GapXperience

GapXperience

About

GapXperience is a gap year & volunteer company with over 14 years of experience and with over over 200 programs worldwide. We offer volunteer, gap year, cultural and adventure experiences to students, gap year travellers, career break explorers and participants doing a meaningful trip. We have a great range of volunteer and gap programs for participants interested in volunteering, community work, conservation, teaching English, adventure & cultural travel.

Website
Founded
2003
Headquarters

85 Great Portland Street
London
W1W 7LT
United Kingdom

Reviews

Luca
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My time at the Greenway school has been truly amazing, it was quite hard to leave from there because there's such a beautiful environment. The relationships with the other volunteers and with the children have made it a deep experience, and the quiet Cambodian lifestyle surrounded by smiling people has made me feeling really good. I really hope i can get there again in the future. Thank you so much for everything.

Paweł
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This program was absolutely amazing. This was the best thing in my life so far! I met so many amazing people, learn a lot from them what is really important. Teaching program was perfect! I love kids from the school, they are adorable. Also, school's principal was really nice. He was always helpful and kind to all of us, we could have asked him for help with all difficulties. Thank you for helping me with participating in this program!

Merce
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had a fantastic experience in the project of Goa.
My highlights are :
1. The coordinators are very good people and totally helpful. I had a very nice friendship with the staff, they are very good persons and allways taking care of us (coordinators, kitchen, drivers etc.).
2. I liked very much the projects too. I have been in kindergarden and slam.
Kindergarden has been specially interesting to me because I had the chance to assist the teacher and see how well she do the work. She allways give the total control of the class to the volunteers (last hour and a half). Despite we use diferent methodology she never correct us. She was totally open to our job, I learn a lot watching how she teach to kids.
In general all the projects I have visited are well organized and do an outstanding job in the area.
Thank you very, very much for the chance to go. I hope some day I could repeat.
Mercè

Tiana
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had an awesome time! The coordinator Monica looked after me very well and we always cooked together or bought street food and she made sure I knew what I would be doing each day as well showing me around Mandalay and teaching me lots about the culture and customs. Everyone at the school was very welcoming and eager to interact and learn. I spent some time on projects and some time teaching depending on each day but this worked out very well. I stayed in a dorm at the monastery that was quite comfortable. I really enjoyed my experience and can't wait to do something similar again and for longer next time!

Virginia
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

If you are still wandering whether Bali is the best choice for your volunteering project I tell you: YES!
First of all the project is located in the heart of the island, Ubud , famous as the artist village this means you will never get bored there as there is a lot to see and do, because of its position it’s easy to travel north and south during the weekends.
Secondly the house is a typical Balinese one, we were hosted by a lovely family and this is amazing as you are in contact with the people of the place and you can see their traditions and customs. The house was clean, there was a cleaning lady who provided clean sheets and who took care of the house while the food was good but not very abundant.
I really liked the introduction week, as without it I would have felt like a fish in the ocean. Balinese culture is very different from everything I knew and I am used to .. therefore to better understand the local people including the kids at school it was very useful and a lot of fun.
The taxi service to the school was always in time and the people in the office were very kind and nice. The coordinators that were supposed to help us in class had a low level of English but they tried to help as well. The school where I taught my program Environmental were decent ( there were desks and boards) and the kids were amazing. They were very enthusiastic and playful, their English level was good enough to introduce the problems of the environment and how to save the world.
To make everything better were the people I met thanks to this project, in my house we were 10 and very united therefore we travelled together during the weekends and we had a lot of fun. Also Balinese people were very kind and open ..so it was easy to make a lot of friends.
I really recommend this experience to everybody.

What would you improve about this program?
I think that improvements could be made to the level of English of the coordinators that helped us at school.

Programs

Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

Alumni Interviews

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

Virginia Petetti

Hallo everybody! My name is Virginia and I am a Bachelor student of Arts and Culture at Maastricht University, in the Netherlands.
In my veins there is a 50% Dutch blood while the other 50 is Italian. I lived 19 years of my life in Italy, Ancona but I recently moved to the Netherlands in order to start university.

I am interested in travelling, cultures, human relations, environmental causes, photography and sport.

Why did you pick this program?

headshot

I picked GapXperience Asia in Bali first of all because I have always heard amazing stories and saw beautiful pictures from travellers who visited Bali. Secondly because as an Arts and Culture student, I was really interested to see with my own eyes such a distant reality with a different culture and unknown customs for me.

Thirdly I really liked the program they offered which was a perfect combination between my main interests: society and environment. Teaching English is useful for the society as the kids are the future of the country and a basic English knowledge could help them to find a job in the future as Balinese people live around tourism. Teaching the kids how to respect the environment is a very important role the I was honored to transmit.

What is the most important thing you learned abroad?

Virginia's students

I have learned to be flexible with kids enjoying the spontaneity of the moment and improvisations . At the beginning of my teaching project I was very determined to stick to the program I prepared with my partner teacher but I have learned that it’s important to change depending on the mood of the kids. Therefore I can say I have learned to be prepared to everything without being stressed or worried.

What do you tell your friends who are thinking about going abroad?

I tell them to take 10 seconds and think about how amazing would be to make such an experience. I tell them that their help is important and will change their life and the life of others. Joining such a program does not only bring to a personal growth but it opens you to a different way of thinking and living. It leaves satisfaction and unforgettable memories.

What's your favorite story to tell about your time abroad?

After a very exciting surfing experience I decided to go to PadangPadang as I knew some volunteers were sleeping there overnight and they had one more bed in their room. I decided to go by scooter taxi. When I arrived at the hotel, the receptionist told me it was not possible for me to sleep with my friends. He said that the only free room of the hotel was a luxury single room, obviously too expensive.

I walked as fast as I could back to the street to see if the taxi driver was still there. He was leaving in that moment so I screamed and made signs with my hands and he stopped. I jumped in and asked him to bring me to the cheapest hotel in that area, we found a home stay and I decided to take the room because of the stunning view. But I absolutely needed to take money from an ATM but none of the ATM we tried were working. At the end everything went good the patient taxi driver brought me at my home stay and the day after I woke up with that incredible view.

Tell us about an experience you had that you could not have had at home.

Lodging and roommates

One day our Balinese "mum" and "dad" who hosted us volunteers in their house brought us to a very special religious ceremony called the full moon. They gave us the typical clothing which is very beautiful and we had the honor to see the whole ceremony with young girls dancing, woman offering flowers to the Gods and young boys making music and singing. It was really unforgettable.

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

Work hard and you will be rewarded! Take 2 hours a day to plan your lesson, taking some inspiration from the internet and using your creativity. The kids will notice how much you care about it and they will put much more effort either. If you don't care, your work is not only unproductive but will not reward you at all.

Which places are worth a visit?

For peope who love nature, Bali offers a lot of beautiful landscapes, the Tagalalang rice fields are really a must. But also the monkey forest in Ubud and the beautiful beaches in the island of Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan and of course the stunning temple of Uluwatu.

More Interviews

Staff Interviews

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

WLS International Staff

Tell us a little about GapXperience Asia and your role at the company.

Prachit: I am a Coordinator for GapXperience in Thailand. I organize programs in Thailand, take care of the volunteers and support and various projects in Thailand on behalf of GapXperience. We are passionate about giving volunteers of all ages the opportunity to use their time, energy and enthusiasm where it is really needed. We believe that by having volunteers live and work side-by-side with local people and communities, we can increase global understanding whilst also giving much needed help and support to communities in need in Thailand.

How did you get involved in the volunteer/gap year industry?

Prachit: I worked for several years for an NGO in Northern Thailand when I came in contact with GapXperience. I loved the work they did in Thailand which helps the local people so much and gives the volunteers a wonderful and meaningful experience, so I decided to join them as a Coordinator for their volunteer programs in Thailand.

What makes GapXperience Asia unique?

Prachit: We try to keep prices as low as possible whilst providing quality volunteer programs and supporting many projects around Thailand and Asia. In Thailand we have built school buildings, toilet facilities in poor villages, build water tanks for the communities, built playgrounds for children in poor areas and we also donate to orphanages and projects we work with on a regular basis.

In your experience, what characteristics make a good international volunteer/participant?

Prachit: First of all, volunteers need to have a kind heart so they are coming to help the local children, projects and communities during their program. Local people will appreciate their help very much. Also it is good if volunteers are flexible as volunteering is successful if volunteers can adapt to a new culture and be open to the cultural differences.

What does the future hold for GapXperience Asia?

Prachit: We hope to keep supporting more projects and offer meaningful volunteer programs in Thailand for many more years to come.

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