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Published by Afterschool.my on Jan 23, 2017, 05:02 pm
You’ve probably heard about the upcoming gap year by now, set to become a fixture at 8 institutions in Malaysia come September, with others set to swiftly follow suit. As you do your happy dance in your living room, day dreaming about your travels that would probably include the cliché postcards of you lying on a pristine white beach, surrounded by green as far as the eye can see, only to be interrupted by an even more beautiful blue wave. You relax as you sip some juice out of a coconut, lying on a hammock that’s somehow more comfortable than an armchair.
Most of the affordable countries to visit are nearby. They’re only in the ASEAN region and there are a lot of great activities you can do!
As you snap back to reality, you check your wallet to see if it will permit your dream to come true, only to find nothing inside, except a small moth that appears to be dead. Well don’t fret! We here at afterschool.my have decided to compile a list of countries you can spend your gap year in, while you volunteer at the same time. You would be given the chance to see the world and learn about new cultures while making a true difference in the lives of the less fortunate, making it a win-win situation.
Angkor Wat which displays the magnificence of ancient Khmer architecture is one of Cambodia’s most famous landmarks
You’ve probably heard of a few friends who’ve gone to this magnificent, still-developing country, to teach children English, as volunteers. Travel here once, and you’ll see why. Cambodia houses the legendary Angkor Wat, alongside the Mekong River, among other stunning landscapes. Most gap year opportunities here will involve education and teaching English to children, which could be the reason as to why many natives are quite fluent in the language.
To find out more, you can visit organisations such as Real Gap Experience, Plan My Gap Year, Go Overseas, Projects Abroad, Camp International, Year Out Group and GapGuru. Cambodia accepts USD as a currency in most of their shops, and while this might scare away some of you, it’s worth noting that things there aren’t highly priced, which bodes well for your wallet!
Vietnam has a rich heritage and it can be seen in its streets and buildings
While Ho Chi Minh remains to be the country’s most developed state in terms of infrastructure, the more enticing prospect would be the capital of the world’s 14th most populous country. Hanoi has perfectly cultivated its rich history, with streets such as, the now infamous, Old Quarter, being a huge draw for combining its architecture of yesteryear with shopping options so vast, you’ll need to mail your things back home as your bag will be over the weight limit. In terms of food, most Malaysians will identify with Vietnamese cuisine, known for their flavourful soups and tender, meat-filled French baguettes, adopted from Paris, which they’ve termed Bahn MiPhilippines is made up of many beautiful islands and there are many charitable opportunities you can find here.
All this and we haven’t even talked about the numerous ways you could volunteer to get there. You could work at rehabilitation centres or kindergartens and help kids, as well as teaching them physical education. The main sports in Vietnam are football and basketball, so you better bring your cleatsand basketball shoes along.
Philippines is made up of many beautiful islands and there are many charitable opportunities you can find here
Now famous for their no-holds-barred, take no prisoners style president, Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines is home to some of the most gorgeous islands one would ever have the pleasure of laying their eyes on. While Boracay has absorbed most of the attention due to the glitz and glamour that accompanies being named the most beautiful island in the world, there are actually thousands of islands that have been undisturbed by modernisation and have stayed true to mother nature. How can you get there? Well, opportunities range from volunteering in a variety of care centres where you can help children with their homework, teach them new games, basic literacy, numeracy and English, to assisting local builders to build, paint and refurbish schools and houses in disadvantaged communities. The best part, it’s actually quite cheap to go to the Philippines, with RM1 = 11.2 Pesos.
So, what are you waiting for, pack your bags and go make a difference!