18+ Programs

Go Global, Make the World your Home

YFU has new gap year programs specifically designed for school leavers looking for an adventure overseas after completing their final school years, or for university students and other adults (up to 23 years) looking to take a break from their studies or their usual jobs.

As a participant in these programs you have the security of knowing the programs are managed and supported by an experienced student exchange organisation. Our programs provide you with a range of opportunities:

  • Volunteering on a wide variety of youth, community or environmental projects
  • Assisting to teach English and sports in schools
  • Work and travel opportunities
  • Internships
  • The chance to combine a volunteer experience with the opportunity to learn another language

Our gap programs will provide you with you a real sense of personal achievement and will also allow you to experience another culture with the fun and adventure of living and working with other participants from a number of countries.

Why go on a Gap adventure?

Experience life

Participating in a well organised gap adventure, be it for a few weeks or a number of months can educate you, inspire you and give you perspective in life beyond anything you have ever imagined.  It can even influence your future career path.

Challenge Yourself

Meeting new people, trying different foods, experiencing cultural difference, communicating with people who first language is not English are a few of the challenges you will face. On our programs there are support people in our partner organisations to help you face the challenges and when you finally meet the challenges the personal rewards are awesome. The more flexible and open you are to new experiences the greater the rewards will be.

Gain Skills and Experience

You will gain skills and experience on our  programs that will help you when you return home. The skills and experience you gain are often the highlights of your time away. English teaching assistant, sports coach, community worker all these experiences will give you a variety of skills and knowledge.

Actually Make a Difference

Depending on the gap adventure you choose, you will have the opportunity to help people who are unlikely to have had the opportunities you have had. Even if you volunteer for only a few weeks, you will be surprised how much your willingness to help will mean to the children and adults in the school or community you are supporting.

Get to know yourself

Experiencing a different culture and understanding the different values and beliefs of the people you meet help and live and work with will give you a new perspective on the world and its people and more importantly help you reflect on your own values and beliefs about what is important in life.

See the world

Our programs offer you the opportunity to experience the culture and see amazing sights in a wide range of countries with the security of the support of experienced staff and other volunteers.


Essential Information

Support while on program

All our programs include 24/7 support from experienced staff and volunteer families while you are overseas as well as in New Zealand for parents and other family members.


Unlike some other programs, all our program fees include comprehensive travel and medical insurance through a worldwide insurance company for the duration of your program. We can also assist you to extend this insurance at very competitive rates if you are travelling before or after your program.


Our gap program fees do not include airfares. This allows you to plan your own itinerary and book your own airfare to include on-going travel before or after your program with us. You must plan to arrive and depart on the dates our partner organization requires for your program. We can book airfares for you at very competitive rates through our corporate travel agents. Contact us if you would like our help with airfares.


As well as the application form you will need to submit a letter explaining why you want to undertake a particular program and a short resume outlining your education and any work experiences (paid or voluntary), plus at least 4 passport photos.


Visit our Destinations page to learn about the GAP programs that we provide (18+).