11 May 2020


Costa Rica

Dates Weeks Availability Application deadline
28 Jun – 04 Sept 10 Places available 30 Apr 2020
28 Jun – 14 Aug 7 Places available 30 Apr 2020
18 July – 04 Sept 7 Places available 21 May 2020
28 Jun – 26 July 4 Places available 4 May 2020
29 July – 26 Aug 4 Places available 3 June 2020


Dates Weeks Availability Application deadline
28 Jun – 29 Aug 10 Places available 30 Apr 2020
28 Jun – 14 Aug 7 Places available 30 Apr 2020
20 July – 29 Aug 7 Places available 25 May 2020
28 Jun – 26 July 4 Places available 30 Apr 2020
30 July – 27 Aug 4 Places available 4 June 2020
September – December 2020


Dates Weeks Availability Application deadline
09 Oct – 16 Dec 10 Places available 13 Aug 2020
09 Oct – 25 Nov 7 Places available 13 Aug 2020
31 Oct – 16 Dec 7 Places available 24 Sept 2020


Costa Rica

Dates Weeks Availability Application deadline
04 Oct – 11 Dec 10 Places available 6 Aug 2020
04 Oct – 20 Nov 7 Places available 6 Aug 2020
24 Oct – 11 Dec 7 Places available 31 Aug 2020


Dates Weeks Availability Application deadline
28 Sept – 05 Dec 10 Places available 3 Aug 2020
28 Sept – 14 Nov 7 Places available 3 Aug 2020
20 Oct – 05 Dec 7 Places available 25 Aug 2020

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 2020 2021*
4 week Expedition $3,100 $3,400
5 week Expedition $3,600 $3,950
7 week Expedition $4,500 $4,950
10 week Expedition** $5,000 $5,500

*Fundraising targets will be increased for Expeditions from 2021 onwards. As a charity, we need to ensure our programmes are financially sustainable and our last pricing review was in 2017. This increase is due to the rises in the costs of delivery, inflation and exchange rates.

**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!