Student Gap Year Cost - Cheap Gap Year - Get Paid
When researching a gap year, cost estimates run all over the board. Some companies charge thousands of dollars while others don't charge at all. Sadly, a lot of scams offering gap year programs are also popping up. These companies charge gap year students thousands of dollars for programs that realistically cost hundreds. The companies then pocket the difference.
Avoid falling for these gap year scams by thoroughly researching your gap year cost estimates and company's BBB report. The Better Business Bureau allows you to research companies by website making it easy to find how many complaints are lodged against a particular travel company.
What You Should Pay for Your Gap Year Travels
Unless you're volunteering, you should expect to pay for your flights, travel expenses (including visas and passport fees) and lodging. Many volunteer programs set you up with a host family, so you are unlikely to need money for lodging, but it's important to find out before you leave.
Before signing up, ask the company exactly how the money you pay is spent. If you're paying $6,000 for a trip to Africa and the flights are not included, it's likely you're getting ripped off. The money often goes towards reimbursing host families for offering lodging, all of your meals, your travel expenses and supplies. Some companies will then say they need administrative fees totaling thousands of dollars and this is often an indicator that the company is worried more about making a profit.
Companies Offering Cheap Gap Year Programs
If you look at the listings at VolunteersSouth America, you'll find a long list of free gap years or cheap gap years. These programs do not require application fees, simply go to the consulate in the country and specify you want to do volunteer work. You will be required to pay for your passport and visas, as well as your food and lodging. You can talk to local hotels and hostels about working part-time to pay for your accommodations.
At Hands, you find cheap gap year options. One of the leading volunteer gap year programs right now is Project Leogane in Haiti. Volunteer work includes clearing rubble, building new schools, helping teach about sanitation to prevent the spread of disease and helping build new homes. Volunteers camp in an unfinished nightclub. You must bring your own bedding, including an air mattress, and a tent in case an aftershock damages the current structure.
Cut Gap Year Costs by Sticking Around Home
Cut your gap year costs by sticking around your hometown. You can live at home and volunteer for a number of local communities. Check for local volunteer gap year programs at Americorps. You can search by region making it easy to find local free gap year opportunities.