Do you have an urge to make a positive change in the world?The news each day couldn’t be more grim. Millions of adults and children are suffering in many countries and in desperate need of help.
If you’re like many people, you long to make the world a better place, but you feel powerless to do anything about it.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
The good news is that creating change starts with YOU. You can make a huge difference in the world through individual acts of kindness, compassion and selfless service.
Volunteering abroad is a wonderful way to help others who desperately need assistance, while exploring some of the most breathtaking and fascinating countries on the planet.
You’ll be able to aid those who are suffering by sharing your unique skills, knowledge, enthusiasm and compassion.
And by volunteering to improve the lives of others, you’ll actually be helping yourself in countless positive ways.
For one thing, when you volunteer your services, it just makes you feel good!
Recent research indicates that volunteering provides a wide variety of amazing health and emotional benefits.
A study called “The Health Benefits of Volunteering: A Review of Recent Research” showed a relationship between volunteering and great health. Volunteers had lower mortality rates, greater functional ability and decreased risk of depression than those who never volunteer.
Volunteering also provides you with a deep sense of personal satisfaction. By working to improve the lives of disadvantaged adults and children, it will give your own life meaning, and instill a deep sense of purpose by helping those less fortunate than yourself.
When you volunteer overseas, you’ll be helping disadvantaged adults and children, while enjoying international travel and immersing yourselves in thrilling new cultures.
You’ll stay with wonderful warm and friendly host families, which will create new friendships and memories that last a lifetime. You’ll also have plenty of time to visit top tourist attractions, go hiking, and explore local towns and villages.
The care, compassion and enthusiasm that you bring will start a ripple effect, and bring permanent positive change to adults and children, and the communities in which they live.
You can choose from a wide range of exciting volunteering opportunities in Africa, Asia and Latin America, including….
Volunteering overseas is truly the adventure of a lifetime!
You’ll have the privilege of exploring some of the most beautiful and fascinating countries on the planet.
While volunteering, you’ll be able to immerse yourselves in a new culture, learn a new language, taste amazing culinary delights, enjoy hikes in gorgeous mountain ranges and beaches, visit sacred temples and Buddhist shrines…. and make lives better through selfless service.
The best part? You’ll experience the hospitality of people from different cultures whose lives you’ll transform for the better. The lifelong friendships you’ll make are an extra bonus!
Here’s even more great news…..
You don’t need any special skills or talents to volunteer. All you need to bring is your compassion, patience and burning desire to improve lives for the better.
Volunteering is a safe, life-changing adventure for people of all ages and walks of life.
Volunteering abroad is a truly amazing way to see more of the world, while contributing to grassroots programs which can be both life saving and life changing for those involved.
Whether you are young or older, a student, a young professional with vacation time to use, or an early retired, male or female there are plenty of international volunteer opportunities to choose from. One important point to remember when looking at programs on offer is that you do not have to pay the highest fees to be sure of having a good experience.
There are many volunteer abroad companies which organize cheap volunteer abroad programs which are safe, meaningful and offer real benefits to the communities served, but finding them can be a chore with so many places competing for business. Choosing between the 21 organizations listed here makes your decision easier, as they offer the best, affordable overseas volunteer options around.
All of these high quality but well priced project providers have great reviews and glowing testimonials from volunteers who they have placed in the past, so you can feel confident about following in their footsteps on any of these amazing adventures as you travel, volunteer, gain experience, enjoy unique cultural insights, and make new friends and memories which will last a lifetime.
Since it was founded in 2006 in Dallas, Texas, IFRE Volunteers, [a 501(c) 3] has helped more than 22,000 people find the perfect, low cost, life changing volunteer overseas project for them.
All IFRE international volunteer opportunities are carefully selected to be meaningful, genuine and beneficial to the people involved. The projects are designed at a grassroots level, to best serve the community who benefit, and all fees involved are both fairly allocated and very affordable for volunteers.
Staff, both in the main office in Dallas, and on the ground supporting volunteers in placements, are committed to making sure things go smoothly at all stages; and both the safety and welfare of volunteers is always paramount.
IFRE Volunteers’ projects run in various countries, from Peru and India, to South Africa and Thailand, with programs available in a wide variety of fields.
Whatever your interests, experience and passions IFRE Volunteers will have an overseas volunteer program you find appealing. These include working with animals such as turtles or elephants, helping children learn and develop via orphanage, street children or English teaching placements, community development posts and health focused projects.
With programs running in over 18 countries in South America, Africa and Asia, IFRE Volunteers offer a variety of volunteer abroad projects, lasting between 1 and 12 weeks, to suit volunteers from all age groups and backgrounds, whatever their skills and interests; and with previous volunteers rating their satisfaction with their projects at 95% you can confidently expect a great experience.
All IFRE volunteer abroad programs have a $299 registration fee to cover the costs of providing the service, such as key staff salaries, office expenses and so on. Project fees start at $199 for a week, with extended stays being even better value. For example, a 7 day $199 stay in a Katmandu orphanage rises to only $440 for a 4 week commitment.
On this cheap childcare volunteer overseas project you get to work with children left orphaned after civil war. Regular staff work hard to provide for their basic needs but extra hand to help with daily tasks and also organize games, teach music and language and so on are always needed. No formal experience is needed, but obviously personal qualities such as patience and kindness are essential.
Children attending public schools in Nepal don’t automatically learn English, even though language skills make a positive difference to their future prospects. Volunteers who can spare time to teach in poorer schools can change lives for the better as they help youngsters both learn and use English. There are no particular qualifications needed to join this volunteer overseas teaching program, but excellent spoken and written English, reliability and an interest in working with young people are all vital.
Healthcare volunteer abroad projects fill gaps in Nepal’s medical system which poor and rural based people often fall through. Working alongside qualified staff in small scale local based clinics, IFRE volunteers undertake a variety of tasks, based on their previous experience or qualifications. Those new to this field are welcome to apply, as are students and professionals in a medical related job; as from hands-on work to record keeping tasks - there are suitable roles for all.
Planning a volunteer abroad trip for the whole family is an amazing thing to do, and a fabulous experience for youngsters who can learn about the importance of giving time, care and thought to those in need. Together you can create lifelong memories covering the travel, sightseeing and humanitarian aspects of your trip. With a variety of projects to choose from and a guaranteed warm welcome this is a family destination you may have never considered.
These summer volunteer abroad projects offer an intense yet rewarding 5 week program which starts with a 7 day intensive language learning and cultural immersion course in Katmandu, followed by a 3 day stay in a quiet village and opportunities to enjoy nature and do some sightseeing. International volunteers then spend two weeks helping at an orphanage in either Katmandu or Chitwan – teaching basic English and boosting the children’s confidence to use it through games and activities, finishing off the extended program with a 14 day trek of the Himalayas.
Over 20,000 satisfied volunteers have completed placements on RCDP’s affordable internship, summer and volunteer programs abroad since the company was founded in 1998.
With so many different projects on offer in over 20 countries all around the world choosing your destination may take a while, but you can do so with confidence as all programs are designed and administered to help a specific target group, along with providing first class support to all overseas volunteers.
With consistent A+ level evaluations and reviews you need look no further than RCDP for cheap volunteer abroad projects which are both meaningful and worthwhile. The company’s focus on sustainable development means projects empower those who benefit, and help them move forward in all aspects of life.
The very reasonable fees are kept as low as possible, with the average registration charge being $269, while project fees – which start from around $100 - are paid directly to the communities volunteers work with, making RCDP volunteer abroad programs truly beneficial and rewarding for all involved.
There are currently 21 international volunteer programs spread cross three continents to choose from, including projects based in India, Nepal, Thailand, Ecuador and Uganda. Childcare, teaching and healthcare related programs are always popular amongst those interested in RCDP’s volunteer abroad positions.
The fees for RCDP programs start at $159 for a one week stay on the family volunteer project, with most being around the $230 mark for 7 days. Longer stays are possible on all projects, and are good value, for example: one week on a teaching English in India volunteer program is $200, while a 3 week stay costs just $350.
This project offers busy families the perfect opportunity to spend time together on a joint mission which combines both overseas volunteer travel and helping to improve the lives of those in need. RCDP’s family volunteer abroad program is not just affordable, it is also safe, well respected and ranked highly by previous participants.
Whether you choose to volunteer abroad in Peru on a project helping orphans, teaching children, with animals or in the conservation field you are setting a fantastic example for your children on what it means to share your time and skills with those less fortunate. Along the way you will make amazing memories and lifelong friends, which are two nice bonuses to enjoy.
Experience the delights of India on this volunteer abroad teaching English program. Fees start at just $200, and you can stay for 1 week or up to 12! Volunteers of all ages and with or without previous experience are welcome to join up and help disadvantaged children get a better start in life through education. Poor kids, or those living on the streets have little chance to learn English, which makes getting a decent job in later life much more difficult. The classes may be large and noisy but the children appreciate the time volunteers spend with them, and are keen to learn.
If you love elephants then this affordable volunteer abroad Sri Lanka program is a great choice. Volunteers work with a local elephant handler on all aspects of daily care such as feeding, bathing and entertaining elephants which have been rescued from poor conditions. Part of your time is also spent helping in a community garden and teaching in a local school. No experience is needed to join this project, but being fit and healthy, and a deep love for animals are all essential.
Established or trainee healthcare professionals are desperately needed for this really beneficial volunteer abroad medical program which delivers medical and nursing care to Nepalese people who are poor, and living in areas without easy access to a government funded clinic or hospital. The exact tasks allocated to each volunteer will vary depending on your particular skills and experience, but all work undertaken is appreciated and highly valued by current staff and patients.
This once in a lifetime volunteer overseas turtle conservation program is well priced, and provides an essential source of extra hands to help turtles which are in danger of extinction. Volunteers get to take part in a range of essential and interesting activities including caring for hatchlings, night patrol duties, recording and monitoring turtle numbers, caring for sick turtles and cleaning the beaches.
Volunteers must be physically fit, willing to work long hours as required – often in challenging weather conditions – be okay with very basic living conditions and have at least some understanding of Spanish.
Global Crossroad is an American company based in Dallas which has been offering a range of overseas volunteer opportunities since 2003. Regular programs for volunteers are available, along with specialized options including internships, summer vacation and family programs, in 18 locations across three continents.
Every year more and more people choose to volunteer abroad with Global Crossroad, a reelection of the high quality, affordable and meaningful projects on offer. Every volunteer enjoys comprehensive support both before and during their time on the program, with thought and attention given to ensuring the experience is worthwhile and valuable to all involved.
Over twenty thousand alumni have enjoyed Global Crossroad’s combination of exciting travel to a foreign country, with volunteer work which make a difference to the people they meet.
With over 200 projects and 18 countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America to choose between it’s easy to find the perfect volunteer abroad program for you. From mini-adventures, group projects, internships, seasonal-based and special programs aimed at families and certain age groups, Global Crossroad offer an amazing range of volunteer overseas opportunities.
Previous volunteers rate the programs very highly, appreciating the chance to do useful work and form genuine bonds with local people. These programs can be life changing for all involved, and even one week of volunteering contributes to the long term change such projects exist to facilitate.
Programs working with children, animals, and communities, or in the medical and conservation fields are just some of the many projects available, in countries including Asia [Cambodia, India and China etc]; Africa [Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana etc], and Latin America [Ecuador, Mexico, Peru etc].
Global Crossroad work hard to make sure program fees are affordable, justified and fairly distributed. The US $299 program registration fee covers head office costs such as advertising and staff salaries, while the weekly program fee – which is paid on arrival at the project to the local coordinator – covers the costs of the home stay families (or other accommodation), and local staff who provide 24/7 support, as well as a donation to the project you are working on.
This approach to costings and charges means Global Crossroad can offer volunteer abroad programs which are around 50% cheaper than other agencies, and many exciting and worthwhile projects around the $200 mark.
Orphaned children or those from very poor families in beautiful Bali really appreciate volunteers who share their time and energy on this special childcare volunteer abroad program. You have fun playing with these lovely kids in daycare centers, which exist to help their parents work and build a better future for the whole family. Without this resource they couldn’t afford to work as private childcare is too expensive. After work each day you are free to explore and enjoy this amazing country.
Take a month to combine experiencing the wonders of Kenya with important volunteer work which will shape and improve the lives of needy children. After a full day of orientation volunteers spend around three weeks at an orphanage where they teach the youngsters basic English and absorb the rich culture of their host city. The final stage of this adventure is a 4 day safari, with lots of opportunity to spot the magnificent wildlife of Africa.
English is the global language of business and communication, so vital to ensure a decent future in a good job. Unfortunately poorer children in China have less chance to lean, so they rely on volunteers, either native or near native English speakers, willing to teach them at both primary and junior high public schools.
With fees starting at just $370 this is a fantastic opportunity to join a turtle conservation volunteer abroad project on the Caribbean Coast. This is a well organized and safe program, but living and working conditions are tough so it’s one for the true nature enthusiast. Tasks all revolve around helping scientists monitor and preserve the turtles, and may include collecting eggs, cleaning the beaches and deterring poachers.
Those who join this medical volunteer abroad project help disadvantaged people in rural Nepal get basic health care. Clinics and hospitals outside of the main cities and towns tend to be seriously understaffed so without help from projects like this many people would simply miss out on any kind of treatment or health education.
This is a worthwhile and meaningful animal volunteer overseas program perfect for anyone who cares passionately about helping wild animals. Big cats, baboons, meerkats and other animals that are injured or orphaned rely on this centre to care for them and provide medical treatment. Volunteers are needed to help feed and treat them, as well as assisting with general maintenance and upkeep of the sanctuary and any other relevant tasks assigned to keep things running well.
This independent, British volunteer abroad organization was founded in 2006, and offers ethical, affordable and interesting placements on volunteer projects in 20+ countries. Their commitment to offering international volunteer opportunities open to everyone is easy to see, with one completely free project, and others costing from just £12.50 per week.
Original Volunteers plan to continue growing, and offering more and more programs for those who want to make a difference to the world. Their programs are extremely flexible, and volunteers can mix and match projects in either one destination country or in several if travelling the world.
If someone has an idea for a new project which would utilize their exiting skills and interests staff at Original Volunteers are happy to consider creating a new program to provide this opportunity.
Original Volunteers offer much more than program organization, providing information and advice for the parents of volunteers, as well as offering a travel buddy app for volunteers to connect to others.
Original Volunteers offer a wide range of different volunteer abroad projects in the fields of construction, personal care, nursing, conservation, childcare, sports, teaching, and animal care. Longer term programs for gap year students are also available. Most programs are offered across Africa, Asia and both South & North America, but an exciting arts based opportunity is available in Europe, [Bulgaria].
Everyone joining a volunteer abroad project offered by Original Volunteers pays a £125 registration fee, but this covers all projects applied for and started within a one year period, whether that involves one or several.
Full details of the fees required for each project can be found here, but in brief: fees vary between projects, and although in general the base charge covers accommodation and the services of an in-country support worker, other expenses such as food, flights, and visas must be budgeted for on an individual basis. Some projects have a zero base charge for a 1 or 2 week stay, and there are plenty which cost around $100 for a week.
This company offer lot of interesting and worthwhile programs based all around the world, and here are more details of some of the most popular.
Two amazing opportunities for cheap volunteer abroad work with youngsters are offered in Chitwan, Nepal. Volunteers interested in teaching are placed at the eco-lodge community school where they help with lessons and teach English language skills. Those placed at the children’s home help care for children aged between 6 and 13 years, and the work involves both general care tasks and organizing fun activities.
No specific experience is needed to help on international volunteer construction projects in Ghana and Uganda, as extra hands are always useful for the basic level tasks involved. Some volunteers choose to combine work on a building project with another, perhaps longer, volunteer overseas program. Similar opportunities are on offer in Cambodia, where a fee of $150 covers a stay up to 12 weeks!
If the artistic side of building is more your thing their project in Morocco is for you, as volunteers spend their time painting murals on local community buildings.
Some volunteer overseas medical related projects [Ghana - general, Cameroon – nursing/midwifery] require applicants to either be fully qualified, or a student in the fields of either medicine, nursing, physiotherapy, pharmaceuticals or midwifery; though some will accept those with a keen interest and no direct experience; (inc, Uganda, in a medical clinic; Ghana, for aid related work; Bulgaria, working with the elderly.)
From working in a South African monkey sanctuary, to rescuing iguana in Honduras, there’s a range of exciting cheap animal volunteer abroad projects to pick from. Most don’t require special qualifications or experience, so long as volunteers are fit and healthy, love animals and are able to carry out all tasks required.
Dan Radcliffe founded International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) in New Zealand in 2007. Having decided a corporate job and lifestyle wasn’t for him Dan took some time out to travel, which included spending some time as a volunteer in Africa.
His research into volunteer opportunities overseas revealed they were generally over priced and focused on making profit rather than helping the communities people were paying to serve. Consequently he worked hard to raise the cash to launch IVHQ – based on the principles of affordable, meaningful and high quality volunteer programs around the world.
IVHQ have programs running in more than 35 places across 6 continents, and an impressive roll call of alumni totaling 70,000+ satisfied volunteers who rate their experiences at an average of 98%. Their volunteer abroad programs range from one to twenty four weeks in length, and start from only $180 U.S.
All programs work around the concept of building community, and projects are available in a wide variety of key areas including childcare, animal welfare, conservation, education and healthcare.
All volunteer abroad programs carry a $299 registration fee to cover administration costs, full support from staff, a program guide, online training, lifelong membership of the alumni group and access to special deals on insurance and flight tickets.
Project fees differing depending largely on the destination country. For example, a one week volunteer abroad program in Argentina costs $325, rising to $490 for 2 weeks, and getting comparatively cheaper for each further week added. One or two projects carry a small additional charge to cover essential materials needed to join.
Program fees cover 24/7 support in your destination country, airport transfer on arrival, orientation, meals and accommodation. They do not cover departure transfers, personal spending costs, or expenses relating to visas, health checks and vaccinations, flight, and so on.
If you believe that all children should have the right to education, healthcare, support, love and care, regardless of where they live in the world, then any of these programs are perfect for you. On an international volunteer childcare project your work makes a significant difference to children who may otherwise miss out. Various options are available, including programs in community and day care centers, schools and orphanages.
People with compassionate, kind and caring personalities who are willing to work hard are needed for volunteer abroad special needs programs in China. Projects run from 1-24 weeks and incorporate various tasks, including personal care, organizing leisure activities and helping with the education program in place.
This is an amazing opportunity to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of South Africa while helping with vital conservation campaigns. IVHQ’s overseas volunteer wildlife conservation program is based in a private game reserve, and grants you the unique opportunity to live and work in a magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Joining an international volunteer healthcare program is a great way to get hands-on experience of medical tasks, while helping those who rely on such opportunities for treatment and advice. Volunteers may also take on tasks relating to education on various aspects of health and hygiene. Opportunities exist for both qualified and student nurse and doctors, as well as people with a background in related medical fields such as radiology and physiotherapy.
Every year the number of families who want to experience meaningful travel and combine their vacation with some volunteer work is increasing, and IVHQ meet this need with a range of 35 exciting volunteer overseas programs for families available on several continents. Some programs only accept applicants aged over 18, but others accept families with children of any age, and the childcare related programs are often the most popular for those with younger children.
Community development schemes cover a wide variety of programs and projects dealing with everything from construction and environmental tasks to micro-finance and general education, depending largely on the needs of the specific area the project is based in. Most volunteer abroad community development programs involve a variety of tasks, and in Ecuador volunteers should ideally speak some Spanish and be able to work on their on initiative.
UBELONG is based in the United States, and offers 1 week to 6 month programs throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe. The company was formed in 2004 by university friends Cedric Hodgeman and Raul Roman, who shared a mutual desire to offer a way for people to connect around the world.
Starting with volunteer abroad programs in Latin America and Asia, before expanding to Africa and Europe, the company’s ethos remains focused on providing a local service to global recipients. Currently 12 fabulous countries host a variety of projects which make a serious and long lasting difference to thousands of people.
UBELONG programs are based on needs identified by the communities involved, so they are always extremely meaningful. An equal amount of respect and care is offered to volunteers too, with opportunities for everyone to take part – regardless of their age, background or financial position. Their ethos is to facilitate human connections through hands on experience and face to face communication.
UBELONG offer volunteer abroad, high school and company programs in 12 countries, in fields such as animal care, business, education, care giving, health, the environment, sports, and women’s empowerment.
Regular overseas volunteer opportunities last from one week, and are available in Belize, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Ghana, Laos, India, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, Portugal and more, while high school programs are longer and offer a detailed cultural program alongside the volunteer interaction.
All UBELONG programs are designed to make a difference and overseen by a dedicated team of experienced professionals who offer support and advice to both current and alumni volunteers. It’s no surprise that these popular, affordable and well organized volunteer abroad programs have a near 100% rating from satisfied participants.
Fees for these meaningful projects start at just $210, with the average being around $300 for one week. [Extended stays work out cheaper, per week. For example, 1 week on a volunteer program in Mexico is $205, while 2 weeks is $345 and 3 weeks just $475].
A $295 reservation fee is payable on booking a place, and volunteers on the construction/infrastructure project must pay an extra $15 (cash) per week to help buy materials like paint and brushes.
Project fees cover pre-trip admin related expenses, the services of a mentor, and shopping discounts, as well as airport transfer costs on arrival, a free day on arrival to relax, orientation, accommodation, 2 meals a day, and support staff. Post-trip - a reference letter and networking opportunities are covered too.
Departure airport transfers, airfare, medical insurance, visa costs, personal spending cash, the cost of dinners, drinks and snacks are not covered.
UBELONG offers international volunteer environmental projects on the Galapagos Islands which involve living on the reserve and spending a few hours a day on a range of conservation tasks. These could include identifying and removing foreign plants which threaten local flora and fauna, maintaining trails and helping locally grown produce thrive.
No special experience is needed but volunteers must be fit for manual work in a humid environment, and happy to take on a flexible workload.
Over one third of the population in Cambodia consists of children aged 15 and younger, and many of them are living in poverty, without schooling, adequate healthcare, affection and guidance or much hope for the future. As a result their risk of drifting into the drug scene, sex trade or general criminal behavior is very high.
Volunteer abroad street children projects have been set up to cater to such vulnerable young people; offering them support, structure, guidance and both medical and educational options they wouldn’t otherwise have. Other opportunities to work with children in Cambodia include a program offering education and stimulation to children with disabilities.
When survival is the ongoing priority communities are vulnerable, and generally find it impossible to fight injustices through the legal system. International volunteer law programs provide extra people to help fight battles concerning things like housing rights and pollution in Cambodia, or campaigns to eradicate child labor in Ghana.
Although formal education is now considered very important by the government in Cambodia not all sectors of society are taking advantage of the emerging opportunities. Many poor children drop out of school and a lot of people, particularly women, are illiterate.
These facts are problematic, as those without a decent record of learning or basic skills are destined to remain in low paid, unskilled work. UBELONG’s volunteer abroad education program operates from a base in Phnom Penh, but provides educational opportunities for the disadvantaged both in the city and in the areas around it.
Many Costa Ricans keep animals around but they don’t consider them family members as western people do, and in many cases they don’t have enough spare money to feed and care for them; consequently, every year thousands of dogs are abandoned or left to fend for themselves on the streets.
This volunteer abroad animal rescue project operates out of Cartago, caring for sick and abused dogs, and adopting them out after they have been spayed or neutered. If you love dogs this hands-on role will bring joy to your heart.
The healthcare system in Cambodia has yet to fully recover from the effects of Khmer Rouge rule, so despite some considerable progress there are still many problems with disease and staff shortages which water down the positive changes being made. International healthcare volunteers are always needed to help deliver treatment and educational information, and to share their vital knowledge of modern healthcare systems.
In South Africa sport is treasured as it unites the population, regardless of the differences between groups. Both rugby and soccer build close bonds between team members and supporters, encouraging trust and understanding. These factors make it crucial that all kids have access to a sports program at school, and with resources being limited it is volunteers, who spend time teaching the children how to play different sports, who make the magic happen.
Joining this international volunteer physical education program requires at least a 2-week commitment, good health and a decent level of fitness.
In 2009 New Zealanders Julian and Kelly, [brother and sister], started working on what would become Love volunteers after being shocked at the fees volunteer abroad agencies were charging people. Within a month or two they were travelling the world forging connections with local charities, and a few months later in January 2010 the website was launched.
Initially there were 20 projects on offer, based in 12 countries, and by May of that year 50 people a month were joining these programs. Since then Love Volunteers has continued to thrive and expand whilst maintaining their original ethos – to provide affordable volunteer abroad opportunities with no strings and hidden fees. All programs are safe, meaningful and worthwhile.
Love Volunteers offer overseas volunteer projects across seven continents, in fields including childcare and development, wildlife and animals, teaching and education, sport, arts and music, women's empowerment, community development, healthcare and medical, disabilities and special needs.
Volunteers who have completed their programs give consistently high satisfaction ratings which combine to produce a score close to 100%.
There are two types of fee to pay to join one of these exciting projects; the registration fee of $299, [or $149 for Love Volunteer Alumni], plus a program fee which is different for each project.
The program fees cover extensive support both in the pre-volunteering period and then 24/7 while away, airport transfer on arrival, orientation once in country, food and accommodation as outlined on the program itself, and more. Flight, visas, insurance, domestic transportation costs, personal spending money and vaccination expenses and departure airport transfer fees are not included.
10% of all program fees are held back to cover the costs of international bank transfers, while the remainder is given directly to the project and community you are working with.
Longer stays make each week proportionately cheaper. For example, a 2 week volunteer project on wildlife conservation costs $679, with an extra week just $180 more.
Joining this worthwhile conservation volunteer project gives you the opportunity to help preserve the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest. Duties include working on educational and research projects, to identify key concerns, plan strategies to overcome them, and help others learn how to do the same. Some developmental work with local communities may also be included in your schedule. Programs require a minimum of a one week commitment, and participants must be aged over 18.
On this project you work with both children and young adults who have special needs ranging from deafness, to complex physical and mental disabilities. Students are divided into different learning groups to best meet their educational needs, and they study in classes of around 10 - 15 people. Some groups study a wide curriculum, others focus more on practical activities such as sewing, baking and crafts. During a minimum two week stay those joining this special needs overseas volunteer project help improve the future for these wonderful young people.
Artistic expression is something which brings comfort and builds confidence in the vulnerable and overlooked children of Ghana, so by joining this creative arts international volunteer project you can help more young people develop skills to improve their lives. For many this could be the only chance they ever have to express themselves freely and achieve something positive.
Education is the key to change, yet many young people in Nepal miss out, and are therefore unable to break free from the poverty and despair that controls their lives. This amazing education volunteer abroad program offers slum children in Kathmandu the opportunity to learn for free, and those who can teach any subject at all are very welcome. One week on this project costs just over $250!
Wildlife in the Amazon area is always under threat from poachers and animal-traffickers, and this project exists to provide a sanctuary for those animals rescued from such awful situations. After treatment and/or rehabilitation some can be released, while others live the rest of their lives in a protected, but natural, environment.
Formed in 2001, Eli Abroad is an American non-profit organization which is proud to partner with active community changing groups around the world. By working together they can offer a volunteer experience which is equally meaningful to all who are involved, without charging top end fees. As a non-profit all surplus funds are ploughed back into the programs or used to support good causes.
The name ELI stands for Experiential Learning International, and all programs are designed to provide participants with the maximum opportunity possible to learn more about themselves and the world through ‘doing’.
Alumni volunteers hail from over 40 countries and range in age from 18 to 82! All are welcome to join, from students and business people to caregivers and retirees.
All programs are truly immersive, whether they last a week or a year, and with a satisfaction score of 97%+ they are popular across the board. Programs catering to volunteering abroad, as well as internships, group volunteering and adult travelers are all on offer.
The eclectic range of program topics available includes construction, microfinance, arts, education, animal care, health, nutrition, social care and special education; offered in countries such as Bali, India, Ghana, Germany, Cambodia, Uganda, Argentina and Ireland.
All programs have a $200 application fee, plus [for standard volunteer programs], fees of $695, applicable for any one stay which can last from 2 – 12 weeks.. These generally include arrival airport pick up, orientation, and extensive support on site, but not accommodation, food, airfare and insurances. Local support is available to help you secure a place to stay.
Non-standard volunteer programs are priced per country. 2 weeks on a program in Ghana costs US$955, with 3 weeks being US$1060 – plus the $200 registration charge. What is covered by the fee also differ between countries, and in this case accommodation and 2 meals a day are provided.
Trafficking animals is big business in Ecuador, with many thousands of animals such as bears, birds and monkeys being captured for sale on the black market every year. Once seized by rescuers these animals need daily care and rehabilitation to prepare them for life back in the wild, and keen animal rescue volunteers help provide this at a specialist center.
Other animal rescue work available involves protecting coastal sea turtles, or helping at tortoise breeding centers.
A specialist opportunity is available to anyone involved with, or interested in, veterinary medicine which allows volunteers to shadow local professionals at a university based vet department.
This dual program runs for a month at a time and combines English teaching at a monastery with work at a nearby orphanage. In the latter role volunteer’s support, tutor and play with the children, as well as organizing activities to educate and entertain them.
Nepal has suffered more than its fair share of natural disasters, and help with constructing houses, painting, repairing fences and similar tasks is always needed. This construction international volunteer project doesn’t require any specialist skills, although trained craftspeople are welcome of course.
Family owned organization Maximo Nivel has been offering top quality and very well priced overseas volunteer opportunities, in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru, since 2003. The name is Spanish for ‘maximum level’, and it represents the ‘no limits’ approach taken to providing amazing opportunities to all involved.
1200+ volunteers work in each of the three counties covered every year, taking part in a wide range of programs such as education, volunteer, internship, adventure, gap, travel and study abroad.
Each participant, whether volunteer or client, is provided with a professional and meaningful experience, and the organizations overall goal for volunteer abroad placements is to provide high quality, affordable programs which make a lasting difference to beneficiaries. Maximo Nivel multilingual staff are all experienced in the field of travel and volunteering.
All Maximo Nivel volunteer programs are based in Latin America, with the original three destinations of Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru now supplemented by projects in Guatemala and El Salvador.
There’s a wide range of different types of program to choose from, including programs involving teaching, working with children, animal welfare, medical-healthcare, construction and with indigenous communities.
English teaching programs may be based in churches, schools or community centers, while medical placements may be in clinics, hospitals, supported living centers or other specialist places. People with a passion for DIY or animals have also got some great projects to choose between.
With an almost perfect evaluation score from volunteer alumni, Maximo Nivel volunteer abroad programs are very worthwhile.
Maximo Nivel program fee are generally much cheaper than those set by competitors, partly because being based in the locality means there is no middle person taking a fee to connect volunteers with local organizations. Although fees are affordable the programs are all high quality, with no corner cutting or compromises.
Volunteer abroad program fees include 24/7 professional support, airport transfers on arrival, accommodation with a host family, 2 meals a day, free supplementary classes and local tours and a safe, supported placement on a volunteer project. Volunteers are responsible for the costs of their flights, domestic transportation, insurance, spending ash and return airport transfer.
Program fees vary depending on the location and project type. For example: 1 week on a Guatemala program costs $635, rising to a very reasonable $1065 for three weeks, while projects in Cusco, Peru run from $625 for one week, up to $1195 for four. Any additional weeks are just $135 each.
Being able to understand and speak English well bring many advantages to people in Latin America, and is one way poor people can get a better job and get out of poverty, but disadvantaged students cannot afford to attend private language schools so they miss out. Working on this very useful teaching volunteer abroad program is a great way to level the playing field and also develop your own skills in the classroom.
This is an amazing volunteer opportunity for animal lovers, who may be keen to help at a dog rescue center, a zoo, or with rescued reptiles. Animals in Latin America are not treated like extended family members the way they often are in the west; so many dogs are abandoned, or left to take care of themselves for whatever reason. Volunteering in a dog rescue facility means lot of hard work keeping the residents clean, exercised and fed, but also fun time spent playing and socializing with these furry friends.
Volunteers work in clinics, hospitals, care homes and other specialist heath care places which cater for poor or low income people. Tasks include helping with educational campaigns and vaccination programs, updating records, administering basic care and so on – exact duties assigned to those on this medical overseas volunteer program are based on someone’s qualifications and experience in this field.
A two day orientation kicks off this worthwhile program which operates on both the both Caribbean and Pacific coasts. Sea turtle are under constant threat from both pollution and poachers, so your help to protect them is very much appreciated. If you are aged over 17, prepared to work shifts and sometimes for long hours and are physically fit, this turtle conservation volunteer abroad program is perfect for you.
Working Abroad, (which started life as VWIS), was formed in 1997 by two experienced volunteers who were so impressed by their experiences, and that rare chance to make a real difference to people from different countries and backgrounds, they felt compelled to offer other people similar opportunities.
Having undertaken extensive research prior to their own volunteering trip they were aware of the difficulties involved in finding a decent placement back then, and set about pulling together a crucial network of contacts and information to guide future volunteers.
The company’s ethos revolves around creating opportunities for young people to contribute to world change, particularly in the areas of conservation and quality of human life, and they now have over 2500 projects linked to legitimate organizations in 100+ countries all around the world, which all work towards these goals.
Working Abroad have various volunteer abroad programs to pick from, including several in fields such as community development work, healthcare, childcare, elephant conservation, wildlife tracking and environmentalism. These run in Latin America, Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, Asia and Oceania. A database is available to help prospective volunteers find programs which suit their interests and skill base.
There are also special projects available for groups or families who wish to volunteer together, and for those interested but aged under 18; along with programs offering a combination of volunteer work and a TEFL certificate course.
There are no age limits, so everyone from high school students to the retired are free to apply, and with alumni satisfaction ratings in the high 90s they can sign up with confidence to this safe, enjoyable and meaningful program.
Program fees vary depending on the location and project type. For example, fees for volunteering on an elephant project in Thailand start from around $360, and include support, food, accommodation and domestic transportation, while an English teaching volunteer placement in Laos is around $300 and covers the same extras barring food – which is breakfast only.
If you love elephants there’s no better project to join than this one. After working hard in the tourist industry many elderly elephants are made to beg to earn an income for their owners, but here they can enjoy a peaceful retirement and some freedom. This elephant volunteer abroad project runs for between 1 and 4 weeks, all year round, and participants also help with local community projects.
This ecological and animal care project offers a variety of work to keen conservation volunteers. From night surveys and beach patrols to direct turtle care and helping with local educational programs, there is plenty to keep volunteers busy. Stay from 1 to 12 weeks anytime between July and December, with all food, camp lodgings and training provided.
Could you teach math and English to kids aged from 6 to 13 in orphanages? Or get involved with sports and art activities? Formal and fun activities, along with supervising homework and generally supporting these disadvantaged youngsters are all on the agenda on a teaching overseas volunteer program.
Anyone interested in healthcare work and with either a qualification or at least some basic experience in the field, will enjoy this volunteer project where they can shadow and support trained staff at clinics which help disadvantaged people access essential medical services. This is a project where cultural immersion is a priority, with volunteers living with a host family where they can experience all aspects of authentic Nepalese culture.
Plan My Gap Year was the brainchild of a group of UK volunteers, founded in 2011 to provide affordable, supported and safe yet fun adventure based volunteer travel opportunities to a wider audience than traditional volunteer abroad programs could. Since then they have grown substantially, handling over 3000 volunteers every year.
All projects offered are designed to make a long term difference to those who participate and benefit from the work, and monitored to ensure this is always the case.
Solo travelers are both encouraged and fully supported; as PMGY appreciate being part of a bigger picture is a key benefit of the volunteer abroad experience.
With programs running from 1 to 24 weeks in 14 countries around the world both short and long term volunteers can get involved. PMGY offer volunteer abroad projects in five countries across the African continent, including Morocco, Tanzania and South Africa; nine Asian or Pacific destinations, such as India, Bali and Cambodia; as well as extended trips, school-group programs and specific opportunities for young teenagers.
Most programs fit into the categories of childcare, education, conservation and medical/health, and with a 98% satisfaction rating awarded by volunteer alumni you can be confident they are all worthwhile.
All volunteer projects require a registration fee of around $100 to cover company expenses, however the fees charged for each project, while all extremely affordable, vary between types and locations.
One week on a conservation project in Madagascar is around $135, while 2 weeks in Nepal helping on a childcare program starts from around $190. 14 days on a Ghana medical program comes in at around $230, and includes accommodation, 3 meals a day, airport transfer on arrival, orientation and full support in country.
Children with no parents, or families who simply cannot afford to care for them, live in orphanages where they receive adequate care but limited education or opportunities for leisure activities. Volunteers are always appreciated to help with both routine activities like cooking and serving food, and educational support tasks like supervising homework. There’s always time for fun and games too, or you can teach these lovely children how to do crafts, sing or dance.
The Ghanaian health care system is not able to offer a comprehensive service to those in rural areas, many of whom are living in poverty and unsanitary conditions, and therefore more vulnerable to sickness and disease. Volunteers with none, some or lots of experience and qualifications are welcome, as tasks to suit your skills can be easily arranged. Volunteers gain experience and learn more about the medical system while providing much needed care.
In Nepal being able to speak English makes it easier to go to university or find a job in tourism, yet many public school teachers struggle to master the language themselves. Native or near native speakers offer a much needed boost to keen young students, and even one week of interaction on this English teaching international volunteer program is enough to help change their futures forever.
You can choose to spend between 1 and 12 weeks on this exciting conservation program situated at a remote nature reserve. Volunteers help preserve the rare animal and plant life which resides there, which includes 5 species of lemur and over 50 types of reptiles. Other tasks include helping build local facilities and panting gardens to grow food. The work is physically demanding and very variable, but the rewards are more than enough to compensate.
Our research shows that the 13 volunteer companies outlined above are the best cheap volunteer overseas options. There are a few other top class volunteer companies which may not be as cheap, but they still offer amazingly great programs and have really great testimonies.
Following four years of hard work and general preparation, UK volunteer abroad agency Agape was fully launched in 2009 by a group made up of ex-volunteers and the local contacts they had made while conducting research and volunteering overseas, specifically in Kenya.
The original intention was to help those in acute need in Africa by developing volunteer projects which have a lasting and sustainable goal for the communities involved, while also being meaningful to those giving their time for free. In 2011 the programs were extended to other countries, and by 2012 these included a partnership with a music scheme in Ghana.
In 2013 Agape added a new branch, offering adventure trips for volunteers to add on to their volunteer abroad experience, as well as developing a travel policy which is an integral part of each volunteer program. Plans to continue expanding are in progress, as many people round the world need help so badly.
Volunteers can choose between programs offered in Kenya, Maasai-land, Ghana, Tanzania and South Africa, where up to six different projects are available in each place. These range from music and conservation, to teaching and medical placements, and most can be booked for stays of 1 week up to an entire year. In most cases two projects can be combined, so don’t worry if choosing just one is difficult.
Previous volunteers rate their satisfaction with Agape’s programs at 95%+.
Agape don’t ask for a registration fee, and the affordable program fees start from just a few hundred US dollars. The money generated is all used to support both the chosen project and the volunteer, both before and during the trip.
Simply pick your desired country and length of stay to generate a price, as each program has a different fee. Program fees cover accommodation, 2 meals a day for 6 days of the week, airport transfers on arrival and departure, travel insurance, a local tour and in country support and orientation. Other expenses, such as flight tickets, visas, vaccinations and spending cash are down to the volunteer to cover.
This blended program combines time spent in an orphanage and the school it is attached to. Volunteers help deliver the entire curriculum according to their own interests and knowledge, with English language classes a certainty; then in the orphanage they help with general tasks, mentor children as they do homework, and plan fun activities.
This volunteer program can be intense, demanding and sometimes challenging, but it is also worthwhile, both for the patients who benefit and for the hands-on experience med school or other qualifying volunteers can get. Tasks are assigned according to ability and experience, and increase once you have settled in.
If you care about animals why not help protect endangered species by joining this exciting project? Volunteers help track and keep records on the movements of rhinos, elephants, lions and hyenas, keep an eye out for poachers and help with general park maintenance tasks. This is a unique opportunity to get up close with wildlife in a natural environment.
In 1989 Frontier launched its first volunteer abroad project in Tanzania, with the dual intention of helping to improve the environment and ecosystem in previously neglected or overlooked areas, alongside providing opportunities for lifelong sustainable options to local people and communities.
Since then this non-profit NGO has grown substantially, and currently offers 400+ projects, operated in partnership with local NGOs, government representative and other key figures, in more than twenty countries around the world. Frontier retains the original focus of providing for the poorest and most disadvantaged, while promoting high ethical standards and a serious commitment to protecting biodiverse environments.
With bases in 70+ countries across 5 continents it’s not difficult to find a destination which appeals. Frontier also offer dedicated programs beyond volunteer abroad placements in the wildlife, marine conservation and animal care fields, including those which focus on gap year volunteer/travel options, internships and work placements, study abroad courses – such as TEFL qualifications.
Their programs are consistently popular with volunteers who have completed a term on these worthy projects.
Frontier volunteer abroad programs require no registration fee, with each project being competitively priced according to the length of stay and chosen destination. Fees of around $700 for 2 weeks on an animal conservation project in Botswana are around the average.
Although each project may have slightly different conditions, most include extensive support and advice before, during and after the placement, accommodation, food, orientation and airport transfers. As with most agencies the costs of insurance, visas, vaccinations, fights and personal spending money are not covered by program fees.
Travel to Xiamen and enjoy earning about this ancient country’s culture, while helping local camp staff lead group of youngsters in games, sightseeing tours and other activities. You will also help the children to both learn and practice English during this exciting summer camp volunteer abroad program.
Over half a million different kinds of animals call Costa Rica home, and more than half of these live in and around the Osa Peninsula, an area of special ecological interest which is in danger of being wiped out by threats such as pollution and climate change. Volunteers are needed to help monitor wildlife activity and maintain the area to allow it to recover.
Spend some time in this tropical paradise helping to care for animals which have been either abandoned or lost in Fiji. Duties include cleaning their living areas, walking, feeding and grooming them as needed, and of course devoting time to play and cuddles.
This established British company has organized over 50.000 gap year student volunteer abroad adventures, and boasts more than 250 different trips in 35+ countries to suit all tastes and interests.
Volunteers enjoy the chance to travel, help people, or get valuable hands-on work experience, for a couple of weeks or for much longer if that appeals. They offer a way to experience the world which goes beyond the ordinary, creating memories which will last a lifetime.
A fully supportive system is in place to connect volunteers with others before they travel if they are nervous of setting out alone, and all projects are designed to be both extremely safe, and have 24/7 support staff available.
Key staff at Real Gap have all got extensive experience of volunteering abroad, and between them have visited most areas of the world. This hands-on experience is what makes their programs so valuable to the volunteers who join up.
Expert workers can offer advice and guidance, as well as answer any questions on the range of exciting programs offered. Alongside paid work, and adventure travel trips Real Gap Experience offer an exciting range of volunteer programs in areas like teaching, construction, childcare and animal care.
All volunteer abroad programs are designed to empower communities and help people move towards self sufficiency.
Reviews of Real Gap Experience projects are positive, with scores around 90% from alumni volunteers.
There’s no registration fee required to volunteer with Real Gap, and a £49 deposit is enough to secure a place. The program fees vary depending on the location and type of project, but they are all very reasonable, and staying for additional weeks makes each week even cheaper.
For example, a 2-week stay on a childcare volunteer abroad project in South Africa costs £439, with an extra week raising this to just £499. These fees include arrival airport transfer, accommodation, orientation and 24/7 support. Food, visa and flight expenses, insurance coverage, food and return transfer are not covered. What is and isn’t included differs between projects.
This exciting project begins with an orientation period in Kathmandu which includes language lessons, information on your placement, key cultural insights and of course a guided tour of some famous sights along with traditional Nepalese meals. Afterwards, international volunteers travel to their project site, and meet the young monks who will be their students. English classes run for 3-4 hours every afternoon, along with fun activities in the evening.
This program offers a real immersion experience, with homestay accommodation, and the opportunity to learn a lot about Buddhist culture, as well as time to explore this amazing country.
Following a 3-5 day orientation/settling in period where you meet other volunteers and your host family, take a crash course in the local language, and do a little sightseeing, your placement will begin. This education volunteer abroad program places you in either a local school or children’s home, where you can teach English, science, math, sports or games depending on your experience and skills. Volunteers either stay with a host family or live in the children’s home, and in line with Nepalese culture are served two meals a day.
This program offers an amazing hands-on experience with injured and orphaned animals such as mongoose, meerkats and cheetahs. From early morning breakfast duties to helping repair enclosures, each day is different and busy, but fun and rewarding. There’s also plenty of time to relax with other wildlife program volunteers and see the famous sights in the area.
Established in 1998, GVI is staffed largely by ex-volunteers, which reflects the company’s ethos of providing volunteer abroad opportunities which make a real difference to the world, as well as being affordable, interesting, fun, meaningful and safe for the volunteer.
GVI offer a comprehensive system of support, from the initial inquiry stages right through to post-project ideas, to ensure volunteers are able to get the most possible from their overseas volunteer experience.
To maintain programs which are genuinely meaningful GVI only partner with respected and legitimate organizations, such as Save the Children and The Red Cross.
With 150+ programs running in 10 countries worldwide there are plenty to choose from, so whether you are thinking about heading for Africa, Asia, Europe, America or Australasia, and are attracted to projects in the areas of community development, education or conservation – you won’t be disappointed.
As well as volunteer abroad opportunities GVI also offer expeditions, family programs, internships, long term and multi-country options. Whether you can spare one week, a month or even six, you will be welcomed, and you will make a difference.
More than 2000 people enjoy a GVI volunteer abroad program every year, and ratings from these volunteer alumni are always in the high 90s.
GVI do not charge applicants any registration fees, and their affordable project fees include 24/7 support in the destination county, access to various discounts as GVI alumni, airport transfer on arrival [in most cases], all equipment and materials needed to participate, top quality, thorough training before the project begins, orientation once in country, meals whilst on the volunteer abroad project, domestic transportation, and accommodation.
Other expenses, such as flight costs, visa fees, insurance, medical necessities and spending cash are not covered.
Based in the city of Luang Prabang, this project exists to help women learn English and other employment related skills to improve their future opportunities. This is a proven way of helping families breakout of the cycle of poverty, and such an immersive experience offers volunteers a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience and explore Lao culture in depth.
Children volunteer program in Mexico
Based at a Save the Children managed center in the beach town of Playa del Carmen, this invaluable program enables kids to learn, grow and play in a safe environment. Those who stay for longer than 8 weeks may be eligible to study Spanish too.
This project involves helping with various tasks ranging from assisting local medical staff with practical and information gathering duties, facilitating workshops on healthcare, and generally promoting a wellbeing lifestyle. In their free time volunteers can enjoy the beach, try out snorkeling, go dolphin watching or hike to beautiful waterfalls.
Founded back in 2008 by two people inspired by the benefits overseas volunteer work gave both them, and the children they worked with, this American company has since blossomed into a major provider of not just volunteer abroad programs but internships, study abroad and gap year opportunities too.
Their 250+ programs offered across Africa, Asia and Latin America, in fields such as medical, childcare, and conservation have 5 star ratings, yet are both meaningful and affordable. Volunteer abroad options which are both financially accessible and designed to make a difference are two crucial elements of ABV’s approach.
Rated at 100% by previous volunteers, A Broader View has every right to be proud of their meaningful volunteer abroad programs which are based in countries across Asia, Africa and South America.
Some of their most popular programs involve working with children – at orphanages, with street kids or as a language teacher, with animals such as elephants and turtles, in healthcare service or community development.
A Broader View does not charge a registration fee for their projects, and the program fees are kept as reasonable as possible. As each project requires cash to pay local staff and buy materials, as well as cover the costs of accommodation, food and airport transfers etc for volunteers, it is crucial low fees don’t compromise the people such projects are intended to support.
Fees are variable, depending on the destination country, the topic of your project and how long you plan to stay, but as basic examples a week on a program in Argentina is $895, rising to $1050/1295 for 2/3 week stay. Most other projects are around this price too.
In general accommodation, some food, arrival airport transfers, support and training are covered by this fee, while flights, visas, insurances and personal spending etc are not.
Sometimes a project will require an extra payment to cover materials needed, or ask volunteers to bring particular equipment with them.
If you care about the environment and the wildlife it is home to then this project is a good choice. Spend 1-8 weeks on this exciting conservation volunteer program where you live in basic conditions and support local staff in all aspects of their work.
This project is based in an orphanage for 20+youngdters aged up to 12 years. Volunteers help the children learn basic English, help staff with food preparation and serving, and create fun leisure activities for the residents to enjoy based on crafts, music or games.
From very young children to seniors, Tanzanians of all ages live with, and need support with, HIV/AIDS, and as a volunteer on this remote community project you can help provide the care and comfort they need. As well as medical and educational tasks, those on this HIV awareness volunteer abroad program also work on related tasks such as distributing food and visiting an orphanage.
Students on pre-med/nursing programs, or those studying a science with an interest in working in the medical field, are needed as volunteers at a hospital for children in San Jose. Tasks involve everything from feeding the babies to teaching the older children, and any other work a doctor may ask for help with. It’s possible to combine this project with a Spanish language program.
Go Eco founders Jonathan Gilben and Jonathan Tal became friends in high school, a relationship cemented by a shared passion for adventure and experiencing new cultures.
While studying geography at college they joined a few amazing volunteer abroad programs based around helping save sea turtles, and from that their dream to form an eco-focused volunteer agency was born.
In 2006 Go-Eco launched with12 volunteers helping at a turtle rescue center project in Greece, and the success of that venture has spurred steady growth. Now they operate over 150 volunteer abroad projects worldwide.
Prices are always kept as low as possible, without compromising customer service or placement quality.
As well as regular volunteer programs in the medical, education, conservation, community and wildlife fields there are special programs available, aimed at teenagers, families, groups, and those aged over 50, plus hospitality internships.
Possible destinations include several spots in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Australasia and both South and Central America.
GoEco programs have no registration fee to pay, and the program fees cover different things, depending on the project. In most cases accommodation, food, travel health insurance, airport transfer on arrival and orientation costs are covered, but full information is given for each project individually.
The program fee is essential as projects cannot afford to subsidize visitors, even when they are contributing their time, skills and efforts.
Many young children in India are living on the streets, or working in low paid jobs to buy a bed for the night. Some have run away from abuse, others were abandoned and orphaned – all are struggling to survive and avoid a life of crime and drugs. In Delhi alone there are nearly half a million such children.
This street children project offers hope to them through education, care, and fun activities which help them engage with normal life again.
Based in Hartebeespoort, this safe haven for injured or orphaned animals provides care for everything from elephants and tigers to giraffes and impalas. Where possible these animals are set free once they have recovered.
Volunteers sign up for a 2-12 week stay, and as well as interacting with and caring for the animals they help with general maintenance and construction tasks.
Those interested in healthcare can spend 2-12 weeks on a Monday- Friday, 5 hours a day project based in a clinic or rural hospital. Tasks depend on your exact experience; ability, qualifications and interest, and specialist placements in areas such as midwifery or physiotherapy are available. This is a rare opportunity to experience the Indian medical care system up close.
This South African company was established in 2004 by a group of people who had a dream to create something which could help change the world. Since then African Impact has blossomed from a small, family run business into a well established and highly respected volunteer abroad company, which attracts thousands of volunteers every year from all around the world.
The focus has always been on responsible and ethical volunteering, with all projects being based on community generated ideas and designed to make a lasting and positive difference. African Impacts’ volunteer abroad programs run in 12 countries across Africa, and each offers something as special to the volunteers as to the people they are working with.
African Impact offer four main types of volunteer abroad programs in the areas of community, conservation and group volunteering, along with internships in 9 countries across the African continent.
Community volunteering abroad programs provide participants with the invaluable opportunity to live with, and really get to know, people and their culture; while working on a project involving things such as construction, childcare or sports which make a real difference to the community.
Conservation projects feature both nature and animals, while interns can choose from various topics including law, medicine and education.
All programs are consistently well reviewed, with alumni scoring their experience in the high 90s.
African Impact does not charge volunteers a registration fee, and the volunteer fee paid is carefully calculated to cover essential expenses such as 24/7 local staff support, and cover the costs communities meet to host visitors. All fees are based on a responsible volunteering model.
Actual prices vary between programs and destinations, but many with a 10-14 day minimum stay cost around $1200-1500, with additional weeks being considerably less in most cases.
Volunteer abroad program fees include airport transfers on arrival and departure, accommodation and three meals daily, 24/7 local support, and soft drinks like water, tea and coffee.
Enjoy the wonders of the ‘Big 5’ while helping to make sure that they, along with endangered species, survive for future generations to do the same one day. Based in the Greater Kruger Area, animal conservation volunteer abroad program tasks include monitoring the animals’ movements, helping with research projects and undertaking some conservation work.
This worthwhile childcare volunteer abroad program runs for a minimum of ten days and can be combined with another program if you choose. Volunteers work with vulnerable and orphaned children aged from newborn to 8 years old, in an emergency care home every morning, then later with older children in after school programs. They are responsible for organizing fun and interesting activities which help the youngsters develop all kinds of skills.
This teaching volunteer abroad program is great for anyone who believes all children deserve an education and the chance of a decent life. Opportunities exist with various age groups of township children, from pre-schoolers and youngsters who struggle to learn in large classes, to older kids who need help with homework.
Extra hands are always very much needed in the rural Zulu villages where many people are living with HIV or AIDS. Every volunteer makes it possible for more people to access the successful treatment programs operated by the under resourced clinics. Those on healthcare volunteer abroad programs help with a wide range of duties beyond the clinics too, such as organizing support group and educational talks, and dispensing medicines.
African Impact offer volunteers a 10 day minimum stay on this meaningful ‘Girl Impact’ international volunteer program, which focuses on helping teenage girls stay in education, learn business related skills to encourage future self sufficiency or employment, manage their fertility and build self confidence.
Projects Abroad is a British company founded in 1992, with a 100,000+ strong alumni. Previous and current volunteers are from all age groups and backgrounds, attracted to the variety of genuine volunteer abroad programs and exciting destinations offered. Unlike many providers this company makes a huge effort to cater for all tastes and needs, with specific programs open to certain age groups or niche audiences, as well as offering special programs at particular times of the year such as Christmas or spring break.
This company offers extensive support to volunteers both during the application process and on the ground in a foreign country. Basically, 24/7 support is on hand to help with any issues or concerns you have.
The programs offered are all carefully designed and checked to offer real value to the target audience and a meaningful experience to the volunteers, who stay with a carefully chosen host family during their placement.
Projects Abroad offer a wide range of volunteer abroad programs in 30+ places around the world, to volunteers aged between 16 – 75+. Their most popular programs are in the fields of construction, education, healthcare, and conservation, along with the ‘High School Special’ which caters specifically for teenagers during their school breaks.
Other specialist options include programs designed especially for professionals with specific qualifications, families, groups and university students. Projects Abroad staff recognize that sometimes people have different ambitions and requirements, therefore while standard volunteer overseas projects are open to all there are also some programs which cater especially for those in older age brackets.
Projects Abroad has consistently excellent reviews, and volunteers who take up their programs score their satisfaction ratings in the high 90s.
There is no registration fee to pay with Projects Abroad, and the program fees are extremely competitive and transparent. Costs vary depending on the destination country, the project type and the length of program, but they all include all food and accommodation, airport transfers, insurance, domestic travel to project if needed and support at all times from local and office staff. Flights, visas, vaccinations and other expenses are not covered.
Full details of pricing in each country’s currency can be found here.
Alumni of their previous programs are eligible for a range of discounts and special offers.
Conservation volunteer abroad programs involve a variety of related tasks, such as collecting and recording relevant data, helping deliver community education schemes, planting trees and monitoring wildlife. These exciting programs, many with a specific focus, are available worldwide. Learn to dive and help protect marine life in Thailand, or jet to Barra Honda National Park to learn about tropical dry forest conservation, work with sharks in Fiji, or with endangered wildlife in Kenya. All thee and more are on offer.
These specialist healthcare international volunteer programs offer those studying in the field, or with experience already, the chance to observe or work with local professionals, and undertake suitable tasks based on their individual background. Various aspects of healthcare are available, including medical internships, midwifery, nursing, dentistry, physical therapy, and nutrition.
These one week volunteer abroad programs are designed especially for students in college to join during their mid-semester spring holiday. As always there are various projects to choose from, such as construction work in Jamaica, which involves building toilets and renovating the homes of those affected by natural disasters; helping at a kindergarten or childcare centre in Belize which cater for disadvantaged kids; conservation work in Mexico - with crocodiles and turtles, and general public health work in Ghana.
If you love sport then this kind of volunteer abroad project will be the perfect choice. No special qualifications are needed, just a love for a particular activity and the ability to share that through coaching youngsters. Opportunities on offer include basketball projects in Ghana, rugby programs in Ghana and Samoa, volleyball programs in Bolivia, or teaching disabled children in Cape Town how to surf.
United Planet is an American non-profit volunteer abroad organization with a very specific mission - to provide opportunities for everyone to become a global citizen. With specially designed, authentic and genuinely meaningful grass roots overseas volunteer projects operating in over 35 countries around the globe, United Planet volunteers play a part in facilitating a world where everyone has access to opportunities and chances in life.
This company provide thoughtfully designed and quite comprehensive ‘Quest’ packages, which cover everything needed for a successful, enjoyable and useful mutual experience; from pre-volunteer language and cultural awareness training to accommodation and leisure activities once on placement.
Overall ratings for United Planet volunteer abroad schemes from alumni show a 90% + recommendation rating.
The volunteer abroad programs offered by United Planet fall into three broad categories: short term, longer term and group. Projects lasting between one and twelve weeks are available in 12 countries across Asia, South America Africa and Europe. Longer programs, which can be six months or an entire year, run in 20+ countries and on all continents; choices include joining a social work project in Nepal and an environmentally focused scheme in New Zealand. Group volunteer programs are designed based on the individual needs and interests of those taking part.
There is no registration fee charged for any of the volunteer abroad programs offered, and a standard flat fee of $2285 covers the costs of each quest project for one week. (The only exception is turtle related quests which carry a $150 surcharge.) Extra weeks can be added for a small extra fee so it definitely makes sense to stay for longer. For example:
The fee paid covers a room and two meals a day at a family homestay, 8 hours of language lessons, a T-shirt, pre-departure training, comprehensive medical travel insurance, full support 24/7 from local staff once in country, domestic air travel as needed and the chance to join fun and exciting cultural trips and visits.
If your passion to save sea turtles from extinction beats your need for comfort and luxury this amazing sea turtle volunteer abroad program Costa Rica is a perfect choice. To survive in the long term sea turtles need nesting areas which are safe, and protected from both environmental changes and human predators. While living in basic accommodation volunteers’ work in challenging conditions, monitoring and supporting these lovely creatures.
Volunteers can choose to work with vulnerable children in a variety of settings which may include orphanages, daycare centers, women’s shelters, or after school program venues. Wherever the location, this work means helping kids who have been abused, abandoned, or orphaned. Volunteers provide educational opportunities through language teaching, organizing craft and sport sessions and homework support, but they also help build self confidence and develop socially. These cheap childcare volunteer abroad programs require participants to have Spanish language skills.
There are several projects in Costa Rica which suit those interested in conservation and the environment. The Botanical Garden volunteer abroad project involves tasks like caring for tropical plants and clearing/maintaining paths at an eco-site. Basic Spanish is required for this and to join the Butterfly Conservation overseas volunteer program where you work with both the butterflies and as a guide for visitors.
Anyone currently (or previously) working in the healthcare field and students on relevant courses are able to join this very important valuable health care overseas volunteer program. Placements are possible in several departments, such as emergency care, dental clinic, and maternity; and tasks for those with experience include domestic and hygiene related chores, admin, and taking patients’ blood pressure or temperature. Those with an interest in healthcare but lacking hands-on experience will carry out non-medical tasks and observe local staff. Specialist programs working with substance abusers, or the elderly with mobility problems, are also available, though these require volunteers have both experience and a good knowledge of Spanish.
You will never regret choosing to volunteer on a longer term volunteer abroad program in India, a unique opportunity to absorb the rich culture of an ancient land which blends almost unbelievably beautiful aspects of nature with one of the largest populations in the world. Volunteers can choose between programs focused on delivering educational and activity based opportunities to disadvantaged kids, and social work with homeless people who suffer daily with problems related to poor health and poverty.
With over 2.5 million service hours recorded between nearly 35,000 volunteers, and a 99.5% satisfaction rating, it’s safe to say Cross Cultural Solutions know what it takes to put together an amazing volunteer abroad package.
The focus of this high achieving American based volunteer abroad agency is on creating change, eradicating inequalities and sharing cultural skills and knowledge to create bonds which help this happen; by providing opportunities for volunteer overseas work they know that self awareness, understanding and tolerance will follow.
Cross Cultural Solutions was founded, (originally as Project India), in the mid 1990s by Steve Rosenthal and Bela Singh. Rosenthal had been inspired by a short overseas volunteer trip of his own, and co-created the company to provide similar meaningful experiences to others. The focus is still firmly on providing an amazing adventure which is also an opportunity to learn as much about yourself, whatever your age or background happened to be, as you will learn about your location.
As well as internships, and gap year programs CSS also offer general volunteer abroad programs and special programs designed for groups or high school volunteer abroad candidates.
Volunteer abroad programs run in various countries, including Costa Rica, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Morocco, Peru, and Tanzania. Their programs have three main themes:
All volunteer abroad programs have a $350 reservation fee, with project prices starting from $2,250. They all offer better value if you opt for a 2+ week program, for example you pay $3,354 for 2 weeks on a project based in Tanzania, or just under $600 extra for 3 weeks.
Discounts are offered for certain group or alumni bookings, and a 6 month interest free payment program is available too. The fees cover a variety of things including: professional and experienced local staff on hand, accommodation and meals, domestic transportation, comprehensive medical insurance, language lessons, and trips and activities organized in country.
Cross Cultural Solutions offer some of the best childcare volunteer abroad programs around, and this project in Costa Rica is a great example of the benefits this company offers to those they work with. A third of the population’s parents are single mothers, and most of those work in low-paid and unstable industries to provide as best they can for their kids. Unfortunately, poverty is never far away, and many Costa Rican children fail to attend school as a result.
In these cases families rely on local community groups and childcare centers to educate their children while they work, but both resources and staff are always stretched to capacity. Cross Cultural Solution’s volunteers provide vital time, attention and educational opportunities to children who may otherwise lose out, and offer hope to all that the cycle may be broken in the future as the youngsters have more chance of secure work in the future when they are educated.
If you would like to spend more than a few weeks helping others this 12 week gap year volunteer abroad program Africa is a good choice. Participants get to experience the contrast between cultures, landscapes and lifestyles in three different African countries: Morocco; Ghana and Tanzania, where programs working in healthcare, with children, or with women are on offer, along with lots of exciting experiences and excursions.
Costa Rica is experiencing a population growth as immigrants from poorer, neighboring areas migrate to find work to support their families. This rapid increase in numbers has put enormous pressure on the country’s infrastructure, which has not been able to keep up with the demand. Consequently, those in lower income brackets or poor housing are being left behind – unable to get the health, education and support services they need and deserve. International volunteer teachers are needed urgently to help redress one aspect of this imbalance, by teaching both language and general topics to youngsters who cannot access mainstream education.
Peru may have a growing economy but there is a large percentage of the population who lack basic services such as education for their children, or accessible and affordable healthcare facilities. Even in the capital city many people live hand to mouth in shanty towns. Choosing to be a health volunteer abroad is a great way to help educate, support and care for children and adults who would otherwise slip through the system.
This amazing range of volunteer abroad opportunities make it possible for anyone to find the perfect program to join; so whatever your age, interests, experience, nationality, gender, background or qualifications you won’t be left out.
Volunteering is a great way to enjoy traveling and learning about new cultures, while also contributing to a project designed to deliver both short and long term benefits to the communities and people involved.
Fun, interesting and life changing projects are offered on all continents, so whether you yearn to explore Africa, or feel drawn to Latin America, there will be no shortage of exciting opportunities to choose between; and as most run from 1 week up to several months, your length of stay can be as long or as short as you decide.
Some volunteers love working on childcare programs, which may involve helping at daycare centers and orphanages, or on programs aimed at providing street children with positive options for the future; others enjoy programs with an education, healthcare-medical, construction, environment, or community development focus.
All of these and more are offered by volunteer abroad agencies, with some specializing in particular regions of the world, or specific topic fields.
Thousands of people have already joined and completed these worthwhile and life changing programs, and rated them all very highly. Have you already enjoyed an overseas adventure with any of these agencies? If so would you like to share your story here?
We would love to hear about it, and about any other affordable and good volunteer abroad companies you know of. Let us know the name, weblink, and any information you have about the projects they offer and the fees charged, and of course if you volunteered already through that company you can share your experiences here too.
Florida is a great place to volunteer and travel. If you are looking for the best volunteer organizations and 0pportunities in Florida, please read this amazing article written by Dillion DuBois "Best Volunteer Organizations in Florida"