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The Top 11 Places to Volunteer Abroad This Summer

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top places to volunteer this summer

Summer has officially begun! Are you in search of an epic experience this summer while you’re home from college or just looking to get out of your home town? Why not volunteer abroad this summer?

Volunteering abroad is a great way to travel and grants you the opportunity to do some good while doing so. There are so many programs and places to choose from, so we’ve done some of the hard work for you. Take a look at these 10 awesome places, in no particular order, to volunteer abroad this summer.

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1. Denmark

Teach immigrants to ride bicycles with the Red Cross in Copenhagen:

Many adult immigrants in Denmark missed out on learning to ride a bike as kids and want to learn. Help them! You can count on getting fresh air, exercise and some laughs.

Volunteer at the Museum of Natural History in Aarhus

They need help  numbering and registering the largest collection of shells in Denmark, a great opportunity to put a detail oriented position on your resume and experience an amazing museum and city.

Give a helping hand to children and young people in socially deprived neighborhoods:

Become a mentor at project High Five for underserved kids and young people. You’ll engage in community activities such as creative workshops, cooking, movie nights, sports and provide healthy, encouraging support.

2. Nepal

volunteer in nepal this summer

Help rebuild schools and orphanages in Nepal

After the biggest earthquake in 80 years hit Nepal, the country needs serious help. Spend some time helping to rebuild schools and orphanages in devasted areas.

Work in an orphanage:

Connect with the adorable little people of Nepal who don’t have much sunshine in their lives. Teach basic English, help in daily tasks and make a friend for life.

Teach English to exiled Buddhist Monks

There is a large community of exiled Buddhist monks in Nepal, who, in light of recent globalization and advances in technology are eager to learn English. Teach them and learn about Buddhism

3. Australia  

Drive cars for the disabled in Melbourne:

Do you have a license? Do you like to socialize? Volunteer to drive for the disabled in Melbourne, Australia and make a difference in the lives of people who need a little help. 

Work in a wildlife sanctuary:

Modern man is taking its toll on Australia’s beautiful wildlife. Get involved with an organization who makes it their mission to protect and restore the unique and fragile Australian landscapes. 

Become an Animal Volunteer at the Australia Zoo:

Make sure the animals at the zoo are well taken care of while getting exclusive behind the scenes access to some of Australia’s rarest and most interesting creatures.

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4. Thailand

Volunteer and Explore Chiang Mai:

Chiang Mai is a beautiful city in the North of Thailand, where lots of underprivileged Thais come to learn English and get jobs. Work with local orphanages and schools, play games with the kids and teach an occasional English lesson and explore beautiful Chiang Mai in your free time. 

Work With Cats & Dogs on Koh Lanta:

Koh Lanta is island paradise in the south of Thailand, but is overrun with stray cats and dogs. Be part of the solution on the island of Koh Lanta, Thailand where dogs and cats suffer from lack of medical care and sterilization. 

Empower and Encourage Underprivileged Burmese Women    

Thailand is home to thousands of Burmese refugees, who are displaced and don’t get much education or guidance. Help provide educational and professional opportunities to women from marginalized communities in Burma.

5. South Africa

 Teach little kids how to surf

Stop little kids from getting into trouble by teaching them how to surf in their free time instead, off the coast of beautiful Cape Town, South Africa. You don’t have to be a surf pro to teach, just have a love for kids and be in decent physical shape.

Cheetah Re-introduction project

Cheetahs have long been held in captivity, help release them back into the wild. Most often the cheetahs have lost some of their natural instincts and need help being reintroduced into the wild.

Great White Shark Conservation  

Cage dive with Great White sharks while learning about the endangered species, observing up close and conducting research. Spend most of your time on a boat, watching Great Whites and assisting on cage dives. 

6. Argentina

Play Sports with Underprivileged Children

In Argentina, most kids go to school for a half day and then have the rest of the day free. This contributes to a lot of petty crime and hanging out on the streets. Volunteer to play sports with them after school and help to keep them in shape and out of trouble.

Fight For Gender Equality in Cordoba  

Help prevent domestic violence, promote women’s health and offer support to female victims of abuse and domestic abuse. Helping in the kitchen, making diapers and maintaining the library are some other basic tasks you’ll be expected to help with. 

Protect the Environment in Stunning Patagonia     

Raise awareness about the environmental, social and economic dangers of mega mining, monoculture, large scale hydroelectric dams and the like by conducting research and utilizing natural resources sustainably. 

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7. Costa Rica

Jaguar Conservation in Tortuguero National Park:

Assist in the protection of endangered Jaguars by conducting surveys, setting up remote cameras and gathering data for use in a long term conservation effort along Central America’s Caribbean coast. Develop new skills and an in-depth understanding of the rainforest and its ecosystem on this unique tropical adventure.

Help with Community Development in Montverde

Renovate buildings, landscape public spaces, paint classrooms and improve eco-tourism in a beautiful region of Costa Rica, helping the community to flourish and thrive. All while embracing their laid back, “pura vida” lifestyle.

Save the Sea Turtles with ASTOP

Every year, endangered sea turtle species come ashore to lay their eggs from March to October. Poachers steal the eggs and kill the turtles to sell their meat on the black market. Join ASTOP in protecting the turtles from poachers and helping them return safely to their home in the sea.

8. Iceland

Provide Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Support:

Get involved with local organizations that provide support to people addicted to drugs and alcohol and help them get back on their feet and start a new life. Work with people from different cultures and be confident that you’re making a difference in someone’s life.

Save the Whales:

Conduct research, distribute information and participate in a fun environment while informing tourists that whenever they taste or try whale meat, they encourage the hunting of whales. Whales are sentient, intelligent creatures that should not be hunted, help spread awareness through this project with SEEDS.

Conduct Volcano Investigations

Iceland’s Eastern Volcanic Zone has become more active in recent years. During it’s last eruption in 1961, the area was largely unpopulated but has become home to a growing tourist industry and a major power plant since. Study seismic activity to help predict the next eruption.

9. Turkey

Work at a Summer Camp

Practice English with an international group of youngsters at a summer camp in Turkey. Play instruments, organize events, teach games, practice sports and hang out with an energetic group of kids outdoors at a great facility.

Circus and Street Art Festival

Help prepare for, run and perform in GENCTUR’s Circus and Street Art Festival. All skills are welcome but people who can juggle, stilt walk, clown, tight rope walk, blow fire, mime and acrobat will be preferred. A great opportunity to see a circus production from the inside, no matter your skill set.

Volunteer with Syrian Refugees

Since the Syrian crisis began, Turkey has become home to almost 1.9 million Syrian refugees who need shelter, food, clothing and medical supplies. There are endless ways to help here including administration, delivery services, medical help, providing support for women and children, building shelters, etc.

10. South Korea

Work with Habitat for Humanity

Despite it’s economic rise and global position, there are still many people in South Korea who need help. Get involved on a build site there and make a difference in the local community bybuilding homes, schools and community centers.

Volunteer at an Orphanage

Improve the lives of abandoned children by teaching them English, playing games and generally spending time with them. Be sure you can make at least a weekly commitment, as the children will surely get attached and you’ll form a long lasting bond.

Teach English to North Korean Refugees

Become a language tutor or coach to refugees from North Korea who have been displaced from their homes. Help improve their language skills in person or via Skype, as well as their quality of life and ability to contribute to the English speaking society. 

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Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for something to do with all your free time this summer, volunteering abroad provides a great cultural and learning experience as well as the change to make a difference.

Whether you’re cage diving with Great White sharks, providing disaster relief or teaching English, there is sure to be a summer volunteer abroad program for you.

Take a look at the opportunities provided and do some research to find which program best fits your needs and wants. Good luck!

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