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How to Find the Best Affordable 1 Week Volunteer Abroad Project

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Volunteer Programs & Organizations
Photo Credit: Original Volunteers

Are you planning to volunteer abroad? Are you keen to share your skills and abilities but only have a week or so free to do so?

Want to know which companies offer an affordable program without compromising on quality of experience? Concerned that volunteering for only one week isn't long enough to make a difference?

These are all very valid issues, and in this article you can find all the reassurance, ideas and information you need to realize that volunteering abroad for only one weekis very possible and will be a rewarding thing to do.

You may be surprised to learn that there are many short term opportunities available in the volunteer abroad field, and those which last for a week are generally specially designed to offer both you and the project participants the maximum benefit and the most satisfying experience possible.

For this article we have done in-depth research of many 1 week volunteer abroad programs to help you find one which suits your interests, background, dreams and skills, and of course has a fee which suits your budget.

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Important things to consider before choosing a 1 week volunteer abroad program

If you are planning to volunteer abroad for a short period of time you need to pay attention to the key points below, as they will help you have a wonderful and fulfilling experience.

Choose the right project: as you are just going to volunteer for a short time joining an orphanage, conservation or construction project would be a good choice for a meaningful experience as you will be able to make small positive changes – even in a week. Try to avoid teaching English, or volunteering for any other project where the best results come from long term commitment and continuity

Make a plan to maximize your week: no matter whether you join a long or short term project you still have to pay for airfare, vaccinations, a visa and other expenses such as travel insurance. This makes it doubly important that you give a lot of thought to how best to utilize your time. Work with the volunteer coordinator from the agency you've chosen to draw up a possible itinerary. Organizing your time well will let you accomplish more, and contribute as much as possible.

Try to join a project where you can work 6 or 7 days: Most volunteer projects start on a Monday and end on a Friday, leaving the weekend free for leisure activities and sightseeing. Unfortunately this type of project would only leave you with five days as a volunteer. However, if you can find a program that is flexible and allows you to work at weekends you will be able to make the most of the experience.

Try to choose a project where you can work longer hours: Lots of projects expect their volunteers to work only 3-5 hours a day. If your goal is to get deeply involved in your volunteer abroad experience you should consider a program where you can work for longer, perhaps 6 or 7 hours. Many organizations will allow you to work on two projects at the same time, so explore all the opportunities and don't be afraid to ask if what you want isn't mentioned on official websites.

Choose a project you are seriously interested in: with only one week to volunteer you need to make the most of every moment.  Volunteering in an area you have a passion for guarantees you will enjoy it, no matter how many hours or days you work.

Choose to stay with a host family for a true cultural experience:  volunteering abroad is not at all like a touristy experience. A volunteer combines their role as a humanitarian worker with that of traveler and honorary member of a foreign community. Living with a host family, even for a week, allows you to have a unique cultural experience, and grants temporary access to the authentic lifestyles of your host country's people. While you are at it, you might as well learn how to deal with cultural shock while volunteering abroad.  

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Frequently asked questions

Is joining a 1 week volunteer abroad program a sensible idea?

Volunteering is all about giving. In many cases people can only volunteer for just a few hours at a time, so one full week is very definitely worth it. Imagine if everyone in the world gave a week of their time to help others – it would make an amazing difference to those in need.

What can I accomplish in 1 week?

The question of accomplishment is related to your expectations. You may not be able to make a substantial difference, or identify huge leaps forward, but you will certainly make a positive impact on the community you are working with. Plus of course in your one precious week as a volunteer abroad you can meet some personal goals, such as giving selflessly, travelling, exploring a new culture or meeting new people too.

Are there many 1 week volunteer abroad opportunities to choose from?

There are hundreds of volunteer abroad organizations, and many of these offer 1 week volunteer abroad programs.  Some even choose to specialize in matching volunteers with exciting and productive short term projects. 

How much will a short volunteer project cost?

The cost of a one week volunteer abroad program ranges from $300 to $2000, depending on the organization and the individual project. Don't forget that you also need to factor in the costs of airfare, visa, vaccinations, personal expenses and so on.

What kinds of programs are best suited for a 1 week volunteer abroad project?

It is vital to choose the right kind of program when you only have a week to spend there. Making the right decision will lead to your work having a meaningful impact and a successful volunteer aboard experience. Here are some of the best project types to look at:

Orphanages: volunteering on an orphanage project gives the children a fresh face to play with, practice their English on and learn new things from.

Nature conservation: there are many national parks and natural reserves urgently looking for volunteers.  These conservation projects aim to preserve nature, so as a volunteer you will be helping to maintain trails, remove weeds and plant trees. Though physically demanding, a nature conservation placement is a great way to see definite results after even just one week of volunteering.

Turtle conservation: If you really love turtles it's easy to make a genuine and much needed contribution to this kind of project in just a few days. Volunteers on turtle e conservation programs take part in various activities, including: protecting the area where turtles lay eggs, cleaning the beaches and patrolling during the night.

Medical project: These are ideal for a one week volunteering experience as medical project staff provide basic health care services to different patients each day. As a volunteer on this kind of program you will work in a variety of settings which range from large hospitals to public clinics. What you actually do mostly depends on your skills and qualifications in this field.

Women's' development project:  These programs empower socially and economically disadvantaged women by providing them with access to education and skill training in areas like sewing and making crafts. If you have some relevant skills to share than this project would be perfect for a one week volunteer experience.

Are You Planning for Volunteer Abroad?
Looking for a safe and extremely affordable volunteering abroad opportunity?
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RCDP International

RCDP International Volunteer Programs
Photo Credit: RCDP Volunteers

This ethically sound organization has amazingly low priced program fees for their 1 week volunteer abroad projects, and there are no hidden extras. Food, accommodation and local support are all included, and the program fee is paid directly to the project and host family you are working and living with.

Are You Planning for Volunteer Abroad?
Looking for a safe and extremely affordable volunteering abroad opportunity?
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POD Volunteers

POD offer various projects for those wanting a 1 week volunteer experience, with several locations across South America, Africa and Asia to choose from. All of their projects are very affordable, and geared towards responsible volunteering and meeting genuine needs.

IVHQ

IVHQ are very experienced providers of short and long term volunteer abroad experiences. Committed to offering safe, affordable and useful projects, volunteers can choose from a wide range of interesting programs to join.

Love Volunteers

With their affordable fees and good range of volunteer projects – including some which are not offered by many other organizations – Love Volunteers clearly believe in keeping the true spirit of volunteering alive. For a really worthwhile and in-budget 1 week volunteer abroad experience this company won't let you down.

Are You Planning for Volunteer Abroad?
Looking for a safe and extremely affordable volunteering abroad opportunity?
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Globalcrossroad

With an amazing record of having placed 18,000+ volunteers into needs-driven projects you're in safe hands with Global Crossroad. They offer a nice range of meaningful projects at process you can afford.

Crosscontinental

Crosscontinental offer a fully flexible schedule option on all placements, which is ideal for anyone looking to spend more hours a day than average on their 1 week volunteer abroad program. All programs are competitively priced.

Are You Planning for Volunteer Abroad?
Looking for a safe and extremely affordable volunteering abroad opportunity?
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A Broader View

A Broader View Volunteer Programs
Photo Credit: A Broader View

This organization offers a variety of 1 week volunteer abroad programs, largely on the African continent. A registered non-profit, abroaderview focus on providing good value for money  opportunities to volunteers who wish to live and work alongside those who benefit from their efforts.

Original Volunteers

Original Volunteers Programs
Photo Credit: Original Volunteers

Original Volunteers provide extremely low priced short term volunteer opportunities without compromising on support. Project start dates are flexible, allowing potential volunteers to make plans to travel at cheaper times of the year if they wish.

IFRE

With a decade of experience, a great range of projects and very reasonable fees you can really make a difference to the lives of others, even in a week, when volunteering abroad through IFRE. Fees are paid to the project and host family directly.

Are You Planning for Volunteer Abroad?
Looking for a safe and extremely affordable volunteering abroad opportunity?
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Conclusion

By now you will have leaned that even with just one week free to take part in a volunteer abroad program there is lots of choice available, and many good reasons to sign up for one of them.

By using the tips featured here on key points to consider before making your final decision, along with the handy list of respected organizations who offer affordable 1 week volunteer abroad projects it should be easy to find the perfect program to suit your interests, skills, budget and timescale.

Choose a program, make your plans and then go out and make a difference, because in the lives of those who need help, support and the opportunity to develop themselves, their community or their local environment every second you can offer is precious.

Have you ever completed a 1 week volunteer abroad program? If so, how did you find the experience? Would you do it again? We'd love to hear from you with questions, comments or stories about your own short term volunteer experiences, so please do feel free to leave a comment.

Highly Rated Companies to Volunteer Abroad With

Company Go Abroad Reviews Go Overseas Reviews Abroad Reviews
Global Vision International 1,214 reviews/ 97% rating 127 reviews/ 91% rating 197 reviews/90 rating
Project Abroad 113 reviews/94% rating 301 reviews/93%rating 204 reviews/90% rating
Cross-Cultural Solutions 8 reviews/ 94% rating 173 reviews/ 93% rating 136 reviews/ 89% rating
Frontier 40 reviews/ 96% rating 46 reviews / 96% rating 596 reviews/ 90% rating
African Impact 378 reviews/ 94% rating 85 reviews/ 97% rating N/A
Travellers Worldwide 1 reviews/100% rating 53 reviews/83% rating N/A
GeoVisions 185 reviews/ 94% rating 23 reviews/ 63% rating 34 reviews/ 74% rating
Connect-123 36 reviews/ 95% rating 76 reviews/ 95% rating 4 reviews/ 86% rating
Bamboo-GVN 15 reviews/94% rating 103 reviews/89% rating 80 reviews/84% rating
United Planet 256 reviews/93% rating 30 reviews/89% rating N/A
Kaya Volunteer 18 reviews/99% rating 18 reviews/83% rating 13 reviews/84% rating
Rustic Pathways 1 reviews/100% rating 256 reviews/93% rating N/A
UVolunteer 10 reviews/95% rating 49 reviews/94% rating N/A
A broader view 39 reviews/99% rating 123 reviews/99% rating 238 reviews/98% rating

Other Companies with Volunteer Abroad Opportunities

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