Plan My Gap Year

Program Reviews

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Yes, I recommend this program

memories to last a lifetime!!

I absolutely loved everything about volunteering with pmgy!! I did childcare volunteering for 5 weeks! I extended my time as I was living it so much! It’s like a big family, they help you with everything and truly care! the rooms are comfortable and the food is really nice although a bit repetitive. We extended our visas and the process was easy with pmgy. The volunteering was so much fun and the kids are the best, so eager to learn making it feel so rewarding. Thank you for the best time plan my gap year Bali!!❤️

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Just enjoy every moment, it goes to quickly!
  • Safe
  • Social
  • Fun
  • Repetitive food
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Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing experience!!

Amazing experience!
The staff at PMGY were so helpful and organised so much for us. Everyday there was something going on, whether that be a culture night with traditional dancing, henna and sari night or an opportunity to try Tuktuk driving lessons, there was something for everyone!
The volunteering was very well structured, a great opportunity to help the local community and make an impact. I spent the first two weeks of my trip taking part in the childcare project, where I played with the children as well as taught them some basic English, such as colours and the alphabet. The final two weeks I spent on the dog project – I really enjoyed looking after the puppies, daily tasks included walking and bathing the dogs as well as giving them medicine. One day we even had the chance to take the dogs to the beach and help them swim, this was so much fun! Overall, I really enjoyed the mornings volunteering and found the experience very rewarding!
As well as the volunteering during the week, the weekends were also very enjoyable. I took part in two of the PMGY weekend trips – the Maldives chill out weekend and the Cultural Triangle Trip. Maldives was so beautiful and a great chance to take part in activities such as paddle boarding and snorkelling as well as relax in between the busy weekdays. The Cultural Triangle Trip was also amazing, and I think the day where we went on the elephant safari was my favourite day of the 4 weeks!
Overall, I had the best month volunteering with Plan My Gap Year and highly recommend visiting Sri Lanka!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The most nerve-racking moment was probably landing in Sri Lanka! I travelled solo and was so nervous before going but I really had nothing to worry about. Everyone was so friendly and I had the chance to meet so many amazing people.
  • Safe environment
  • Amazing weekend trips
  • Enjoyable dog project
  • A month wasn't long enough!
  • Food became slightly repetitive
  • I felt that the childcare project had a few too many volunteers but I realise that January was a popular month
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Yes, I recommend this program

My Plan My Gap Year Experience.

I Volunteered with PMGY Sri Lanka for a month. I chose to do the English teaching project. It was probably one of the craziest 4 weeks of my life, but I loved every single moment of it.

I taught on an afternoon at a temple. There were about 10 children, ranging from the ages of 4-17. (though the attendance did range depending on the weather)
The lessons were a combination of both teaching and many many games. Break time was one of my favourite times, the utter joy a simple game a duck duck goose brought the children was infectious.
I also chose to teach English to monks one of my weeks in the morning. Which was an unforgettable experience in itself. One of my favourite parts of teaching was the things the children taught me.
If you are even considering volunteering at all with Plan My Gap Year, DO IT. You will not regret it. This experience was one of my first times travelling and I was a little nervous but it's a lovely environment, you settle in very quickly and all the coordinators are so supportive, kind and funny.
It was probably one of the craziest 4 weeks of my life, but I loved every single moment of it.
If you are thinking about doing English teaching do not worry about experience and do not worry if English is not your first language. As long as you can speak it confidently enough to teach others. There is also masses of support available both from Plan My Gap Year coordinators and a Sri Lankan teacher (who teaches English) if you require it.
When I started teaching I was given a curriculum to follow, then I pretty much designed the lessons myself. Choosing how to teach each topic.
Everyday it was a joy to teach. All the games brought the children so much joy and their laughter and cheekiness was infectious.
On weekends you could go on organised trips, which were incredibly fun and a brilliant time to explore more of the beautiful country. The weekend trips were some of my favourite memories. There was also organised evening activities, games, henna, performances and more.
There was not a moment when something interesting and fun was not happening.

What was your funniest moment?
One of the funniest moments was definitely when our tuk-tuk got a flat tire and our hilarious driver just hoisted the tuk-tuk up on his shoulder and changed the tire.
  • amazing support
  • lovely food
  • good accommodation
  • Some of the food didn't agree with my stomach
  • leeches (wear long socks and you will be fine)
  • losing personal items
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Yes, I recommend this program

The real sri lankan experience

I went to Sri Lanka on the real experience, it was amazing! Recommend for anyone thinking about it. The staff were all really nice and made the experience, shout out to Ishan!!! Everyday was something new, I got to travel around Sri Lanka and meet great people. The real experience was great we were so busy for the first two weeks visiting temples, going on safaris, boat trips and seeing Sri Lankas incredible landmarks. My favourite day was climbing up Sigiriya Rock, the views were incredible, and the tour was really interesting. The real experience was well organised, and I felt safe the entire time. The food we ate on the first two weeks of travelling was mostly a buffet. There were loads of options and Sri Lankan food is very tasty.

Then I volunteered on the turtle sanctuary for my final two weeks which was so much fun. We got to feed, release the turtles to the sea, clean their tanks and give them medicine. The volunteer house was fun to be at with plenty of activities each evening and also the option to travel to Hikkaduwa where there were lots of things to do and places to go. I recommend going to citrus for karoke!!! They also had options to do canoeing, boat trips and a waterfall day trip. The staff were also great with helping us plan weekend trips. PMGY was such a great experience, and I can’t wait to sign up for my next trip! Thanks for all the hard work the staff put in to make my experience so amazing!!!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Bring bug spray and medication!! A few people had food poisoning so it’s best to have some things just in case. The first two weeks on the real experience I barely spent any money but when you get to London house expect to be spending a lot more. This is just because there’s you end up going to the nearby town. Also bring a neck pillow, this was my best thing I brought with me. For the first 2 weeks you will be travelling loads and a lot of the locations are around 2 hour distance away from each other. Everyone was sleeping on the coach and having a neck pillow just helped a lot for a good nap.
  • Travelling Sri Lanka
  • Friendships you make
  • The staff
  • Busy days, make sure to get your naps in as it can be very tiring!
  • Mosquito bites, bring insect replent!
  • At the airport on the way back you can't use your Sri Lankan currency so either use it before or exchange it.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering in Childcare in Arusha, Tanzania

On September the 29th, my two closest friends and I made a trip of a lifetime.

We joined the childcare program, volunteering in preschools in Arusha, Tanzania for 4 weeks. We made connections with people we'll most likely never meet again, but their impact will be remembered.

We booked the trip with PMGY, with a strong will to help and experience as much as we could. We created a fundraiser months in advance so that we could donate to the schools - we ended up doing a lot more than we realised we could.

Booking with PMGY was very simple, and we were provided with a very large handbook with lots of useful information. The taxi from the airport to the house was arranged by PMGY - a 1.5 hour drive with a gorgeous view of Mount Kilimanjaro.

The PMGY house itself is quite big, with 3 stories, and multiple bedrooms and bathrooms. I realise now that we arrived in one of the busiest times, ending up with very limited space. We were cramped in the top floor - a joined bedroom, 18 people to 1 bathroom.
Getting breakfast and dinner seemed like a fight for survival; first come, first serve. Being late wasn't an option. There is a set menu, repeated each week, but you have the option of ordering delivery if you no longer want the provided options.

There are constant power outings in Tanzania, but fortunately the house has a generator. When the generator is on, it basically shakes the entire house from how loud it is, but it keeps the power on. A downside, when generator is on - there is no hot water.
So, timing your shower is crucial.
The pressure varies depending if anyone else is using the water, and it is either boiling hot or freezing cold, and don't take too long because several other people are waiting to shower.

When you arrive, you are added to the house group chat, where everyone in the house can communicate easily for various reasons, including the ordering of tuktuks from place to place.

Sim cards are organised by the coordinators. These were provided to us on the second day of arriving, as there were other volunteers arriving, so you should let your family know you might not be able to contact them immediately.
The sim card is a reasonable price, and can be topped easily. Please also keep in mind the free wifi advertised does not exist.

Before placement, you will be given an orientation with the rest of the new group. On orientation, you will be shown the most trustworthy ATM, where you can take out money - my regular debit card worked completely fine. You will be taken to the Maasai markets, where you will be taught to bargain, as you will 100% purchase something incredibly overpriced if you are not careful.

On the first day of placement, the PMGY coordinators organised the volunteers into separate groups to be sent to each school. We were allowed to change our schools with a good reason. We were also allowed to change to the medical program for a reasonable fee. We walked to our placements everyday, having breakfast at 8am, and setting off by 8:45am, finishing at around 12:30pm.

The 4 weeks of placement flew by, we were incredibly sad to go, every child and every teacher we met were so beautiful and welcoming of us - but 4 weeks was the perfect amount of time for me.

Weekends are free, so you have time to do lots of funs trips; eg. safari weekend, Maasai village, hot springs, waterfalls, Maasai markets etc.
It gets a little tricky to find things to do after placement, and may get a little repetitive. Spending money is necessary to get the full experience, but chilling at the house can also be fun.
It's very communal at the PMGY house, perfect for socialising, and getting to know people. Only breakfast and dinner are provided, so you need to eat out for lunch - a perfect time to explore with friends.

I spent on average 150,000 shillings ($90 AUD or $60 USD) a week, not including weekend trips or shopping for souvenirs.
We got around via tuktuks, small motor vehicles with 3 wheels (fit up to 4 people, 5 is pushing it), which are organised and ordered by the coordinators to ensure they are safe and best price.

We went to Zanzibar at the end of the trip, which is a 1 hour flight from the Arusha airport. If you are planning to go, I would 100% recommend staying in Nungwi (up north) so you are near all the activities. If you are going during your program time, you are only allowed to miss 3 days of placement, but 3-5 days is plenty of time for Zanzibar.
If you are asking my opinion, I wouldn't recommend Zanzibar. It was very overpriced, and I was very underwhelmed with my experience.

Overall, my experience with PMGY was incredible. It has changed my views of travelling immensely. Volunteering allows you to have a much bigger insight to the culture and country you travel to. I would love to travel with PMGY again, and 100% recommend to anyone who is planning on travelling for volunteering.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
The only thing I'd change about my trip, is the amount of luggage I brought. I'm an over-packer, and since I was staying for 4 weeks, I took a gigantic suitcase full of many clothes I didn't end up using. It was extremely inconvenient, from the point of view that I had limited space.
  • Changed my entire perspective on travelling
  • Met so many amazing people
  • I was able to experience so many incredible things
  • It was expensive, but I would do it all again in a heartbeat
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Yes, I recommend this program

My Experience with PMGY Tanzania

I, along with my two friends, traveled to Tanzania and participated in the childcare program for 4 weeks in October 2023.

The booking process was very seamless, and the hefty handbook provided gave us all the information we needed to know, except for the many things that must be learned on-site. PMGY arranged an airport pick-up, which we were very grateful for after our long journey from Perth, Australia. It is about a 1.5-hour drive from Kilimanjaro Airport to Arusha.

We were honestly surprised by the living conditions upon arrival. I believe October is a very popular time, so the house was full to capacity, and we felt a bit piled on top of each other. We were placed in a small room with 4 bunk beds on the top floor. There was very little room to put our stuff, and we shared a bathroom with the adjoining room (18 people sharing one bathroom). There are often power outages in Tanzania, but we were lucky to have a generator at the house, which is usually switched on shortly after power cuts. However, when the generator is on, there is no hot water, so showers were often cold. Eventually, we were able to move to a smaller room with its own bathroom, which is always a possibility. Keep in mind that the ‘free WiFi’ advertised on the website does not exist. However, you will be provided with a SIM card for a very reasonable price, and this can be topped up whenever needed. For us, this wasn’t available until the day after we arrived, so ensure your family is aware you may not be able to contact them right away.

The coordinators were beyond helpful with everything we needed. There was always someone around to assist us or answer our questions. There is also a WhatsApp group chat with everyone in the house and the coordinators, making it easy to communicate and ask for the generator to be turned on or order a tuk-tuk, etc.

We had an orientation day during which we visited some major sights, had a local lunch, and, of course, withdrew Tanzanian shillings from the ATM. My regular debit card worked just fine at the ATM. I spent about 150,000 TZS each week ($60 USD) plus extra for safari, weekend trips, and souvenirs.

The volunteering experience was obviously the highlight of the trip. We were able to do some fundraising months prior to arriving, which was amazing, as we were able to provide a school with painted walls, desks, windows, school supplies, and much more. I would definitely recommend setting up a fundraising page, as a little goes a very, very long way for these schools. You can switch schools at any time with good reason. Also, you can switch to the medical program from childcare/teaching for $150 USD and switch to childcare/teaching from medical for free.

I recommend packing modest clothing. As a tourist in Africa, you already draw a lot of attention to yourself, and it’s very important to respect the culture and protect yourself. You can have your clothes washed by the mamas for a very cheap price; however, we did our own washing by hand to avoid our clothes getting mixed up. Bring extra towels and lots of comfy clothes, as you will appreciate these luxuries.

The food is a set menu of basic meals that repeats each week. Some meals are better than others, but all are tolerable. You can order food deliveries anytime you don’t think you can stomach rice and beans again. If you are a vegetarian or planning on eating vegetarian, make sure you let PMGY know on your application, as the ratio of vegetarians to vegetarian food was way off, and we often went hungry.

Keep in mind that Zanzibar is a short and pretty cheap flight away from Arusha. You can go to Zanzibar during your program as long as you aren’t missing more than 3 days of placement (3-5 days is plenty in Zanzibar). You can also go at the end of your placement and potentially fly home from there to prevent extra hassle.

Being able to volunteer in Tanzania was the experience of a lifetime, and PMGY made that possible.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice to future travelers on this program is to be prepared for anything. Life in Tanzania, and Africa in general is completely different from western life which can be difficult but is overall such an amazing experience. You'll be excited to go home to your home comforts but you'll always miss Tanzania.
  • Directly impacting the lives of underprivileged children
  • Meeting people from all over the world
  • Going on safari
  • Cold showers
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Yes, I recommend this program

Mental Health and Psychology associate - Ghana

I must say that it was definitely a wonderful experience! The best part was getting to know the other volunteers and creating wonderful friendships that I will definitely carry with me for life. Even just for that reason I would recommend this experience to anyone!
On the other hand, I was a little less satisfied with the project. It certainly was interesting to observe how to work in psychiatry in such a different context. The problem was that the patient interviews were not in English but in Twi. Sometimes the nurses would explain and translate to me but other times there was no time between patients to explain or they didn't feel much like it.Also, sometimes they would call me 'Obrouni' and touch my skin and hair since I am a white person. One nurse also asked me to call her brother who lives in my country on the phone and all this made me feel very uncomfortable. So, I learned a lot from the project but I would say that was more like an internship than volunteering because I couldn’t give my help. So I was a little disappointed because I thought I was going to volunteer. Nevertheless, they listened to my complain and made me chan project accordingly to my needs. They are just so flexible and available for you. I appreciated so much.

Another negative note was the food, maybe because I am used to eat very well, I didn't like the food and also it was very repetitive. Even more difficult were the hygienic conditions: the house is dirty, especially the kitchen and the bathroom. The smells are intense and hard to bear.

Anyway, the weekend trip was great and I recommend it to everyone. Also, the staff people who live in the house are all very nice and very kind, especially always available for you! The people definitely made my experience.
Although there were some downsides, I would suggest everyone this experience! It is challenging but also life changing :) if I could come back in time I would definitely do it again!

  • Meeting amazing people
  • Great communication with staff
  • Great weekend trips
  • Lack of hygiene
  • Bad food
  • Low social impact
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Yes, I recommend this program

Ghana volunteer

I’ve just arrived back from my trip to Ghana with pmgy , and my over all experience was amazing. The workers in the house made me feel at home (cooks , coordinators and taxi drivers) and would always go the extra mile for the volunteers . The atmosphere in the house is amazing and everyone always has such a good time !! Traveling to Ghana was such an amazing experience and I’m so glad I did it with plan my gap year. One off the best benefits to traveling with plan my gap year was the safety the workers provided , you never go anywhere on your own and you always feel 100% safe .

  • The culture
  • The safety provided
  • The Tourism spots
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Yes, I recommend this program


My experience in Ghana is by far the best experience I’ve ever had in my life and I would not have been able to have that without the amazing staff at PMGY. They’re so attentive and are with you the entire experience looking out for you- especially the designated taxi drivers who are incredibly friendly and welcoming! They always make you feel safe and really add to the experience of the trip. Being able to experience an entirely different culture to what I am familiar with is a once in a life time experience I am forever grateful for thanks to PMGY.

  • Experiencing a new culture
  • Meeting people
  • Self growth
  • Lack of time management
  • Lack of hygiene
  • Lack of necessities
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Yes, I recommend this program

PMGY Sri Lanka-Mental Health Project

This was my first experience with PMGY and I must say that I truly had a smooth journey from the start to end.

All the administrative works were done well with prompt reply and support, easy process with applications, in-depth details on the volunteer’s handbook, everything was structured professionally through webinars, emails and paperworks. Appreciate Josh’s and Rachel time and work(intl. team) who assisted me in the process and get my application done in a bit of tight timing.

Prior the trip, things were clearly explained on departure and arrival into the country in email , getting all volunteers in social media group to connect.

In-country team was excellent, members including everyone from the drivers, cooks and others. A special thanks to Mr Ashika and Ms Amelia who I got in touch with in terms of clarifications etc and worked closely with during my placements in Sri Lanka.

The accommodation was good, safe and was surrounded by lovely people and family at the home where I stayed in and all the essential resources were provided.

The programme I enrolled for is mental health and I enjoyed with new/varies of study placements each day into hospitals observation, mental health centre, also seeing another form of knowledge connection to mental health like Ayurvedic/Spirituality. It had an impactful learning and growth.

All the volunteers were approachable and friendly. It was also nice to know their experiences during the stay and on their projects.

Pleasant weeks of stay and placements there and with all of the members who contributed so much with care and support. I would come back again!