The Guide to Volunteering
Overseas — Top Programs and Articles
is the best option for meaningful work and service in
developing countries or for social causes anywhere.
While some overseas projects cover room and board, and
there are some free volunteer programs abroad, most organizations
require fees to cover important services and administrative
costs, such as health care, housing, food, materials,
training, etc. For inexpensive summer work camps or volunteer
vacations, generally apply in the Spring. For long-term
options, such as the Peace Corps, apply well in advance.
The volunteer organizations below are organized by country
and region, and include many first-hand participant
reports to provide both practical and inspirational
perspectives from experienced volunteers in
order to help you with the all-important research necessary
to make an important and likely life-changing decision for
Abroad by Region
Volunteer Abroad Programs and Organizations
Programs with Global Vision International
GVI has a huge range of volunteer programs to suit
the environmentally conscious traveler who seeks
adventure and new experiences around the globe.
Be it training as a safari field guide in South
Africa, teaching English in Laos, or diving as
part of a marine research team in the Indian Ocean,
you will find a huge range of exciting opportunities
with GVI. Visit our website for further details
Abroad with Cross-Cultural Solutions
Experience another culture like never
before while making a real difference in people’s
lives. You’ll gain perspectives and insights
into the local culture and yourself while
working side-by-side with local people on community-led
initiatives. Placements are available in the areas
of social services, education, and health. Choose
from 9 countries—Brazil, Costa Rica,
Ghana, Guatemala, India, Morocco, Peru,
Tanzania, and Thailand.
Abroad with United Planet!
United Planet's Quests offer you or your group
the opportunity to learn, teach, work, engage and
immerse yourselves in a culture outside your comfort
zone through customized volunteer work, enriching
cultural activities, and home stays with local
families. Our programs in more than 35 countries
run from 1 to 52 weeks and welcome volunteers of
all ages, nationalities and backgrounds. Partake
in educational, environmental sustainability, global
health projects, and more. Visit our website for
more information on specific volunteer opportunities.
Projects Abroad is the world's leading short-term
international volunteer organization. Live and
work in 29 exciting countries around the world:
Argentina, Bolivia, Cambodia, China, Costa Rica,
Ecuador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Ghana, India, Jamaica,
Kenya, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal,
Peru, Philippines, Romania, Samoa, Senegal, South
Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda and Vietnam.
Volunteer projects start year-round and last from
one week to a year. Opportunities exist in teaching,
child care, social work, conservation, community
development, medicine, human rights, journalism,
international development, language courses, and
more! Programs are for ages 16+.
Gain a new outlook on the world. Experience a unique
opportunity to live and volunteer in Argentina
while learning about the culture and language of
the country. Project areas include community development,
health care, education, and childcare. Volunteer
in Costa Rica, Ecuador, France, Italy, Jordan,
Peru, Russia, Spain, Thailand, or Turkey.
with Experiential Learning International
Experience a cultural immersion while participating
in a meaningful volunteer program! ELI partners
with hundreds of local organizations in countries
on five continents to provide volunteer opportunities
for anyone looking for an international volunteer
experience. Whether you would like to devote your
time to caring for orphans in the Philippines,
teaching in a rural school in Ghana, breeding tortoises
in the Galapagos, working at a health camp in India,
planting trees in rural Tanzania, they can set
up the right program for you. Volunteer programs
can last any length of time from a week to a year.
Abroad from US$180 with IVHQ
Affordable volunteer opportunities available worldwide.
Volunteers can participate in Teaching English,
Street Children Work, School Support Program, Summer
and many more projects by country. IVHQ sends over
5000 volunteer travelers worldwide annually — one
of the world's most popular volunteer placement
Abroad Programs from InterExchange
InterExchange Working Abroad has a wide
variety of volunteer programs to fit any interest.
Add to your professional skills, learn a new language
and have the adventure of a lifetime while making
a difference abroad in one of 20 countries! From
environmental conservation programs in Australia
and Costa Rica, to social work and community programs
in Ecuador, Galapagos Islands, Ghana, India and
Peru, we will work with you to find the best fit
for your time abroad. Volunteer programs include
placement, housing and visa assistance. Many also
include some meals, project-related transportation,
training and social and cultural activities. InterExchange
has over 40 years of experience arranging cultural
Work Teaching in Thailand
Join WorldTeach as a Volunteer English Teacher
in Thailand for one year, departing April 2015.
“I will forever be blown away by the people
I have met in Thailand.”
Diverbo Pueblo Ingles has been described
as an inspiring cultural adventure, an enriching
personal journey, and a unique, human experience.
Each week twenty Native English speakers are sponsored
to stay in a beautiful, picturesque 4-star resort
in Spain so they can converse with Spanish professionals
who want to improve their English. Accommodation,
food and wine are provided in exchange for your
conversation. It's a unique and enjoyable experience
and the best way to learn about Spain if you don't
speak the local lingo.
in Service with Globeaware
Globe Aware coordinates, organizes and
leads volunteer vacations, service vacations, working
holidays and service trips to locations around
the world. Globe Aware develops short-term volunteer
programs in international environments that encourage
people to immerse themselves in a unique way of
in Argentina with Road2Argentina
Road2Argentina has partnered with many
local non-profit organizations, schools, orphanages
and community centers in Buenos Aires in order
to provide assistance to those in need. These partnerships
give our volunteers the opportunity to get involved
with meaningful projects and make a difference
during their time here in the city. Volunteering
is also a great way to learn and practice your
Spanish and see a less touristy side of Buenos
Aires. Volunteering with a sustainable living project
in Patagonia is also available.
in Argentina, China, Ireland, South Africa
and Spain with Connect-123
Connect-123 offers meaningful volunteer
projects in China (and other locations worldwide),
according to your interests and skills, in education,
health care, community service and many other fields.
Volunteer programs include teaching English at
local schools, caring for pediatric patients at
local hospitals, assisting at animal shelters,
working with children with autism or other disabilities,
assisting the elderly at retirement homes and caring
for infants and toddlers at orphanages.
Solutions Offers One of the Most Affordable
and Safe Program Options Worldwide in 20
We work directly with local communities and provide
them the platform to live a dignified life. We
have placed over 7,000 volunteers over last 6 years.
Our programs are open to anyone who is willing
to make a difference.
in Ecuador and the Galapagos with Lead Adventures
Interested in helping to rehabilitate the endangered
wildlife, rather than looking at animals from far
away or on TV? This program will give you exactly
what you want. As local experts we offer you the
chance of a lifetime—3 different animal rescue
centers in only 4 weeks! Explore the Amazon Rainforest,
the Andes Highlands and the Coast of Ecuador while
helping in the rescue centers of each region. This
one-of-a-kind program also offers you a one-day
training of animal handling before starting your
adventure. Get involved without emptying your pocket!
Broader View Volunteers, U.S. Non Profit
Charity 501 c(3) in 24 Countries — 224
Social & Conservation Outreach Programs
We have Customized, Safe, Reliable and Cost Effective
programs Overseas with no hidden fees. We have
worked with our partners and host families for
over 7 years.
As a non-profit you can fundraise on our website
and all your donors can tax deduct the donations.
As a non profit we give back to the programs we
work with; 65% of all fees, sales, and fundraising
go to our programs abroad.
We have programs in South America, Central America,
Africa, and Asia, including Chile, Peru, Ecuador,
Colombia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Belize,
Guatemala, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana, Zambia,
South Africa, Cameroon, Rwanda, Nepal, India, Vietnam,
Philippines, Cambodia, and China.
Tips to choose an organization: Check independent
feedback, check social media, and ask for financial
GoEco offers a diverse selection of wildlife, humanitarian
and environmental projects in Europe. You have
the opportunity to choose among several exciting
initiatives in Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal,
the Czech Republic and the UK! Whether you’re interested
in sea turtle conservation or a hospitality internship,
you can expect the volunteer experience of a lifetime!
on Volunteering Abroad
|We are pleased to
offer a vast assortment of articles discussing the experience
of volunteering abroad as a means of immersing yourself
in another culture in order to learn their needs without
disrupting their way of life. Ideally, you will eventually
help to bring local people some positive change in their
lives through well-conceived programs and by bringing your
much-needed skills to the table. The following articles
cover the subject of volunteering both in the theoretical
and in the most practical sense, including:
- Topical articles offering you inside tips and advice
by experienced international volunteer professionals can
be found in the Volunteer
Abroad Advisor section below.
- Many extensive first-hand participant reports may
be found with the program
listings for regions and countries worldwide.
- Both the expert articles and first-hand participant
reports provide you with information and context from
those who have experienced one or more of the many
volunteer work and service options available.
Volunteer Overseas? Top 10 Reasons to Volunteer
for Any Age
Co-author of the classic book How to Live Your
Dream of Volunteering Overseas as well as
Abroad editor, Zahara Heckscher is an experienced
volunteer, activist, teacher, and author. She explores
the subject, motives, and activity in a unique
and no-nonsense manner.
to Evaluate International Volunteer Organizations
Zahara Heckscher provides an overview,
inside tips, and resources to help you select from
the many available volunteer projects worldwide.
to Find a Worthwhile Voluntourism Experience
Amy E. Robertson, an experienced volunteer from
her youth and author of several books including How
to Plan an Unforgettable Volunteer Vacation in
Latin America, addresses the issue of how
to go about researching and finding reputable organizations,
and offers 5 practical steps to do so effectively.
||How to Plan an Unforgettable Volunteer Vacation in Latin America
Prepare a turtle hatchery in Costa Rica. Teach English in Mexico. Build a home in Brazil. Whether you call it a volunteer vacation, a service trip, or voluntourism, combining travel and volunteer work is an increasingly popular way to see the world.
Changing Face of International Volunteering
Volker Poelzl provides both an overview of trends
and a selection of
the best resources for those considering volunteer
work, service or vacations abroad.
Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating
An Interview with Nicholas D. Kristof
Nicholas D. Kristof discusses an important new
book cowritten with his wife, "A Path Appears:
Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity," with
John Dwyer. Nicholas goes on to discuss related
issues such as volunteering abroad, and other ways
individuals can make a positive impact around the
world in terms of changing lives and tackling inequality.
50 and Volunteering Overseas
Well over 50 and still volunteering overseas, John
Dwyer describes his vast and unusual experience.
He offers seniors and volunteers of all ages advice
and accumulated resources John joined the Peace
Corps in 1991 at age 56 to make a difference.
Your Volunteer Experience To Find Paid Work Abroad
Strategies and tips offered by Zahara Heckscher
on how to transform your volunteer experience into paid
work overseas, from international aid work to working in
the solar panel industry abroad.
Volunteer Work To a Career: Becoming an International
An experienced international aid worker, Matthew Bolton.
provides inside tips and resources to make the transition
into a long-term career.
Student Perspective: Why Pay to Volunteer
Isabel Eva Bohrer offers a student's view on why volunteering
is sometimes costly, offering advice and resources for those
who wish to make a difference.
a Volunteer Experience Abroad: Advice to Students From
a Former Student
Advice to students on how to seek and find suitable service
to Put Professional Skills to Use As a Volunteer
Amy E. Robertson explores the many organizations and manners
volunteers with much-needed professional skills may put
them to use.
Services Volunteering Over 50: How to Volunteer for Non-Medical
or Teaching Professionals
John Dwyer provides information about the many professional
skills needed by organizations abroad.
to Love Voluntourists: Harnessing their Energy and Curiosity
for Volunteer Service Vacations
Author Alison Gardner offers a view on the development of
voluntourism and voluntourists — a term she coined
in the 1990s — and discusses the ever-growing role
boomers and individuals of all ages have played in the development
of many volunteer vacations producing positive results worldwide.
Volunteering with Your Family
Family volunteering options abroad are described by expert
Zahara Heckscher, who offers practical advice and resources
for a unique collaborative and educational family effort
Study Another Language Abroad? 10 Immersion Schools Where
You Can Study AND Volunteer in Latin America
How to learn a language abroad while volunteering for greater
cultural immersion. Amy E. Robertson covers examples of
top language schools in Latin America that offer both options.
Overseas the Right Way: An Interview with Zahara
a Volunteer Placement Organization by Zahara Heckscher
to Choose the "Right" Volunteer Program Abroad by
Joseph Collins, Stefano DeZerega, Zahara Heckscher
Vacations to Fit: How to Select the Best-Suited Organization by
Doug Cutchins and Anne Geissinger
Establishes Standards of Excellence for International
Volunteering by Sherry Schwarz
Ins and Outs of Volunteering: An Interview with Dianne
as a Volunteer Travel Adviser by Heidi Resetarits
the Most of Volunteer Service with the Peace Corps by
the Peace Corps by Mishelle Shepard
Language and Do Good: Combine Volunteering with Language
Study Abroad by Zahara Heckscher
a Language While Volunteering Abroad by Susan Griffith
Abroad: A Global Movement by Christine Victorino
Abroad: Selecting the Perfect Opportunity by Christine
Cost of Volunteering by Daniel Weiss
Abroad on Your Own by Michael Don
Yourself as a Volunteer by Reverend Dr. Henry Bucher,
Pay to Volunteer Abroad? by Le Ann Joy Adam
Volunteer Abroad? by Peter Hodge
Vacations Gain Popularity by Margaret Jaworski
Transformations: The History and Future of Inter-Cultural
Caring by Ann McLaughlin
Boomers and International Volunteer Service by Ann
Vacations: Seniors Have a Different Agenda by
the Most of a Volunteer Vacation by Doug Cutchins
and Anne Geissinger
as a Senior and Make Retirement Count by Amy Warren
and Winsin Hsieh
Vacations Can Change Your Life by Dianne Brause.
Service Programs. This Summer Vacation Make a Difference by
Service Abroad: Volunteers Combine Alms and Elbow Grease by
Placements Abroad: Coping With Potential Problems by
a Difference: Volunteering and Education Abroad by
Volunteerism by Rebecca Jewell
for an NGO as a Photographer by Jim Hall
Work Abroad on Organic Farms by Caroline Nye
for Peace as a Volunteer Abroad by April Thompson