India Gap Years

India is a country that has an almost mythical status among travellers and those taking a gap year. It is such a vast country in just about every sense. Geographically it is huge, the seventh largest country in the world, whilst when it comes to population only China is home to more people. India also offers enormous cultural, religious and topographical diversity.

From the captivating chaos of the surprisingly modern cities of Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore to the remote foothills of the Himalayas; from the boundless beaches of Goa and Kerala to the dense jungle that accounts for around 20% of India’s mass, and the vast deserts around Jaisalmer, India is a country that offers something for all tastes.

For those on a gap year it has many obvious advantages beyond the seemingly endless opportunities for exploration and culture. Perhaps chief among these is the low cost of living. Despite huge growth in the economy and advancing modernisation and westernisation, India remains a very affordable country in which to travel, volunteer or study.

India Gap Year Companies

We found 18 companies in our database that provide India gap years. Choose one below to learn more.

Gap Provider What They Offer Learn More
Gap Provider
Global Vision Internationalbrand-logoWe're a family-run organisation with an amazing culture and an awesome team of people across the world who are passionate experts in their chosen field and will make your experience a truly unforgettable one (in a good way).Visit Site »
What They Offer: We're a family-run organisation with an amazing culture and an awesome team of people across the world who are passionate experts in their chosen field and will make your experience a truly unforgettable one (in a good way).
Outreach Internationalbrand-logoWe make volunteering abroad possible for gap year students, career break volunteers (those with specialist skills or just wanting a change), and increasingly retired persons who have a life-time of experience and skills to share with a community.Visit Site »
What They Offer: We make volunteering abroad possible for gap year students, career break volunteers (those with specialist skills or just wanting a change), and increasingly retired persons who have a life-time of experience and skills to share with a community.
Frontierbrand-logoGap Years, Volunteering and Inspirational Adventures 103,000 Successful Volunteer Placements since 1989.Visit Site »
What They Offer: Gap Years, Volunteering and Inspirational Adventures 103,000 Successful Volunteer Placements since 1989.
Project Trustbrand-logoProject Trust has 50 years experience of providing Gap Year opportunities for 17-19 year old school leavers. Since 1967, over 7000 Project Trust volunteers have challenged themselves, learnt about the world and discovered how to be a positive force within it. Now its your turn.Visit Site »
What They Offer: Project Trust has 50 years experience of providing Gap Year opportunities for 17-19 year old school leavers. Since 1967, over 7000 Project Trust volunteers have challenged themselves, learnt about the world and discovered how to be a positive force within it. Now its your turn.
CESA Languages Abroadbrand-logoLive in a new country, improve your language skills, mix with native speakers and share the experience with like-minded language learners from across the world! Have fun exploring the CESA world of language learning.Visit Site »
What They Offer: Live in a new country, improve your language skills, mix with native speakers and share the experience with like-minded language learners from across the world! Have fun exploring the CESA world of language learning.
Raleigh Internationalbrand-logoRaleigh is a sustainable development organisation with 30 years of expertise in working through, for and with young people to create lasting change.With our project partners, local communities, funders, and over 42,000 previous local and international volunteers, we form a global community who are passionate about working together to build a sustainable future.Visit Site »
What They Offer: Raleigh is a sustainable development organisation with 30 years of expertise in working through, for and with young people to create lasting change.With our project partners, local communities, funders, and over 42,000 previous local and international volunteers, we form a global community who are passionate about working together to build a sustainable future.
The Leapbrand-logoWith The Leap, every program on offer involves variety. You'll travel to several different places across the country you've chosen to visit, and take part in all sorts of activities along the way. One week you could be entertaining local kids whilst living with an indigenous tribe, the next you could be taking surf lessons on the Pacific Ocean.Visit Site »
What They Offer: With The Leap, every program on offer involves variety. You'll travel to several different places across the country you've chosen to visit, and take part in all sorts of activities along the way. One week you could be entertaining local kids whilst living with an indigenous tribe, the next you could be taking surf lessons on the Pacific Ocean.
i-to-ibrand-logoA TEFL course opens doors. Not only will you experience new cultures in a way no tourist ever could, but you'll also meet friends for life whilst sharpening your teaching skills. What's more, there's a huge demand for English teachers worldwide - and all you need is our internationally-recognised i-to-i qualification to start your adventure. Exciting times!Visit Site »
What They Offer: A TEFL course opens doors. Not only will you experience new cultures in a way no tourist ever could, but you'll also meet friends for life whilst sharpening your teaching skills. What's more, there's a huge demand for English teachers worldwide - and all you need is our internationally-recognised i-to-i qualification to start your adventure. Exciting times!
Pacific Discoverybrand-logoPacific Discovery offers experiential gap year semester and summer programs abroad to some of the most amazing places on earth. Our programs are deliberate overland journeys, blending authentic immersion in diverse cultures, meaningful service-learning projects, rewarding adventures, wilderness exploration, and personal development.Visit Site »
What They Offer: Pacific Discovery offers experiential gap year semester and summer programs abroad to some of the most amazing places on earth. Our programs are deliberate overland journeys, blending authentic immersion in diverse cultures, meaningful service-learning projects, rewarding adventures, wilderness exploration, and personal development.
Africa and Asia Venturebrand-logoAfrica & Asia Venture (AV) is a not-for-profit social enterprise. Based in the UK and established in 1993, AV specialises in gap year and summer volunteer projects in the developing world for 17 - 25 year olds.Visit Site »
What They Offer: Africa & Asia Venture (AV) is a not-for-profit social enterprise. Based in the UK and established in 1993, AV specialises in gap year and summer volunteer projects in the developing world for 17 - 25 year olds.
Gapforcebrand-logoWe've been delivering life-changing adventure travel programs for over 20 years. That's why we're a leader in gap year programs.Visit Site »
What They Offer: We've been delivering life-changing adventure travel programs for over 20 years. That's why we're a leader in gap year programs.
Gap Gurubrand-logoGapGuru is a gap travel specialist offering a wide range of exciting gap year volunteering, teaching, travel and internship opportunities across Asia, Africa, South America and Europe.Visit Site »
What They Offer: GapGuru is a gap travel specialist offering a wide range of exciting gap year volunteering, teaching, travel and internship opportunities across Asia, Africa, South America and Europe.
POD Volunteeringbrand-logoPod Volunteer is an award winning non-profit organisation arranging ethical, inspiring and supported volunteering opportunities around the world since 2001. Volunteers are needed from 1 - 12 weeks for animal, conservation, child care support, education and teaching, building and community volunteering projectsVisit Site »
What They Offer: Pod Volunteer is an award winning non-profit organisation arranging ethical, inspiring and supported volunteering opportunities around the world since 2001. Volunteers are needed from 1 - 12 weeks for animal, conservation, child care support, education and teaching, building and community volunteering projects
Projects Abroadbrand-logoFor over 20 years Projects Abroad have been experts in volunteering abroad, work experience and gap year placements. Founded in 1992, Projects Abroad has now sent nearly 100,000 volunteers from all walks of life to volunteer projects in the developing world.Visit Site »
What They Offer: For over 20 years Projects Abroad have been experts in volunteering abroad, work experience and gap year placements. Founded in 1992, Projects Abroad has now sent nearly 100,000 volunteers from all walks of life to volunteer projects in the developing world.
Travellers Worldwidebrand-logoEnrich your life and change you and the lives of others with a volunteering holiday as a vacation, on a gap year or career break, or by gaining valuable work experience to boost your CV/ResumeVisit Site »
What They Offer: Enrich your life and change you and the lives of others with a volunteering holiday as a vacation, on a gap year or career break, or by gaining valuable work experience to boost your CV/Resume
Coral Cay Conservationbrand-logoCoral Cay Conservation is an award winning NGO that specialises in the organisation of community based coral reef and tropical forest expeditions.Visit Site »
What They Offer: Coral Cay Conservation is an award winning NGO that specialises in the organisation of community based coral reef and tropical forest expeditions.
Lattitude Global Volunteeringbrand-logoOur mission is to educate and develop young people worldwide by providing opportunities to volunteer abroad and to make a positive difference to the lives of others through a distinctive, challenging, structured and supported overseas volunteering experience in a culture and community different from their own.Visit Site »
What They Offer: Our mission is to educate and develop young people worldwide by providing opportunities to volunteer abroad and to make a positive difference to the lives of others through a distinctive, challenging, structured and supported overseas volunteering experience in a culture and community different from their own.
Oyster Worldwidebrand-logoOyster Worldwide is a well-regarded gap year travel and responsible travel specialist. Many of our projects were founded in 1999 and have been nurtured and supported by us ever since. We are known for running life-changing gap year programs, giving you the opportunity to make a genuine contribution and for the first class support you receive.Visit Site »
What They Offer: Oyster Worldwide is a well-regarded gap year travel and responsible travel specialist. Many of our projects were founded in 1999 and have been nurtured and supported by us ever since. We are known for running life-changing gap year programs, giving you the opportunity to make a genuine contribution and for the first class support you receive.

The vast majority of trips to India are enjoyable, exciting and trouble-free. Apart from a few areas of the country, such as Jammu and Kashmir close to the immediate border area with Pakistan, where tourists rarely venture, most places in India are safe and secure. Those on a gap year are far more likely to experience warm Indian hospitality than they are to experience any form of crime or harassment. All travellers, but especially those travelling alone, should follow the normal rules of common sense and, of course, respect local dress code and etiquette.

However, if you are happy to pose for a selfie with the locals (expect to be asked a lot, especially at tourist hotspots like the Taj Mahal!), then dealing with beggars is likely to be the only hassle most visitors to India will experience.

When it comes to the available gap year programmes in India, there are, unsurprisingly, many options. Those wishing to volunteer may be able to help in the fields of medicine, the environment or education. If self-improvement is more your aim then there is a plethora of possibilities, with cooking schools, yoga and meditation retreats and language learning placements just some of the available opportunities.

Of course, volunteering and learning are superb ways to spend time but those just wishing to gain enrichment through travel also have decisions to make. India is the birthplace to four of the major religions of the world: Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism, and it has a commensurate number of temples, shrines and monuments. Agra’s Taj Mahal may be the most famous, but there are literally hundreds of thousands of others.

Nature lovers can spot tigers and leopards in national parks such as Ranthambore, whilst sloths, rhino, elephants and hyenas may also be seen. Birdwatching is also spectacular, with Bharatpur a highlight and easily accessible for those heading to Jaipur, New Delhi or Agra.

Most travellers to India will need a visa and you can find more information about this at the relevant page of the GOV.UK wesite. You’ll also find information there about general safety, health and local laws and customs.

When it comes to vaccinations and medical precautions such as malaria prevention, much will depend on where in the country you travel. However, most people will need at least some vaccinations and the NHS Scotland site FitForTravel is a great port of call. Alternatively, visit your local travel clinic.