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Ethical, Affordable, & Impactful Gap Years

Gap Year Decision Day is coming up on May 25th! If you are looking for an ethical, affordable, and impactful gap year, check out the Omprakash Gap Year Program. Volunteer with one or more of our 180+ Partners (vetted grassroots social impact organizations in 40+ countries), apply for an Ethical Global Engagement Grant, and join our EdGE (Education for Global Engagement) online learning community!

About

Omprakash's vision is to facilitate mutually beneficial & educational relationships between grassroots social impact organizations and volunteers around the world who can learn from & support their work. We help you to connect directly with our network of vetted Partners to find a position that is right for you and beneficial to your host Partner.

Our award-winning online training and mentorship program, EdGE (Education for Global Engagement) is designed to help increase learning, critical reflection, and overall impact before, during, and after volunteers' international experiences.

Our 180+ Partner organizations work in 40+ countries on a wide range of projects, with positions suitable for volunteers with a variety of interests and qualifications, but just to give you an idea of a few of the opportunities ...

Support deported migrants in Mexico.

Work on sustainable agriculture in Malawi

Teach English in China

Become a medical intern in Morocco

Questions & Answers

Reviews

97%
based on 6 reviews
  • Growth 9.2
  • Support 9
  • Fun 9
  • Housing 9
  • Safety 8.5
Showing 1 - 6 of 6
Ben
8/10

Lost on how to volunteer? Use this company!

I volunteered in Peru helping a local economy with agriculture business development. I absolutely loved the experience. It changed my life! I was very lost on how to volunteer in a country like Peru and was lucky to stumble across this company. They were very helpful and created a wonderful experience. Sometimes the living conditions would be rough and logistics were challenging, but that is to be expected in a 3rd world country. The trip was ended with a journey to Machu Picchu. Looking for a way to give back with an adventure? This is the one!

Yes, I recommend
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Jesse
10/10

Omprakash is volunteering the right way

Omprakash takes a different approach to volunteering abroad. Rather than place you with an organization, Omprakash facilitates a direct exchange between local organizations and volunteers. This allows a real personal relationship between organization and volunteer and assures that you are not "assigned" to volunteer with an organization without a clear purpose and expressed interest from the organization. This strategy allows you to be much more effective in your role when you arrive.

Throughout my time working with Adisa in Santiago Atitlán Guatemala, I was well supported by Omprakash staff and its community. Between skype calls, global dialogues, reflections, and the capstone project (cumulative learning project), I was always engaged with Omprakash and constantly challenged to critically evaluate my experience.

As for its partner organizations, Omprakash has a comprehensive evaluation process that assures that only qualified, legitimate, and trustworthy join its network. The reliability of its local partners makes the volunteer experience an effective, safe, and gratifying experience.

How can this program be improved?
The main improvement I can suggest is some improvement to the customization of crowdfunding campaigns. I find that the general layout can be a little bit restrictive for organizations to build their own brand and personalize their page.
Yes, I recommend
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Ian
10/10

EdGE Internship in Oaxaca, Mexico

As an Omprakash EdGE intern, I spent six months in Oaxaca, Mexico after completing a six week training course. The Spanish skills, level of personal confidence, and appreciation for Oaxacan culture and its differences with my own American culture I have gained over this time with Omprakash have revolutionized my perspective on a huge variety of things and left me with deep gratitude for the experience. The pre-departure preparatory course is fascinating and engaging while still being at a self-determined pace. The mentor system is super helpful for dealing with problems that come up (especially culture shock) and making a valuable friend. The capstone project to complete while doing the volunteer work is a great challenge and a great reason to have to talk to people you normally might not. For me, the most important part of what Omprakash gives to the intern is the freedom to choose from a wide variety volunteer positions. For that reason, details about living arrangements and the time spent at the host organization are not too helpful. However, Omprakash vets all of the partner organizations to make sure they fit the goal of the EdGE program and in my instance, it was very clearly a good option for me. Furthermore, with regular calls to my Omprakash mentor I never felt like I was ever too far from support. In my opinion, Omprakash should be a household name, it's a fantastic institution.

How can this program be improved?
EdGE interns could interact eith each other more often and interns could have more opportunities to talk to more mentors.
Yes, I recommend
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Maimuna
10/10

Omprakash

Future participants should know about EdGE. It's the most beneficial component of Omprakash. The course is what makes your experience abroad more real. The course makes you aware of your surroundings, your limitations, and opens you up to learn. if you are looking for a experience that wont just happen and then fade away, then going through Omprakash would be the best way to keep learning and growing after traveling abroad. My favorite part beyond everything else was the people I met, some of who I am still very close with.

Yes, I recommend
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Lindsey
10/10

Really Amazing Organization

Omprakash employs some of the most amazing people. Throughout my entire experience in the EDgE program, I always had someone supporting me, guiding me, and encouraging me to look at the world in new ways. The online course content provided a range of topics from good intentions vs. unintended consequences, inequality vs. globalization, environmental justice, confronting our context, and praxis: reflection, dialogue, and action. Each week I was challenged to think deeply on each subject, and I finished the course feeling very knowledgeable about the world of international volunteerism. Through the Omprakash network of international partners, I decided to focus on education and social change and coordinated an internship in Uganda as an English teacher and outreach volunteer at an organization serving local street youth. While I was there, I truly felt immersed in a completely different world. Everyday I was learning new things about local tribes, cultural practices, the history of poverty in the area, and so much more. Even better, I could see how topics in the EDgE course related to inequality and education in the area. I ran into some very difficult, unpredictable situations while there. However, despite being on a completely different continent with an 8 hour time difference, the Omprakash team helped me every bit of the way. I felt like I always had someone to rely on who was knowledgeable and willing to go to any length to make sure that I was comfortable. Throughout my experience abroad, I was studying the perception of street youth in the area to write a paper on the topic for my EDgE capstone. Had I not done EDgE or volunteered through Omprakash, I don't think I would have had the knowledge or skills to create a thoughtful research paper like I did. My experience was been a wonderful opportunity for learning valuable skills and personal growth (and I know that I am not unique in that! EdGE rocks and my friends that went through the program with me have equally positive stories). I am very excited to volunteer abroad next summer and to see how my perspective of social change grows and shifts.

Yes, I recommend
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Antonia
10/10

Supportive, Informed, Flexable, Diverse - Well Rounded Educational and Professional Experience

I first came across Omprakash in 2012 while preparing for what in hindsight, became my "gap year" between my bachelors and my masters. I was immediately impressed with Omprakash's plethora of organizations to work with around the world. I knew I wanted to go to Cameroon and work with youth and/or community development - the website was easy to navigate and I was able to find many options that fit my needs. I was awarded a travel grant and became part of the pilot-EdGE program.

For 6 months I worked for two different NGOs in Buea, Cameroon and ended up doing my EdGE capstone comparing the two grassroots organizations. This opportunity not only built my resume, gave my priceless experience on the ground but it also allowed me to make connections and find a paid job to continue my stay in Cameroon. While abroad, I felt immense support from all Omprakash members and both of my mentors. When I had problems or questions - they were right by my side.

Additionally, I visited other Omprakash affiliated organizations during my time in Cameroon which was really exciting to learn about other projects in the country. I highly recommend seeking and internship or study abroad opportunity with them. Their staff is knowledgeable, compassionate and reliable - they have a wide variety of partners around the world so you are bound to find a good match!

How can this program be improved?
More training and now just for EdGE participants.
Yes, I recommend

Interviews

Meet the Staff

About Omprakash EdGE

Omprakash EdGE (Education through Global Engagement) is about making global engagement ethical, educational, & affordable.

Omprakash EdGE is a fully accredited comprehensive volunteer pre-departure and re-entry training program. The program...