Volunteering abroad is still one of the best ways to get to visit and know new places in the world, and to make memories that last throughout your life.
In volunteering abroad, you get to give a helping hand to the world, see places that tourists never get to see, and have a wholesome experience.
If you approach volunteering abroad with a learning mindset, then you are in for a life-changing experience. Read on to learn some interesting about Volunteering Abroad you might not have known
Why Volunteer Abroad?
Volunteering abroad can help transform your life in so many ways. It puts you right at the heart of local communities, giving you a chance to learn new things while giving back in a meaningful way. It can be beneficial in the following ways:
Volunteering abroad exposes me to different cultures and people. This will help you to appreciate and live life better. It opens the mind, change misconceptions, and help develop better and more effective communication skills.
Develop Teamwork and Partnership skills
Working as a volunteer automatically places people in a team environment. It requires learning to collaborate with others make a project a success.
Learn to Network
Networking is vital in the business world, and community volunteering provides an opportunity to network. A volunteer gets to meet with people from different walks of life, and with a different perspectives.
Learn the Importance of Having a Vision
Volunteer team members work together having a shared vision, and commit to a shared goal. Volunteers see how alignment within a team pays off with rapid results.
Volunteers often give each other support, advice, and guidance needed to ensure success. It gives you a voice you wouldn’t have heard, allowing you to step up and take the lead.
Gain problem-Solving Skills
Volunteers are often faced with challenges and challenging problems to tackle. By working through them, you learn how to be effective problem solvers.
Increase Social and Relationship Skills
One of the best ways to make new friends and strengthen existing relationships is to commit to working together with people. Volunteering abroad is a great way to meet new people, and strengthen existing relationships.
Be Ahead in Academics and Job Employment
It is a fact that people who engage in volunteering activities perform better academically and may have an advantage when seeking employment.
Can I Volunteer Abroad for Free?
Yes, you can go on a volunteer trip for free. But it doesn’t come that easy. Pretty much all international volunteer organizations charge a program fee, but at the very least, you can cut down costs greatly, by looking out for high-quality, affordable volunteer abroad programs.
Additionally, there are multiple strategies to volunteer for free or close to it, including:
- Looking at what the program fee includes: Pretty much all international volunteer organizations charge a program fee, but some programs may also provide free travel insurance, airport pickup, room & board, and even weekend trips as part of their fee.
- Finding ways to reduce travel expenses: Stay close to home, don’t travel during tourist season, reside with a host family, stay at hostels, etc. As an example, if you are from the United States, it may be more affordable to travel to Latin America than Asia or Africa.
- Applying for travel scholarships and grants: For example, Maximo Nivel also offers several scholarships to help pay for a volunteer program, study abroad program, and more.
- Earning your Teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate: This way, you have the option of getting paid to travel overseas.
- Running a successful fundraising campaign: Volunteer Forever has a crowdfunding platform that enables volunteers to raise money for their trip.
Where is the Best Place to Volunteer?
Currently, Costa Rica finds itself at the top of the list of places to volunteer. It is considered one of the most sustainable countries in the world and offers amazing volunteer abroad opportunities in different sectors.
There are other notably good countries to volunteer in like: Kenya, New Zealand, Uganda, Australia, Mexico, South Africa, Thailand, Mozambique, and Indonesia.
Where to find Volunteering Abroad Opportunities
There are lots of organizations online, that give you access to volunteering abroad programs. As you read down, you will find ten of these organizations, that provide high-quality and affordable volunteer programs.
Do I Have to Pay to Volunteer Abroad, and Why?
Pretty much all international volunteer organizations charge a program fee, but at the very least, you can cut down costs greatly, by looking out for high-quality, affordable volunteer abroad programs.
These charges are used to cover the program’s operational costs. The cost varies by program, but most fees associated with volunteering abroad typically cover things like accommodation, food, transportation, in-country support, day trips, and so on.
So it is important to read the fine print to find out exactly where your fees will be going and what will be covered for you.
How Much does it Cost to Volunteer Abroad?
The cost of joining a volunteer abroad program can vary greatly. The biggest factors in price difference are company, project, and country.
The cost can range anywhere from $200 to $5,000 for a 2-week program. It is important to compare programs offered by different companies to make sure you make the right decision.
10 Best Volunteering Abroad programs in 2022
Looking for the best 2022 volunteer programs abroad? Here you can find ten of the best organizations that offer affordable volunteer abroad programs.
#1. International Volunteer HQ
As a highly-rated provider of top-rated volunteer abroad programs, IVHQ makes it easy for you to find good volunteer abroad programs.
They have volunteer abroad programs in Africa, Central America, South America, North America and the Caribbean, Europe, Middle East, and Asia.
Their programs cover projects like Childcare, Teaching, Medical and Health, Sea Turtle and Marine Conservation, Wildlife and Animal Care, Construction and Renovation, Environment and Conservation, Community Development, Special Needs Care, Sports, Women Empowerment, NGO Support, Arts and Music, Elderly Care, and Refugee Support.
Their short-term volunteer projects are available for travelers of all ages.
#2. Plan My Gap Year
Founded in 2001, Plan My Gap Year (PMGY) offers among the world’s most affordable volunteer placements. They provide a safe, structured, and social platform with volunteer, travel, and immersion opportunities, available from 1-40 weeks.
PMGY’s volunteer programs are accessible to anyone who wants to make a difference. They have projects in Childcare, English Teaching, Medical and Healthcare, Wildlife Conservation, Elephant Conservation, Community, Mental health, etc.
They have volunteer programs in Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America.
#3. Global Vision International (GVI)
Global Vision International (GVI) is an award-winning organization that provides opportunities for volunteer abroad trips in Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, Latin America, And North America. GVI was founded in 1997 by Richard Walton.
The program for teen/under age 18 volunteers. Their projects start from one week and can last up to a year.
They have programs in wildlife conservation, volunteer with children, marine conservation, animal care, teaching, public health, women’s empowerment, construction, and sport.
#4. Maximo Nivel
Maximo Nivel is a top-ranked volunteer abroad program. Their projects are very affordable, starting with $665 for one week.
Maximo Nivel was founded in 2003 and has hosted over 25,000 participants for its volunteer abroad, an internship abroad, study abroad, and Spanish immersion.
They have volunteer abroad and service-learning programs in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru. They cover areas like: working with kids, teaching English, medical and healthcare, animal care, eco-agriculture, construction, sea turtle conservation, indigenous communities, jungle conservation, beach conservation, and holiday programs.
#5. Love Volunteers
Love Volunteer is a low-cost international volunteer organization that provides meaningful, life-changing projects in over 34 countries around the world. They volunteer placements that span from one week to six months.
Interestingly, their volunteering cover so many countries such as Nepal, Peru, South Africa, Kenya, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Thailand, Bali, Zambia, and Tanzania. Programs start for just $175 for a week placement along with a one-time $249 registration fee when you submit your application.
They have programs in agriculture and farming, amazon animal conservation, animal rescue, animal therapy, animal welfare, Australian bush conservation, and childcare & development.
#6. Projects Abroad
Projects Abroad have spent 25 years helping their participants fulfill their potential and make the world a better place.
These opportunities are poised to empower people to explore the world, experience different cultures, and truly understand the specific issues in the places they visit. You can get projects on childcare, wildlife conservation, marine conservation, teaching, building, women empowerment, youth development, sports coaching, archaeology, refugee support.
Note, Projects Abroad opportunity cover the following locations: Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America & the Caribbean, and South Pacific.
#7. Agape Volunteers
Agape Volunteers is a registered UK non-profit charity that offers high-quality, low-cost volunteer travel experiences throughout Africa.
This organization specializes in volunteering, tourism, and development work in Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Ghana, and Maasai-land.
Some of the Agape Volunteer opportunities to check out include Medical Volunteering in Kenya, Animal Conservation in South Africa, HIV/AIDS Prevention volunteering in Kenya, Teaching Volunteering in Tanzania, Childcare Volunteering in Ghana.
Since 2006, GoEco has provided affordable volunteer abroad programs and internships in over 45 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Australasia, Central America, Europe, The Middle East, North America, and South America.
GoEco has the following volunteer opportunities: Wild Animal Rescue Shelter in Ecuador, Sea Turtle Rescue and Recovery Hospital in Ecuador, Health and Medical Care in Costa Rica, African Wildlife Ranch in South Africa, Animal Rescue and Conservation in Costa Rica, African Wildlife Orphanage in Zimbabwe, and Sea Turtle Conservation in Costa Rica.
Fronteering is a volunteer abroad program that is unique, exotic, and off the beaten path. They offer impactful programs for travelers who want to make a positive difference in environmental conservation, wildlife research and conservation, indigenous communities, and more.
Fronteering has affordable volunteer abroad opportunities that start at $695 for your first week. If you decide to stay longer, a placement can be made for up to 24 weeks.
Note, Fronteering covers locations in South America, North America, Europe, Australasia, Asia, and Africa. They are focused on Animal Wildlife, Community, Indigenous People, and Environmental Conservation.
#10. Via Volunteers
Via Volunteers describes itself as ethical volunteering with the best range of wildlife, conservation, childcare, and community projects in South Africa.
Some of the places you can get these volunteering opportunities include Baphumelele Children’s Home, Homeless Feeding Program in Cape Town, African Penguin and Seabird Rehabilitation, Big Cat Sanctuary, Marine Conservation: Sharks, Whales & Penguins, and Greater Kruger Conservation Project.
Volunteering can be a great-escape to self-realization. You can put a smile on the face of the world today.
Volunteering abroad can be a fantastic way to see wonderful places, gain amazing experiences, and leave a mark on the world.