The people you’ll be helping
All of the communities we work with are made up of incredible people with individual stories. But they all face a variety of challenges.
Many come from low-income families living hand to mouth, with not much at all. Others face discrimination as a result of religious beliefs or political powers. Almost all have limited access to education, health services, and valuable life lessons that could increase their family’s income and livelihood.
Our Expression programs are long-term and designed to create lasting change in the communities we work with. You’ll be a part of that, helping ignite a passion for education and an aspiration for a better quality of life.
Where you’ll be staying
During your program, you will be staying at one of our volunteer houses. All the rooms are dorm style, so you will be sharing with 4-5 other volunteers in bunk beds.
Though safe and clean, the houses are unlikely to be as comfortable as you’re used to. You’ll likely be putting toilet paper in a bin rather than flushing it and having cold showers. All of this adds to the experience of embracing local cultures. You’ll only be experiencing this for a few months, the communities live with it every day.
Our houses are equipped for the climate they’re based in, with fans in hotter climates and heaters and extra blankets in colder ones.
Bathrooms are shared and will have a shower, toilet and sink. Where possible you’ll have access to a western toilet, but some have drop toilets.
There’ll be a kitchen and plenty of chill-out spaces where you can relax in your spare time.
All of our meals are served family-style and are vegetarian to ensure that we can provide you with safe food and also reduce our carbon footprint. You’ll eat a lot of the local cuisine which is delicious across the board!
We keep breakfast simple to give you time in the morning. Expect toast, jam and eggs with coffee and tea. In some of our destinations, you’ll have the chance to try local breakfasts like a traditional breakfast curry in Nepal!
Lunch will either be back at your accommodation or will be a packed lunch that you will take with you to your project.
Dinner is a bigger affair, where our in-house cooks prepare delicious local meals. Be prepared for lots of noodles, rice and potatoes depending on where you are. To give you a taste of home the team might even sneak in the odd western dish like pasta.
Your Typical Day
Though each program differs slightly, most tend to follow a similar routine.
After breakfast at your accommodation, you’ll usually head to your school around 8 am for a morning of workshops. You’ll be working with the local kids, sharing your passion for a range of creative arts and sports. You could be:
- Delivering workshops on music, art, dance drama, creative writing and more
- Run digital media workshops on topics such as animation
- Deliver workshops on teamwork, communication and healthy lifestyles
- Running physical sports sessions
- Assessing the current creative capabilities in schools and creating interventions
- Organising a final sports day at the end of the programme
After either a packed lunch at the school or back at your accommodation, you’ll head back to the school for the afternoon sessions.
Morning and afternoon activities typically last about 2-3 hours each, with time built into the day for resting, planning and group debriefing.
In the evenings, your in-country team puts on group bonding activities and imparts their wisdom about the local culture. The evenings are also time for exploration where you can get out and explore the local area!
Your weekends are your time, but we help you make the most of them. You might stay in the area and visit some of the local tourist hot spots, or you may go further afield on a weekend excursion to some of the country’s ‘must-sees’. These include wonders like the iconic Angor Wat temples in Cambodia and Machu Picchu in Peru.
Although all meals are included in your programme, while you’re in-country you’ll want to buy snacks and try the local foods.
Prices vary from country to country so check out our destination pages to get an idea of the cost of a few standard items like sweet treats, savoury snacks and drinks.
Our Gap Year programs have the best of all worlds: independent, impactful travel with a support network that’s there whenever you need it.
Our team of GapGuru Mentors will be with you from the moment you arrive in your country till the day you leave. Before your journey, our GapGuru Advisors are on hand to answer any questions you have.
Our GapGurus are your family from home all live and work in the communities we serve year-round. They not only ensure you never feel too far from home but they’re also there to help you make the most of your time at each destination. They’re committed to enriching the lives of the people and positively impacting the environment.
Finally, our 24/7 helpline is always there for you to call any time before, during or after your time away. The bottom line is, our whole team is there to help you get the most out of your gap year and feel safe and secure while on it.
Expression Program Pricing
We know that planning a gap year can be daunting, so we like to keep our pricing simple. Our tailored experiences have been cherry-picked, meaning you don’t need to scroll through hundreds of program choices.
Running for a minimum of four weeks, you can add more weeks in one location or combine multiple destinations to explore more of the globe.
And if you want to include some independent travel let us know and we can help you organise it around your programs.