Real Summer Encounter

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founded in 2011
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Coordinator | Josh
Coordinator | Josh


Chill out on white sand beaches and experience the tropics in abundance whilst making a difference!
Help turtles, renovate temples or teach English in Sri Lanka!
Explore the beauty of Sri Lanka!
Mix with oodles of elephants on your weekend trips!
Assist local teachers at the nearby school or support local children at a childcare day center in Thailand and Fiji!
PMGY’s Real Summer Encounter takes in three exotic destinations – Sri Lanka, Thailand and Fiji. Enjoy this great balance of structured programmes and independent travel! This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+

PMGY’s Real Summer Encounter takes in three exotic destinations – Sri Lanka, Thailand and Fiji. From the islands of Sri Lanka and Fiji to the beauty of Thailand, these three countries are definitely worth divulging your summer into! A great balance of structured programmes and independent travel; you’re sure to never be bored across the summer in these fascinating destinations!


Your summer journey will begin with the idyllic island and natural beauty of Sri Lanka choosing the volunteer project that best suits you. You will then fly across to Thailand to spend three weeks on our community programmes here and the cultural immersion your experience will represent. Your 9 week epic Summer will conclude in the Fiji Islands based in the South Pacific taking in all of its palm-lined beaches and coral reefs along the way! The time is sure to fly by so make sure you make the most of each of the three destinations you will immerse yourself in!


Your first stop will be Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka may small but it has 2,000-plus years of culture, 8 (yes 8!) Unesco World Heritage Sites, endless beaches, lush rainforests, welcoming people, rolling surf, cheap prices, fun trains, famous tea, oodles of elephants, wonderful food and so, so much more. Sri Lanka is spectacular, affordable and still uncrowded so now is the time to go!


Your time on this largely undiscovered little island, will give you the chance to explore its length and breadth as well as make a positive difference volunteering at local projects. PMGY’s development work in Ambalangoda runs throughout the year and you will have a choice of; Teaching English, Construction & Renovation Project; Medical Experience or Sea Turtle Conservation.


Your next stop is Thailand. The country is composed of 76 different provinces and home to over 68 million people. There are so many sides to Thailand to explore: beaches, mountains, lush jungles, paddy fields, bustling cities, peaceful Buddhist temples, amazing food, wonderful weather and of course its friendly people. From its temples, vast and expansive forests and a great variety of flora and fauna to its scenic beaches, Thailand has something for everyone.


PMGY Thailand is located in the urban town of Pathum Thani north of Bangkok and the Tambon Thamairuak district south of Bangkok. Here you will have teaching and childcare community programmes to choose from. So whether you choose to assist local teachers at the nearby school or choose to volunteer your time in supporting and assisting with the daily care and learning of local children; you are sure to make an impact in this traditional suburb of Bangkok.


Your last stop is Fiji! Fiji is famous for its rugged landscapes, palm-lined beaches and coral reefs with clear lagoons. Its major islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, contain most of the population. It is a country that evokes a truly exotic tropical paradise and you will find the Fijian people to be some of the friendliest you have met across your Encounter. You will find Rugby to be like a religion here and the local food a joy to sample!


Our programmes in Fiji are based in the heart of the capital city of Suva which is located on the southeast coast of the island of Vit Levu. Suva is a very multicultural and diverse place, but the people, in general, are very friendly and welcoming. You will have the chance to immerse yourself in the unique culture Suva and Fiji represents whether it be teaching in a local primary school or supporting at a childcare day centre.


The end of your time in Fiji will sadly represent the end of your 9 Week Real Summer Encounter with us.


You can choose any standard volunteering programme during the online application process but please be advised they are subject to availability and there may be an additional cost associated with some projects. It will be an unforgettable 9 weeks!

You can choose any standard volunteering programme during the online application process but please be advised they are subject to availability and there may be an additional cost associated with some projects. It will be an unforgettable 9 weeks!


Day 1 (Saturday) Arrive in Sri Lanka 

Day 2 (Sunday) Orientation

Day 3-21 (Monday-Friday) – Volunteering

Day 22 (Saturday) Goodbye Sri Lanka – Hello Thailand!

Day 23 (Sunday) – Orientation

Day 24-42 (Monday-Friday) – Volunteering

Day 43 (Saturday) Goodbye Thailand

Day 44 (Sunday) Hello Fiji!

Day 45 (Monday) Orientation

Day 46-63 (Tuesday-Friday) Volunteering

Day 64 (Saturday) Last Day

* This itinerary is subject to change as a result of unforeseen circumstances.

Typical day

Almost every day you will be doing something different on this adventure, but here are three examples of what you might be doing in each country:

Sri Lanka:

A wide range of volunteer projects in Sri Lanka including Childcare • Dog Rescue • Elephant • English Teaching • Medical • Mental Health & Turtle Conservation opportunities.

Thailand (English Teaching/Childcare):

Both childcare and teaching volunteers are based at the same placement site and volunteers will be able to travel together accordingly. The school is split into two components, where teaching volunteers work with the slightly older children who are just about to enter grade school, and the childcare volunteers work with the younger children who are at pre-school age. Although similar in nature, they each follow different daily itineraries and there is a clear boundary between the two buildings and set up. Our childcare programmes usually run in the morning only, however there is often the opportunity for volunteers on this project to engage in the teaching programme in the afternoons. Additionally to traditional school settings, we also run frequent Summer Camps within the local community. Both Teaching and Childcare volunteers will run classes for their respective age groups.

Fiji (ex.: Childcare):

The day usually begins at 9am so volunteers will have to be up early and have lots of energy for the day ahead. Most of the children will stay at the kindergarten until around 2pm at least with a morning snack and lunch sandwiched in between before being picked up by parents or other relatives and older siblings.

However, some children will stay at the kindergarten and continue with activities and learning until up to 5pm as to when the parents are able to collect them after the working day.

Volunteers on the kindergarten programme, in general, are expected to match the excited and eager nature of the children and local staff when supporting or leading fun and interactive activities. This will range from planning activities, teaching basic English and grammar, organising and planning age-appropriate activities or even leading story time!

Free-time activities

Sri Lanka:

  • Practising your useful Sinhalese phrases with the locals
  • Visit Galle Fort, founded in the 16th Century by the Portugese and now a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Wonder at the famous Kandyan dancing & the iconic Temple of the Tooth site
  • Stick fishing in Waligama
  • The Cultural Triangle – treasure trove of ancient ruins, rocks and wildlife
  • Head to JJ Market in Thailand, Bangkok’s famous weekend market!
  • Relax on the beach, play games, or watch a movie (we have movie nights too!)
  • Visit the Grand Palace, temples and national parks!
  • Experience fresh Thai cuisine and get a traditional Thai massage
  • Explore Suva, visit the Fiji museum, and explore the Suva municipal market
  • Shop 'til you drop at the Morris Hedstrom City Center, the largest shopping mall in Fiji!
  • Go island hopping or visit the charming little settlement of Navala (where all houses are the same size!)
  • Visit beautiful waterfalls or relax at one of the many beaches

Water Sports


In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (intermediate level)
Criminal Background Check
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
- physically fit
- medical/mental health conditions that may affect your participation overseas must be declared to us during your online application
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

What's Included

Services by Plan My Gap Year

Your fee includes both your registration fee (for PMGY) and programme fees.
Your programme fee includes

  • accommodation, 
  • Sri Lanka meals
  • Thailand meals (breakfast & dinner),
  • Fiji meals (breakfast & dinner),
  • airport pickups, 
  • Sri Lanka transportation to project,
  • in-country orientations, 
  • PMGY t-shirt,
  • 24 hour in-country support.
Your registration fee includes; 
  • 24 hour UK based support, 
  • comprehensive volunteer handbook, 
  • live pre-departure webinars, 
  • regular programme inspection.

Airport Pickup at Bandaranaike International Airport

Please make sure you arrive into Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo (CMB) on the selected Saturday start date.


During your time with PMGY in Sri Lanka you will live in our Volunteer House/s. The accommodation is basic but comfortable. You’ll be living with other PMGY volunteers from around the world, so you’ll make plenty of friends along the way.We will transport you via tuk tuk or private car to and from your project. This service is included in your Programme Fee.

The Volunteer House is located just outside of central Ambalangoda, in a peaceful part of town. Each room has bunk beds, up to 10 people per room (same-sex rooms only). Volunteers are provided with air conditioning in the room and bed linen. You will have cupboard space to store clothes and accessories as well as personal locker space to store your valuables.

Bathrooms are shared. Each bathroom has a shower and western style toilet. The water is cold but this shouldn’t be a problem as Sri Lanka is hot and humid all year round! The house has a voucher based Wi-Fi system and a communal area for volunteers to hang out. There is also a kitchen with a refrigerator to store any items you need to keep chilled.

A member of our local team will also live at the house. This ensures you have round the clock support and security.During your time with PMGY in Thailand you will live in our Volunteer House located in the town of Pathum Thani, a safe and quiet suburb of Bangkok and around one hours drive from the main tourist areas such as Koh San Road. The volunteer house here has free Wifi (intermittent).

The house is a local property within an extremely safe and quiet neighbourhood. It is around a 30 minute walk from the main street where you will find local restaurants, convenience stores and ATMs. There are fans available in the accommodation. Rooms are shared, up to 10 per room (all bedding and mosquito net is provided).

The Volunteer House in Fiji is located just outside of central Suva; a stone’s throw away from everything you need in town with a great sea view to match. Each room has either single beds or bunk beds and fits up to 6 people per room. Volunteers are provided with fans in the room if needed and their own mosquito net/mosquito coils and bed linen. There are communal lockers with one locker per room located on the top floor of the accommodation. Bathrooms are shared. The water can be hot or cold depending on which shower you use.

The house does not have Wi-Fi available to volunteers but there are numerous internet cafes in Suva a short walk away. Volunteers are best obtaining a local SIM Card to get access a data package should they want regular internet access.

During our busiest months (June to September) you may be placed at alternative accommodation. This could be a nearby guesthouse or one of our summer Volunteer Houses.

Food & Beverages

Sri Lanka:

You will be served three meals per day at the Volunteer House. Most meals are traditional Sri Lankan dishes that can be typically quite spicy. Sri Lankan cuisine consists of a lot of rice and the meat is mainly fish or chicken – vegetarian options are always available.

All meals are freshly prepared each day. If you fancy some western comforts, you will find plenty of restaurants serving western meals in the nearby town of Hikkaduwa. Hikkaduwa is a 20 minute journey from Ambalangoda and the cost to get there by tuk tuk is around $6 each way.

A weekly menu has been introduced that blends Sri Lanka cuisine with Western cuisine so you will know in advance what is on the menu for that day!


You will be provided with breakfast and dinner everyday at the Volunteer House. Most meals are traditional Thai dishes that can be typically quite spicy. Thai cuisine consists of a lot of rice, noodles and the meat is mainly fish or chicken – vegetarian options are always available.

Breakfast is traditionally done on a self service method where volunteers will help themselves each morning before heading to project. Dinner is either provided at the house or volunteers will head to the main street for the evening meal.

All meals are freshly prepared each day. If you fancy some western comforts, you are best to head into Bangkok where you will find plenty of restaurants serving western meals.

You are required to purchase your own lunch and there is plenty of options during the lunch break on the main street of Pathum Thani around a 25 minute walk from the project.


You will be served breakfast and dinner at the Volunteer House. A typical breakfast there consists of toast, eggs, jam, fruit, and tea. For dinner, volunteers can expect to be served chicken, pasta, potatoes, Dhal curry, and Chinese curry.

For lunch, volunteers can purchase this either at the project, take a packed lunch with them or head into Suva where you are spoilt for choice with a range of delicacies!

All meals are freshly prepared each day and most meals are traditional Fijian dishes. Fiji is a very culturally diverse country and often there food and taste buds can reflect this!

* Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements but there may be instances where you may need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense.

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) in Colombo. We assist you to find cheap flights to Sri Lanka.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Sri Lanka provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Sri Lanka you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Sri Lanka.

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

The programme start dates are as follows –

6th June 2020

20th June 2020

4th July 2020

You should arrive into Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo (CMB) on the selected Saturday start date. You will be met at the airport by one of our local staff or an appointed driver who will be holding a named sign. They will take you to your accommodation where you will spend the rest of your day at leisure.

The programme ends in Fiji on the Saturday of your final week and you should depart the accommodation on this day.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
9 - 9 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
9 weeks (min. stay)
$ 2,334
9 weeks (max. stay)
$ 2,334
Average fees
$ 259 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Plan My Gap Year will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Plan My Gap Year during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:
Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Plan My Gap Year cancels your trip
Support & Mediation
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Plan My Gap Year.

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Real Summer Encounter

PMGY’s Real Summer Encounter takes in three exotic destinations – Sri Lanka, Thailand and Fiji. Enjoy this great balance of structured programmes and independent travel!


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