• Animal Care
  • Community
  • Marine Conservation

Things to do in a gap year at any age

Article by Tasneem Johnson-Dollie

Tasneem Johnson-Dollie

Posted: April 1, 2020

When you’re thinking of things to do in a gap year, deciding on a volunteer program that tailors to your aspirations rather than your age may offer the best benefits.

Gap year opportunities are a chance for personal growth and development, something that you can go out and find at any stage of your life. But what are gap year benefits, and how can gap year opportunities bring benefit to volunteers aged 18 to 108? Well, let’s take a look.

 What are gap year benefits?

Gap year opportunities have three great benefits:

  1. You’ll get to try new things.
  2. You’ll improve your employability.
  3. You’ll immerse yourself in other cultures.



Gap year opportunities come in all shapes and forms – like animal and environmental conservation, community development, and women’s empowerment

Let’s take a closer look at gap year benefits that can apply at any age.

Further reading: Eight reasons to take an adult gap year

1) You’ll get to try new things

Gap year programs abroad can get you trying things you may never have thought of before, and that’s rewarding at any age.

For example, there are plenty of gap year opportunities that can get you working towards animal and wildlife conservation in ethical ways, like: 

And the positive impact you can contribute to while volunteering in animal conservation can make your gap year experience even more meaningful. 



Animal conservation gap year opportunities are a great idea when taking time off after high school, but they’re also suitable for animal-lovers of any age.

But, if you’re looking for a gap year experience that will get you closer to landing your dream career – and that career is not in animal conservation – then there are lots of options for you too.

2) You’ll improve your employability

Internship abroad programs are perfect gap year opportunities for taking your career confidence to the next level. And this applies whether you’re still surfing the web for the perfect job placement, or are already part of the office furniture.



These gap year programs can help you to gain skills that will benefit you in any career setting – like improved people skills, and gaining a GVI ILM Leadership Development certificate – a qualification recognised by the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM).

An internship abroad takes you out into the real world, with ample opportunity for personal and professional growth on programs such as the:

These gap year programs take job training out of the structured environments we’re used to. And you can work on your future in a top destination abroad. 

But one of the best benefits of travel is how it can take us right to the doorstep of other cultures, opening up meaningful opportunities for cultural immersion. 

3) You’ll immerse yourself in other cultures


If you want to learn about other cultures, cultural immersion is your best bet.

Cultural immersion means being surrounded by culture, and participating in that culture in an appropriate and respectful way.

On a gap year abroad, you’ll be immersed in the culture of the location you’re in. And this can open up your view of the world, and perhaps put your problems into perspective.

There are many gap year programs that are keen on cultural immersion, like:

These gap year experiences can give you a meaningful break from your day-to-day routine. They also allow for volunteers of any age to make a positive impact in communities abroad.


Things to do in a gap year right now

These programs are proof that age is nothing but a number when you’re looking for things to do in a gap year. 

Check out our gap year programs page to find out more about things to do in a gap year that are perfect for you. 

Tasneem Johnson-Dollie is an intern at the GVI Writing Academy. The Writing Academy is a skills-development program that pairs development editors with budding travel writers. Learn more about the program here.


By Tasneem Johnson-Dollie

Tasneem Johnson-Dollie is a travel writer living in South Africa. She has experience in public health nutrition and worked as a dietician before launching her writing career. She loves bringing her passion for public health and sustainable development to every article she writes. Her travels around South Africa as well as to India, Australia, and Saudi Arabia have fueled her passion for exploration.
what’s up next?
Hogging the Limelight: Peccaries in Costa Rica

Explore the different types of peccaries found in Costa Rica, as well as their importance in the local ecosystem, habitats, behavior, and social structure.

You might also like these articles

Public Awareness Campaigns: A Vital Tool for Turtle Conservation
Read the article
How to Work With Elephants
Read the article
Volunteer and Adventure
Nine of the best volunteer programs in South Africa
Read the article
Gap year pros and cons
Read the article
Women's Empowerment
How to Volunteer in Africa with Animals: A Guide to Responsible Wildlife Conservation
Read the article
Wildlife Conservation
Why it’s Critical to Protect Wildlife and Endangered Species
Read the article
Wildlife Conservation
The Importance of Conserving Habitat for Wildlife
Read the article
Wildlife Conservation
Discover Different Types of Volunteering
Read the article
Women's Empowerment
How to Prepare for Your First Volunteer Experience: A Guide for First-Time Volunteers
Read the article
Women's Empowerment