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Best Volunteer Abroad Websites

Volunteering may be the best option for working in less-developed countries, or to work for social causes anywhere. Duration of volunteer abroad programs may range from two weeks to two years or more.Selected and reviewed by William Nolting

TransitionsAbroad.com is proud to offer the most comprehensive collection of expert articles and participant reports by country for volunteering abroad, as well as a wealth of the top volunteer programs. The organizations and websites recommended below offer their own directories, programs or resources.

American Friends Service Committee, a Quacker organization, www.afsc.org. The very comprehensive website includes links to hundreds of organizations sponsoring overseas volunteer, internship, and study programs with a focus on social justice, relief, and development.

Idealist.org: Action Without Borders, www.idealist.org. Website’s database serves as a clearinghouse for over 86,000 thousand organizations worldwide, with 11,000 volunteer opportunities in over 190 countries. Outstanding search provisions. Includes listings for internships, volunteering, and jobs, as well as resources for people who work for nonprofits. Organization also sponsors nonprofit career fairs.

International Volunteer Programs Association (IVPA), www.volunteerinternational.org. Website of this U.S.-based nonprofit association features a searchable database of volunteer overseas 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 overseas program listings available at www.sci-ivs.org. Describes low-cost short-term volunteer options available through SCI-IVS in over 50 countries. Their website has links to many other volunteer organizations.

The Peace Corps: www.peacecorps.gov. 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 $6,075 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.

South American Explorers Volunteer Opportunities, www.saexplorers.org. Directory of Latin American volunteer opportunities.

University of California-Irvine, International Opportunities Program, www.cie.uci.edu/prospective/iopother/volunteer.shtml. Extensive directories for volunteering programs overseas.

Univ. of Michigan, International Center’s Overseas Opportunities Office, www.internationalcenter.umich.edu/swt/work/volunteer-service/. Comprehensive collection of resources describing the types of volunteering options abroad.

Volunteers for Peace, www.vfp.org. Over 3,000 short-term low-cost voluntary service placements in over 100 countries, with a registration fee of $500.

William Nolting is an International Center Assistant Director, Education Abroad of the University of Michigan and former Work Abroad and International Educational Editor for Transitions Abroad.

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