Taking a gap year after school, university or as a break from your studies is a fantastic chance to meet others, immerse yourself in a different culture and become more globally aware. What's more, by taking a productive, structured gap year, you can boost soft skills such as teamwork and leadership - giving you the edge on your UCAS application or CV!
Raleigh International is a youth and sustainable development charity which runs adventure challenge expeditions for 17-24 year olds. Our volunteers come from a wide range of backgrounds, nationalities and life stages.
Our 5, 7 and 10 week expeditions are perfect for people who are looking to develop key soft skills, and make a real difference to the world they live in. On an overseas expedition with Raleigh you'll work on much needed community and environmental projects, plus undertake a challenging adventure phase.
Expeditions operate year-round in Borneo, Costa Rica and Nicaragua and India. This year saw volunteers working on Sun Bear conservation projects in Borneo, constructing schools in remote villages in southern India, and trekking from the Pacific to the Atlantic coast across the width of Costa Rica.
Here is what Christine Harry, who went on expedition to Costa Rica & Nicaragua with Raleigh, has to say about her experience:
'Before Raleigh I was sending off lots of job applications each week and apart from getting a few interviews, it was pretty fruitless. Quite simply, being able to take part in an expedition is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I have incredible memories of my time in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, of the people I met, the places I saw and the work we did for the communities.
Christine secured a job in the charity sector upon her return from expedition.
A 'gap year' doesn't have to be a year long at all, it can range from a just a few weeks to a month, a year or more. Lots of people are now doing a 'gap summer' to fit in between academic years.
Raleigh offers 5, 7 and 10 week expeditions throughout the year, which many of our volunteers combine with independent travel.
Raleigh is a charity so our volunteers are asked to fundraise towards their expedition. We offer comprehensive fundraising support, and have bursaries worth up to £2,000 available for those who would find the fundraising target a challenge too far.
Neither have most people who come away with Raleigh. Pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone is what Raleigh is all about! An expedition will give you the chance, to challenge yourself and immerse yourself in a completely different way of life.