Facebook Pixel

Best Gap Year Programs 2020 & 2021

Best Gap Year programs 2020 & 2021 with International Volunteer HQ

100% Customizable Gap Year Volunteer and Internship Programs

International Volunteer HQ and Intern Abroad HQ offer the world’s most affordable and trusted gap year programs in more than 40 destinations, including Europe, the USA, Africa, Asia, South America, Central America, the Caribbean, the Pacific and the Middle East. With volunteer projects and internships ranging from medicine and teaching English to wildlife conservation and NGO support - our gap year programs abroad enable you to make a significant contribution to communities around the globe.

With many of us currently exploring gap year opportunities due to COVID-19, our volunteer and internship programs are helping hundreds of gap year seekers to make an impact during these unprecedented times. While gap years are typically taken after high school, after college or after graduating, many people are also choosing to take gap years later in life as a break from work or during retirement. No matter your age, a gap year is an opportunity to explore the world, gain international experience and do something meaningful with your time off.

Whether you want to volunteer abroad, intern abroad, intern remotely, get your online TEFL certification, or a combination of all four - we have a diverse range of gap year programs that can be mixed and matched to create the ultimate gap year experience.

Want to get personalized gap year programs recommendations? Get in touch today - our team of highly experienced Gap Year Planners are here to help build your dream itinerary, personalized to your skills, life ambitions and the causes you care about. With affordable gap year programs available year-round, it’s easy to build an itinerary that fits your schedule and budget.

Request a gap year itinerary
test

For me, a gap year was the best option to give me a break from studying, let me explore and give me a bit more time to think about exactly what it was that I wanted to study. There is no doubt it’s a big decision to make, but it just could be the best decision you ever make.

Read Lara and Lisa’s story

Why take a gap year with IVHQ and Intern Abroad HQ?

test

Taking a gap year to travel and volunteer can create a better, well-rounded you, who will only be more ready to take on a career. This trip reassured me that I am doing the right thing in my life right now and that I can better myself from an experience where I immerse myself in a new and interesting way of life.

Read Kelly’s gap year story

After high school and college gap year ideas

If you’re taking a gap year after high school or college, you’ll want to explore vibrant new cultures, make an impact in local communities, discover stunning landscapes and gain worthwhile career experience to add to your resume.

For those interested in pursuing a career in healthcare, we have a wide range of medical gap year volunteer programs and medical internships available. We also offer gap year volunteer programs and internships for teens, high school students and under 18s.

Many gap year students choose to combine multiple volunteer and internship programs to create their dream gap year journey around the globe, ticking off bucket list items along the way. Our in-house Gap Year Planners can help you to work out how to do this in the most cost effective way.

Browse by program type below and get inspired!

Explore volunteer project highlights

Discover internship program highlights

Back to top

Europe gap year programs

Taking a gap year in Europe is a meaningful way to explore the cultural hub of the world and immerse yourself in the diversity of the continent while making an impact. It’s cheap and convenient for those already living in the UK or Europe and you only need to travel a couple of hours to be totally immersed in a new culture. Gap year programs range from volunteering with refugees and the homeless to internships in sustainable tourism, cultural arts and more.

Volunteer opportunities

Internship opportunities

Back to top

Africa gap year programs

Taking a gap year in Africa is guaranteed to change your worldview, push you out of your comfort zone and give you a life changing experience. This is an adventure that will stay with you forever. Gap year programs in Africa range from building schools and conserving incredible wildlife to women’s education and medical internships.

Volunteer opportunities

Internship opportunities

Back to top

Pacific & Asia gap year programs

Taking a gap year in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Asia is an excellent way to immerse yourself in diverse new cultures, learn invaluable life skills and discover the charming locals and delicious cuisines the region has to offer. Gap year programs range from teaching english and turtle conservation to marketing and fashion internships.

Volunteer opportunities

Internship opportunities

Back to top

Latin America gap year programs

Taking a gap year in South America, Central America and the Caribbean is a unique opportunity to explore stunning landscapes and travel in a sustainable and meaningful way, while giving back to local communities. Gap year programs range from community development and volunteering with animals to youth development and psychology internships.

Volunteer opportunities

Internship opportunities

Back to top

Gap year alternatives to going abroad

If you want to spend part or all of your gap year at home, you can join a volunteer program close to home or get stuck into a remote internship. Whether you’re volunteering in a new city or interning remotely with an organization abroad, you’ll quickly discover that you can still be immersed in new cultures without crossing any borders.

USA gap year programs

USA gap year programs

If you live in America and want to volunteer at home while exploring a new corner of this rich and diverse country, our gap year volunteer programs in San Diego, Chicago, Philadelphia and New Orleans are an excellent option. These programs bring people from all walks of life together to tackle some of the most pressing issues of our time, such as climate change, poverty and social injustice.

Remote gap year internships

Remote gap year internships

Launch your global career from your laptop - wherever you are in the world! Intern Abroad HQ’s remote internships enable you to gain international experience from home or while traveling. Choose your own hours, start when you want and make an impact on real world projects within startups, NGOs and other innovative organizations around the globe.

How to prepare for your gap year

With the support of our experienced Gap Year Program Managers and specialized preparation tools, we ensure you are well equipped to get the most out of your gap year experience. We also offer exclusive discounts on online courses which are popular with gap year program participants looking to upskill before traveling abroad. These discounted online courses can also be taken independently - you don’t need to be traveling abroad to get the certifications!

Online TEFL course

Online TEFL course

Taking an online TEFL course enables you to build confidence as a teacher, learn new skills, enhance your employability, prep for future adventures or even start a side hustle from home! IVHQ offers instant access to a specialized online TEFL course at a discounted rate.

Virtual volunteering course

Virtual volunteering course

The Certificate in International Volunteering is a three hour virtual volunteering course from the Global Travel Academy. Join travel gurus as they journey through twelve counties to learn about volunteering best practice and how to handle real-life challenges on the road.

Back to top

How to get started

Pick a destination + project and apply for free
Meet your personal volunteer travel expert
Pay the registration fee to secure your place and upgrade your MyIVHQ account
Get ready to volunteer abroad, we’ll support you every step of the way!