If you wish to read about actual volunteer experiences, see expert and participant reports on programs worldwide.
If you do not find the specific program you wish, search Volunteer Programs by Country and Region.
In Why Volunteer Overseas? Zahara Hecksher, co-author of How to Live Your Dream of Volunteering Overseas as well as our Volunteer Abroad editor, goes to the core of the issues for those considering participating in a program anywhere worldwide.
| 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!
||Contact in USA: 888-653-6028
| 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. It’s an exciting and personally inspiring experience, and you’ll develop memories that will be with you forever. Choose from 10 countries: Brazil, Costa Rica, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Morocco, Peru, South Africa, Tanzania, or Thailand
Dates Offered: Choose from start dates year-round and lengths-of-stay from 1-12 weeks.
Costs: The U.S. tax-deductible program fee for a two-week program is $3,068 with each additional week of stay only $588. The program fee for the one-week Insight Abroad program offered in Brazil, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Peru, and Russia is $1,695 (£922). Program fee includes: personalized Volunteer Placement, language instruction, cultural education, food, lodging, transportation to and from all Cross-Cultural Solutions’ placements and programs, pre-departure guidance from headquarters staff, 24-hour access to in-country staff, travel medical and emergency evacuation insurance, and more.
Contact: Cross-Cultural Solutions, 2 Clinton Place, New Rochelle, NY 10801;Tel: 800.380.4777 or 914.632.0022; in the UK call 0845 458 2781/2782; other countries call +44 (0) 1273 666392; Fax: 914.632.8494.
| Volunteer Abroad with United Planet!
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 cultural 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. You can volunteer in education, healthcare, environment, and more. Visit our website for more information on specific volunteer opportunities.
||Dates: Ongoing start dates.
Cost: Varies according to country and length of stay. Please visit our website for details.
Contact: United Planet, 11 Arlington St, Boston MA 02116, USA.
Tel.: 800-292-2316 or 617-267-7763.
|| 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, meals, project related transportation, training and social and cultural activities. InterExchange has over 40 years of experience arranging cultural exchange programs.
Cost: $545 and up
Contact: InterExchange Working Abroad, 161 Sixth Avenue, New York, NY 10013.
Tel.: 212-924-0446; toll-free 1-800-597-3675.
| Projects Abroad Worldwide
Projects Abroad is the world’s leading short-term international volunteer organization.
Live and work in 28 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, 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, and more! Programs are for ages 16+.
|| Dates: Start any day you choose.
Cost: Please see our website for prices.
Contact: Projects Abroad, 80 Broad St, Floor 32, New York NY 10004.
Tel: US Toll-free 1 888 839 3535.
| 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.
||Dates: Programs are available throughout the year and dates are flexible.
Costs: Program fees start at $185. The cost will depend on the country and duration of the program.
Contact: ELI, 1557 Ogden St. #5, Denver, CO 80218
| Globe Aware
Adventures in Service
Volunteer vacations in Cambodia, Costa Rica, Ghana, India, Laos, Peru, Romania, Thailand, or Vietnam.
|| Contact: 6500 East Mockingbird Lane, Suite 104, Dallas, TX 75214
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.
Dates: Year Round. Please see website for details.
Cost: Program prices vary with dates and length of stay. Please see website for prices,
Contact: GeoVisions, 63 Whitfield St. Guilford, Ct 06437.
Tel: 203-453-5838. Toll free 1-877-949-9998.
| Volunteer Abroad from US$180
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!
|| Cost: Program Fees start from US$180.
Dates: See website for particular country program start dates. Duration: Volunteers can volunteer anywhere from one week to six months.
Contact: International Volunteer HQ, PO Box 8273, New Plymouth, NEW ZEALAND.
Tel.: +64 6 758 7949.
| Amigos de las Américas (AMIGOS)
AMIGOS operates in nine countries throughout the Americas — in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panamá, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Paraguay. With AMIGOS, you'll be immersed in another culture, collaborate with your host community on a development project, and work side by side with local youth meanwhile building your own leadership skills. AMIGOS summer projects range from 4-9 weeks and are open to students from 16-25 with basic Spanish proficiency. AMIGOS programs focus on youth leadership in the fields of public health, children's rights, environmental sustainability, creative expression, social enterprise and sports and fitness.
Dates: Depends on program
Cost: Check our website for Program Requirements and Cost
Email: Contact Us
WorldTeach offers opportunities for volunteers to make a meaningful contribution to international education by living and teaching in low and middle income countries. By partnering with Ministries of Education, our volunteers teach English where there is a need. Fee covers: visa & work permit, 3-4 week orientation (TEFL training, teaching practicum, language and cultural immersion), health & emergency evacuation insurance, housing, monthly stipend, full time in-country field staff, mid service and end of service conferences, transportation between training sites and placement sites. Requirements: native level of English fluency; BA or equivalent for year-long programs.
Dates and locations: Year-long program departures depend on local school calendars; summer programs: June-Aug (8-10 weeks).
Cost: Year programs: American Samoa no fee; Chile $3,590; China no fee; Colombia $1,250; Costa Rica $4,590; Ecuador $4,590; Guyana $1,690; Marshall Islands no fee; Micronesia no fee; Namibia $3,990; Tanzania $3,290; Thailand $1,500.
Semester: Ecuador $3,590; Namibia $3,290
Summer: China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Namibia, Poland, South Africa $3,990; Morocco, Nepal $2,990
Contact: WorldTeach, One Brattle Square, Suite 550, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.
| Frontier: Exciting and Rewarding Global Volunteering Opportunities
For over 20 years, Frontier volunteers have been pushing the boundaries, making unprecedented discoveries and helping hundreds of thousands of disadvantaged people in isolated communities worldwide. Choose from volunteering abroad, adventure travel, wildlife and marine conservation or teaching on your gap year or volunteer placement! We also offer valuable internships, paid work, medical and sports coaching placements.
Check out some of our most popular projects, from our Costa Rica Wildlife Conservation project to Tanzania Marine Conservation project, which attracts volunteers from all over the world!
| Dates: Most projects are flexible and run all year round.
Contact: Bobby Johal, Irvine Towers, 18100 Von Karman Avenue, Irvine, CA 92612, U.S.A.
Tel/Fax: +1 949 705 4492
| HelpStay™ Exchange — Stay for free in return for a few hours of honest help
We’re a contact platform between host and volunteer helpers. We hold a database of Farms, House Holders, Art Retreat Centres, Eco- villages, Backpacker Hostels, Surf Lodges, Vineyards, Ranches, Schools, Monasteries and Kibbutzim, all who are looking for a few hours of honest help and offering room and board in exchange.
| Dates: All year
Cost: Yearly membership fee €29
Contact: HelpStay™, 63 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2, Ireland
Tel/Fax: +353 1 2544962
Volunteer Abroad Programs
AmeriSpan's voluntee program allows you to gain a unique insight into another country's culture and obtain valuable work experience abroad. Working with more than 200 organizations throughout the world, our program offers something for everyone. From working on a Panda reserve in China to medical placements in Honduras to a bank in Germany to community development in South Africa, AmeriSpan has a project that will help you achieve your personal goals while improving the lives of others. Many projects allow you to practice the local language with the non-English speaking staff and locals, but not all require prior knowledge.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.amerispan.com/volunteer_intern
Amity Volunteer Teachers Abroad (AVTA) Program.
The AVTA program offers opportunities for native English-speakers to serve as teaching assistants, teachers, or workshop facilitators in classrooms in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Italy, Ghana, Senegal, and the Ukraine. Room and board provided; programs range in duration from 2 weeks for workshop facilitators; 2 months to a full academic year for other assignments.
Contact: email@example.com, www.amity.org
Bridges for Education.
BFE is the only tax deductible volunteer teaching of English program that is not a religious or ethnic group and which organizes International Peace and Language programs in Eastern/Central Europe and China. The purpose of BFE is to promote tolerance and understanding using English as a bridge.
Catholic Volunteer Network
RESPONSE Directory of lay mission opportunities in the U.S. and abroad. 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.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.catholicvolunteernetwork.org/.
Program countries include Ecuador, Ghana, India, Kenya, Nepal, Peru, the Philippines, and Vietnam. Our programs include teaching English, orphanages, healthcare, journalism, HIV/AIDS, wildlife conservation, street children and more. Our volunteers learn about and contribute to communities abroad in a meaningful way. Join us abroad and find out why we’re the best volunteer organization you’ve never heard of.
Contact: email@example.com; www.cosmicvolunteers.org
Cross-Continental Solutions Inc.
We offer affordable and flexible international volunteer, intern, and culture programs in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. We have great work placements including teaching, healthcare, community work, business coaching, HIV work, care giving, orphanage work, journalism, photography work, animal work, and environmental work. Our affordable program fees start from only US$180 (accommodation & meals included). The programs are customized with flexible work schedule and start dates.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.crosscontinental.org
Federation EIL: Volunteers for International Partnership (VIP)
Offered in 13 countries, VIP provides volunteer opportunities for individuals or groups to do international community service. If you're exploring service learning opportunities, considering a gap year or looking for a break from your job, reach out to others as a Partnership Volunteer. Available year round; programs include orientation, language training, homestays, host project placement and ongoing program support. Volunteers may be placed with rural development projects, environmental programs, in health clinics, at schools, or other community organizations.
Contact: email@example.com, www.partnershipvolunteers.org
Global Citizen’s Network
Established in 1992, GCN is a volunteer organization for people committed to sharing values of peace, justice, tolerance, cross-cultural understanding and global cooperation. With trips generally lasting one, two or three weeks, each team of six to 12 people works with local villagers on projects initiated by the local community, for the benefit of that community. Fifty percent of participants are older adults (review by Alison Gardner).
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.globalcitizens.org
Global Reach Institute for International Exchange: Global Reach Institute / Project HOPE
10-14 Day CME / CNE Medical Delegations to China, Tibet, South Africa and Israel. Join the team, share your knowledge with your international colleagues, and enjoy the adventure of your life! 10-14 Day Cultural Study Tours with volunteering at orphanages and village schools or clinics, adventure elements, and sightseeing all built into the journey of a lifetime! See China, Tibet, Israel, South Africa! Family Cultural Volunteer Programs to China, Tibet, South Africa, Israel...
Make teaching your children a lifetime memory and bonding experience that changes them forever! Through unique visits to Primary Schools, Orphanages, village medical clinics, markets, farm family homes, and the like, your children will learn about the lifestyle, culture, government, education and medical systems, as well as have many people to people moments. Build Bridges Between Nations One Person at a Time!
Contact: email@example.com, www.globalreachinstitute.com
Global Volunteer Network (GVN)
Offers volunteer service opportunities in community projects throughout the world. We currently provide volunteer programs through our partner organizations in 21 countries.
Our vision is to support the work of local community organizations in developing countries through the placement of international volunteers. We believe that local communities are in the best position to determine their needs, and we provide volunteers to help them achieve their goals.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.globalvolunteernetwork.org
Founded in 1984, Global Volunteers is a nonprofit international development organization that facilitates peace and mutual understanding between people of diverse cultures. Small- group “servant-learner” teams join such work projects as teaching conversational English and other basic subjects, caring for at risk youth, assisting with healthcare, building schools and community facilities, and much more. About 67 percent of volunteers are older adults, drawn primarily from the U.S. and Canada. One- to 3-week programs are offered in 19 countries. (review by Alison Gardner).
Contact: email@example.com, www.globalvolunteers.org
Globalteer — Ethical volunteering with a UK registered charity
Peru, Colombia, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia
Globalteer works with children, community and wildlife projects in South America and South East Asia, to help bring about long term solutions to poverty and suffering. We work only with projects that meet strict criteria for inclusion in our programme so we can be sure that volunteers are working towards a sustainable solution. Duties vary from assisting classroom teachers to digging wells and feeding animals, depending on your skills and the needs of our partner projects. This way you can be confident that your time volunteering is a worthwhile and rewarding experience, no matter how long or short your stay.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.globalteer.org
U.S. contact office for British organization Greenforce. Recruits volunteers for conservation and other projects worldwide, including marine conservation in Bahamas and Fiji for up to 6 months; combined community service and adventure programs in India, Nepal, Ecuador, Brazil and internships in Spain.
Contact: email@example.com, www.greenforce.org
Habitat for Humanity
This nonprofit, ecumenical Christian organization seeks to eliminate poverty housing around the world by building homes appropriate to each area where a need exists. No building experience necessary. Choose from programs in over 70 countries. While Habitat will not estimate figures, it says that older volunteers are “very significant” in number. (review by Alison Gardner).
Contact: (HQ. and International Programs), 121 Habitat St., Americus, GA 31709-3498; 800-HABITAT or 912-924-6935, fax 912-924-6541; firstname.lastname@example.org, www.habitat.org. Habitat for Humanity Canada (Canadian and International Programs), www.habitat.ca.
International Humanity Foundation (IHF)
Volunteer to help children in Kenya, Bali, Thailand and Indonesia
The International Humanity Foundation is seeking forward-thinking, dynamic individuals of all ages/backgrounds to contribute to our organization from home. IHF has grown over the past 25 years due to the dedication of thousands of volunteers from around the world.
Please take the time to familiarize yourself further with our organization on our website. If you have any questions at this time, feel free to email one of our helpful volunteers. IHF is willing to consider those with transferrable skills, if you can demonstrate them during our application process. Fluency in English, both written and spoken is essential. Those interested in volunteering at an IHF centre are required to complete a level of pre-trip duties in order to gain an understanding of how grassroots organizations function.
At Home Volunteers
IHF offers four unique roles for volunteers. We have opportunities for those who prefer online advocacy or those who would purely like to gain in-field experience and teach the children at one of the centers. If you would prefer to get in-field experience, please contact our email@example.com team for further information. At-home volunteers manage to see the inner workings of a thriving NGO while gaining valuable experience for any future career in International Relations.
Kiva Fellows Program
Kiva is the world’s first person-to-person micro-lending website. Kiva's field partners, throughout the U.S. and in over 70 countries around the world, post thousands of loans to Kiva.org every month so that individual lenders can help fund entrepreneurs who have limited access to capital.
Kiva Fellows have a unique opportunity to witness the realities of microfinance firsthand by working directly with Kiva field partners, or supporting Kiva’s newest initiative (Kiva Zip), for 16 weeks.
Oceanic Society Expeditions
The Oceanic Society is a nonprofit organization working to protect marine wildlife and the marine environment through conservation-based research and environmental education. Half its itineraries are volunteer holidays, the rest are educational. Participants become research assistants, working side by side with academics and field researchers, logging, recording, and collecting data, including bird banding and measuring nesting sea turtles. Sixty percent of clients are older adults (review by Alison Gardner).
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.Oceanic-society.org
people and places
Responsible Volunteering — from Cambodia to the Caribbean!
We create well-matched international volunteer placements in sustainable projects worldwide. people and places is a not-for-profit social enterprise — all profits after operating expenses are covenanted to the charity, Travel Pledge. Each placement is individually planned: volunteers have their own skills, experience and abilities; projects and communities have their own needs and goals. We put the right people in the right places — creating truly "win-win" volunteer experiences!
Contact: email@example.com, www.travel-peopleandplaces.co.uk
Right to Play:
Right To Play is an athlete-driven international humanitarian organization that uses sport and play as a tool for development of children and youth in the most disadvantaged areas of the world. Right To Play uses international volunteers to implement projects in Asia and Africa. For further details on volunteer projects, visit the website.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.righttoplay.com
Gives clients (aged 16-25) access to a database with 2,500 options worldwide including volunteer work and internships but not paying jobs.
Contact: email@example.com, www.takingoff.net
VISIONS Service Adventures
VISIONS blends ambitious service work, cultural immersion and adventurous exploration. We live in the heart of under-resourced communities in locations around the world. Participants work and socialize with our local hosts. Projects are construction-based, with some social service.
Contact: info@VisionsServiceAdventures.com, VisionsServiceAdventures.com
Volunteers for International Partnership
Volunteer in over 14 countries including Argentina, Chile, Eduador, Ireland, Ghana, South Africa, Morocco and Thailand to name a few. Placements can be as short as 2 weeks or as long as you want! Host family stays, various projects!
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.partnershipvolunteers.org
Volunteers for Peace
Volunteer Workcamps Worldwide
VFP offers over 3000 projects in more than 100 countries/regions every year worldwide! Project cost starts at $500, which includes food and accommodation. Types of project include construction, environmental, agricultural, social, work with kids, renovation, art and culture and more! Since 1982, VFP has exchanged over 30,000 volunteers worldwide and organized more than 850 volunteer projects in North America. Start planning your volunteer adventure or learn how to get involved at VFP.org!
Volunteer abroad programs in Asia, Africa, and South America.
Contact: email@example.com, www.volunteeringsolutions.com
WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms)
Global website has links to the national offices in the countries that have a WWOOF coordinator. National WWOOF coordinators compile a list of their member farmers willing to provide free room and board to volunteers who want to help and are interested in furthering the aims of the organic movement. Currently there are WWOOF branches in the U.K., Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, Italy, Slovenia, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Ghana, Uganda, Nepal, China, Japan, Korea, and U.S.
Service Learning Semesters Abroad
Youth International is an experiential learning program that combines international travel, inter-cultural exchange, outdoor adventure, volunteer community service work, and homestays.
Teams of up to 14 young adults aged 18 to 25 travel together with two group leaders. For 3 months, the team travels through three countries in one region of the world: Asia (Nepal, India, Thailand) or South America (Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, including Galapagos Islands). Programs run Sept-Dec. and Feb.-May.
Contact: Youth International, 2319 Woodbury Lane, Evergreen, CO, 80439 USA; tel. 1-720-270-3323; info@youthinternational;org, www.youthinternational.org.