Volunteering abroad, for many people, can seem like a daunting prospect. Where should I go? What should I see? Who should I help? The list of questions seems endless! This list should help break down some of the options and make it easy to see that although there are so many options, this just means there is even more to get excited about! Here are 27 ways of volunteering abroad…
If the stress of your daily life gets a bit much, why not go for a tranquil volunteering option such as a yoga volunteering program in India? Not only will you spend time learning the practice of Hatha Yoga, you’ll also be involved with life changing local community projects such as teaching and women’s empowerment. How perfect does that sound?
2. Human rights volunteering in Jamaica
If you’re interested in law and human rights, completing an internship or volunteering project in Jamaica could be the perfect thing to do in your gap year! You can be given the opportunity to change people’s lives and provide genuine legal services to businesses, local organisations and individuals. You’ll learn a bulk of useful knowledge ready for your career. It will also look incredible on your CV, and you’ll get to know the beautiful country of Jamaica!
3. Journalism work experience projects
Always wanted to work as a broadcast journalist? In that case, try performing some media and journalism work experience in another country! You can intern for a magazine, newspaper, TV production company or radio station. You can do these sorts of projects pretty much anywhere in the world, including Asia, Africa, Europe, USA, Fiji, and the list goes on and on. Do a bit of research and see which country grabs your attention! Your CV will surely stand out with this kind of experience on it.
4. Business development volunteering in China
If you are interested in volunteering in the world’s most populous country, China is the place to be. With its strong traditions as a country, you can learn endless amounts about a culture entirely different to your own. You can gain work experience by interning in a fast paced business environment, where you can prepare to be challenged! If you’re looking for an adventure, this is for you…
5. Community development projects in The Philippines
Assist the overworked existing staff in The Philippines where you can support local families to enrich the lives of underprivileged adults and children. You can be given the opportunity to completely immerse yourself in Filipino culture, learning endless amounts about a new way of life and probably learning a lot about yourself in the process.
This option in the stunning islands of The Maldives offers a wonderful mix of volunteering and exploration. Perfect for those who are searching for a significant break, without committing too much time. This program is available for short three-week periods, giving you enough time to still make an impact. You’ll be helping local schools and will be located right near the beach, giving you a beautiful environment to relax in after a day full of good deeds.
7. Volunteer as a Zoo Keeper in Hungary
You can help to feed the animals, clean out the cages, build new enclosures and generally help with the maintenance and upkeep of the zoo. Many volunteers, young people and students sign up for this project so you’re sure to make great new friends and have a lot of fun while volunteering!
8. Thai elephant conservation
Take part in caring for these beautiful giants, in a gorgeous tropical climate with others who share your thoughts and values. Can you think of anything quite so serene? Work up and close with elephants rescued from their cruel previous lives where they may have been paraded around for tourists’ amusement. Your work can help to educate others and protect these gracious, endangered mammals.
Teaching internships in Thailand area perfect for those who want to grow their knowledge of the world, and gain a valuable teaching qualification at the same time. You’ll make friends for life, while doing something truly amazing by helping children in poor communities. These children may have lacked the education that many people take for granted, and you can be a part of shaping them a brighter future. Go on, sign up now!
10. Volunteer with Great White Sharks
Travel to South Africa and volunteer with these massive yet misunderstood creatures. This is the great white shark capital of the world, and you can arrange to go cage diving to learn all about the amazing sharks and how you can help improve their existence. Whether you fancy going for 1 week or 12 weeks, you’ll learn a lot from a trip you’ll never forget.
11. Canine care teaching in Bolivia
Volunteer in dog training centres in Bolivia and immerse yourself in the culture by staying with a host family. Occasionally, volunteers will be required to speak basic Spanish to complete volunteering projects in Bolivia, but you’ll need to double check first before signing up! Some of these projects involve working with trained dogs to provide therapy sessions for disabled children. What a meaningful way to spend your volunteering trip abroad…
This option recognises that volunteering abroad is not just for students! Family volunteering is safe, fun, and is only for 1-2 weeks making it easier to get time off work and a lot less daunting than some of the longer trips on offer. You’ll volunteer as a family doing either arts or sports in a local primary school or even help in an orphanage. Also, with this particular option, you’ll be near to the Kruger National Park so you can go spot the famous ‘Big Five’ in all their glory!
13. Teach basic computer skills in Bali
We so often take for granted our exceptional computer skills, without taking a second to think – we could pass on these skills to others to help enrich their lives! Bali is an incredible place to do this, as you’ll help the local community develop themselves ready for further employment opportunities while also spending time in one of the most picturesque countries in the world. Teach everything from Word Excel, and internet searching. This is perhaps a less obvious option, but this can be extremely rewarding for both parties
14. Teach English in Argentina
Argentina is a huge South American nation with hundreds of volunteering opportunities, allowing you to meet new people, make a real difference and travel all at the same time. You can sign up for anything from 1-20 weeks, or more if you want to make a more permanent change. You don’t have to be fluent in Spanish, but you may gain more from the experience if you know a small amount. It’s always good to have an excuse to learn another language after all…
If you’d like to do your bit to save an endangered species, sea turtle conservation in Sri Lanka ticks all the boxes. These beautiful creatures have been around for over 200 million years, but are still sadly threatened by poaching and fishing today. Your work can ensure these beautiful animals are protected and allowed to live in peace. You’ll spread the message of marine conservation in the local community, and you’ll also get the chance to give surfing and diving a go!
16. Feed the homeless in Columbia
There are more than 100 million homeless people in the world, and you can do your bit to help by signing up for a feed the homeless volunteering project in Columbia. Not only this, you can also help spread awareness to the issue by posting on your own blog or social media channel to get people thinking about this as an issue.
Help to really make a difference in an important marine conservation mission along the East African coastline. This project takes place in Tofu Bay, where you’ll help with beach clean ups, collecting vital data and leading educational classes for the children in the area to teach them messages to pass on to their communities. You have the power to spread knowledge and change the future of marine life for the better!
This four week volunteering program in Nepal is split evenly into two weeks of volunteering and two weeks of travel around the area. Designed for people on their gap year, this experience involves field work, basic building and construction, hiking and city tours. You’ll also be given free time in the evenings to tailor your trip around your wants and interests. The work you leave behind will truly help improve the lives of local people, so you can say you spent your gap year making a difference.
19. Teaching in Koh Samui
Not only is Koh Samui a wonderful place to be a tourist, it’s also an amazing place to teach! Many volunteering sites will offer a paid teaching opportunity to follow a 4-week teaching volunteering placement. If teaching is something you’d like to pursue back home, this is definitely something worth looking into.
If you desire to be a dentist or dental nurse but also want to travel, this can be the ideal option to excel your studies and leave you feeling prepared to dive into the world of work. This is a hands on experience, but the guides will always be on hand to make sure you feel comfortable and confident in your abilities. You’ll learn a lot, get to see the beauty of India and have something impressive to add to your CV. This will certainly make you stand out…
21. Volunteer basketball coaching
Travel overseas to Ghana to make a difference in young and enthusiastic peoples’ lives by teaching basketball, and get fit in the process! This will be an enjoyable challenge that you’ll get valuable experience teaching kids sports. Whether you want to coach competitively or in a more relaxed environment, you can tailor your trip around you as long as you do the research beforehand.
22. Help children in Cape Town
There are projects on many websites where you can assist young children in South Africa. You can help create and teach educational games, enhance the educational environment through creating teaching materials with the teachers and school children, or teach music and dance or arts and crafts! There really is something for everyone, so if this appeals to you, there’s no time like the present!
23. Farming in Australia
Farming in Australia can be an amazing, character-building experience that will stay with you forever! You can farm everything from figs to oranges, wine grapes to wool! Many choose to take part in this in order to extend their visas for another year. Or you could simply do it for the life experience. The choice is up to you!
For the more hands on individuals: you can take part in construction projects in either Nepal, India or Thailand and live amongst the community to create life changing structures and buildings. This opportunity will bring you together with a group of likeminded, enthusiastic, lovely people just like yourself, and you’re sure to form best friends for life.
25. Wolf Conservation Project in Portugal
With this project, you’ll focus your work around wildlife conservation, monitoring behaviour, education and improving the environment of the wolves. There is an option to care for wolves that live in a Portuguese conservation centre, after being mistreated in zoos and other forms of captivity. These animals sadly cannot be reintroduced to the wild, so the centre aims to recreate their wild environment. Located about 45 minutes from Lisbon, this 2-week project is easy to get to and well worth the trip.
26. Ski season in France
Ski seasons tend to last about 6 months, starting in late October-early November time and going on until about late April. If you’re talented on the slopes you can work as a ski instructor, or if you’re a bit of a wizard in the kitchen you can sign up to be a chalet chef. Many places hire in couples, so if you can find a find who wants to be a host, try applying for those positions.
27. Conservation in New Zealand
There are hundreds of environmental volunteering projects in New Zealand, and you’ll be located in arguably some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. You can take part in tree planting, wildlife surveys, seed collection, weed control and much more. Whether you’d like to come for two weeks or two months, you’ll find something that tickles your fancy…
We hope this list has been helpful, let us know if you have any other ideas of volunteering projects that are available! Thanks for reading.