Reputable gap year companies

(13 Posts)
VanillaSugar Fri 19-Aug-16 06:29:28

Dd's A Level results are a mixed bag and rather than confirm her insurance place, I'd like to suggest to her that she takes a gap year and reapplies for 2017.

Can anyone recommend a programme? I've had a quick Google and there are so many companies to look at that it could be a potential minefield between the good companies and the charlatans.

Anyone had a positive experience?


OP’s posts: |
GrumpyOldBag Sat 20-Aug-16 21:26:42


No direct personal experience but I have met the people who run it & they seem nice & trustworthy!

Stinkerbelle37 Sat 20-Aug-16 21:34:38

Years ago I used i to i, and they were rubbish.

Paid to do conservation work in Australia, booked in advance from the UK. Turned up in Australia, and they weren't expecting me... Got burgled while on a placement, and I to I offered no support.

And, to add to my indignation, I paid about £20 per day, when people who sorted it out directly with the Aussie organisation paid $20au per day. Which at the time, was less than half what I paid.

JWIM Sat 20-Aug-16 21:51:17

Try looking at International Citizen Service - some UK Gov backing like NCS. DD had a fantastic time with Projects Abroad but not cheap.

VanillaSugar Sat 20-Aug-16 21:59:17

Thanks for the feedback - I'll get onto Google smile

OP’s posts: |
Antaresisastar Sat 20-Aug-16 22:11:14

Ds would not recommend Frontier, he had a great time on his project but their organisation was awful, let's say he learnt to use his initiative!
There was an article in the Telegraph today about a medical student suing them re a placement in an African country.

VanillaSugar Sat 20-Aug-16 22:33:39

Oooooooooooh. Interesting and good to know. ..

OP’s posts: |


wageslave Sat 20-Aug-16 22:53:00

We searched for ages and couldn't find one that I felt I would trust. My daughter volunteered through WOOF (worldwide organic farm network) and spent a few weeks in Denmark last year (she was 18 then). The basic principle is that you offer labour in exchange for board, usually on small farms and small holdings, anywhere in the world. You pay your own flights and travel. We weren't keen for her to go off to anywhere in Africa through what largely seem to be loose travel agencies - I did some research and found lots of stories of people exchanging large sums of money for poor service, often no placements, people being hounded for money etc. So we persuaded her to go somewhere European that wasn't too far away just in case it didn't work out. She had a really formative experience that helped her prepare for going to university and this summer has spent nearly 12 weeks doing a similar thing to Camp America, basically housekeeping on a summer camp. They've asked her to go back next summer.

VanillaSugar Sat 20-Aug-16 23:20:39

Camp America!! I'd forgotten about that. Will look into it, especially as I have a cousin who lives in NY.

OP’s posts: |
mysteryfairy Sun 21-Aug-16 08:47:34

You could look at voluntary service overseas which does placements for 18-25 year olds?

My DS has done Camp America twice, only just managing to get a place that started late enough for him to do university exams. I think you can start in May if you have nothing else on. He's really enjoyed it and it's been well organised but I felt it cost us a fair bit. The first year he worked very hard and only made a small amount more than we had paid out for flights, insurance, Medical, visa etc

Stinkerbelle37 Sun 21-Aug-16 09:57:31

I made much more in my 2nd year at camp, as can negotiate direct and buy own flights.

You might not make much in your first year but you get your accommodation , food, laundry, no washing up, access to camp facilities in your free periods etc etc. if you factor in the value of those things, it's not a bad deal.

Ohtobeskiing Sun 21-Aug-16 20:45:29

Plan My Gap Year - ds used them two years ago and dd is about to go on a trip.

Groovee Sun 21-Aug-16 20:51:49

Project trust are great but I would recommend applying the year before you plan to take the gap year.

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