The Leap

The Leap

Why choose The Leap?

The Leap has been leading the field in planet saving gap year experiences and career enhancing internships since 2000, providing award winning programs across Africa, Asia and South America. We were the first UK company to be accredited by the Gap Year Association, about which we are very proud.

Reducing plastic in our oceans, protecting turtles and saving the rhino is just the tip of the melting iceberg and we are passionate about doing our bit.

We specialise in team programs which include a contrasting combination of projects, in different locations - thus providing a varied challenges and experiences along the way.


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Yes, I recommend this program

The Leap in Costa Rica

I had the best time in Santa Teresa! I met so many cool people, had a chance to give back to the community, and had a ton of fun. Everyone is so nice and welcoming, and it really feels like a community. The beaches are absolutely stunning and the waves are always perfect for surfing. All the other trips, like the turtle sanctuary and cloud forest were amazing too. The local food is super tasty and there's so many little shops and restaurants to go to. The entire trip made me fall in love with Costa Rica. If I could go back, I would!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I'd eat more of the local food. There's so many great dishes to try
Response from The Leap

Hi Meg,
Thank you for your lovely comments we are so pleased you had a lovely time and we hope to welcome you back there very soon!

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Yes, I recommend this program

Costa Rica

Amazing experience and such a well organised programme. The volunteering was organised extremely well which made it very fun and rewarding. We did a variety of volunteering which made it interesting and something to look forward to each day and a really good way of getting our group together. The Spanish lessons were great and we had a very enthusiastic teacher which made the lessons very worthwhile! It was very important to learn some of the local language so we could communicate with locals easily. Costa Rica itself is an amazing country and was amazing to see so much of it!

What would you improve about this program?
If there was one thing to improve it would be to spend longer in some places
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Yes, I recommend this program

The Leap: Costa Rica

I loved Costa Rica. Jakera was so much fun and such a safe and social environment to be in. The food was some of the best I have ever had, and the activities on the weekends were great too. It was amazing to learn spanish on a daily basis, as well as help with the local community and of corse the environment. What I loved most was the set structure to the day, and how we also got free time in the evenings and weekends. It gave me a huge confidence boost when I started travelling on my own with one other friend!

What would you improve about this program?
If the staff could be slightly more aware of people's itinerary and when/where they are coming and going after the programme to avoid confusion. Also if the 3 week programme could be integrated into the 6 week programme to avoid group separation - as we felt slightly left out during our first week as we weren't given a lot to do (We arrived on the Wednesday and weren't given anything to do until the following Monday). However when I came back for my 4th week, I was integrated into the 6 week programme and felt much more involved and included!
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Yes, I recommend this program

Costa Rica

So much fun, everyone extremely friendly, staff very friendly and welcoming, helps you grow as a character and you do really feel you are making a difference to the local community. Such an amzimg start to my gap year made some really nice friends and amazimg memories. Really well organised you were always updated on what you were doing each week. Super fun, there was never a dull moment. All the activities were so much fun and you really got stuck in! I would highly recommend to anyone to do it!!!!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The most nerve-tacking thing was arriving with only one of other person as felt like starting a new school again with so many new people In a new place but I over came it quickly by just getting stuck in and making an effort
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Yes, I recommend this program

Costa Rica

Amazing program with great people. Best bit about it was the location! Jakera, the place you stay in, is so pretty and the staff there are amazing. The beaches are like paradise and learning how to surf and the spanish lessons were also so much fun. I was on the three week program and did find that it did not provide as many opportunities as the longer program, for example you do not get to see turtles on the three week program. However it was still a good program and that is the only thing that needs improving!

What would you improve about this program?
More support fro the Leap when out there. Separate the itinerary, kit list and other things for the 8 week and three week program as they are very different and some of the info I received was misleading for the three week program.


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Why did you choose this program?

I decided to choose this program because I thought it fit with my interests, which is being by the sea and helping save the planet.

Madagascar is such a diverse place, so it sounded like the perfect place to do marine Conservation. I had never scuba dived before, so did my open water and advanced PADI out there and then went on to do marine conservation.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

I went with The Leap and therefore most things were organized for me. They gave us a list of things to buy, flights and an itinerary. However, when I got out there, I decided to change the timings and dates of what I was doing; for example, do marine conservation and teaching for a lot longer.

I was poorly out there and the Leap and staff of camp helped greatly with organizing when to go to the hospital and someone came with me to translate Malagasy.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

If you enjoy being outdoors and experiencing new things, you’ll love it. At the start, it takes a few days to get into your programs and the routine of camp life, but once you’ve got the hang of different timings, etc., it is a blast. Luckily, Nosy Komba is a very safe island, but still, have your wits about you as it is a different environment.

Bring snacks and sauces if you get bored with food easily! The cooks are amazing; however, food is the same every week, so I did struggle with that.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

Marine conservation was a very chilled program. Every day you would go on one dive (different timings depending on people and tides), you would also have study sessions so that you could prepare to be survey ready, turtle watch which was half an hour of spotting turtles and recording data. Some dives were at 6 am and the last activities ended at different times. I also did teaching.

At the start, it was 8 am lesson planning, 10 am teaching local staff, you would then have until 3 pm/4 pm to go to Ampang and teach other locals for an hour or so and get the boat back at 5 pm. However, as the weeks past, I was asked to go to Nosy be every Tuesday and Thursday to teach other classes over there.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

I’d never been away from home for long (10 days was the longest!) so I was very worried that I’d be homesick. However, the weeks went super quickly and everyone in camp was so friendly that it started to feel like home. Obviously, being ill meant that I did miss home, but overall it was easy to overcome by chatting to people and staff and just enjoying the time there.

What extra items shall I bring?

Please bring more reading books (beginner to advanced), as there were limited resources for teachers to read with students.

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Milly Day

Job Title
Overseas Manager

What position do you hold at The Leap and why do you like working there?

My position is Overseas Manager, which is a great role, as it means I do a mix of sales, marketing, operations and some out of the office stuff such as gap year fairs and talks. I love working at The Leap, not just because I enjoy the job itself, but because we have a great office environment and I work with a really fun and inspirational team.

Did you volunteer or intern abroad? If so, where and what inspired you to go?

I haven’t actually done either, but having worked here for a few months now, I’m dying to volunteer in Ecuador and Venezuela. South America holds a special place for me, plus the projects we have in those countries are really interesting and varied. Spanish lessons are included too — doesn’t get much better than that!

What does the future hold for The Leap - any exciting new programs to share?

We have a new placement in Borneo, which consists of teaching, spending time in national parks, visiting an orangutan rehabilitation centre, trekking through the rainforest and carrying out clean ups on the beach, to name a few things. Our placements in Cuba and Madagascar are also relatively new and seem to be going very well.

How does your organization differ from other ones in the industry?

Where to start! I think what really makes us stand out is the variety of projects we offer and the quality of both our products and service. With The Leap, you can do everything from teaching to building to working with animals to helping disabled kids and much, much more, and that’s just on the volunteer side! As well as this, we offer a range of fun and exciting activities, such as white water rafting, scuba diving, mountain climbing and safaris. We provide authentic meals, in-country transport, comfortable accommodation and 24hr support too, which many gap year companies don’t do.

What is one thing you would tell any future participant?

The more you put in, the more you’ll get out of the experience, so be sure to work hard and make the most of every minute your time away!

How do you think volunteer/intern abroad will change over the next 10 years?

I think we’ll continue discovering new and exciting projects and working with fantastic people to go on making the world a better place. Sounds awfully cheesy doesn’t it, haha.

Professional Associations

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