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Guide to Volunteering Overseas — Top Programs and Articles

Volunteering abroad is the best option for meaningful work and service in developing countries or for social causes anywhere.
We include in thousands of volunteer program options first-hand practical and inspirational reports by experienced volunteers.
 Volunteer Abroad Programs

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 Featured Volunteer Abroad Programs and Organizations
Volunteering Worldwide with GVI Volunteer Programs Abroad 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
Volunteer Abroad with CCS Volunteer Abroad with Cross-Cultural Solutions
Cross-Cultural Solutions is a nonprofit changing the way international volunteering works. We have 20 years of experience and have worked to make the volunteer adventure of a lifetime possible for over 35,000 people. We proudly believe we provide the perfect mix of quality work, cultural immersion, adventure, and relaxation—all while having 24/7 access to CCS staff and support. Make that life-changing decision to become a CCSer today!
Volunteer Worldwide with United Planet Volunteer Programs in 35 Countries 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.
Volunteer Worldwide with Projects Abroad Projects Projects Worldwide
Projects Abroad is the world's leading short-term international volunteer organization. Live and work in 29 exciting countries around the world: Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Cambodia, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Ghana, Jamaica, Kenya, Laos, Madagascar, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Peru, the Philippines, Romania, Samoa, Senegal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, 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+.
Volunteer Worldwide Geovisions: Volunteer Worldwide
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.
International Volunteering wiwth ELI Volunteer Abroad 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.
Volunteer Worldwide with VolunteerHQ Volunteer Projects 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 organizations!
Volunteer Worldwide with InterExchange Volunteer Programs Abroad 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, the Galapagos Islands, 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 exchange programs.
Volunteer in Samoa with Worldteach Join WorldTeach in American Samoa This Summer
Join WorldTeach this summer with our fully-funded, year-long American Samoa program. Teach Math, Science or English in either primary or secondary schools. Airfare, training, 24/7 support, health insurance and placements are all included. Apply by June 16th.
Adventures in Service Adventures 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 giving back.
Volunteer in Argentina with RoadToArgentina Volunteering 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.​
Volunteer in Argentina, China and South Africa with Connect-123 Volunteer Abroad 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.
Animal Rescue in Galapagos with Lead Advenures Volunteer 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!
Volunteer with children A 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.
Volunteering in Europe European Volunteer Adventures!
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!
Love Volunteers Make a REAL difference with Love Volunteers — from just US$175!
Love Volunteers provides truly meaningful, life-changing volunteering abroad programs in more than 34 developing countries worldwide. Every year we assist thousands of volunteers from all over the world into affordable short and long term voluntary service positions in the Americas, Asia, Africa, The Middle East and Europe, and now we want you! With hundreds of eye-opening community-based social development programs in fields of Healthcare, Education, Sports, Law, Social Services, Engineering and Architecture, Special Needs, Construction, Environmental Protection, Women’s Empowerment and many more, we will have a program to suit your skills, in a place that will truly WOW you! Become a Love Volunteer and make a REAL difference!
  Articles on Volunteer Abroad — Expert Guides and First-Hand Stories about Work, Service and Voluntourism
We are pleased to offer a vast assortment of articles discussing the experience of volunteering abroad:
  • Expert articles offering you inside advice and tips by experienced international volunteers can be found in the Volunteer Abroad Advisor section.
  • Extensive first-hand participant and student reports may be found with the Volunteer Programs for countries and regions worldwide.
 Volunteer Abroad Guides
Evaluate Volunteer Organizations How to Evaluate International Volunteer Programs and Organizations
Co-author of the classic book How to Live Your Dream of Volunteering Overseas as well as a Volunteer Abroad editor, Zahara Heckscher provides an overview, inside tips, and resources to help you select from the many available volunteer projects worldwide.
Why volunteeer abroad Why Volunteer Abroad? Top 10 Reasons to Volunteer for Any Age
Zahara Heckscher explores the central question, examines the best motives, and suggests activities in a unique way that may make you rethink your preconceptions.
Why pay to volunteer abroad Why Pay to Volunteer Abroad? An Experienced Student's Guide
An experienced student explain why volunteering is sometimes costly, offers less expensive alternatives, and provides advice including programs for those who wish to make a difference.
Worthwhile volunteering abroad How to Find a Worthwhile Voluntourism Experience Overseas
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 issues on how to go about researching and finding reputable organizations with proven projects, and offers 5 practical steps to do so effectively.
Peace Corps Director of Volunteering An Interview with Carrie Hessler-Radelet, Director of the Peace Corps
The Peace Corps has made exciting changes, emphasizing diversity and flexibility, to the distinguished organization which has produced some exceptional alumni who continue their good work to this day. The Director spoke to us regarding programs that have helped people in diverse locations worldwide.
Nicholas Kristof A Path Appears A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity
An Interview with Nicholas D. Kristof

Nicholas D. Kristof discusses with us an important new book cowritten with his wife, "A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity." Nicholas also offers his views based on experience on related issues such as volunteering abroad, and other ways individuals can make a positive impact around the world while changing lives and tackling inequality.
Volunteer work with animals The Guide to Volunteer Caring for Animals
Author and volunteer Jane Stanfield describes what it takes to engage in care for animals, while providing tips, programs, projects, and recommended organizations.
Volunteer for endangered animals Ten Projects for Volunteers to Help Endangered Animals Abroad
An overview of ten important projects to volunteer help for the many endangered animals in countries abroad.
Volunteer vacation in Latin America 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, writes author Amy E. Robertson.
Volunteer farm work abroad The Guide to Volunteer Farm Work Abroad
Volunteer work and exchanges on farms are now a very popular way to extend your travels while providing many opportunities worldwide for meaningful experiences. Living Abroad contributing editor Jonathon Engels provides an overview on how to both learn and help others in the process.
Volunteering overseas over 50 Over 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.
Volunteer vacations for seniors Volunteer Vacations: Seniors Have a Different Agenda
Author and web host Alison Gardner describes the unique characteristics of the volunteer vacations selected by seniors, including a discussion the many programs available for this form of immersion travel abroad.
Volunteer photography for an NGO Volunteer Abroad for an NGO as a Photographer
Jim Hall describes his experience volunteering abroad for an NGO as a photographer vividly, offering with inside tips and an explanation of the benefits to the local community.
International volunteering trends The Changing Face of International Volunteering
An overview of trends and a selection of the best resources for those considering volunteer work, service or vacations abroad.
Volunteer with your kids abroad Top Considerations for Volunteering Overseas… with Your Kids
What to consider when volunteering abroad with your kids, with useful resources, by author Amy E. Robertson.
Volunteering honeymoon Crocodile Love: Travel Tales from an Extended Honeymoon
An interview with Joshua Berman about his new book, Crocodile Love, where his honeymoon extending around the world with his wife is centered on volunteering.
Volunteer in Namibia Top Volunteer Programs and Sending Organizations in Africa
Author and expert Zahara Heckscher offers an overview of the wide variety of options in Africa and offers suggestions.
Leveraging 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.
From Volunteer Work Abroad To a Career: Becoming an International Aid Worker
An experienced international aid worker, Matthew Bolton, provides inside tips and resources to make the transition into a long-term career.
Arranging a Volunteer Experience Abroad: Advice to Students From a Former Student
Advice to students on how to seek and find suitable service experience.
How 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.
Professional 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.
Learning 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.
International 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 and experience.
Why 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.
How to Volunteer Overseas the Right Way: An Interview with Zahara Heckscher
Selecting the Right Volunteer Placement Organization by Zahara Heckscher
How to Choose the Right Volunteer Program Abroad by Joseph Collins, Stefano DeZerega, Zahara Heckscher
Volunteer Vacations to Fit: How to Select the Best-Suited Organization by Doug Cutchins and Anne Geissinger
Work as a Volunteer Travel Adviser by Heidi Resetarits
Making the Most of Volunteer Service with the Peace Corps by Brianne Goodspeed
How to Learn a Language and Do Good: Combine Volunteering with Study Abroad by Zahara Heckscher
Learn a Language While Volunteering Abroad by Susan Griffith
Volunteering Abroad is a Global Movement by Christine Victorino
The Cost of Volunteering Explained by Daniel Weiss
How to Volunteer Abroad on Your Own by Michael Don
Why Volunteer Vacations Are Popular by Margaret Jaworski
Baby Boomers and International Volunteer Service by Ann McLaughlin
Volunteer Vacations: Seniors Have a Different Agenda by Alison Gardner
How to Make the Most of a Volunteer Vacation by Doug Cutchins and Anne Geissinger
Volunteer as a Senior and Make Retirement Count by Amy Warren and Winsin Hsieh
Summer Volunteer Service Abroad: Make a Difference this Vacation by Russell Carlock
Community Volunteer Service Abroad by Molly Beer
Work for Peace as an International Volunteer by April Thompson
Volunteer Abroad in 40+ Countries with GVI
Volunteer Abroad with United Planet
Volunteer Programs with Projects Abroad
Volunteer Programs Abroad with ELI
Volunteer with Volunteer HQ
Volunteer teaching English with Worldteach
Volunteer Abroad with Geovisions
Volunteer in Latin America with Amigos de las Americas
Volunteer Abroad with Connect123
Volunteer with a broader view
GO ECO Volunteering Programs
Volunteer in Ecuador with Lead Adventures
Love Volunteers
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