Career Breaks Abroad


A career break is your chance to do something new and exciting from your normal job and give something back

A career break is your chance to do something new and exciting from your normal job whether you choose to escape for 1 week or a whole year. By taking a break from the normal 9-5 grind you can explore the world, volunteering with Pod and using your time off to help make a meaningful difference.

A career break gives you the chance to do something you have always dreamed of, whether it is diving and helping to protect coral reefs, helping rescued elephants, digging a well or teaching children. Travelling to a new country and volunteering could be ideal option for you if you are considering a new career path or taking a sabbatical.

How does Pod select projects for people on career breaks?

Our projects include animal care, child care, teaching, conservation and community development so we’re confident that we’ll have a project to suit you. All of our projects are available to people looking to take a career break and volunteer overseas.

You do not need specific skills or experience to join our volunteer placements since you will be given training and inductions when you arrive at the project. However you can link your current career to the volunteer placement by sharing your skills and experience with the project.

If you have experience teaching, why not teach English in schools and children's homes in Asia, Africa or South America? If you have experience in media then you could help with the Film and Photography project in Ghana. If you have experience with animal husbandry we has over 10 projects who would love you help.

Read Jessie’s story

Jessie volunteered at the in Peru on a break from her career as a teacher. As soon as she landed back home she called to tell us about her amazing volunteer experience and to arrange her next adventure to Children’s Home in Belize during her next summer holiday!

“I had a wonderful time! The orphanage is a very special place, with a happy, vibrant feel to it. The children are extremely well nourished and very well cared for and I feel privileged to have been a part of such a fantastic project. The children are well brought up, very well-mannered and well behaved. As far as I could see, this was the next best thing to having their own families to live with.

What did you find most rewarding? Developing relationships with the children so that they recognised me and were pleased to see me when I arrived and would come to me to play with me or talk to me. It was very hard to leave after 6 weeks!

Why do you think others should volunteer abroad? As I have said above, it is great to test one’s limits, leave one’s comfort zone (although I am a secondary teacher, young children were almost an unknown quantity to me) and turn one’s hand to something new. We learn about new cultures, see a life that is not so dependent on technology and learn new things about ourselves, whilst truly doing something USEFUL and extremely REWARDING.

What advice would you give others considering doing this placement? Be prepared to work very hard and to become attached to the children and to the orphanage. When I told people of my plans, many said to me, “I couldn’t do that as I would find it too hard to leave”. However, if everyone thought like that, no-one would become a volunteer! Give it your all, involve yourself and you will come away more enriched as a person. The children really benefit from having different volunteers. They are exposed to many cultures and languages and this helps build their confidence and social skills. I really believe that everyone should have a go at volunteering! It is so fantastic that I booked my second placement the day after returning from Peru. I think Nike have it right when they say, JUST DO IT!!!!

Why did you choose Pod? A friend had done a placement teaching in Nepal and had recommended the organisation to me. I am doing my second placement with Pod this July in Belize.”