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International Volunteering

Local and international volunteering are essential for the maintenance of communities, but it also allows the volunteers to develop various skills at a personal and professional levels. In order to find the best programme according to your goals, you must consider what makes you want to volunteer and what impact you want to leave in the hosting community. For us it is important to have a positive impact in the communities where we volunteer and, for that reason, we do not promote voluntourism (volunteer + tourism), as these options end up harming the communities that you were “helping”.

On this page you can find financed, partially financed and non-financed opportunities, allowing you to choose which the option suits you the best!

Financed International Volunteering

Passing through all Continents, we have collected free volunteer options that offer financial support, that is, you receive a volunteer grant to cover your expenses. These options are quite safe, as you have sending organisations that help you throughout the process.

It is important to highlight that the majority of financed volunteering opportunities are long-term, so over 6 months, however it is possible to find short options up to 2 months, such as the short term ESC. In case you don’t have time for a long-term project, we advise you to try a short-term opportunity!

ESC Volunteering

The European Solidarity Corps allows to volunteer in an international context, support the local community and develop skills.

Service Civique

The Service Civique is a volunteering programme financed by France, but young Europeans can take part in and volunteer abroad.

Interreg Volunteer

This programme is very similar to the European Solidarity Corps, however volunteers need to have more experience to take part!

EU Aid

This programme is suitable for anyone who wants to volunteer in development and support local communities outside the EU.

UN Volunteers

United Nations offer multiple opportunities to volunteer in the field and online, in order to support different projects.

Partially Financed International Volunteering

The partially financed volunteering options are based on an exchange. This means that in exchange for work you receive accommodation and food. From our experience and, depending on the country, this is the best option for long-term backpackers, as there is no funding for travels and, in some cases, you need to pay an annual fee to have access to the online platforms and available opportunities.

These programmes allow you to stay in the same place a few days, weeks or even longer and work a few hours a day. You will still have free time to visit the cities.

Workaway

In workaway platform it is possible to find hosts around the world to volunteer in farms, hostels, yoga centers, among others, in exchange for accommodation and food.

WWOOF

WWOOF is a network of organic farmers that host volunteers in their ecological farms around the world. While volunteering, it is possible to learn more about the topic.

SCI

SCI has short and long term volunteer projects around the world. In some projects volunteers receive pocket money, while in others they are responsible for all costs.

Non Financed International Volunteering

Some national and international organisations have non-funded projects, which means that volunteers are responsible for paying a fee to the sending associations/ agencies. To this cost usually it adds the travels, accommodation and food.

These are convenient if you have urgency in finding a volunteer project or want a fast application process, however, they are no more secure, beneficial or fun than the funded options.

We do not announce and promote the names of these organisations/ entreprises, as we want to promote inclusive projects and these options are not inclusive and represent profiting from communities, which is ethically wrong.

F.A.Q International Volunteering

Isn’t it safer to pay to volunteer?

No, the financed options are very secure, because you have a support network and, if you are volunteering outside Europe, you will be working on behalf of the European Union.

How can I do online volunteering?

EU Aid and the UN Volunteers have online volunteering opportunities, however you can also contact smaller associations, since often these need support.

How is it possible to we get “paid” to volunteer?

These volunteer programmes are financed through European or national funds. This means that we are already paying taxes that are allocated for these opportunities.

I am 16 years old, can I do international volunteering?

These opportunities are available from the age of 18, until then you can volunteer online or with local projects.

What is the best option if I never volunteered or worked before?

In this case volunteering through the European Solidarity Corps is the best option, since you have support throughout the process and you don’t need previous experience.

What are the programmes to volunteer with humanitarian causes?

The programmes are EU Aid and United Nations Volunteers, however we remind you that you should already have some experience in this area.

What is the best option to volunteer during summer vacations?

Sometimes there are short-term projects with the European Solidarity Corps, however there are not many projects. We advise you to check out the page of short-term projects and local projects.

Does a volunteer project count as professional experience?

Of course, in these long-term projects you can work in the most diverse areas, a lot of times in your study field. Despite being a volunteer project, you are still working and acquiring professional experience!