9 Best Cheap Volunteer Abroad for College Students Providers 2024

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Are you a university or college student currently considering volunteering abroad? Are you wondering how you’re going to find a trustworthy and affordable volunteer company? Are you worried about how much it will cost?

Volunteering abroad to enhance one’s academic, professional and interpersonal skills is a sure-fire way to get the competitive advantage you deserve in this ever-changing world. As a university and college student, you may know very well how tough it is to stand out from the crowd and lessons in the classroom often feel a little dull and mundane. Going on a college student volunteering abroad program is thus an incredible way to feel alive again as well as gain hands-on experience. It’s important to find a Volunteer Abroad for College Students program that would work for you.

While volunteering may be a life-changing opportunity, what makes it a daunting process is the fact that numerous organizations may deceive students by sugar-coating their image into that of a credible one. It can get very confusing when you’re searching for safe and affordable volunteering abroad providers.

To save time, students usually end up signing up and paying for the first one they find. This can not only prove to be a waste of money, but also dangerous – what if the provider puts you in situations that threaten your safety and ruin your volunteering experience altogether?

That’s why TravellersQuest is here to help. In this article, we make the selection process of the best program so much easier for you to find your perfect teen or college volunteer abroad program! After conducting intensive research, we have come up with the 9 best affordable volunteer abroad programs providers for college students. All the programs we have selected are of the highest quality and have glowing reviews and testimonials from real students who volunteered at these places.

Company Name Reviews
Plan My Gap Year
Cambodia – ($375 + $249)
Go Overseas – 404 reviews
International Volunteers HQ
Argentina – ($445 + $329)
Go Overseas – 2,229 reviews
Go Abroad – 1,675 reviews
RCDP International
Nepal – ($150 + $279)
Go Overseas – 62 reviews
Love Volunteers
South Africa – ($449 + $299)
Go Overseas – 140 reviews
Go Abroad – 271 reviews
IFRE Volunteers
Ecuador – ($345 + $299)
Go Overseas – 116 reviews
Global Vision International (GVI)
Seychelles - $4,925
Go Overseas – 705 reviews
Maximo Nivel
Costa Rica - $785
Go Overseas – 1,317 reviews
Go Abroad – 1,885 reviews
Belize - $1,310
Go Overseas – 89 reviews
Go Abroad – 729 reviews
A Broader View
Kenya - $820
Go Overseas – 178 reviews

Table updated: May 12, 2024

Plan My Gap Year

If you’re a college student looking for appropriate volunteer abroad opportunities then look no further than Plan My Gap Year (PMGY)! PMGY is a volunteer organization that specifically caters to gap year students like you! (Their services are available for all groups and all ages as well). PMGY has long heralded volunteer travel for gap year students – placing them in excellent sites where they can loads of meaningful work while providing enough essential services and ensuring comfort and safety on each and every college student volunteer trip abroad. There is also a great social aspect to PMGY’s volunteering since they encourage their volunteers to seek out and make new connections as much as possible.

PMGY Best Volunteer Programs for College Students

With a wide variety of programs running in many different destinations across the world, PMGY is always searching for eager volunteers to make meaningful impact in poverty-ridden communities.

English Teaching in Cambodia – Community schools in Cambodia are often under-funded and under-resourced, with many students lacking access to sustainable education. You can step in as a volunteer and help the students grasp the basics of English as well as teach them to converse and speak in proper English. You can even organize Fun Friday activities and do your part in entertaining these poor children.

Childcare in Costa Rica – As a college student volunteer working with childcare in Costa Rica, you’ll work in the Coronado community, helping disadvantaged children gain valuable education. As a volunteer, your chief roles will be to look after the children, assist them with their meals and teach them about proper hygiene.

Medical Program in Tanzania – If you’re a medical student or even a professional looking to indulge in the Tanzanian healthcare system then this program is perfect for you. Placements will be in hospitals or local clinics and your role as a volunteer will be to assist local doctors with procedures and record keeping. Learn about the effects of HIV/AIDS as well and help spread awareness through this program.


PMGY is an extremely affordable organization – they know that, as a student, money is scarce so they optimize their programs to give as much value for money as possible. Starting with a registration fee of $249, program fees can cost anywhere from $375 to $540.

PMGY Reviews

PMGY is internationally recognized for their fantastic college student volunteer programs. Everything, from impact to social connection, is as advertised with PMGY. Past volunteer reviews clearly mention the wonderful experience that PMGY crafted for them. This volunteer organization has 404 reviews on Go Overseas.

Read all reviews of PMGY on Go Overseas.

International Volunteers HQ

Proclaimed by many as THE best volunteer organization in the world, International Volunteers HQ (IVHQ) took its first steps in New Zealand in 2007. The organization was founded with the intention to make volunteering more affordable and accessible and it would suffice to say that they have very clearly excelled at their task! Today, IVHQ has more than 300 operations running across 44 countries in the world. IVHQ is particularly popular among energetic youths and college students and we highly recommend choosing IVHQ as your provider for your college student volunteer abroad trip.

IVHQ Best Volunteer Programs for College Students

IVHQ has volunteers joining in on their programs from all walks of life. From a complete newbie to the most veteran volunteer, IVHQ’s programs are catered according to your needs and experience.

Construction and Renovation in Nepal – This program is best suited for those that are athletic, fit and love doing some physical labor. As a volunteer, you’ll work to restore and renovate school buildings, libraries, toilets and childcare centers. Common duties will include landscaping, stone paving, painting, carpentry and restoration.

Food Outreach in Vietnam – Watching someone struggle with hunger and starvation can be soul-crushing. As a volunteer in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, you can work in soup kitchens preparing meals for those that cannot afford it. You’ll help cook the meals, wash dishes, serve to the people and even engage them in light bits of singing and dancing!

Animal Care in Argentina – This program will place volunteers at a small farm that acts as a learning center and an equine therapy center to disadvantaged children. Your duties will be to assist the local farmers with feeding animals, cleaning and grooming them, cleaning their enclosures and nurturing crops and soil in nurseries. The more you care for these animals, the more they can put some joy on small children’s faces!


One of IVHQ’s main goals is to make volunteering as affordable as possible. They seem to have certainly accomplished this – charging program fees as low as $275 per week of volunteering! Their programs in Argentina cost $445 and their programs in Vietnam cost $400. There is an initial registration fee of $329 that all volunteers have to pay.

IVHQ Reviews

Everything from design and placement to service and execution is flawless with IVHQ. Their college student volunteer programs are memorable, meaningful and do a lot of good in the world. Past volunteers also seem to speak fondly of their experience, as seen in volunteer reviews on their website. IVHQ has 2,229 reviews on Go Overseas and 1,675 reviews on Go Abroad.

Read all reviews of IVHQ on Go Overseas.

Read all reviews of IVHQ on Go Abroad.

RCDP International

RCDP International

Minimizing cost and maximizing impact – that is the philosophy RCDP International adopts when executing its volunteer programs and opportunities. Founded in 1998 in Colorado, USA, RCDP International has long stood as the go-to volunteer organization for inexpensive and affordable volunteer opportunities. Their humanitarian work has always been based on a grassroots approach – helping communities build and grow from the ground up. Every year, hundreds of students approach RCDP and every year, the company designs them the perfect college student volunteer abroad experience.

RCDP International Best Volunteer Programs for College Students

RCDP International has more than 200 volunteer programs running in over 18 countries. You need only mention your area of interest and the company will surely do the rest!

Orphanage Volunteer in Kenya – Kenyan children suffer greatly; you can do your small part in aiding them. As an orphanage volunteer in Kenya, you’ll work to prepare meals, deliver lessons, play games with the children and keep them entertained and take a part in other administrative duties.

Galapagos Conservation in Ecuador – The Galapagos Islands is one of the world’s most exotic habitats for sea turtles and marine species. Your volunteer work will be based in San Cristobal where you’ll help in reforestation efforts by collecting and maintaining seeds, maintaining trails and working in organic food farming.

Elephant Conservation in Sri-Lanka – Working with elephants is always a memorable experience for most volunteers. They love to interact and watch these gentle giants and so could you through this excellent program. As a volunteer, your duty will be to assist mahouts (elephant handlers) with tasks like bathing elephants, feeding them, cleaning their enclosures and assisting with construction work.

RCDP International Fees

RCDP International has affordable fees that only a few companies can compete with on this list. After paying an initial registration fee of $279, program fees for Sri-Lanka is $150, for Kenya is $200 and for Ecuador it is $345.

RCDP International Reviews

Past volunteers admire RCDP International for their excellent efforts, meaningful projects and affordable prices. Reviews are overall great for their college student volunteer programs as well. RCDP International has 62 reviews on Go Overseas.

Read all reviews of RCDP International on Go Overseas.

Love Volunteers


Love Volunteers is a non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to provide international affordable volunteering opportunities to the eager and the willing. This organization was established in 2009 in New Zealand and has expanded since then to launch operations in a whole host of other countries. Their key values are of transparency and affordability – all of their volunteer programs are extremely inexpensive and have no hidden fees. Love Volunteers is exactly what college student volunteers are looking for on their next volunteer trip abroad.

Love Volunteers Best Volunteer Programs for College Students

Come along on any of Love Volunteers’ programs and make a significant difference in the lives of the needy and impoverished.

Special Needs Program in Ghana – Ghana is a country that is already struggling – special needs and disabled people suffer greatly in this country. As a volunteer, you’ll work in a special needs school teaching children, playing games and feeding those in need. Sometimes, all the children want is someone to talk to, so if you can offer a listening ear they’ll appreciate it profoundly.

Sports Development in South Africa – On this program, volunteers will help encourage at-risk kids indulge in physical recreation and sports activities. This helps to facilitate better health and develop social connections. You’ll play alongside the children, coach them in different activities and even donate some equipment.

Education Support in India – This education support program is a wonderful opportunity to help both women and children in their respective areas of interest. Volunteers are tasked with teaching basic skills like English speaking, calculation and counting as well as income-generating skills like sewing, arts and craft and business relations.

Love Volunteers Fees

Love Volunteers charge an industry-standard registration fee of $299 followed by program fees ranging anywhere from $309 (India) to $449 (South Africa) and more. Considering all the services and facilities they provide their volunteers on their respective college student volunteer trips, Love Volunteers turns out to be an extremely affordable and well-maintained organization.

Love Volunteers Reviews

Love Volunteers has gathered a lot of raving reviews on many different online platforms. There is little to complain about the overall organization and management of this company on any of their college student volunteer trip abroad. Read some past volunteer reviews on Love Volunteers’ own website. Love Volunteers has 140 reviews on Go Overseas and 271 reviews on Go Abroad.

Read all reviews of Love Volunteers on Go Overseas.

Read all reviews of Love Volunteers on Go Abroad.

IFRE Volunteers


Established in 2006, IFRE Volunteers aims to offer the most affordable volunteer abroad opportunities for college students around the globe (starting at $150 only!). With over 20,000 passionate volunteers served, this volunteer organization offers 200 projects in 18 volunteer destinations. The organization has excellent local support, friendly and experienced staffs and a knack for providing high quality services. All of these combined make IFRE Volunteers one of the most sought-after volunteer organizations in the world.

IFRE Volunteers Best Volunteer Programs for College Students

IFRE’s top college student programs are crafted in such a way that they’ll remain as core memories with you for your whole life! The experience is immaculate and cannot be replicated by any other company. Here are some of our favorite programs:

Elephant Conservation in Sri-Lanka - This is an incredible chance for animal-lovers looking to help improve the livelihood of elephants in Sri Lanka who would otherwise become employed by the country’s not always kind tourism industry. You’ll be volunteering at an elephant sanctuary that was established by the Department of Wildlife Conservation in 1976, with the prime focus of protecting these elephants that were orphaned in the jungle and need protection from poachers.

Sea Turtle Conservation in Costa Rica – On this program, you can help make a valuable difference in the lives of endangered sea turtles of Costa Rica living on both the Caribbean and Pacific Coasts. Team up with scientists and reformed poachers who are now working hard to gather further scientific research to help the cause, guard nests, and ensure newborns make their way back to the ocean safely.

Teaching English in Nepal Monastery - Nepal is the birthplace of Buddhism and home to many beautiful monasteries and temples teeming with monks looking for ways to learn more about life outside the monastery and secure a bright future. In this volunteer program, you’ll have firsthand experience teaching these monks a valuable skill to stand them in good stead in the future: conversational English! This is a great volunteer abroad for college students program.

IFRE Volunteers Fees

IFRE Volunteers chooses impact over money every time – as long as their volunteers make a positive impact, their fees will remain as low as possible! After paying a registration fee of $299, program fees can begin as low as $150 (Sri-Lanka and Nepal).

IFRE Volunteers Reviews

Undoubtedly, IFRE has earned a high level of satisfaction from its happy volunteers. This is mainly because of the fact that this foundation has provided several volunteering options to college students. This has made it a life-time experience for many of the volunteers. IFRE Volunteers has 116 reviews on Go Overseas.

Read all reviews of IFRE Volunteers on Go Overseas.

Global Vision International

Based in the United States, Global Vision International (GVI) was founded in the year 1998 with the mission to empower its participants to grow personally as well as professionally. Currently, it offers 450 programs and is proud to create an impact in over twenty-five countries. This organization has not only done impressive community-building work, they have also helped build the careers of many past volunteers. GVI acknowledges the participation of its 25,000 volunteers and continues to provide amazing volunteer abroad opportunities for college students worth considering.

GVI Best Volunteer Programs for College Students

GVI has plenty of volunteer opportunities that will let you travel the world, make an impact and learn some valuable life lessons along the way. Here are some of our top picks specifically for college students:

Island Conservation Expedition to the Seychelles - Joining this Island conservation expedition to the Seychelles is a wonderful chance to spend some time in the Seychelles, working with one of the best marine and terrestrial data collection organizations conducting research that will help in the formation of conservation policies. Not only will you witness one of the most stunning locations of the world, but you’ll also be enabling the long-term survival of the hawksbill turtle alongside other endangered species.

Volunteer with Buddhist Monks in Cambodia – This fabulous volunteer program will take you to the city of Siem Reap in Cambodia where you’ll spend time staying in a monastery and teach English to novice monks thus, making a valuable contribution to the community. While not working on educational initiatives or in the classroom, you’ll be immersed in the beautiful surroundings, hills and monuments of Cambodia. This is a great volunteer abroad trip for college students.

Volunteer with Children in South Africa - This is a terrific opportunity to travel to Cape Town, South Africa to make a valuable difference in the lives of many young children. While volunteering with children in South Africa, you will be providing children with educational training through a series of fun mediums such as arts and crafts, games, and other activities that help create a safe and creative learning environment for the children.

GVI Fees

Although GVI’s program fees are a bit pricier than other companies on this list, they make up for it in terms of top-notch services, superb staff support and an overall well-rounded volunteer experience for college students. GVI also has a singular price that you pay – meaning no hidden fees and no registration fees. Their volunteer program in the Seychelles start at $4,925 and their program in Cambodia start at $2,095.

GVI Reviews

Not all organizations offer such a wide range of volunteer programs as GVI. However, the diversity practiced by GVI has proved that going beyond one’s potential is definitely a feasible goal to accomplish. There are many volunteer testimonials that you can read through to get a better understanding of this company. GVI has 705 reviews on Go Overseas.

Read all reviews of GVI on Go Overseas.

Maximo Nivel

Maximo Nivel is your go-to organization for study abroad and volunteer travel opportunities in South and Central America. The organization runs a variety of interesting and impactful volunteer programs in 3 countries – Costa Rica, Guatemala and Peru. Maximo Nivel is locally based so they know the ins and outs of the countries they operate in. Their experienced team will handle your secure and comfortable placement so that you can have a memorable college student volunteer trip abroad.

Maximo Nivel Best Volunteer Programs for College Students

Maximo Nivel has some of the most diverse programs in Costa Rica, Guatemala and Peru. Moreover, they are continually updating their programs so that new-comers can always get to contribute something valuable. Let’s take a look at their top college student volunteer programs:

Medical Program in Guatemala – Maximo Nivel has a wonderful medical program in Guatemala for college students. As volunteers, they’ll be placed in understaffed clinics and hospitals where they’ll shadow experienced doctors. A volunteer will gain plenty of knowledge and experience about the Guatemalan healthcare. Typical duties on this program include assisting with general check-ups, taking vital signs, preparing equipment, updating patient records and organizing medical campaigns.

Animal Rescue in Peru – Animals aren’t treated the same everywhere, and a lot of animals suffer abuse and neglect on the streets of Peru. Do your part in rescuing and rehabilitating them. As a volunteer, you’ll get to work with professional veterinarians in a rescue shelter. You’ll work to feed the animals, clean their cages and enclosures and work in enrichment activities.

Eco-Agriculture in Costa Rica – Work with local farmers, enjoying the exotic beauty of the Monteverde Cloud Forest, and learn about sustainable farming and eco-agriculture practices on this program. Volunteers will get to know in-depth about coffee making while helping in various reforestation and conservation activities. This is a great volunteer abroad opportunity for college students.

Maximo Nivel Fees

Maximo Nivel has quite affordable volunteer program fees. They are locally based so they do not charge excessive amounts of administrative costs. Their programs in Guatemala and Peru cost just $685 for 1 week of volunteering. Meanwhile, their programs in Costa Rica cost $785.

Maximo Nivel Reviews

A quick search online will yield thousands of reviews about this company – and a lot of them only say good things about Maximo Nivel. They present a fantastic opportunity, with well-meaning placements, to volunteer abroad as college students. You can read personalized volunteer reviews on their website as well. Maximo Nivel has 1,317 reviews on Go Overseas and 1,885 reviews on Go Abroad.

Read all reviews of Maximo Nivel on Go Overseas.

Read all reviews of Maximo Nivel on Go Abroad.


GoEco is a leading eco-tourism and volunteer abroad company offering affordable, ethical volunteer projects worldwide. With a team of experienced specialists, they provide access to over 150 community, wildlife, and environmental initiatives through partnerships with diverse providers. Each project is meticulously vetted to ensure alignment with international standards and volunteers' interests. They prioritize personalized experiences by understanding your preferences and providing comprehensive information to guide your decision-making process. As a college student on a volunteer abroad program, GoEco wants you to make plenty of memories to take back home!

GoEco Best Volunteer Programs for College Students

GoEco has quite a large assortment of volunteer programs for their clients to work with. You can pick your area of interest and the country you’d like to go and GoEco will do the rest flawlessly. Here, take a look at some of our own personal favorite programs from GoEco:

Marine & Turtle Conservation in Maldives – If you are a college student, we recommend going on a marine conservation program just to witness the beauty and magic of Nature’s creation. GoEco’s program in Maldives is a wonderful one for that. Volunteers will get involved with a variety of activities from feeding and bathing turtles to taking them to the beach and ocean, as well as guiding guests around the marine center.

Family-Friendly Private Island Marine Experience in Belize – The Belize Barrier Reef is a wonderful sight to behold and you can get involved in a splendid volunteer program there that’ll really let you engage in a diverse array of activities. Hunt or go spearfishing for the invasive Lionfish species that are wreaking havoc on the Belize Barrier Reef. You can also go for other marine species identification dives or even participate in some whale shark photography!

Women’s Literacy Program in Sri Lanka – If you’d like to bring some positive change into the community then opt for the women’s literacy program in Sri Lanka. It is an incredible opportunity to learn about the hardships of Sri Lankan women while helping them secure a better future for themselves. Volunteers will do this by preparing basic and conversational English lessons with local coordinators. Also engage these women in a variety of practical and creative learning tasks like role playing.

GoEco Fees

GoEco is pretty high up on our list of the most affordable volunteer providers. The organization charges no registration fee as far as we know and their prices are fair for the amount of services they offer. Their program fees are $950 for a 1 week program in Sri Lanka, $1,310 for a 6 day program in Belize and $1,980 for a 2 week program in the Maldives.

GoEco Reviews

There is really a lot to say about GoEco; they are an organization that absolutely put their clients first. We spoke with some of their past volunteers who went to volunteer abroad as college students and everyone seems to speak highly of this company. They have received a substantial amount of reviews and awards that you can check out on their website. GoEco has 89 reviews on Go Overseas and 729 reviews on Go Abroad.

Read all reviews of GoEco on Go Overseas.

Read all reviews of GoEco on Go Abroad.

A Broader View

A Broader View is a 501 c (3) volunteer organization that puts an emphasis on meaningful placements with a ton of cultural immersion to be had. The organization was founded in 2007 and since then, they have grown to become a large-scale provider for volunteer programs all over the world. Currently, they have 345 programs running in over 32 countries and some of them are excellent opportunities for volunteer abroad college students like you!

A Broader View Best Volunteer Programs for College Students

A Broader View has on the ground staffs in most locations around the world that ensure that volunteer programs are run smoothly and without a hitch. You will definitely not regret joining any of their featured programs mentioned below:

Midwifery program in Mongolia – If you’re a midwifery intern looking for international opportunities, then the midwifery program in Mongolia is one we think you should thoroughly consider. This program takes place in a maternity hospital in Ulaanbaatar where volunteers will mostly adopt an observatory role. Volunteers will provide support and encouragement to women during delivery and assist in pre-natal and post-natal care as much as they can.

Teaching in a Monastery in Nepal - Many Buddhists send their children to monasteries to become monks/nuns. Since they have little contact with the outside world; their English speaking needs a bit of refining. Work as a volunteer in a monastery and work with the local coordinator there to provide English lessons to monks. This is a splendid volunteer abroad for college student opportunity.

Childcare in Kenya – Childcare volunteers are in desperate need in Kenya. There are a lot of children that suffer neglect and are living poorly on the streets. As a volunteer, you’ll work in a childcare center and teach these children English, music, arts and crafts and a variety of other things so that they can better utilize their time. Show them some care, kindness and affection because God knows they don’t receive enough of it.

A Broader View Fees

The organization believes that volunteering should be accessible to everyone. Thus, they do not charge a lot when it comes to their programs. Program prices are fairly inexpensive, with the featured programs we mentioned above costing between $800 and $1000 for a week of volunteering.

A Broader View Reviews

A Broader View is a top-notch organization with many raving reviews from pat volunteers and alumni. Volunteer abroad as a college student with ABV and make a genuine impact upon the world. We are sure you’d like to know more about the organization – here, check the volunteer reviews section on A Broader View’s own website. This prolific organization has 178 reviews on Go Overseas.

Read all reviews of A Broader View on Go Overseas.


Where are the best places to volunteer as a college student?

We realize that as a college student volunteer, you won’t have enough experience to get involved in specialized tasks. But that does not mean you cannot volunteer! Most often college student volunteers are crucial to teaching English programs, orphanage and childcare handling and even healthcare outreach programs.

What is the role of a student volunteer?

A student volunteer often helps a local staff or supervisor conduct their business in a smooth and unhindered way. As a student volunteer in teaching maybe you’ll help teachers plan lessons. As a student volunteer in the medical field, you’ll get to shadow local doctors and nurses and get to know more about the healthcare system of a particular country. A student volunteer’s role will mostly be observatory, but this does not mean that they are not useful – because they absolutely are!

Do you need any skills to be a student volunteer?

No, you usually don’t need a specific set of skills to volunteer. All that we ask of volunteers is that they be eager and willing to carry out any tasks appointed to them with full fervor and energy! Values like kindness, compassion and patience are always things that hiring organizations look for in volunteers.

Does volunteering look good on a resume?

Yes, volunteer experience can be a massive bonus to your CV or resume. If you have not had any prior work experience, doing some volunteer work will get you started on your professional career. Volunteering also helps establish you as a well-respected, kind and passionate individual – you might as well be the ideal employee for a lot of companies just because you volunteered!

How do I write a short bio for volunteering?

If you’re looking to write a volunteer bio but don’t know where to start, don’t worry we have got you covered! Start off by listing your name, contact number and other relevant personal information. Then, you can talk at lengths about your achievement, skills and values that you bring to the table when volunteering. We also recommend adding snippets of personal anecdotes just to give your volunteer bio a bit of added flair.

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