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Work Abroad

Volunteer Abroad Resources

Key to Resources Compiled and Edited by William Nolting
must-have resources
of broad interest
  specialized interest
Web Editor's Note: See many more Volunteer Work Abroad websites, programs and extensive expert and first-hand articles in Transitions Abroad's Volunteer Abroad section.

Alternatives to the Peace Corps: A Directory of Global Volunteer Opportunities by Paul Backhurst. 2005 (11th ed.) 144 pp. $11.95 from Food First Books:, Thoroughly researched guide to voluntary service, study, and alternative travel overseas and in the U.S. that “addresses the political and economic causes of poverty.”

Archaeology Abroad, Council for British Archaeology:, See website listing under “Fieldwork opportunities” for lists of projects for volunteers and professionals.


Global Work: InterAction’s Guide to Volunteer, Internship and Fellowship Opportunities. 2004. $18 from InterAction, 202-667-8227, (click on "Jobs".) Describes opportunities in the U.S. and abroad with over 70 major non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working in international relief and development. Most require professional skills, though some are open to students. Indexes for location and type of work. InterAction also offers NGO job listings via subscription.

Green Volunteers: The World Guide to Voluntary Work in Nature Conservation edited by Fabio Ausenda and Erin McCloskey. 2005. 256 pp. $14.95. Universe Books (Italy). Information on conservation organizations that accept volunteers and how to apply. See
How to Live Your Dream of Volunteering Abroad

How to Live Your Dream of Volunteering Overseas by Joseph Collins, Stefano DeZerega, and Zahara Heckscher. 2002. 467 pp. $17. Penguin-Putnam. This highly-recommended book (and its website), whose co-author Zahara Heckscher is an editor for Transitions Abroad, provides a comprehensive overview of volunteering abroad, including evaluations of over 100 volunteer organizations. Twelve chapters cover topics such as: Is Volunteering Overseas Right for You, Pros and Cons of the Peace Corps, Doing it Without a Program, Overcoming Financial Obstacles, How to Be an Effective International Volunteer, and Staying Involved When You Get Back.

International Directory of Voluntary Work

International Directory of Voluntary Work by Victoria Pybus. 2005 (9th ed.). 319 pp. Vacation Work (U.K.). $19.95 from Globe Pequot: 888-249-7586, Directory of over 700 agencies offering volunteer jobs and how to apply. Most comprehensive listing of volunteer opportunities in Britain and Europe of any directory, plus worldwide listings.


International Volunteer Programs Association (IVPA), Web site of this U.S.-based nonprofit association features a searchable database of volunteer-abroad programs. IVPA’s members are encouraged to follow IVPA’s principles (listed on the website) for good practice in volunteer-abroad programs.


International Workcamp Directory (SCI-IVS). Volunteer-abroad program listings available at Describes low-cost short-term volunteer options available through SCI-IVS in over 50 countries. Their website has links to many other volunteer organizations.


International Workcamper (VFP). Volunteer-abroad program listings available at The VFP International Workcamp Directory (290 pp.), available each April for $20 from VFP (or free on their website), describes over 3,000 low-cost short-term voluntary service placements in over 100 countries available through VFP.


Peace Corps Information Packet, The Peace Peace Corps seeks individuals to serve as volunteers in overseas communities in the areas of education, small business development, the environment, health, youth development, and agriculture. Tour is 27 months with $8,000 readjustment allowance upon completion of service. Must be U.S. citizen, over 18, in good health, and have education and/or experience relevant to programs.


RESPONSE Directory of lay mission opportunities in the U.S. and abroad by the Catholic Volunteer Network;, Search online by type of placement, location, length of placement, whether married couples or parents with dependents are accepted, age requirements, etc. Network of nearly 200 Christian/Catholic volunteer programs.

So, You Want to Join the Peace Corps...What to Know Before You Go
So, You Want to Join the Peace Corps...What to Know Before You Go by Dillon Banerjee. 2000. 178 pp. $12.95 from Ten Speed Press, 800-841-BOOK or 510-559-1600; By a former Peace Corps volunteer, book provides comprehensive information in a question and answer format on topics ranging from applying and training to “living like the locals,” health concerns, and returning home. A must-read for anyone considering Peace Corps.
Volunteer Vacations: Short-Term Adventures That Will Benefit You and Others

Volunteer Vacations: Short-Term Adventures That Will Benefit You and Others by Bill McMillon, Doug Cutchins, and Anne Geissinger. Describes over 250 organizations sponsoring projects in the U.S. and abroad. Indexed by cost, length of time, location, type of project, and season. Opportunities from 1 weekend to 6 weeks.

William Nolting worked for many years at the University of Michigan Overseas Opportunities Office and was the International Educational and former Work Abroad editor for Transitions Abroad Magazine.

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