Guide to Work, Study, Travel and Living Abroad  FacebookTwitterGoogle+  

Volunteer Abroad

The Guide to Volunteering Overseas — Top Programs and Articles

Work Abroad

 Volunteer Abroad Programs
Volunteering abroad is the best option for meaningful work and vacations 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, 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 as you research your important decision.
Volunteer Abroad by Region Volunteer Abroad by Country
Worldwide Argentina Guatemala Philippines
Africa Australia Honduras Poland
Asia Belgium Iceland Portugal
Australasia Bolivia India Romania
Central America Brazil Israel Russia
Europe (Central & Eastern) Cambodia Italy South Africa
Europe (Western) Canada Kenya South Korea
Latin America Chile Japan Spain
South America China Jordan Sri Lanka
  Colombia Madagascar Sweden
  Costa Rica Mexico Switzerland
  Denmark Mongolia Taiwan
  Dominican Republic Morocco Tanzania
  Ecuador Mozambique Thailand
  El Salvador Namibia Turkey
  Fiji Nepal Uganda
  Finland New Zealand United Kingdom
  France Nicaragua United States
  Germany Nigeria Vietnam
  Ghana Peru
  Greece    

 Featured Volunteer Abroad Programs
Volunteering Worldwide with GVI 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 with CCS Cross-Cultural Solutions: Volunteer Abroad for the Experience of a Lifetime!
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 12 countries—Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Morocco, Peru, Russia, South Africa, Tanzania, and Thailand.
Volunteer Worldwide with United Planet United Planet: Volunteer Worldwide!
United Planet's Quest Volunteer Abroad program offers you or your group a life-changing opportunity to interact with local communities through customized volunteer work, enriching activities, and home stays. Our programs in more than 35 countries run from 1 to 52 weeks and welcome volunteers of all ages, nationalities and backgrounds because we know that everyone has something to offer! Visit our website for more information on specific countries!
Volunteer Worldwide with Projects Abroad Projects Abroad Worldwide
Projects Abroad is the world's leading short-term international volunteer organization. Live and work in 27 exciting countries around the world: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Cambodia, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Ghana, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Peru, Romania, Senegal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Togo, and Vietnam. Volunteer projects start year-round and last from one week to a year. Opportunities exist in teaching, care, conservation, community development, medicine, human rights, journalism, 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, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Peru, Russia, Spain, Thailand, or Turkey.
Volunteer Abroad with Greenheart Travel Volunteer Abroad with Greenheart Travel
Explore fascinating places while you help local people working to improve the quality of life in their communities. Greenheart Travel's volunteer abroad programs offer you the opportunity to expand your personal growth, experience true cultural immersion and impact communities in need. Each of our volunteer programs has been hand-picked to reflect our mission to help build a more sustainable, more diverse and more peaceful world. Volunteer with meaningful, locally managed projects in Asia, Africa, South America and Europe.
International Volunteering wiwth ELI Volunteer 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 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 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 exchange programs.
Volunteer Work Teaching with Worldteach Volunteer Work Teaching Around the World with WorldTeach 
WorldTeach offers opportunities for volunteers to make a meaningful contribution to international education by living and teaching in developing countries. All programs include: full-time in-country coordinator; intensive in-country orientation including language and TESOL training; room and board with host families/apartments. Requires: native level of English fluency; BA or equivalent for year-long programs. Fee covers program costs, including health insurance, airfare, housing, teaching placement, and in-country support.
Volunteer teaching Exchange in Spain Diverbo Pueblo Ingles
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.
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
The Road2Argentina volunteering program is designed for people looking for an opportunity to help others in Argentina and improve their Spanish skills in an immersion environment. Road2Argentina places volunteers at local non-profit organizations in Buenos Aires and Junin de los Andes (Patagonia region) where they assist in a variety of ongoing projects. Volunteering placements include: teaching English, working at a community kitchen, community center activities, working at a day care, and home construction.
Volunteer in Argemtoma. China and South Africa with Connect-123 Volunteer 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.
Volunteering Solutions Volunteer with Child Volunteering Solutions Offers One of the Most Affordable and Safe Program Options Worldwide in 20 Different Countries
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.
  Articles 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 while helping to bring native people some positive change in their lives. 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 in the Volunteer Abroad Advisor section below.
  • Many first-hand participant articles may be found with the program listings for regions and countries worldwide. The stories provide you with information and context from those who experienced one or more of the many volunteer work and vacation options available.
 Volunteer Abroad Advisor
Why Volunteer Overseas?
Zahara Hecksher, co-author of the classic book How to Live Your Dream of Volunteering Overseas as well as our Volunteer Abroad editor, goes to the core issues for all ages to consider, from teens to college students to professionals to seniors, for those considering participating in a program.
How to Evaluate International Volunteer Sending Organizations
Zahara Heckscher provides an overview, inside tips, and resources to help you select from the many available volunteer projects worldwide.
The Changing Face of International Volunteering
An overview on recents trends in volunteer work abroad and voluntourism in general, with statistics to back the assertions up.
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.
Learning to Love Voluntourists: Harnessing their Energy and Curiosity for Volunteer Service Vacations by Alison Gardner
Volunteer Overseas the Right Way: An Interview with Zahara Heckscher
Choosing a 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
Arranging a Volunteer Experience Abroad by Katie Krueger
Ramping Up: IVPA Establishes Standards of Excellence for International Volunteering by Sherry Schwarz
From Volunteer Work To a Career: Becoming an International Aid Worker by Matthew Bolton
The Ins and Outs of Volunteering: An Interview with Dianne Brause
Work as a Volunteer Travel Adviser by Heidi Resetarits
Making the Most of Volunteer Service with the Peace Corps by Brianne Goodspeed
After the Peace Corps by Mishelle Shepard
Learn Language and Do Good: Combine Volunteering with Language Study Abroad by Zahara Heckscher
Learn a Language While Volunteering Abroad by Susan Griffith
Volunteering Abroad: A Global Movement by Christine Victorino
Volunteering Abroad: Selecting the Perfect Opportunity by Christine Victorino
The Cost of Volunteering by Daniel Weiss
Volunteer Abroad on Your Own by Michael Don
Investing Yourself as a Volunteer by Reverend Dr. Henry Bucher, Jr.
Why Pay to Volunteer Abroad? by Le Ann Joy Adam
Why Volunteer Abroad? by Peter Hodge
Volunteer Vacations Gain Popularity by Margaret Jaworski
Whirled Transformations: The History and Future of Inter-Cultural Caring by Ann McLaughlin
International Volunteering with Your Family by Zahara Heckscher
Volunteering Overseas Over 50 by John Dwyer
Baby Boomers and International Volunteer Service by Ann McLaughlin
Volunteer Vacations: Seniors Have a Different Agenda by Alison Gardner
Making 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
Volunteer Vacations Can Change Your Life by Dianne Brause.
Volunteer Service Programs. This Summer Vacation Make a Difference by Russell Carlock
Community Service Abroad: Volunteers Combine Alms and Elbow Grease by Molly Beer
Volunteer Placements Abroad: Coping With Potential Problems by Susan Griffith
Making a Difference: Volunteering and Education Abroad by Charles Gliozzo
International Volunteerism by Rebecca Jewell
Volunteer for an NGO as a Photographer by Jim Hall
Volunteer Work Abroad on Organic Farms by Caroline Nye
Work for Peace as a Volunteer Abroad by April Thompson
Volunteer Abroad in Over 40 Countries Worldwide with Global Vision International Volunteer in 40+ Countries with United Planet Volunteer Work with Projects Abroad Volunteer Abroad with ELIVolunteer in Latin America with Amigos de las Americas Learn and Teach Languages with DiverboVolunteer Abroad with Connect123 Volunteer with Volunteer HQVolunteer teaching english abroad with WorldteachVolunteering SolutionsVolunteer Abroad with GeovisionsVolunteer with Nepal Reliance