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, immersing yourself into a community and giving 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.

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 Kenya
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 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 orangutans. Be one of the special few who experience and help with orangutan 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 from £1,195 ​
contact us to book
thailand volunteering
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 from £779
contact us to book
Turtle Conservation
Costa Rica Turtle Conservation
You might like to think of yourself as a seasoned globetrotter but you've got nothing on sea turtles, who travel up to 10,000 miles a year on their own flippers. But with egg poaching and climate change threatening their existence, their journey can often be tricky. Support the community led effort to improve the chance of survival for endangered hatchlings on Playa Montezuma. 
Projects from £247
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 £818
contact us to book
volunteer with elephants
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​
contact us to book
Make a Difference in the Philippines | 10 days
Head to the coastal village of San Felipe and take part in the environmental awareness project where you'll participate in beach cleanups, building bricks with plastic bottles and in spare time hike to a indigenous village or bike tour.
From £756
contact us to book
Volunteer Galapagos Islands
Volunteer Galapagos Islands
On one of the world's most enticing and unique archipelagos - your role as a volunteer requires greenfingers, as you'll spend your weekdays working with a conservation intiative to help protect the growth of native plants. After five days at the project, spend a full day at your leisure exploring the unique species of floral and fauna, as well as marine iguanas, giant tortoise and Galapagos fur seals.
Projects from £885
contact us to book
Teach children in Vietnam | 14 days
Assist with English lessons and homework in Ho Chi Minh city and help with daily activities to support underprivileged children. As some already face lifelong challenges, you will contribute to a project that aims to give them the best start possible. Optional activities include a Mekong River boat ride and meal with local family.
Projects from £572
contact us to book
Wildlife Expedition in Costa Rica | from 14 days
A conservation project in Toruguero National Park. Get involved in carrying out research on bird species down rainforest canales and scour the beaches for signs of sea turtles or jaguars. Help to position jungle cameras and carry out biodiversity surveys to contribute to ongoing wildlife surveys. Spend weekends surfing or lounging on the beach.
Projects from £1,345
Contact us to book

Jubilee Sailing Trust

Always fancied the life of a sailor? No experience required at Jubilee Sailing Trust! These voyages are inclusive to everyone, of all abilities/disabilities, meaning everyone contributes to the journey! You'll be navigating, setting the sail, preparing food and be on lookout duty, and if you're a fully-abled crew member, you might also be asked to assist other members with their tasks. Ahoy there!
contact us to book

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