10 Unique Volunteer Abroad Opportunities You Should Consider

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Ready for the volunteer trip of a lifetime? 

Now that overseas travel and volunteering abroad are back, opportunities to go abroad to volunteer are only increasing. At Volunteer Forever, we’re happy to see so many programs back up and running. We’re also excited to see exciting new programs beginning.

Indeed, this is a great time to sign up for a volunteer abroad experience. While COVID-19 remains a consideration, many countries either only require a negative PCR test and/or proof of vaccination to enter. 

Plus, volunteer abroad programs have a need for applicants. The COVID-19 pandemic upended a lot of people’s lives across the globe, and there is a need for volunteers to help uplift communities across the world. 

In today’s article, we thought it would be helpful to discuss the most unique volunteer abroad opportunities available now. We already have a travel guide detailing the best volunteer abroad programs, so today’s article will highlight volunteer opportunities that offer an off-the-beaten-path experience. 

Let’s dive in!

  • Note: The longer you stay, the cheaper programs get per week. For instance, a 2-week program may cost $1,000 in fees, while a 4-week program may be $1,300 (a 70% discount on those last two weeks). 

1. Work on a Coffee Farm in Guatemala

VolunteerForever

Volunteer Organization: Maximo Nivel

Program Fees: $915 for 2 weeks; $1,295 for 4 weeks

Why it’s one of the most unique volunteer abroad experiences

Head to Antigua, a historic city renowned for its Spanish colonial architecture and natural beauty. Surrounded by volcanoes, the soil is lush here and perfect for coffee farming. As a volunteer on a coffee farm in Guatemala, you’ll learn all about sustainable agriculture and take part in all parts of the coffee production process, from picking and weeding to planting, processing and packaging. 

This program is offered by Maximo Nivel, a renowned volunteer and intern abroad organization that focuses on programs in Latin America. The program is simply a wonderful and unique opportunity to work with Guatemalan farmers and, of course, enjoy super-fresh coffee! 

Click here to learn more!

2. Teach English in Morocco

ESL Organization: International TEFL Academy (ITA)

Expected Salary: $1200 – $2000 per month

Why it’s one of the most unique teaching or volunteer abroad experiences

Whether you’re trekking through the Saharan dunes or enjoying mint tea in Tangier, Morocco delights with its mix of natural beauty, charming cities and welcoming people. If you’re looking for a work abroad adventure, look no further. Morocco has a high demand for English language teachers. Make money while enjoying a beautiful culture! 

International TEFL Academy (ITA), an organization that specializes in ESL job training and certification, has courses to help you get your TEFL certification and quality for ESL teaching positions in Morocco. Even better, ITA offers every teacher job placement assistance. They’ll help you land a quality teaching job in Rabat, Tangier, Casablanca or another exciting city. 

Click here to learn more!

3. Empower Women in Nepal

Volunteer Organization: GoEco

Program Fees: $850 for 2 weeks; $1,370 for 4 weeks

Why it’s one of the most unique volunteer abroad experiences

Head to Kathmandu, a city atop the world. There, you can have a positive impact on Nepalese women by helping them learn new skills, build confidence and take steps towards self-sufficiency. 

Hosted through GoEco, an organization known for its award-winning volunteer programs, this volunteer abroad program makes our list of the most unique programs because of its impact and location. While you enjoy the magical, spiritual nature of Nepal, you can help uplift women who face discrimination and systemic challenges in their daily lives. It’s truly a rewarding time to volunteer in Nepal to empower women. 

Click here to learn more!

4. Volunteer in Food Waste Management in Portugal

Volunteer Organization: Volunteering Solutions

Program Fees: $1,160 for 2 weeks; $1,738 for 4 weeks

Why it’s one of the most unique volunteer abroad experiences

Want to help the fight to end hunger? As a volunteer in the food waste management program in Portugal, you’ll assist local teams in collecting, organizing and distributing excess food from restaurants and cafes. Not only does this stop food waste, but it also ensures fewer people go hungry in the city. 

This program is especially great for gap year students, as well as those interested in a career in social work, sustainability, and homeless outreach. You’ll either be positioned in the gorgeous coastal city of Porto or the amazing capital of Lisbon for this program. It’s hosted by Volunteering Solutions, an international organization that specializes in affordable and meaningful volunteer experiences.

Click here to learn more!

5. Volunteer in Construction in Peru

Volunteer Organization: Maximo Nivel

Program Fees: $915 for 2 weeks; $1,295 for 4 weeks

Why it’s one of the most unique volunteer abroad experiences

Do you enjoy working with your hands? Do you want to see the results of your volunteer work? Then consider making the journey to Cusco, a city in the Peruvian Andes that’s known for its archaeological remains, access to Machu Picchu and wonderful pace of life. Offered by Maximo Nivel, the top-rated volunteer abroad organization in Latin America, this volunteer construction program is your chance to do truly impactful work. 

As an international volunteer, you’ll help build or renovate schools, healthcare clinics and other community facilities. Plus, you’ll be able to see some of the world’s most famous cultural sites during your free time. 

Click here to learn more!

6.  Teach English in Cambodia

ESL Organization: International TEFL Academy (ITA)

Expected Salary: $800 – $1000 per month

Why it’s one of the most unique teaching or volunteer abroad experiences

In Cambodia, the ancient and the modern collide beautifully. Contemporary Cambodia, as the successor to the mighty Khmer empire, features plenty of historic sites, dizzying urban centers, stunning countryside and much more. Add in a high demand for ESL teachers, and it’s easy to see why the country is simply a great destination if you wish to teach English abroad. 

International TEFL Academy (ITA), a leading teach abroad organization, offers courses so you can get your TEFL certification, as well as a job placement assistant so you can find a job in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanoukville or another city. Get in touch with them today, and you could have a job within a month or two!  

Click here to learn more!

7. Volunteer in Community Development in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Volunteer Organization: Love Volunteers

Program Fees: $569 for 4 weeks

Why it’s one of the most unique volunteer abroad experiences

Through this volunteer program, volunteers work with local leaders to help heal the lingering wounds from the Bosnian War (1992-1995). Volunteers will work in multi-ethnic anti-segregation projects, helping to foster connections between the youth of historically conflicting ethnic groups through team-building exercises, cross-cultural discussions, social activities, arts, music and sports. 

Offered through Love Volunteers, a leader in affordable volunteer programs in developing countries, this program does challenge you, but it is an incredibly rewarding experience. It will even help you grow in amazing ways. 

Click here to learn more!

8. Whale Shark & Marine Conservation in Mozambique

Volunteer Organization: GoEco

Program Fees: $3,330 for 4 weeks

Why it’s one of the most unique volunteer abroad experiences

With its stunning coasting and swaying palms, Mozambique mesmerizes at first glance. Stay for a bit, and the traditions, welcoming people, and chilled-out vibe will have you in good spirits. A volunteer abroad trip here is a great choice for those that love adventure and want to volunteer in marine conservation. 

GoEco, a volunteer abroad organization known for its excellent environmental initiatives, offers a whale shark and marine conservation project in Mozambique. As an international volunteer, you’ll learn to dive, get up close with whale sharks, help experts conduct photo identification surveys, and partake in survey dives. This data collection will go a long way in introducing policies and strategies that protect the whale shark and conserve the marine environment. So, are you ready to volunteer in Mozambique?

Click here to learn more!

9. Wildlife Conservation Volunteering in Australia

Volunteer Organization: Volunteering Solutions

Program Fees: $1050 for 2 weeks; $1,850 for 4 weeks

Why it’s one of the most unique volunteer abroad experiences

Australia is home to lots of incredible native animals, including the kangaroo, wombat, koala, and dingo. As a wildlife volunteer in Australia, you’ll help care for wildlife by doing tasks such as feeding babies, cleaning enclosures, exercising young animals and more.

Hosted through Volunteering Solutions, an organization that specializes in affordable and meaningful global volunteer experiences, this program is a great way to help Australian wildlife and enjoy a trip to Down Under. You can combine the volunteer experience with trips to Sydney, Melbourne and more.

Click here to learn more!

10. Volunteer in New Orleans, USA

Volunteer Organization: International Volunteer Headquarters (IVHQ)

Program Fees: $970 for 2 weeks; $1,695 for 4 weeks

Why it’s one of the most unique volunteer abroad experiences

Journey to New Orleans (aka “The Big Easy”), a city known for jazz music, Cajun cuisine, and incredible nightlife. As a volunteer in New Orleans with IVHQ, one of the largest volunteer abroad organizations, you can join one of several projects:

  • Environmental Sustainability: Beautify communities by cleaning parks, building urban trails and more.
  • Community Development: Volunteer at a homeless shelter, food bank or church. 
  • Construction and Renovation: Build and repair shelters for people in need. 
  • Youth Support: Work in a community center, school or church to help disadvantaged teens and children. You’ll tutor, coach sports and more. 

These programs through IVHQ are truly some of the most unique volunteer abroad opportunities. The location and impact of them are great. 

Click here to learn more!

Have a unique volunteer abroad trip!

That concludes our list of the most unique volunteer abroad programs. All that’s left is to choose your volunteer abroad program and start preparing for departure. 

Before you jump into everything, here are a few tips to make your volunteer abroad trip go more smoothly: 

  • Stay flexible: Flights may get delayed and programs may change times. It’s just the nature of the current times. 
  • Plan ahead: 4-6 weeks may have been enough pre-COVID. Now, we recommend planning 2-3 months in advance to prepare your passport, visa, finances, etc. 
  • Make sure you meet COVID-19 entry requirements: The countries in this article aren’t too strict, but do require proof of vaccination and/or a negative COVID-19 test. 
  • Budget accordingly: Inflation and a post-pandemic travel surge have made things pricier. Plan in advance, and make use of all your resources to save money. We have lots of resources on how to save money on volunteer and teach abroad programs: Volunteer Abroad Scholarships & Grants; Volunteer Abroad for Free; Affordable Volunteer Abroad Programs

Now, that concludes our guide on the most unique volunteer abroad programs and experiences. We hope you’re inspired to start planning your volunteer abroad adventure today. Good luck!

Image Sources

Coffee: https://unsplash.com/photos/TD4DBagg2wE

Portugal: https://unsplash.com/photos/Prb-sjOUBFs

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