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Conservation volunteers working together abroad

Volunteer Abroad with a Responsible Volunteering Organisation

Join our international volunteer programs and become part of ongoing efforts to empower developing communities

Volunteer overseas on a safe, sustainable, and hassle-free project. We offer the gold standard in volunteer abroad programs, and you can do something you’re really passionate about, like:  

  • Support children’s education
  • Work with animals and protect endangered wildlife 
  • Provide basic medical services in communities without access to healthcare

Doing volunteer work abroad is an exciting way to add practical skills to your CV and get first-hand insight into global issues. It’s also a way for you to make a real difference in today’s world, with an organisation you can trust. 

As an industry leader for international volunteering, we hold our programs to a strict ethical standard. We have a responsibility toward the people and organisations we work with, as well as our staff and volunteers like you, and we hold their - and your - trust in high regard. It’s why we champion Responsible Volunteer Travel, and work with an extensive checklist that guides all of our efforts in developing countries. We’re committed to making the world a better place, one volunteer at a time. 

Whichever project you choose, you can trust in the overseas voluntary work you do with us. You’ll be working towards achieving long-term goals guided by the UN Sustainable Development Goals. These goals address needs identified by the local community members and organisations we partner with.

And throughout it all, we’ll be by your side to support you and keep you safe!

What are the best volunteer abroad programs for me?

A lion rests in the shade at Wild at Tuli, the reserve where volunteers abroad work on wildlife conservation.

We have numerous volunteer abroad programs for you to choose from, and each one is aligned with our Responsible Volunteer Travel checklist. Read on below for more details on the volunteer opportunities we offer. 

Volunteering Abroad with Animals

We have several Conservation Projects where you can do volunteer work with animals in incredible environments worldwide. And where can our Conservation Projects take you? Well, anywhere! 

Your interest in animal conservation volunteering can take you to the wild savannahs of Kenya in East Africa, or to touch the sky at the top of the Himalayan Mountains in Nepal. Here are our most popular land-based Wildlife Conservation Projects:

Whichever volunteer project you choose, you can rest assured that your experience will be an ethical one. All of our wildlife conservation volunteer abroad programs are guided by a comprehensive Animal Protection Policy. The same policy also guides our work at Veterinary Medicine & Animal Care Projects.

A group of volunteers abroad go diving to collect scientific data on sharks in Fiji.

Marine Conservation Volunteer Abroad

Explore our oceans as a marine conservation volunteer, and help in the fight against global issues like plastic pollution and coral bleaching. Choose from projects like:

If you want to linger on the beaches and volunteer with sea turtles, we recommend Sea Turtle Conservation in Mexico.

Community Development Volunteer Opportunities

We have a range of community development volunteer opportunities overseas. If you want to help empower communities, and work and live with local people, you can choose from projects like:

Volunteering with Children Abroad

Our Childcare Projects are built around a community-based care system. We don’t work in orphanages, nor do we support orphanage volunteering abroad. We strongly believe that stable family environments are best for the children we work with. Read more about our stance on orphanage volunteering in developing countries.  

By doing voluntary work with children, you can support communities in need and give kids the skills they need to thrive. Your focus will be on Early Childhood Development, and teaching things like motor skills and teamwork. 

All of the work you do goes into our Global Impact Database, which tracks the progress each child makes, to ensure long-term impact. 

Read more about volunteering abroad with children.

A volunteer teaching abroad helps a child complete an activity at a school in Tanzania, Africa.

Volunteer Teaching Abroad

Join a teach abroad program and empower young people around the world. By getting involved with education in developing countries, you’ll also support the work of local teachers.   

Education is essential for breaking down the barriers of poverty and inequality, which is why Teaching Projects are a core focus for Projects Abroad in every country we work in. Like our Childcare Projects, we also have a targeted approach: 

  • Each project has a Management Plan, so we can work toward a goal and measure our impact for the long-term
  • Our Child Protection Policy ensures that the children we work with are protected, and our processes are ethical

We don’t require you to have previous teaching experience, as most of our volunteers work alongside local teachers as assistants. We do welcome qualified teachers interested in volunteer teaching abroad. 

Read more about our teach abroad programs

A group of medical volunteers abroad participate in a community healthcare outreach at a school in Asia.

Healthcare Volunteering Abroad

Promoting healthcare is another way we help empower the communities we work with. With the help of volunteers like you, we improve access to basic medical services by doing health checks and raising awareness of diseases.

We hold our Medicine & Healthcare Projects to a high ethical standard, and we follow strict guidelines and a code of conduct. If you’re a medical volunteer with us, you won’t be allowed to do work you’re not qualified for, and you’ll always be supervised by a medical professional.

We offer a range of specialisms for medical volunteers, including:

  • General Medicine
  • Public Health
  • Nursing
  • Nutrition

See a full list of the specialisms we offer for healthcare volunteering.

Building Volunteering Abroad

Our Building Projects work toward providing disadvantaged communities with the infrastructure they need. This is because a lack of infrastructure can hold people back from fulfilling their potential. Children need safe spaces at school to learn, modern toilets prevent disease and improve hygiene, and shelter fulfills a basic human need.  

Go overseas as a construction volunteer, and learn about the infrastructure challenges people face. At the same time, we’ll teach you everything you need to know to do the work, and you’ll be supervised by professionals. You’ll also be able to see immediate physical results from your work!  

Read more about building volunteering abroad

Sports Volunteering Abroad

Our sports volunteer opportunities are about more than you getting outdoors and sharing your passion for games like football. Through sports, you’ll do things like: 

  • Give disadvantaged children access to coaching
  • Teach the importance of living a healthy lifestyle and how to keep fit
  • Help children learn about teamwork and improve their self-confidence
  • Work with us to provide a safe space for young people to learn and grow

From running physical education classes in Peru, to helping kids learn to swim and surf at a white-sand beach in Cape Town, South Africa, there are plenty of sports coaching programs for you to choose from.

Read more about sports volunteering abroad. 

Worried about not having enough experience for overseas volunteer work, or what you can accomplish if you only have a short time available? Read our popular blog articles about short term volunteering abroad and overseas volunteering without experience.

Interested in gaining professional work experience?

If you want to go overseas to add professional work experience abroad to your CV, we recommend our internships abroad. You can learn new skills in areas like Law & Human Rights, Micro-finance, and more. 

What are some good volunteer abroad opportunities?

Our Project Experts are here to help you choose a volunteer trip that’s the best fit for you. Some of our volunteering opportunities abroad will be more suited for you than others. Here are the different types of volunteer trips we offer.

A group of high school students volunteer abroad together in South Africa.

Volunteer Abroad for Under 18s

At Projects Abroad, we believe in empowering young people from a young age to help others. This is why we designed a program specifically for students ages 15-18, our High School Specials

Each High School Special is built around the idea of safe, hassle-free volunteer travel for teenagers. Everything is group-based, so you’ll live and work with people your age for the duration of your trip. 

This is what our teen volunteer abroad programs include: 

  • A schedule packed with age-appropriate volunteering activities, geared toward experiential education
  • Regular social and cultural activities, like cooking classes and quiz nights
  • 24/7 support and guidance from in-country staff, so you’ll never be left on your own
  • An exciting weekend trip with our staff, filled with guided exploration and fun

Our High School Specials help you gain independence while you explore the world in a safe environment. They fit perfectly into the summer holidays, and run from anywhere between 1-4 weeks, mainly in June, July, and August.

Want to learn more about our high school volunteer abroad programs? Read our popular blogs about what the journey of a High School Special volunteer is really like, and what our best volunteer abroad programs for teenagers are in 2020

In addition to High School Specials, we offer volunteer programs for students ages 12-15. Our Middle School Specials are service learning programs designed to give youth an introduction to experiential education and cultural exchange. They have a high level of supervision and constant support, just like our High School Specials.

A teacher and volunteer in Ghana assist a child with an art project on a gap year program abroad.

Gap Year Programs Abroad

International volunteering is an increasingly popular option for students looking to learn and make an impact with their gap year abroad. With Projects Abroad, you can choose to volunteer overseas for a full year, or for just part of your gap year. 

We specialise in planning gap years, and we offer a hassle-free and completely flexible experience. You can choose:

  • What kind of work you want to do
  • Which country you want to go to
  • How long you want to travel, and your own start and end dates

You can customise your gap year abroad by combining volunteer trips or internships in different countries, or join our pre-arranged and all-inclusive Global Gap Program

Read more about gap year volunteering

A university student on a volunteer opportunity in Mexico checks a child's heart rate.

University Student Volunteer Opportunities 

As a student volunteering with Projects Abroad, you can do hands-on work that adds real value to your studies. Our internships and volunteer opportunities for university students are built around experiential learning. You get to do things like:

  • Work directly with professionals on the job, like doctors or teachers
  • Give back through an ethical and sustainable volunteer project
  • Add relevant, practical work experience to your CV
  • Work with diverse groups of people around the world
  • Hone global skills like communication, organisation, and time management

Our best volunteer abroad programs for young adults are our Flexi Trips, which give you the space to work independently while still enjoying support from our full-time staff. If you want to work with a group your age and have an organised schedule, we recommend our Team Trips.

Professional Volunteering Abroad

Looking for a career break with a difference? Interested in breaking away from typical tourist activities for your next holiday? Volunteer abroad as a professional, and use your skills to actively make a difference while you travel and explore. 

Our Flexi Trips are perfect for this. They give you independence and flexibility, while still giving you structure and support if you need it. We can match you to the project that would benefit most from your skills and experience, and also help you share that with local people through training.  

Learn more about our approach to volunteering abroad for professionals.  

An older volunteer abroad works with children at an Early Childhood Development Centre in Madagascar.

Volunteer Abroad over 50

Through our volunteer abroad programs, you can use your skills, knowledge, and life experience to make an impact in developing countries, no matter your age.  

Most of our volunteer projects are a great fit for those in their 50s, 60s, and older. If you want to travel more independently, we recommend Flexi Trips, which we can then tailor specifically to your interests. 

Interested in travelling with a group your age? We also offer an organised group volunteer trip specially designed for older adults and retirees, our Grown-up Specials. These trips run over set dates throughout the year, for two weeks at a time. 

Read more about our best volunteer abroad programs for older adults, and the reasons why you should volunteer abroad during retirement.

On a family volunteering holiday in Peru, a family take a photo on their Conservation Project.

Family Volunteering Holidays

Do something exciting and different for your next family holiday, and volunteer overseas. Many of our volunteer projects are family-friendly, and our hassle-free approach takes all the stress out of planning a trip! 

You can volunteer with your partner, children, and other members of your family. No need to worry about leaving little ones at home, we can accept children as young as four years-old on our volunteer projects. Read more about how family volunteering abroad works

Want to get a deeper insight into what volunteering as a family with Projects Abroad is really like? Read our popular blogs about a grandmother and granddaughter volunteering abroad together, and a family who turned the world into their classroom for a few weeks.

Christmas Volunteering Abroad

Celebrate the spirit of giving by giving back to communities who need extra support! With Projects Abroad, you can volunteer overseas for Christmas through one of our Team Trips. 

Our Team Trips take place on set dates throughout the year, and several of these trips have dates over Christmas and New Year. Learn more about our Christmas volunteering opportunities

Overseas voluntary work caters to people from all walks of life, no matter what your motivation is for volunteering abroad. No matter your age, level of experience, or where you’re from, you can make a difference with Projects Abroad!

Where can I volunteer abroad?

If you’re asking yourself “Where should I volunteer abroad?” we can help you find the answer! 

Choosing where to go is a tough choice, especially with so many places to choose from. Your destination depends on what you want to get out of the experience, and we can help you pin that down. Our Project Experts are always available to help you decide where to go. You can also read more about where we work below.

Africa Volunteer Programs

In the continent of Africa, we work in several countries. You can volunteer with wildlife, work with children, and more in countries like:

Asia Volunteer Programs

Experience a different side of Asia when you volunteer abroad and immerse yourself in the local community and culture. You can protect coral reefs, teach English, and more in countries such as:

South America Volunteer Programs

We have volunteer opportunities in South America in three different countries:

Interested in volunteering in other Latin American countries? We offer projects in Mexico and Costa Rica. If you want to venture into the Caribbean, join one of our international volunteer programs in Belize or Jamaica

Europe Volunteer Programs

Stick close to home and actively make a difference by volunteering in Romania. In Romania, we have several projects, from digging into the past on our Archaeology Project, to working with children at a kindergarten.  

Torn between different countries? Combine multiple countries and projects for the ultimate volunteering abroad experience!

Summer Volunteering Abroad

On a summer volunteer program abroad, a volunteer teacher takes a photo with her Samoan students.

Our projects are a great fit for anyone who wants to make the most of their holiday with summer volunteer programs abroad in 2020. You can travel with us at any point over June, July, or August, from as little as one week. 

If you want to choose your own dates for summer volunteering abroad, then we recommend joining a Flexi Trip. You can travel over pre-set dates in the summer if you want to join up with a group, either on a High School Special or Team Trip.

Summer is a popular time of year for voluntary work abroad, especially for high school students, recent grads, and university students. We recommend applying early to make sure you get a spot on the project you want. This is especially important if you’re applying for a trip with fixed dates, as those projects fill up quickly!

What are the benefits of volunteering abroad?

You may be asking yourself, “What do I gain from volunteering abroad?” There are numerous benefits of volunteering in developing countries. You can do things like:

  • Learn new skills
  • Get voluntary work experience
  • Add soft skills like communication to your CV
  • Grow as a person and learn about the world firsthand
  • Step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself
  • Make a tangible difference at a service project
  • Make lifelong friends and become part of our alumni network

In addition, the skills you gain from volunteering abroad can also help you improve your employability

Ultimately, the benefits of volunteering abroad also depend on you, and what you want to get out of the experience. Read our blog to learn more about what you stand to gain from international volunteering.

Common Questions about Volunteering Abroad

We get a lot of questions about volunteering abroad, which we answer for you below. 

Is volunteering abroad safe?

At Projects Abroad, your safety is our number one priority. We have several protocols in place to ensure your time abroad is safe, productive, and enjoyable, such as: 

  • We employ our own staff, who are screened and trained by us. We never use third parties or contractors
  • Our in-country staff are available 24/7 to help you with any problems that arise, or if you fall ill
  • Our host families are carefully chosen to ensure security, comfort, and friendliness
  • We carry out thorough risk assessments to ensure that all of the countries we work in are safe and politically stable
  • We have an in-house medical advisor who is available to consult with you and your GP before you leave, so you can discuss any health concerns to make sure you're feeling confident about your upcoming volunteer trip

Want to know more about how we keep our volunteers abroad safe? Read our blog that explains all the ways we keep you safe in greater detail

How much does it cost to volunteer abroad?

All volunteer abroad programs with reputable organisations come with a cost. For Projects Abroad, we charge a fee because we’re an independent organisation that doesn’t rely on fundraising or government funding to achieve sustainable, long-term goals. We get all of our funding from the fees our participants pay.

In exchange for paying to volunteer overseas, we provide you with a world-class, hassle-free experience, with all the support you need. You can also be 100% certain you are part of an ethical, guided project that makes an actual difference on the ground.

We’re clear about what our program fees cover, and there are no hidden costs. Read more about how our prices work, and how your program fees are used.  

Can I volunteer abroad for free? 

This is a question we often get asked. The short answer is “no”, and there are several reasons why it’s important to pay for volunteering work abroad. Read more about why we ask our volunteers to pay a fee. If you still have questions after you read our article, get in touch! Our Project Experts are to help and answer your questions. 

How can I raise money to volunteer abroad?

We understand that the cost of volunteer abroad programs can be daunting, and we have loads of advice to help you achieve your fundraising goal

With us, you can: 

You can also read our blog post where we talk about the creative ways previous volunteers raised money for their projects.  

Which countries need volunteers?

Simply put, all of the countries we work in need volunteers. It’s the reason why we’re there in the first place! 

Wherever you choose to travel with us, you can be assured there’s a real need that you’ll be helping to address. It’s the way we’ve structured our projects, and it’s reflected in our approach to responsible volunteer travel. Every volunteer project that you read about on our website will explain why we’re there, and what goals we’re working towards. 

How old do you have to be to volunteer abroad? 

The majority of our volunteer abroad programs are open to anyone over the age of 16. For younger volunteers, we offer specialised programs with constant support and supervision, ideal for first-time travellers. 

You may be asking yourself, “Am I too old to volunteer abroad?” Our answer is: not at all! Our programs have no official age limit. You can join any volunteer project as long as you meet the requirements and can do the work. 

What has motivated you to volunteer abroad?

This is an important question, and it’s something we feel our alumni are best placed to answer! It’s often a life-changing experience, and each of our alumni was motivated by different reasons to volunteer abroad. You can read reviews by our alumni, or contact us to see if we can put you in touch with former volunteers.  

Can I volunteer abroad without a degree?

With Projects Abroad, it’s possible to volunteer abroad without a degree. At each volunteer project, you work side-by-side with experienced professionals to guide you, and we provide extensive training. Your work will always be appropriate for your age and skill level. We’ll never ask you to anything you’re not comfortable with or trained to do. 

Do you need a visa to volunteer abroad?

It depends on where you want to volunteer abroad, and for how long. We have an in-house visa team who can help you with this process once you’ve applied. They have all the up-to-date visa information you need, and can guide you through the visa process.

How to Volunteer Abroad

Interested in learning more about how to be a volunteer overseas? You can read about how to start volunteering, or look at more detailed information below about our opportunities for:

You can also read more about voluntourism, another way of talking about how to combine volunteering around the world with travel.

Choose a Volunteer Project

1-9 of 141 Projects

A Projects Abroad volunteer collects data on a Diving and Marine Conservation volunteering project.

From £1795

Diving & Coral Reef Protection in Thailand
See this project

Live and work in Thailand, and become part of our efforts to protect marine life and the environment

  • Completely flexible dates
  • Anyone aged 16 or over can join
  • From 1 week
Children line up with their backpacks outside their classroom in Nepal

From £995

Volunteer with Children in Nepal
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Gain childcare experience and support early childhood development in care centres

  • Completely flexible dates
  • Anyone aged 16 or over can join
  • From 1 week
A group of children with Projects Abroad Childcare volunteers outside a kindergarten in Sri Lanka.

From £1120

Volunteer with Children in Sri Lanka
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Support early childhood development in disadvantaged care centres while experiencing life in Sri Lanka

  • Completely flexible dates
  • Anyone aged 16 or over can join
  • From 1 week
Volunteers in Nepal dig up sand for cement to help rebuild schools as part of their construction volunteer project.

From £1145

Building Volunteer Work in Nepal
See this project

Travel to Asia and help rebuild and repair classrooms damaged by earthquakes.

  • Completely flexible dates
  • Anyone aged 16 or over can join
  • From 1 week
Projects Abroad Conservation volunteers build an eco-wall using recycled plastic in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.

From £1645

Giant Tortoise & Sea Lion Conservation in the Galapagos Islands
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Work in the Galapagos National Park and contribute to the conservation of many unique ecosystems

  • Completely flexible dates
  • Anyone aged 16 or over can join
  • From 1 week
Childcare volunteer plays a game with children during her work experience in Ghana.

From £1270

Volunteer with Children in Ghana
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Gain childcare experience and help children develop their skills in Ghana

  • Completely flexible dates
  • Anyone aged 16 or over can join
  • From 1 week
A volunteer and staff member work together on a reforestation initiative during Conservation volunteering in Costa Rica.

From £1645

Birds, Butterflies and Bats Conservation in Costa Rica
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Live in Costa Rica’s dense tropical dry forest and work on the frontlines of conservation

  • Completely flexible dates
  • Anyone aged 16 or over can join
  • From 1 week
Teenage volunteers working with children in Cambodia use weekends to explore local attractions.

From £1370

Volunteering with Children in Cambodia for Teenagers
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Work with other teenage volunteers as you teach and care for children from disadvantaged communities in Cambodia

  • Fixed dates during school holidays
  • This project is only for 15-18 year olds
  • From 2 weeks
A group of sharks pictured by Projects Abroad volunteers whilst diving on their Shark Conservation volunteering project in Fiji.

From £2365

Shark Conservation Volunteering in Fiji
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Dive in the stunning waters of the South Pacific and play a vital role in shark conservation efforts

  • Completely flexible dates
  • Anyone aged 16 or over can join
  • From 2 weeks
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