The Government are offering students a 'year out on them' through a new state-funded scheme, which will subsidise travellers looking to volunteer abroad.
Last year, a sucessful nine-month pilot project saw 576 people sent to some of the world’s poorest nations, including Ethiopia and Bangladesh. Now, the volunteer placements are being offered to more students, beginning in July 2012.
Lasting between three months and a year, the placements on the scheme include work in teaching, HIV awareness and water conservation for major charities like the British Red Cross and Islamic Relief, according to the Metro newspaper.
170 team leaders, who must be aged at least 23, will help manage the projects which are only open to applicants aged between 18 and 25.
Andrew Mitchell, the international development secretary, commented: "They will gain new perspectives, greater confidence and make a real difference. The three-year state-funded scheme makes overseas volunteering possible for those who ‘might otherwise not be able to afford it.
"Some people will be asked to raise £800 for their trip but selection would depend mainly ‘on the effort you put in."
The gap years will include flights, visas, insurance, vaccinations, food, accommodation and an allowance.
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