gap year volunteering

Volunteer Abroad

Gap year volunteering opportunities

At STA Travel, we've always believed in giving something back - it's at the heart of what we do. We offer a wide range of volunteering projects and work all over the world that you can do as part of a gap year or something shorter, allowing you to immerse yourself into a community and help you to give something back to the country you're travelling in.

You can volunteer in a number of different ways. Deciding which type of volunteering work is best for you depends on where in the world you want to do it, and whether you'd rather work with children, adults or animals. Scroll down to see the volunteering jobs we currently have on offer... 

Types of volunteering project

  • Work with animals
    With so many endangered species around the world fighting for our survival, work towards their protection on one of our animal projects.
  • Work with children
    Help to break the cycle of poverty by teaching local children the skills they need for a better future. This type of project is also perfect for gaining experience working with kids.
  • Work with communities
    Work in some of the world's most remote areas to improve the quality of life for local communities, helping to build a more sustainable future.
  • Conservation work
    Help local communities to preserve their fragile ecosystems, contributing to the long-term education of the environments we all enjoy as travellers.
  • Teach sports
    Sport has the power to cross all linguistic and cultural barriers. Use your enthusiasm to develop vital teamwork skills, boost confidence, and put a great big smile on the kids' faces as well as yours.
  • Do it all!
    Combine all the different ways to volunteer in one project - working with children, protecting local wildlife and helping the local community.

How do you want to volunteer?

We offer 50 projects in 22 countries around the world. First of all, you should consider whether you want to commit to one volunteering project for an extended amount of time, or opt for a voluntour trip, where you'll combine a volunteering project with a group tour. What's the differences, we hear you ask?
Volunteering in Brazil
Volunteer
- You'll focus on one project for an extended period.
- You'll stay locally and be able to immerse yourself properly in the community and culture.
- You can go your own way! You'll travel more independently when the time comes to see the rest of the country you're in. 


 

Voluntour
- You'll combine a volunteering experience with a group tour.
- You'll gain a local perspective instead of a tourist's - living with a community in your chosen destination will allow you to see it through their eyes.
- You'll meet and travel with like-minded, socially conscious travellers.

Our featured volunteering projects

volunteer in galapagos
Children & schools in Fiji
Fiji is an amazing place to assist with education and care for the nation`s children...spend time in paradise and enjoy a truly exotic culture - all the while putting something valuable back into the community! With projects starting from two weeks.
Projects start from £727
contact us to book
thailand voluntour
Thailand Voluntour
Only got 2 weeks but want a "real" Thai experience? Then this is for you! Combining a great first weekend in Bangkok with the choice of a week living in an elephant village or teaching in a rural school, and then finishing with a week on Koh Phangan - home to some of the best beaches and best parties in the world!
Projects start from £779
view voluntour
volunteer with animals
Thai Elephant Conservation
Set in a valley surrounded by forested mountains, this projects offers a peaceful home for more than 30 neglected and previously abused elephants. You'll play an essential role in caring for endangered elephants. Day to day, you'll assist veterinary inspections, feed this majestic grey giants and learn about their interaction.
Projects start from £383
find out more
Shamwari Volunteer
Shamwari Conservation Experience in South Africa
Experience one of our best selling volunteer projects with an amazing conservation experience at the Shamwari Big Five Game Reserve, South Africa - all ranging from 2-12 weeks. You’ll work closely with the Born Free Foundation to assist with animal tracking and research, game count surveys, reserve rehab and more.
Projects from £782
contact us to book
volunteer in borneo
Experience Borneo & conserve Orangutans
This project is designed to raise awareness of the conservation efforts made in Sarawak and to bring harmony between people and orang-utans. Be one of the special few who experience and help with orang-utan rehabilitation. Plus take part in an adventure into the rainforest to meet descendants of the Iban tribe and experience a unique stay in a traditional longhouse.
Projects start from £1,195
contact us to book

WIN the volunteering trip of a lifetime

We've teamed up with the guys over at ASOS to offer you the chance to win an STA Travel trip worth up to £2,000 plus a £500 ASOS voucher! Take the quiz to discover your dream volunteering destination and get your name in the draw. Let's get quizzical... 
QUIZ TIME

Win a 7-day California tour

The hint of sunshine we keep getting in the UK making you dream of going away? How about travelling California... for free? That's what you can get when you enter this competition - a 7-day tour from LA to San Francisco with a trip to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon thrown in for good measure!
find out more

Start planning your adventure

thailand conservation
Thailand Coastal Conservation Expedition
Help protect some of the world's most beautiful beaches in the fishing village of Ban Nam Khem. Located 25km away from Khao Lak, this hands on project involves everything from biodiversity studies and beach clean ups to seasonal mangrove research and sea turtle rehabilitation.
Projects from £1,095
contact us to book
australia conservation
Conservation in Australia
Outdoorsy types will love this fun, get your hands dirty project down under. Joining Australia's leading active conservation charity, you'll work with a team of international volunteers from a wide range of backgrounds. Projects in North queensland are often activities designed to help secure the future health of the Great Barrier Reef!
Projects from £246
contact us to book
elephant volunteering
Elephant Experience in Surin
Enjoy the unique experience of working off the beaten track in a traditional elephant village in Surin province. By sharing their live and working with visitors, mahouts are able to better support their elephants and families, which means a greater quality of life for all. You'll care for these gentle giants as well as help the mahouts harvest crops,
Projects start from £628
contact us to book
new zealand conservation
Conservation in New Zealand
No prior experience is needed, just lots of enthusiasm and willingness to get stuck in. Project locations vary week to week, from urban areas to places way off the trail in New Zealand. In order to improve habitats and restore natural landscapes, typical activities may include construction initiatives, trail building, wildlife surveys and restoration.
Projects start from £246
contact us to book

Jubilee Sailing Trust

Fancy yourself as a bit of a pirate, want to learn some new skills and also be part of something unique? The Jubilee Sailing Trust could be just what you're looking for! These voyages are projects designed to accommodate people of various physical abilities, including those with severe disabilities, meaning everyone contributes to the journey! No sailing experience is needed to join but expect to get hands on with becoming part of the crew. You'll be navigating, setting the sail, preparing food and be on lookout duty. If you're a fully-abled crew member, you might also be asked to assist other members with their task for example helping a wheelchair to the top of the mast. Contact us for more info!

Contact a Travel Expert to Book Your Adventure!

Watch this video and get inspired about volunteering in the Philippines...

Why volunteer with STA Travel?

These days, there are a lot of volunteering projects around the world that are mismanaged and actually end up exploiting poorer communities for a larger profit, rather than helping them. Our volunteering projects are authentic, sustainable and responsible. We believe in giving back to the communities we visit through the STA Travel Foundation and by making sure that our travel has a positive impact. We make sure we only work with a select number of partners who build meaningful relationships with local communities, whilst ensuring that we fulfill our travellers' desires to make a difference. Read our full Social Responsibility statement here.

Need a little more inspiration? Check out the STA Travel Blog!

STA Travel Blog

Volunteering In Paradise – Vinaka Fiji!

Read Blog
STA Travel Blog

What's Volunteering In Thailand All About?

Read Blog
STA Travel Blog

Why I Volunteer: Helping Communities In South Africa

Read Blog