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What is Volunteer World?

Volunteer World is the world's leading volunteering platform. We show you how to volunteer abroad! Search & compare the best international volunteer programs offered by volunteer organizations and local NGOs with just a few clicks.

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Why book with Volunteer World

Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:

Your extra layer of security

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Quality Assurance

High ethical standards & transparent social impact

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Flex Option

Change your reservation at no extra costs

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We refund your fees if your project cancels your trip

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Support & Mediation

We cover your back no matter what happens

Our services are free of charge!

All program fees are charged directly by your volunteer organization.

Discover a world full of opportunities

Volunteer World is accessible to volunteers worldwide!

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REGISTERED VOLUNTEERS

Get involved to make an impact

Volunteer World stands out through our expertise in the sustainable travel industry:

  • Transparency - Achieving transparency in costs and services while pursuing the UN Sustainable Development Goals and creating a positive change in the industry.
  • Ethical standards - Quality checking partner volunteer organizations to guarantee that they fulfill our standards for humanitarian support and animal protection.
  • Social impact - Empowering local volunteer projects and international volunteer organizations to recruit qualified and motivated volunteers worldwide.

This level of quality gives international volunteers easy access to volunteer organizations while saving time, effort and costs.

We this comparison platform

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Marie-Laurence (21)

Canadian volunteer in Costa Rica

I learned a lot during this project. It was awesome; I would go back anytime. The accommodation is great, we are just in front of the beach and it's nice to be really disconnected. Seeing my first turtle made me so happy.

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Rigmor (17)

Danish volunteer in South Africa

Never had I ever thought this trip would be so amazing! I can't believe it's been 4 weeks at the wildlife reserve already, time flies when you're in good company! No words will ever be enough to explain how much I enjoyed it!

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Brad Brasseur (32)

Canadian Volunteer in Peru

Education gives people in poverty the skills to not only earn money but also improve their basic daily knowledge. It is a sustainable tool that does not only help someone for one day but rather a lifetime and can be passed down to generations.

Find your Best International Volunteer Program

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"I love to travel and want to do something meaningful. I just don't know where to start...."

Does that sound familiar? It did to us.

We believe humans are happiest when they're part of something greater. This is why we built the Volunteer World platform, to fulfill your desire for meaningful travel and worldwide volunteering.

We designed a platform that makes it easy to search and compare volunteer abroad opportunities. We think world volunteering has never been so easy.

Your Extra Layer of Security

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When you book a volunteer program with Volunteer World, you're also getting an extra layer of security. Not only will you be sure that your volunteer project meets ethical standards, but Volunteer world also provides you with financial security, a flex-option and customer support to help you navigate the world of volunteering.

Ethical Standards and Social Transparency

We created a platform to search and compare volunteer projects abroad , but we also wanted to guarantee our international volunteers an ethical volunteer abroad experience.

This is why all our partners go through an extensive screening process that complies with our ethical standards and requirements for social transparency.

Volunteer World works with the most trustworthy volunteer organizations, e.g. Global Vision International (GVI), Plan My Gap Year, Gapforce, The Great Projects, Love Volunteers, Global Nomadic, Global Vision International, and Volunteering Solutions.

Financial Security

When you apply as a program volunteer with Volunteer World, you're also adding an extra layer of financial security. We have a money-back guarantee if your volunteer abroad program cancels, and as the icing on the cake, we also guarantee the best price!

Flexibility and Support

Volunteer World lets you keep your volunteer experience flexible. If you booked a volunteer abroad project for wildlife conservation in South Africa but then decided you'd rather save sea turtles in Costa Rica, no problem. You can switch programs at no extra cost. You're also not alone during your search for volunteer work abroad. Our customer support team is there to help you with any questions about our volunteer abroad projects and guide you through the entire process. We want your volunteer abroad experience to be as smooth as possible.

Our Volunteer Abroad Programs

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In 2023, Volunteer World offers more than 1,600 volunteer programs in 84 countries. Whether you're excited about marine conservation in Madagascar or dream of teaching soccer in South Africa, you'll find these international volunteer opportunities along with many others on our platform.

Conservation

If you're a water lover, join a program for marine life conservation with whales, dolphins, sharks or sea turtles. Start dreaming of marine conservation destinations like Costa Rica, South Africa, Belize, the Philippines, and Spain.

If you prefer keeping things dry, apply for one of the wildlife conservation programs with lions, rhinos, pandas, orangutans or gorillas. Volunteers, you're in for an extraordinary experience. Programs in Africa, Australia, Latin America and South-East Asia are waiting for you.

Be sure to contact us for the best program information on elephant sanctuaries, sloths rescue centers, and street animal shelters.

Environment

Volunteers concerned about climate change can support reforestation efforts in New Zealand, fight the war on waste in Portugal or learn all about organic farming in Kenya.

With over 100 environmental conservation programs, nature lovers will find volunteer jobs that will make an impact on the environment and the local community.

Community Services

If you're a people person, volunteer in the world for one of the community service programs. Human rights programs, construction projects, culture, and the arts, or NGO management initiatives, all need volunteers. Your help is crucial to support these international volunteer programs and encourage cultural interchange.

Humanitarian Aid and Teaching

Are you a teacher who's looking for international teaching experience or an aspiring teacher who wants to volunteer and get their TEFL? Explore and teach in some of the most exotic hotspots in Asia or South America. Teaching is the best way to increase future opportunities within a community.

If you're a medical professional or a medical student, join one of the many medical volunteer programs spread across South America, Africa, and Asia. Healthcare providers and childcare professionals are always in high demand. Gain volunteer experience abroad in humanitarian aid and start changing lives.

Volunteer Abroad Programs for Everyone

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Whether you're over 50, a student, a medical professional, on a budget, or prefer a luxury volunteer and travel program, we'll help you find the perfect volunteer opportunities overseas.

All Ages

Volunteer World offers programs for volunteers of all ages. Some programs are happy to welcome families with young children while other programs have a minimum age requirement of 18 years. Seniors, don't hold back, your work and life experience are extremely valuable to volunteer projects abroad.

Most programs have a minimum age requirement of 18 years. In some cases, projects will accept applications from high school volunteers from the age of 15.

Internships Abroad

University students can count their volunteering experience as an internship abroad . Gain hands-on international work experience and learn things you'll never get out of a textbook. Whether you're a medical student, studying business or doing veterinary training, there are plenty of internship programs you can join. Help the local community and get invaluable work experience abroad.

Group Volunteering

If you think volunteering abroad would be the perfect team-building experience, take a look at our group volunteering programs . There's nothing that boosts the team-spirit like doing volunteer work together. Apply for a program together in wildlife conservation or community service in Africa or Asia!

Short-term Volunteering

If you think you don't have enough time for a volunteer trip, don't worry, we've even got your back on this one. There are several short-term volunteering abroad options. Be sure to check out our short-term mission trips .

How to Volunteer Abroad in 2023?

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Select where you want to travel abroad or what you want to do. See all our opportunities for worldwide volunteering.

We made it easy for you to compare prices, ratings, and reviews of all our programs so you can make a well-informed decision about your next international volunteering program.

If you get lost in all the programs and don't know what to choose, don't worry, we've got your back. We will answer your questions about your volunteer projects abroad and guide you through the secure application process.

It doesn't end there. Once you start your volunteer abroad experience, we're here to support and mediate with the volunteer organization if things don't go according to plan.

With Volunteer World, you're never alone while volunteering abroad.

Are you ready for your Meaningful Travel Experience?

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Are you ready for your worldwide volunteering adventure? Let Volunteer World help you find the best international volunteer program for you.

South Africa, Thailand, Costa Rica, and Peru may be the top volunteer abroad destinations but there are 80 others to choose from!

Teaching, marine conservation, and animal protection may be the most popular volunteer projects but there are 60 other volunteer categories that need your support.

Choose from more than 1,600 volunteer programs in 84 countries and start your meaningful travel experience today!

Trusted by 1,000+ international charities and volunteer organizations

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BEST PROJECTS ABROAD

FAQs

Is it possible to volunteer abroad for free? ›

Volunteering overseas is a great way to immerse yourself in a new culture while simultaneously giving back. Many of these programs come with a hefty price tag, but not to worry, because it's still very possible to volunteer for free!

Does volunteering abroad look good on college applications? ›

In fact, certain types of experience – like volunteering abroad – can make a big difference when you apply to college. Admissions officers are looking for well-rounded students, and volunteering abroad is one way to show the depth of your character.

What are 10 benefits of volunteering? ›

Here are the top 10:
  • Provides you with a sense of purpose. ...
  • Provides a sense of community. ...
  • Helps you meet new friends. ...
  • Increases your social skills. ...
  • Improves self-esteem. ...
  • Teaches you valuable skills. ...
  • Provides job prospects. ...
  • Brings fun into your life.
Apr 3, 2020

What are the three 3 types of volunteer work? ›

Types of volunteering
  • Volunteering to work with animals.
  • Volunteer for a community project.
  • Sports volunteering.
  • Volunteering in hospitals.
  • Green volunteering.

What places need volunteers the most? ›

Here are five places where you can usually find volunteer opportunities:
  1. Animal shelter. Animal shelters typically care for dogs, cats and other small animals. ...
  2. Hospital. Many hospitals allow visitors to volunteer and help different teams of medical staff. ...
  3. Food pantry. ...
  4. Senior living center. ...
  5. Charity organizations.
Mar 25, 2022

Do volunteers get money? ›

At first glance, the simple difference between these two types of workers is that employees get paid and volunteers don't. Yet many nonprofit leaders have discovered that there is more to distinguishing between employees and volunteers than whether an individual receives a regular paycheck.

Do volunteers get travel expenses? ›

You should reimburse any reasonable expenses incurred while volunteering. This includes, but is not limited to: travel (including to and from the place of volunteering) meals and refreshments.

Do volunteers get paid in USA? ›

Do volunteers get paid? While there is no pay for being a volunteer, there are many opportunities for advancement. Volunteering can lead to an offer of permanent employment in several ways.

How many volunteer hours is impressive for college? ›

Colleges (especially prestigious ones) really want to see you put in effort into your community. As a rough guideline, 50 to 200 hours is going to sound impressive to colleges and show that you are committed to helping your community.

Do colleges prefer volunteer or work? ›

Colleges often favor students who complete volunteer work as an extracurricular activity because it demonstrates passion, commitment, and a sense of civic duty. It is also often an indicator that a student will be engaged and involved on campus.

What skills do you need to volunteer abroad? ›

Most programs do not require any sort of skills or qualifications in order for you to participate. The most important thing is that you are enthusiastic, hard working, and ready to help people and the community. In general, as long as you have a good command of the English language, you are ready to volunteer abroad.

What does the Bible say about volunteering? ›

A lot of people balk at the idea that a volunteer would be the one to benefit from serving, but Colossians 3:23-24 says, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive an inheritance as your reward.

What are 3 reasons why you should volunteer? ›

Community Service: Top 10 Reasons to Volunteer
  • 10: It's good for you. ...
  • 9: It saves resources. ...
  • 8: Volunteers gain professional experience. ...
  • 7: It brings people together. ...
  • 6: It promotes personal growth and self esteem. ...
  • 5: Volunteering strengthens your community. ...
  • 4: You learn a lot. ...
  • 3: You get a chance to give back.

Why is volunteering important 3 reasons? ›

Volunteering can provide a healthy boost to your self-confidence, self-esteem, and life satisfaction. You are doing good for others and the community, which provides a natural sense of accomplishment. Your role as a volunteer can also give you a sense of pride and identity.

What is a paid volunteer called? ›

Paid volunteers, also called compensated volunteers, are individuals who volunteer to work for an organization without getting paid but still receive some form of compensation or reimbursement.

What is the best type of volunteering? ›

The best-known types of volunteer experiences are found in these areas: Environmental Volunteer Work (Permaculture Projects, Farming, Ecovillages and Environmental Conservation) Volunteering with Animals (Animal Farms, Wildlife Conservation, Animal Rescue and Animal Care)

What are the most common volunteer work? ›

Fundraising for an event is the most common type of volunteer role in the United States. 70% of corporate volunteers believe volunteerism boosts morale more that company mixers.

Is 70 too old to volunteer? ›

There's no upper age limit on volunteering. Some organisations' insurance policies do not cover you if you're under 16 or over a certain age. You cannot work for a profit-making organisation if you're under 14, even if you're not paid.

What stops you from volunteering? ›

The most common reason for not volunteering is lack of free time (about half of Americans cite this as the main reason), and another common reason is that the volunteer schedules and commitments are too inflexible.

What age volunteers the most? ›

The age group with the highest percentage of volunteers is adults between ages 34 and 55. This group can be further broken down into two groups: adults aged 35–44 and 45–55, comprising 31.5% and 30.8% of all volunteers. People in their early 20s are least likely to volunteer as only 18.8% do so.

Do volunteers live longer? ›

Following them over time also supports the idea that volunteerism reduces death. One recent and large European study found that self-reported health scores were significantly better in volunteers than in non-volunteers—the difference in scores equivalent to about five years of aging.

Can volunteer work turn into a job? ›

Volunteering can also be a way to enhance your job search. With some patience, passion, and hard work, you may even be able to turn a volunteer position into salaried employment. Volunteering offers you the chance to network with people in your industry, demonstrate your skills and learn an organization inside and out.

Can volunteering lead to a job? ›

Can volunteering lead to paid employment? The simple answer is yes but it's not a quick fix! Sometimes people who are unemployed can think that after volunteering for a short period of time they will get into paid employment, either at the organisation where they volunteer or elsewhere, but this rarely happens.

What benefits can you get after you help volunteer? ›

Volunteering can:
  • give you a sense of achievement and purpose.
  • help you feel part of a community.
  • help you feel better about yourself by improving your self-esteem and confidence.
  • help you share your talents, learn new skills and create a better work-life balance.

Do volunteers get tax breaks? ›

If you're volunteering, believe it or not, the IRS would like to thank you for your service. The expenses you incur while volunteering may add up to a tax deduction. To qualify, the amount you are planning to deduct must directly relate to the charity where you volunteer.

Why do airlines ask for volunteers? ›

When a flight has more passengers who are ready to fly than there are seats available, airlines must first ask passengers to give up their seats voluntarily, in exchange for compensation, before bumping anyone involuntarily. Airlines may offer passengers incentives, such as money or vouchers, to volunteer.

Is it worth being a volunteer? ›

Taking part in volunteer opportunities can help you gain a sense of fulfilment. Many people use charity work and volunteer opportunities to develop additional relationships and interests outside their work. For example, many people use volunteering to make time for their hobbies while making a difference.

How much do volunteers earn? ›

As of Jan 9, 2023, the average hourly pay for a Volunteer in the United States is $11.10 an hour. While ZipRecruiter is seeing hourly wages as high as $17.31 and as low as $6.73, the majority of Volunteer wages currently range between $8.65 (25th percentile) to $12.74 (75th percentile) across the United States.

Why volunteers should not be paid? ›

Paying volunteers money or anything of value that can reasonably be construed to be in exchange for their work is confusing and potentially dangerous to your nonprofit, and even to the volunteers you're trying to reward.

What type of volunteer work do colleges look for? ›

  • 20 Great Community Service Examples for College Applications. By: Editor. ...
  • Volunteer Teen Crisis Counselor. ...
  • Volunteer With An Animal Rescue. ...
  • Host A Charity Event. ...
  • Adopt A Grandparent. ...
  • Help Research Environmental And Biological Data. ...
  • Build With Habitat For Humanity. ...
  • Support The Troops.
Nov 19, 2019

How many volunteer hours do top colleges want? ›

The consensus is that the ideal amount of volunteer hours you should have for a college application is between 50 to 200 hours. With fewer than 50 hours of volunteer work, college admissions officers may draw the conclusion that you were not committed enough to a cause to commit a substantial amount of time to it.

Can you get into college without volunteer? ›

The first question when it comes to volunteer hours and how it relates to the admissions process of universities is “do I have to volunteer?” The simple answer is, no, typically it is not a requirement like submitting a standardized test score like the SAT or ACT.

How do colleges know if you volunteered? ›

colleges won't ask you to verify your hours. they don't have the manpower to check through every activity on every applicant's application for accuracy. when you apply, you just have to tell them how many weeks/yr you participated in the thing and how many hours you spent per week on it.

How many volunteer hours do you need for the Ivy League? ›

Hours for Ivy League college application

200 volunteer hours are necessary to impress admissions at an Ivy League college. For state colleges, 50 -200 is impressive.

Is it better to volunteer or intern? ›

What's the difference between an intern and a volunteer? We are asked this quite often. Basically, an internship is something that you choose to do in order to develop your skills in a profession. Volunteering can also serve this purpose, but the driving force is your desire to help out.

What are the 3 main characteristics of volunteer? ›

Being friendly, approachable and having people skills are vital volunteer characteristics for directly helping others.

Why volunteering is good for your soul? ›

Volunteering is good for the soul. Giving to others can have a positive impact on your own well-being from relieving stress, depression and loneliness. Volunteering can introduce you to a new circle of friends and be a boost to your own psychological well-being.

Does the Bible talk about homeless people? ›

1 Samuel 2:8. “He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor. 'For the foundations of the earth are the Lord's; on them he has set the world. '”

Where in the Bible did Jesus volunteer? ›

Because he loved us (John 15:13), Jesus volunteered to be our Savior. He wanted to follow Heavenly Father's plan and give the glory to Heavenly Father (Moses 4:2). Heavenly Father chose Jesus to be our Savior. Lucifer was angry and rebelled against Heavenly Father (Revelation 12:7–9; Moses 4:3–4).

What are 5 benefits of volunteering? ›

Volunteering provides many benefits to both mental and physical health.
  • Volunteering helps counteract the effects of stress, anger, and anxiety. ...
  • Volunteering combats depression. ...
  • Volunteering makes you happy. ...
  • Volunteering increases self-confidence. ...
  • Volunteering provides a sense of purpose.
Dec 5, 2022

What is the main purpose of volunteers? ›

Volunteers can provide the time, skills, expertise and points of view that enable an organisation to pursue programs and activities that benefit the community. For individuals, volunteering provides an opportunity to be involved in activities reflecting their interests and using their skills.

What volunteering means to us? ›

Volunteering is contribution of time, effort and talent to a need, cause or mission without financial gain. Volunteering is all about you being able to contribute some of your own time to help people in our communities.

Does volunteer abroad look good on resume? ›

You show future employers that you're dedicated.

By volunteering abroad with an organization, such as an NGO, your future interviewers will see your commitment to service and your willingness to put the needs of others before your own.

Which country has the highest rate of volunteering? ›

Sri Lanka has the highest number of volunteers worldwide with 46% of the population choosing to volunteer. 9. Women volunteer at higher rates (27.8%) than men (21.8%). 10.

Is volunteering overseas a good idea? ›

Here are a few of the personal and professional advantages of volunteering abroad: You can contribute to changing the world little by little. Gain new skills and work experience while volunteering abroad. Experience new cultures and perspectives while creating lasting bonds.

How do I find volunteer opportunities abroad? ›

Overseas volunteering
  1. Eurodesk. Eurodesk is a Europe-wide network of organisations giving young people access to information on opportunities to work, study, travel and volunteer abroad as well as funding. ...
  2. Lattitude Global Volunteering. ...
  3. Raleigh International. ...
  4. VSO. ...
  5. Youth International.

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