For those who want something a bit different in their year abroad, volunteering could be the answer. It is perhaps more of a feel-good experience, but financial backing for accommodation, food etc. is vital before undertaking such work, although some volunteer organisations provide a small amount of �pocket money� each month. Camphill Village USA Inc works with adults with mental disabilities and asks that volunteers stay for at least six months. For those more interested in conservation and cultural work, Concordia organises shorter term projects, and also provides accommodation. The range of volunteer work is vast and all depends on what your personal interests are. Many volunteer organisations help with financial worries by offering accommodation, often with a host family. If not, it is essential to find accommodation that is not only cheap but somewhere that wont make your year abroad wish you were back home!

Many GAP and year abroad programs are based around voluntary work and these organised programs will sometimes subsidise some of your costs. These kinds of programs allow the development of a wide skill base that most people might otherwise not acheive, this makes voluntary work particularly attractive to employers so you could find your CV enriched from the process. This obviously shouldn’t be your prime motivation especially as many programs can be a lot of hard work, most travellers who come back after completing these programs recommend it as an incredibly enriching experience simply for its own sake.

Useful Links

Camphill Village offers programs working with mentally disabled adults, the programs generally last about 6 months.

Concordia run shorter term conservation schemes.