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2024 Best Volunteer Abroad Programs, Organizations, & Projects

Written By
By Sarah Vandenberg
Director of Partnerships
Edited By
By Volunteer Forever
Editorial Team

(New! Updated for 2024 trips)

Since 2015, Volunteer Forever has compiled the original list of best volunteer abroad programs worldwide with nearly 12 million views of our travel guides. Using our database of 1,000 international volunteer abroad organizations, 6,000 program reviews, and 13,500 fundraisers who’ve collectively raised $3 million for their trips, we have crunched the numbers to identify the top volunteer abroad opportunities. To take some of the guesswork out of choosing a program, we considered the history of each organization, number of alumni, and our twelve years of intensive work and research in the volunteer abroad world. 

Read on for our list of the top recommended volunteer abroad programs!

2024 Best Volunteer Abroad Programs

If you’ve resolved to travel and make a difference this year, there’s no shortage of amazing volunteer abroad, intern abroad, study abroad, and teach abroad programs awaiting you. All of the volunteer abroad organizations showcased below have excellent reviews from very happy participants on Volunteer Forever – on this list, you’ll see some of the many different volunteer abroad experiences you can embark on and you’ll learn how to get there.

While traveling abroad can be expensive, we feature wonderful volunteer organizations such as International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ), which are super affordable and available in over 50 different destinations, including in Bali, South Africa, Costa Rica, Peru, Fiji, Nepal, and Spain. They have supported over 130,000 travelers to volunteer abroad safely since 2007 and have an experienced team of volunteer travel experts who will ensure you are well prepared for your trip. Their top rated volunteer abroad programs and emphasis on safety are what makes IVHQ the world’s most popular choice for solo travelers, couples, families, and groups. Starting from $20USD a day, volunteers have among 330 plus projects to choose from with volunteer opportunities in Healthcare, Childcare, Teaching, Conservation, Construction, Wildlife and Animal Care, and more. Some of the most popular destinations to check out are Madagascar, Vietnam, Kenya, Cambodia, Spain, and Thailand, and they’ve recently opened new programs in Jamaica, Greece, Australia, Belize, Namibia, and Trinidad and Tobago.

If you’re interested in volunteering with animals, check out GoEco’s numerous well-known wildlife conservation projects, which are some of the most popular in the world. If you want to work with animals in exotic locations, then GoEco’s Marine and Turtle Conservation program in the Maldives, Wildlife Animal Sanctuary in Australia, Marine Conservation in Belize, Giant Tortoise Conservation in Galapagos, or Amazon wildlife Sanctuary in Peru is worth a visit! Also, one of GoEco’s top programs in 2022 is the African Wildlife Orphanage in Zimbabwe, where volunteers will care for injured animals from tortoises to lions. Besides wildlife conservation projects, GoEco also has medical volunteer programs in Peru, Sri Lanka, and Costa Rica; teach English abroad in Nepal, Sri Lanka, or in Tanzania!  Some of their programs are also family friendly to make a family vacation more meaningful. In addition, they offer safe and impactful programs specifically curated for teens, and programs that accept under 18 years old with parental consent.  Visit GoEco to start your volunteering abroad adventures!

Take an immersive volunteer abroad trip to Latin America with Maximo Nivel! They offer impactful and educational placements in Costa RicaGuatemala, and Peru. Some of Maximo Nivel’s volunteer abroad opportunities include constructionconservationteaching Englishworking with kids, and working with indigenous communities. You also might consider earing your certificate by enrolling in a Teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification program, which offers job-placement workshops and prepares you for ESL job placements around the world – or on the flip side, if you’re looking to learn a new language, be sure to check out Maximo Nivel’s Spanish Immersion programs. Lastly, if you are interested in studying abroad in Costa Rica, Peru, or Guatemala, you’ll definitely want to look into Maximo Nivel’s University Abroad programs, which are excellent alternative to traditional programs due to their affordability.

Check out Volunteering Solutions’ wide-range of affordable volunteer and intern programs worldwide in more than 26 countries. They are known for their voluntourism and professional growth their projects offer. Take a look their curated programs for the best summer volunteer programs, for medical internships abroad, or wildlife conservation projects for outdoor adventures!

Or if you’re a current or aspiring doctor, nurse dentist, or other healthcare professional, you will find a ton of medical volunteer opportunities and healthcare internships with Projects Abroad. For those interested in public health and nutrition, we strongly recommend Involvement Volunteers International, which has been providing humanitarian aid, emergency disaster relief, and international volunteer opportunities since 1989.

Lastly, if you’re interested in teaching English abroad, a high quality and educational international volunteer and work organization is International TEFL Academy (ITA). Through International TEFL Academy, you can get paid to live abroad as a professional English teacher in a country like Spain, Thailand, or Costa Rica. The organization offers TEFL training to get you certified to teach English abroad, then provides job placement services. Teaching English with ITA is a great way to do good while earning money and traveling the world.

Ready to plan your trip? Read on!

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)


Founded in 2007 by Dan Radcliffe, International Volunteer HQ offers over 330 affordable volunteer trips to over 50 destinations in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, the USA, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Pacific. IVHQ has placed more than 130,000 volunteers around the world on projects ranging from teaching and healthcare, to wildlife conservation and construction, and more. Programs last one week to 24 weeks and start at $20USD a day. 

One of the key benefits of volunteering with IVHQ is knowing you’ll receive ongoing support from their experienced team of volunteer travel experts. If you’re looking for an immersive and impactful travel experience, IVHQ makes organizing a volunteer trip on your own schedule easy and affordable.

IVHQ Opportunities to Check Out

Volunteer in Galapagos Island

IVHQ has exciting new volunteer opportunities in the Galapagos Islands. This program is great for eco volunteers with a love of conservation and protection of natural resources and habitats. Most of the volunteer experiences will be set in the small coastal town of Puerto Villamil, on the southeastern edge of Isabela Island, with its pristine white beaches. There are 6 interesting projects to choose from, with a minimum commitment of 2 weeks. Check these projects out:

  1. Promote conservation and document ongoing projects in social media
  2. Environmental conservation, where you will work in the National park to protect and preserve the ecosystems
  3. Giant tortoise conservation, where you’ll help this endangered species at a breeding center
  4. Sea turtle nest monitoring to help protect and manage the nesting season
  5. Sustainable agriculture and gardening to support sustainable farming practices
  6. Teaching English to the local adults and children 

As a volunteer for these projects, you are working to help protect this beautiful island’s ecosystem as well as enjoying its beautiful natural beauty and learning about its culture, animals, and people. On the weekend, there are opportunities to dive, hike an active volcano, snorkel in many of the islands’ beautiful spots, or just relax on the white sand. For more detailed information, click here

Volunteer in Bali: Ubud and Lovina

Looking for a tropical island getaway where you can also help the community? Volunteer with IVHQ in Bali! There are 9 year-round projects to choose from. Travel to the cultural center of Ubud, where you can volunteer to teach English in an afterschool project, to assist teaching in a kindergarten, to help with construction and renovation in schools and community spaces, to support turtle conservation, to improve environmental education on recycling and sustainability living, or to encourage healthcare education promoting health and wellbeing. Or head to the coastal town of Lovina, where you can lend a hand with kindergarten support and teaching, or with school and community renovation. During your free time, go snorkeling or diving, embark on a cycling or trekking tour, explore temples and waterfalls, and much more! IVHQ’s trips to Ubud and Lovina, Bali start from one week at a very affordable $385.

Volunteer in South Africa: Cape Town, Kruger National Park, and Table View

Have you always wanted to visit South Africa? If so, IVHQ has 10 year round projects for you to choose the perfect volunteer abroad opportunity! Travel to central Cape Town, Kruger National Park, or to nearby Table View and immerse yourself in South African culture while volunteering on impactful initiatives. 

In Cape Town, you can choose between childcare, teaching, animal care, sport development, or surf outreach volunteer trips. If you decide to volunteer in Table View, check out IVHQ’s Surf, Skate & Swim volunteer program, which supports students from low-income communities. Other Table View volunteering opportunities include childcare in kindergarten in low-income communities, sport development to help after-school sports programs, and the Holiday Club project, which keeps students active and engaged during their school holidays. Lastly, you can visit Kruger National Park while being a wildlife conservation volunteer. During your free time, you can explore the areas, and even take a long weekend to go on a safari or check out the Garden Route. IVHQ’s South Africa volunteer programs in Cape Town, Kruger National Park, and Table View start from only $275 for one week.

Volunteer in Costa Rica

Embark on an adventure to Costa Rica with IVHQ, where you can choose from sixteen volunteer programs in San Jose, Manuel Antonio, and beyond! Some highlight programs that you can be a part of include:

  1. Childcare and working with children at daycares and schools 
  2. Turtle conservation and research
  3. Healthcare at clinics for disabled children or the homeless, nursing homes, and ambulance services in San Jose, Maneul Antonio
  4. Construction and renovation
  5. Teach English at public schools, in homes, or even at a local fire station in Manuel Antonio, in San Jose
  6. Eco-agricultural conservation in the central highlands of Costa Rica
  7. Special needs care for students with intellectual and physical disabilities

IVHQ also offers a Holiday Experience during Christmas and the New Year in San Jose, where you can participate in a variety of volunteer projects, including working with children and the elderly, planning celebrations for underprivileged children, and sprucing up community centers. 

During your weekends and free time, you’re invited to explore San Jose and other areas of the country, including volcanoes, rainforests, and beaches. Volunteering with IVHQ in Costa Rica starts from one week at only $445.

Volunteer in Spain

Volunteer in Barcelona with IVHQ! Choose one of eight impactful programs to volunteer while immersing yourself in a beautiful architectural, vibrant, and cultural city with lots to do. These programs range from one week to 12 weeks, starting at $650 a week. 

Programs in Barcelona include:

  1. Youth support, where you will volunteer in an afterschool center 
  2. Animal care, which will have you working in a shelter for cats and dogs
  3. Marine conservation, which gives you the chance to complete PADI dive certifications while helping to reduce ocean pollution
  4. Special needs support, which assists people with disabilities and may include arts and crafts, physical therapy, and exercise
  5. Creative technologies, where you’ll help local NGOs develop their online presence

During your stay in Barcelona, you will have the opportunity to explore the iconic architecture, museums, go shopping, relax on the beach, or visit other beautiful surrounding cities. 

IVHQ Program Review: Kaitlyn, Guatemala

I volunteered in Guatemala with IVHQ and it was one of the best experiences I have ever had! My program cost less than half of some of the other programs I was looking at and gave me more than those programs did – from the great food at meal times, to the actual program and the pickup at the airport and lots of options for support if it was needed!! Overall IVHQ is amazing and they are definitely the organization to volunteer with!

Check out over 6,400 reviews of International Volunteer HQ here!


2019-2020 Best Volunteer Abroad Programs, Projects, and Opportunities - Volunteer Forever - GoEco Infographic
2019-2020 Best Volunteer Abroad Programs, Projects, and Opportunities - Volunteer Forever - GoEco

Since 2006, GoEco has offered affordable volunteer abroad programs and internships in over 45 countries throughout AfricaAsiaAustralasiaCentral AmericaEurope, the Middle East, and South America. With more than 170 different programs, GoEco is a great organization to check out if you’re looking for a variety of impactful volunteer abroad trips to choose from, from wildlife conservation to teaching English. As a volunteer, you will have 24-hour support from the GoEco team, from start to finish.

Top destinations include South AfricaAustraliaBaliCosta RicaThailand, and Zimbabwe. Top activities include wildlife and animal conservationmarine and coral reef conservationmedical and healthcarecommunity aid and developmentteaching English, and volunteering with children.

GoEco Opportunities to Check Out

  1. Zimbabwe – African Wildlife Orphanage: Volunteer abroad at a wildlife orphanage in Zimbabwe to care for various wild animals that have been injured or orphaned. Volunteers work closely with these animals to rehabilitate them before releasing them into a Protected Area.
  2. Indonesia – Bali Sea Turtle Rescue: Join GoEco on the beautiful island of Nusa Penida, just off the coast of Bali! Work hands-on with injured sea turtles and release the rehabilitated back into their ocean home.
  3. Thailand- Hua Hin Teaching and Childcare: Teach English to children ages 6-18 years old with local teachers while immersing yourself in Thai culture. Known for being a beautiful beach destination, Hua Hin has golden beaches for swimming and snorkeling during your free time.
  4. South Africa – African Wildlife Ranch: On this program, you will travel to a privately owned ranch and sanctuary in South Africa to help endangered animals, such as the white tigers, cheetahs, lemurs, and meerkats. Volunteer tasks focus on construction at the sanctuary and hands-on care.
  5. Australia – Wild Animal Sanctuary: Lend a hand at a sanctuary that provides a safe, natural home for some of Australia’s unique wildlife such as koalas and kangaroos. This sanctuary provides refuge for rehabilitated but unreleasable, injured and orphaned animals.
  6. Costa Rica – Animal Rescue and Conservation: Experience Costa Rica with this unique program! Volunteers will work closely with injured sloths, monkeys and other Costa Rican wildlife and immerse themselves into the local culture through Spanish language lessons, exploring the capital of San Jose and living with a host family.
  7. Check out other varieties of Wildlife Conservation programs in Japan, South Africa, Portugal, Kenya, Thailand.
  8. Other Marine Conservation programs include: Portugal, Dolphins in Italy, Whales and Shark in Mozambique, and Marine Conservation in Barcelona

GoEco Program Review

Taking this volunteer trip to the Wildlife Sanctuary project was something I had wanted to do for several years… Literally after one day of volunteering, I was already regretting only having two weeks to stay. Every day was amazing and full of incredible experiences and new people.

The days flew by as we were so busy working on the farm, hanging out and making new friends, and learning about the wildlife in a very hands on manner. The staff is very helpful, friendly, and seem just as excited to be there as the volunteers. As mind-blowing as the actual project [was], the people I met were similarly incredible. It’s crazy that in just a few weeks you can develop friendships that seem like you’ve had for years. Leaving was very emotional, but still, I can’t recommend this trip enough to anyone who is considering it or may be on the fence, seriously, do it.

Having just returned home, I already miss everything that filled my days for those two weeks in South Africa. I find myself constantly looking back at photos and in the back of my mind planning a return visit as soon as possible. – Dave P, Wildlife Sanctuary, South Africa

Maximo Nivel

2019-2020 Best Volunteer Abroad Programs, Projects, and Opportunities - Volunteer Forever - Maximo Nivel Infographic
2019-2020 Best Volunteer Abroad Programs, Projects, and Opportunities - Volunteer Forever - Maximo Nivel Infographic

Maximo Nivel is Volunteer Forever’s top-ranked volunteer abroad program with over 250 reviews and a perfect 5-star rating. Their projects are very affordably pricedstarting at just $595 (for one week) and appeal to a broad base of participants from high school students to graduate students and working professionals.

Maximo Nivel was founded in 2003 and has hosted over 25,000 participants for its volunteer abroadinternship abroadstudy abroadSpanish Immersion, Teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), Semester Abroad, and High School Abroad programs. Maximo Nivel offers its projects in three countries in Latin America: Costa RicaGuatemala, and Peru.

Whether you’re looking for a one-week adventure or a full gap year experience, Maximo Nivel is definitely worth checking out if you are looking for a high-quality, affordable, and enriching experience in Latin America.

Maximo Nivel Opportunities to Check Out

TEFL – Teaching English Abroad

Right now, Maximo Nivel is offering TEFL certification courses for travelers who want to volunteer abroad as English teachers and gain new skills abroad. You’ll start with an intensive, four-week, accredited certification course in Costa Rica, Guatemala, or Peru (online courses also are available), after which you’re free to look for paid teaching abroad placements.

Maximo Nivel provides lifetime job-seeking support for their alumni, and even hires three to five graduates each month to work as teachers in their Native English Program in Costa Rica, Guatemala, or Peru. There are lots of different types of teaching opportunities Maximo Nivel will help you find, including business English teaching, private tutoring, school teaching, and much more, depending on your skills and interests.

Volunteer Adventure

On this two-week volunteer adventure, you’ll spend five days volunteering, and six days traveling in Costa Rica, Guatemala, or Peru. A few volunteer work projects you can take on include working with kids, teaching English, construction, conservation, animal care, or medical / healthcare.

For the tour portion of your trip, you’ll go zip lining, touring on a catamaran, hiking through a national park, visiting waterfalls and volcanoes, and much more, depending on which country you decide to visit. This is an excellent opportunity to combine international community service, learning, and adventure.

Education Internship

If you’re currently studying education, secondary education, or a related field at your college or university, you are invited to take part in Maximo Nivel’s education internship abroad. Through this placement, you’ll work alongside professional teachers to gain insight into teaching in classrooms for early childhood, elementary, middle school, and high school students. ESL-specific placements also are available.

You’re invited to stay for a minimum of four weeks and can expect to work four to six hours per day Monday through Friday each week. As an intern, you’ll have the wonderful opportunity to observe classroom instruction and management, help with planning and conducting lessons, learn about Latin American culture, and develop your teaching and leadership skills.

Micro Business Internship

Maximo Nivel also offers a micro business internship for students interested in subjects such as business development and management, marketing, sales, client services, accounting, and much more. For four weeks, you’ll work with a local company or entrepreneur in Costa Rica, Guatemala, or Peru to assist with marketing, client needs, administrative work, and other tasks that can help keep the company running, scale it appropriately, and set it up for success over the long-term.

You must have intermediate Spanish language ability to apply, and you’re encouraged to enroll in Maximo Nivel’s online Spanish class or native Spanish program to gain the language skills you’ll need to be successful on your internship.

Maximo Nivel Program Review: Alexa Hart

I went to Cusco, Peru on a one-way ticket back in 2009 and had the time of my life. Maximo was a big contributor to my positive experience. I volunteered with underprivileged kids and helped paint a battered women’s shelter. I also took inexpensive Spanish lessons with them.

The accommodation they provided was great (I recommend Arcopata Family House). I lived with fellow participants of the program in a house and was provided really good meals. When I got sick, they had a doctor come to the house to check on me and give me medicine too.

After volunteering, I became TEFL certified with them during a 4-week course. All in all, I was very impressed, and I would recommend them to anyone. The experience changed my life.

Projects Abroad

2019-2020 Best Volunteer Abroad Programs, Projects, and Opportunities - Volunteer Forever - Projects Abroad

Projects Abroad describes itself as providing the gold standard of volunteer support and safety so that travelers may fulfill their potential, discover themselves, and create positive change in the world. Long-term, sustainable solutions are at the core of their programs, where you can be part of their ongoing efforts to meet specific goals in places where extra support is critical. Projects Abroad works directly with local community members and organizations, ensuring that their work meets real needs.

Programs run year-round, allowing volunteers and interns to choose their own start and end dates. With a hassle-free experience and dedicated in-country staff available 24/7, you don’t need experience or qualifications to sign up for most trips.

Projects Abroad Opportunities to Check Out

Medicine Internship in Ghana

Projects Abroad’s medical internships in Ghana give you the opportunity to learn directly from doctors in hospitals or clinics. You’ll shadow them on their rounds, observing how they diagnose and treat different illnesses or conditions. You’ll see medical cases that you’ve only read about in textbooks, which is a great way to enhance your practical medical knowledge. This program is suitable for pre-med and medical students.

In Ghana, the organization runs regular medical outreaches in communities where healthcare services are limited. As a volunteer, you will help provide basic medical treatment, from cleaning and bandaging wounds, to measuring blood pressure levels. If you would like to focus specifically on practical outreach work, you may be interested in joining the Public Health internship.

Volunteer with Children in Nepal

In Nepal, Projects Abroad supports the work of local caregivers and teachers by focusing on improving early childhood development and literacy in care centers. During your time here, you will work with young children and assist with a variety of activities such as:

  • Sing songs to teach the alphabet and counting
  • Play catch with a ball to improve hand-eye coordination
  • Read stories that engage the kids’ imaginations

You don’t need previous experience to volunteer with children in Nepal – you’ll work alongside local staff and have regular workshops.

Protect the Amazon Rainforest in Peru

Live in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest and work alongside experienced conservationists to protect wildlife and indigenous plants. You’ll be on the frontlines of rainforest conservation at Taricaya, an award-winning ecological reserve.

There’s plenty to do in the jungle. You’ll help rehabilitate wild animals like the spider monkey, and release them back into their natural habitat. You’ll also help with reforestation, collect scientific data on local animal populations, and work on a sustainable farming initiative.

Projects Abroad Program Review: Christian, Shark Conservation in Fiji

As a scientist-in-training I was most impressed with all of the science underlying the project and how willing the staff was to share their knowledge. I was able to see science in action as well as conservation efforts making their way up the chain to actually change environmental policy.

Involvement Volunteers International (IVI)

Are you in search of a life-changing experience and an opportunity to make a genuine difference in communities around the world? Involvement Volunteers International (IVI), founded in 1989, invites individuals to join the ranks of over 25,000 volunteers who’ve made a lasting impact in 112 projects spread across 23 countries.

Why IVI Stands Out

With a legacy spanning over 34 years, IVI distinguishes itself as a non-profit that actively supports local communities, particularly in the South Pacific regions of Fiji and Vanuatu, as well as in India. Unlike many organizations, IVI has built many of its projects from the ground up. Beyond offering travel and volunteering experiences, they play a significant role in the humanitarian sector, aiding impoverished communities and refugees. They also provide university students the opportunity to fulfill their practicum hours in sectors such as mental health, medical, teaching, and veterinary projects.

Beyond Volunteering: Internships, Teaching, and More

Moreover, for those eyeing internships, destinations like Peru, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Ghana, Nepal, and Sri Lanka offer openings in the medical, teaching, physiotherapy, dental, and nursing fields. IVI’s internships guarantee specific hours, and for university placements, the necessary documentation and supervisor approvals are given. Although IVI doesn’t provide paid teaching abroad, they offer teaching projects at almost every destination, catering to various age groups, predominantly aged 3-12.

Family and Group Adventures 

Whether one is a solo adventurer, a family unit, a group, or a teen, IVI has projects tailored to fit each need. Their family-friendly ventures encompass kindergarten teaching, construction, environmental initiatives, and animal care projects. For larger groups, IVI presents specialized itineraries combining volunteering programs with engaging activities, making them an ideal choice for school groups.

For volunteers aged 16-17, a signed parental consent from their guardians is a prerequisite. Some of IVI’s projects also accommodate younger kids, ensuring they remain under parental or guardian watch.

Discover More 

Interested in learning what sets IVI apart? Dive deeper into their story by visiting “Who We Are” and “Why IVI?” on their official website:

Embarking on a journey with IVI promises to enrich both the individual and the world at large. The adventure awaits!

Volunteer in Fiji (Flagship Program)

Fiji is Involvement Volunteers International’s premier destination where they have over 25 years of operation history. With over one third of the population below the poverty line, malnutrition, and low literacy rates, Fijian communities desperately need the support of international volunteers. IVI offers project opportunities in five different parts of Fiji with projects including Public Health & Nutrition, Teaching, Construction, Medical Care, and more. Project fees are extremely affordable starting at just $295 and includes accommodation, meals, airport pickup, 24/7 in-country support and so much more. Click here to learn more about volunteering in Fiji with IVI.

Beach Cleanup in Costa Rica

Volunteer to protect beaches and nature reserves in the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica. If the place “Nicoya Peninsula” rings a bell, it may be because it is considered to be one of the world’s five “Blue Zones”. As a volunteer, your responsibilities will include assisting with trail maintenance at a nature reserve, assisting with beach cleanups, educating the local population on conservationism, and showing visitors around the nature reserve. Program fees start at an affordable $595 and includes meals and homestay with a local family. Click here to learn more.

Public Health and Nutrition in Vanuatu

Vanuatu is a South Pacific island nation between Fiji and Australia. Vanuatu’s population is largely impoverished with only 58% of people having access to electricity and one third of people lacking access to basic services. Furthermore, the island nation has one of the highest rates of diabetes, high blood pressure, and malnutrition in the world necessitating the need for strong public health interventions. As a public health volunteer, you’ll conduct health screenings for local communities, raise awareness about nutrition and diabetes, and design exercise programs for villagers. Program fees start at $1150 for two weeks. Click here to learn more and apply.

Volunteering Solutions


Volunteering Solutions (VolSol) is an international volunteer organization that was started in 2007. Since then, they have hosted over 17,000 volunteers in projects across 27 countries, including popular destinations such as Nepal, India, Thailand, South Africa, Peru, and Costa Rica.

Volunteering Solution’s volunteer projects are among the most affordably priced in the world, starting at $200 USD for one week.

In addition to their 120+ volunteer projects, Volunteering Solutions also offers intern abroad opportunities, the highlight of which are their international medical internships.

To learn more about Volunteering Solutions and apply to their program, visit their website here (UK readers, please visit their UK site here).

Volunteering Solutions Opportunities to Check Out:

Medical Internship

Right now, Volunteering Solutions is offering several different medical internships in Nepal, India, Peru, and Thailand. As a medical or healthcare intern with VolSol, you can choose from projects focusing on nursing, medical care, dentistry, and physiotherapy while earning hands-on experience in your field.

Depending on your placement, you can work in local government or private hospitals and clinics, and you’ll have the amazing opportunity to work alongside local medical and healthcare professionals to learn about their practices. Internships can be customized to your university requirements, and you’ll earn a certificate of participation upon successful completion of your program abroad.

Internships start from two weeks at $650, with your program cost varying based on which placement you sign up for. Learn more about medical internships with Volunteering Solutions here.

NGO Support and Human Rights Volunteering

If you’re passionate about human rights, check out Volunteering Solutions’ NGO support and human rights volunteer program in Rabat, Morocco. As a volunteer, you’ll work with local organizations that confront a variety of important social and political issues, including human rights, children’s support, women’s rights, education, skilled learning, government accountability, and much more.

Depending on your background, skills, and what’s needed by your program site, you can assist with marketing, planning community events, helping with reporting and documentation, and assisting with development activities at your partner NGO. You’re invited to stay one week or longer, starting from just $410 for your first week in Morocco. Click here to learn more and to sign up.

Sports Coaching in South Africa

Another excellent volunteer program being offered right now with VolSol is their sports coaching project in South Africa. Through this placement, you’ll coach sports, teach life skills, and encourage healthy habits among children at a local primary school.

During your stay, you’ll help lead three physical education periods per day, while assisting teachers with their lessons and guidance in classrooms in between those periods. If you’re creative, flexible, and ready to be a mentor to students in South Africa, this program is for you! You’re invited to stay two weeks or longer, starting at just $495 for your first two weeks in South Africa – learn more about coaching sports here.

Volunteering Solutions Program Review: Sarah, Thailand Elephant Program

“I participated in the Elephant Camp Program in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Before arriving in Thailand, I was a bit apprehensive and nervous , however after arriving in Chiang Mai, everything went smoothly. I dad a very informative orientation session with the local team. The Chiang Mai city tour was fab too!

My 3 weeks stay at the elephant camp was definitely the highlight of my Thailand trip. I enjoyed meeting other volunteers from around the world and getting involved in different tasks at the elephant camp. On the weekends, we enjoyed our time in Chiang Mai thoroughly exploring the night market, going to Doi Suthep and other plenty of Thai temples. I would definitely recommend doing the Elephant Camp project in Chiang Mai.”

African Impact

Volunteer Forever | Community Development Volunteer Abroad Projects and Programs

African Impact is a responsible, sustainable volunteer travel organization that has won multiple industry awards, including being voted the world’s Top Volunteer Abroad Organization by volunteers on GoAbroad four years in a row. Since 2004, they have hosted over 35,000 participants on 20 projects across 7 countries. The organization believes in the spirit of Africa and that the volunteer experience is just as important as the impact made. 

African Impact manages its own projects and is able to provide tangible, real achievements on a regular basis. The organization has a clear Child Protection Policy and ensures that volunteers complete a criminal record check prior to involvement. Experienced staff is on the ground to support volunteers day-in-day-out and the organization does not use volunteer support in replacement for a local person.

In addition to making a positive impact, African Impact also believes that volunteering abroad should be enjoyable. The organization offers a range of activities for volunteers, including teaching children in South Africa, assisting with wildlife conservation in Zimbabwe, working in hospitals or clinics in Kenya, and carrying out dolphin and marine research in Zanzibar.

Volunteering with African Impact allows individuals to gain new skills, knowledge and practical work experience, while also making a lasting impact on local communities and conservation efforts. The organization believes that volunteering in Africa helps to change perceptions and stereotypes about Africa and its people, while providing local communities with an exchange of culture, mindsets and ideas.

African Impact Opportunities to Check Out

Big Five and Wildlife Conservation, South Africa

For two weeks or longer, you’ll have the chance to monitor and study the African Big 5 (leopard, rhino, lion, buffalo, and elephant) and help local researchers and foundations with protecting endangered species. Based in the game reserves of the Greater Kruger Area, your volunteer tasks can include researching animal behavior and movements, helping with reserve conservation work such as clearing brush and maintaining waterholes, compiling data at the research lab, and much more to help understand animal behavior and maintain a healthy ecosystem. Learn more here!

Education and Community Support, Tanzania

On this program, you will teach English and other skills to children and adults on the island of Zanzibar. Zanzibar is a beautiful island that is a tourist favorite, yet many of the residents don’t have adequate access to English-learning opportunities. By teaching English, you’ll help to provide economic opportunity to the residents of Zanzibar and help them participate in the island’s thriving tourism industry. This volunteer trip lasts 10 days or longer, and is a wonderful way to immerse yourself in Tanzanian culture while contributing to valuable development initiatives. Click here to learn more!

Early Childhood Development Project in Cape Town

The Early Childhood Development Project in Cape Town offers volunteers the chance to work with vulnerable children in underprivileged townships. Volunteers will support children in foster care homes and pre-schools, providing them with access to education and care that they may not otherwise have access to. The project aims to make a positive, long-term impact on the lives of disadvantaged children by providing them with the support and education they need to succeed.

In addition to working with children, volunteers will have the opportunity to explore the beautiful city of Cape Town and all it has to offer. Cape Town has been named the Most Beautiful City in the World for the past 5 years, and is known for its stunning natural beauty, diverse culture, and vibrant nightlife. Volunteers can take advantage of the many activities available in the city, such as hiking up Table Mountain, going paragliding, kayaking in the ocean, or visiting historic sites such as Robben Island.

Volunteers will live in a spacious guesthouse in the center of town, with shared dorm-style accommodation and shared bathroom facilities. The guesthouse is close to the main sights of Table Mountain, the V&A Waterfront, and the Company’s Gardens. A team on site will be available to support volunteers and help them with any needs they may have during their stay.

Dolphin and Marine Conservation Project 

Volunteer in Zanzibar on African Impact’s Dolphin and Marine Conservation Project and make a real difference to the sustainability of dolphin tourism. As a volunteer, you will monitor human-dolphin interactions, promote ethical dolphin tours, and contribute to the conservation of marine life in the area. This project is ideal for those passionate about marine conservation and the environment. In your free time, you can explore the beautiful coastlines and vibrant culture of Zanzibar. You will live in a private volunteer house near the coastal village of Kizimkazi and work with local communities and organizations to protect the marine ecosystem. This is a unique opportunity to make a lasting impact while enjoying a truly amazing location.



Founded in 2015 by Daniel Botha, Surfpop is a South African-based organization that aims to build a sustainable future for vulnerable children from township communities around Muizenberg, Cape Town through a powerful formula of surfing, education and life coaching. They have hosted over 350 international volunteers for their two surf volunteer projects in Cape Town.

Surfpop is very unique compared to other international organizations due to their long-term outlook on supporting the needs of the local community. On average, they work with each child beneficiary for around 8 years, after which they help them find sustainable employment or provide them with employment within the Surfpop organization. Their holistic model of surfing, education, life coaching and nutrition also sets them apart from most other organizations.

Surfpop is the only Volunteer Forever partner that exclusively focuses on surf volunteering, so if you are a surfer or have a strong interest in surfing, Surfpop is definitely an organization you will want to check out!

Volunteer with Surfpop in Cape Town, South Africa

Surfpop’s surf volunteer program is based in the beautiful seaside town of Muizenberg, South Africa. As a volunteer, you will play a critical role in helping disadvantaged children escape poverty, crime, and drugs. Through their comprehensive after-school program, you will not only teach children to surf and swim, but also tutor them on more formal academic subjects such as math, English, and computer literacy.

Surfpop’s volunteer program is open to volunteers ages 18 and up. No prior experience with surfing is necessary. This program starts at roughly $500 USD per week with a minimum duration of four weeks. The cost of the program includes accommodation, breakfast, airport pick-up, orientation, 24/7 support, and surf lessons. Volunteers will also receive surf gear rentals for their stay. If you are interested in having more surf lessons or even practicing yoga, then check out Surfpop’s Surf Pro and Surf & Yoga volunteer programs.

International TEFL Academy

International TEFL Academy has great work abroad programs.

Do you want to get paid to live abroad as a professional English teacher in a country like Spain, Thailand, or Costa Rica? Are you looking for the best TEFL training and job services? If so, then International TEFL Academy is the right place for you.

Founded in 2010, International TEFL Academy (ITA) offers the gold standard in TEFL certification for teaching English abroad and teaching English online. ITA offers the finest internationally accredited TEFL courses both online and in-person in 20+ locations across the globe. ITA certifies 5,000 people per year, with graduates teaching in over 80 countries and online. Committed to providing the highest quality training and services, ITA can help you achieve your goal of getting a great job and enjoying the experience of a lifetime teaching English abroad and online.  

All ITA TEFL courses – including online TEFL classes –  include live practice teaching and employ a state-of-the-art curriculum taught by highly credentialed and experienced instructors. In addition, all ITA students receive lifetime job search assistance that includes personalized guidance from a team of expert advisors. To learn more and begin your journey, download your free TEFL Guide now.

Teach English in Japan

With International TEFL Academy, you can get a job teaching English in Japan – long one of Asia’s top teaching job markets! You must be a native English speaker, have a 4-year college degree, and get TEFL certification. After getting your TEFL certificate, ITA will help you obtain a job in a city such as Tokyo, Kobe or Osaka. Learn Japanese, immerse yourself in the culture, help students learn and earn money during the trip of a lifetime. Teaching hours should be about 20-25 hours per week and you can expect to earn between $2,500 – $4,000+ per month. Free housing is available with some contracts.

Teach English in the Czech Republic

Providing a quintessential blend of modern and classic Europe, the Czech Republic is a great destination if you wish to teach English abroad. Demand for qualified native English teachers is high, especially in cities such as Prague. English teachers typically need a bachelor’s degree, plus TEFL certification, to teach in the Czech Republic. Pay is about $1,000 – $1,800+ per month and work hours average around 20-25 hours per week.

Teach English in Mexico

With an abundance of cultural and natural diversity, Mexico offers international volunteers all you could want, including ample work opportunities and the chance to practice Spanish everyday. You must have a 4-year degree, along with TEFL certification, to obtain a job teaching English. Cities with the highest demand for foreign teachers include Mexico City, Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta and Puebla. Similar to teaching jobs elsewhere, hours range from 20 to 25 per week. You should earn between $600 – $1,000+ per month.

Teach English in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

A center of trade and commerce, cities in the UAE such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi are some of the most sought-after destinations for English teachers. To get a teaching job in the UAE, a bachelor’s degree is required (master’s preferred). You’ll also need TEFL certification and preferable some experience to help you have an edge over other applicants (due to a competitive job market). Expect to make between $1,800 – $5,000+ per month, with 20-25 teaching hours monthly. The nice aspect of teaching jobs in the UAE is the benefits, which can include free housing, airfare and health insurance, as well as paid vacation.

Global Vision International


Founded in 1997 by Richard Walton, Global Vision International (GVI) is an award-winning organization that provides volunteer and internship opportunities in Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, Latin America, and North America. GVI has sent more than 25,000 volunteers overseas on programs ranging from construction, to animal care, to education, and beyond with 95% of past volunteers stating they would want to travel with them again. GVI is unique from other volunteer programs in three ways: they operate their own volunteer projects to ensure real, sustainable impact on the ground; they provide 360 degree support before, during, after your placement; and lastly their alumni network provides increased access to higher education and career development opportunities. GVI’s differentiators and their emphasis on volunteer safety make the program very appealing to first-time international volunteers and teen / high school / under age 18 volunteers. Their projects start from one week and can last up to one year. Projects mix community service with global and cultural awareness to inspire and encourage volunteers to continue learning and serving even after they’ve returned from their trip.

GVI Opportunities to Check Out

Wildlife Research in South Africa Internship

Through this internship, you’ll work with local research teams to track animals, study behavior, and learn more about the wildlife of South Africa. You’ll get started with a training session to get you acquainted with the project and the types of animals you’ll study, and from there work day-to-day tracking wildlife, conducting research, assisting with data entry, and even participating in community education about conservation. This program starts from four weeks at $8,445.

Volunteer with Elephants in Thailand

If you’d like to visit Asia, GVI has an amazing opportunity right now in Thailand to volunteer with elephants that have been rescued from working in the tourist industry. Through this program, you’ll help rehabilitate elephants and work with trainers to care for the animals, and may even help with community education and outreach programs. This amazing project starts from one week at $3,545.

Volunteer with Buddhist Novice Monks in Cambodia

Through this placement, GVI invites you to teach English to Buddhist monks and children in Siem Reap, home to the famous Angkor Wat, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll work directly with monks in a temple school and learn about Cambodian culture, history, religion, and much more. This program starts from two weeks at $2,895.

Marine Conservation Expedition in Fiji

On this project, you’ll travel to Caqalai Island in Fiji to work with a local NGO in collecting data on fish species, mapping coral reefs and mangrove, developing an environmental education and awareness program for local schools, and assisting with the development of best practices in conservation on the island. The first part of your project will start with an initial training phase, where you’ll learn to identify fish and coral species through a series of dives with guidance from GVI staff. This program starts at $6,545, and you’re invited to stay from two to 12 weeks.

GVI Program Review:

“I was in need of a career break, and was looking to do something out of the ordinary. I was looking to get far away and do something worthwhile. After some heavy research GVI continued to be the organization that ticked all the boxes. They were incredibly helpful when I was choosing my location, and the onsite assistance and support throughout the entire journey was fantastic. I was so lucky to be involved in the Community development program of El Cocal, the children were amazing, I made some friends for life and hopefully one day soon I’ll return for a visit! It really was an unforgettable experience!” – Amelia, Costa Rica Community Development Program

First Things Foundations (FTF) 


First Things Foundation (FTF) is a non-profit organization that partners with local leaders to build sustainable businesses and communities in developing countries. FTF is different from other volunteer organizations in that its field workers (international volunteers) commit two years of their lives to living in the communities they are serving; all expenses are fully covered by the program. This allows field workers to develop deep relationships with the people they are working with and to better understand the needs of the community.

FTF has 15 projects in 4 countries (Guatemala, Sierra Leone, the Republic of Georgia, and Mozambique). These projects are all led by locals in the communities that FTF works in. FTF’s field workers have worked on a variety of projects, including starting businesses, building schools, and providing healthcare. FTF field workers are not afraid to get their hands dirty: working on farms, sanding wood, and kneading dough are some of the ways that they integrate into the local community and become familiar with a new rhythm of life.

FTF covers all travel costs and operations expenses (food, local transport, accommodation, etc.) for its field workers. In addition, field workers receive a monthly stipend of $375. FTF also has international medical and evacuation insurance for all of its field workers.

FTF is looking for volunteers with a desire to better their souls by undertaking a serious challenge, an adventurous attitude, and a willingness to learn new languages, make fun of themselves, and be made fun of. Field workers typically have completed 4 years of college or have an equivalent amount of experience. If you are looking for a challenging and rewarding volunteer experience, the First Things Foundation volunteer program is a great option. FTF field workers have the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of others and to learn and grow in ways that they never thought possible.

First Things Foundations Opportunities:

  1. Field Worker Program in Guatemala: The First Things Foundations has been facilitating impactful projects in popular tourist destinations in Guatemala since 2016, with accomplishments like building schools and supporting local businesses. As a field worker, you’ll immerse in the local community for 8 months to understand their needs and then embark on a community development or social entrepreneurship project. This two-year paid immersionship is a unique opportunity to make a real difference while experiencing the rich Mayan culture.
  2. Field Worker Program in Sierra Leone: First Things Foundation has been empowering communities in Sierra Leone since 2017, with projects ranging from constructing churches to enhancing medical services. Volunteering in the serene town of Kailahun, you’ll immerse in the local culture for 8 months, then collaborate with an “Impresario” on meaningful community projects. Embrace this two-year “immersionship” for a deeply rewarding experience that brings tangible change to communities.
  3. Field Worker Program in Mozambique: First Things Foundation’s Mozambique program offers a unique opportunity to pioneer community development in Corrane, a town impacted by internal displacement. As a field worker, you’ll immerse in the rich culture, learning Portuguese and Makua, while forging deep connections with locals over 8 months before spearheading impactful projects. With the support of a dedicated professional team, this challenging “immersionship” promises personal growth, skill enhancement, and the chance to leave a lasting positive mark on Mozambique
  4. Field Worker Program in the Republic of Georgia: First Things Foundation is expanding its impact to the Republic of Georgia, focusing on Akhaltsikhe, a town enriched by its Armenian heritage. As a field worker, you’ll dedicate the first 8 months to deeply connect with the community, subsequently aiding local businesses and community projects during a transformative two-year immersionship. With expert guidance, immerse in Georgia’s vibrant culture, enhance your skills, build genuine relationships, and contribute meaningfully to a nation on the cusp of change.

Love Volunteers

2019-2020 Best Volunteer Abroad Programs, Projects, and Opportunities - Volunteer Forever - Love Volunteers Infographic
2019-2020 Best Volunteer Abroad Programs, Projects, and Opportunities - Volunteer Forever - Love Volunteers

Founded by a brother-sister team, Love Volunteers is a low-cost international volunteer organization that provides meaningful, life-changing projects in over 34 countries around the world.

Every year, thousands of Love Volunteers from all over the globe are placed into 1 week to 6 month volunteer abroad projects in Central and South America, Asia, Africa, The Middle East, and Europe. A few of Love Volunteers’ popular locations include:

Love Volunteers’ volunteer abroad programs start at just $175 for a one week placement along with a one-time $249 registration fee when you submit your application.

Love Volunteers offers 120 community-based development programs in healthcare, education, sports and coaching, law and legal assistance, social services, engineering and architecture, special needs, construction, environmental protection and in many more areas.

We LOVE Love Volunteers because it is an affordable volunteer program with lots of options in terms of placements.

Love Volunteers Opportunities to Check Out

Tanzania: Teaching and Assisting in Schools

Through this program, volunteers work in multiple schools in the city of Arusha. English teacher volunteers are especially needed to English and as such, volunteers should consider a TEFL course prior to volunteering (though this is not required by the program).This program starts at one week for $175.

Nepal: Special Education Program

This program is located in Kathmandu in order to assist people with disabilities. Volunteers in this program help the participants in the special education program to develop technology skills, develop their conversational English skills, and build the life skills needed to live an independent and dignified life. This program at 1 week for $195.

Thailand: Elephant Village

Based in Surin, this volunteer trip invites you to provide care for elephants that have been abused and neglected as tourist attractions and for logging work. As a volunteer, you can help to create a safe place for elephants to live full, peaceful lives in their natural habitats. This program starts from one week at $619.

Costa Rica: Turtle Conservation

Another excellent trip you can take with Love Volunteers brings you to Costa Rica to help save sea turtles from extinction by assisting in hatcheries, helping with conservation projects at the beach, releasing hatchlings into the sea, and patrolling hatching grounds. This trip starts from one week at $349.

Love Volunteers Program Review: Delaney and Jordan

Love Volunteers is such an amazing organization. I can’t stress enough how kind and helpful they were doing the whole trip process. They were happy to answer any question I asked, and made the process as smooth as possible. I would recommend Love Volunteers to everyone. I can’t thank them enough for helping give me this opportunity. It easily was the greatest experience of my life, and I can’t wait to do it again.


The Best Volunteer Abroad Programs: Fronteering

If you’re looking for a volunteer abroad experience that’s unique, exotic, and off the beaten path, look no further than Fronteering. With volunteer and internship projects located in 14 different countries, Fronteering offers impactful programs for travelers who want to visit unspoiled locations and make a positive difference in environmental conservation, wildlife research, indigenous communities, and more.

Fronteering’s volunteer abroad and intern abroad opportunities start at an affordable $695 for your first week onsite – and if you’d like to stay longer, the organization also offers placements up to 24 weeks.

Fronteering Opportunities to Check Out

Husky Ranch Canada

For four to eight weeks, you’ll have the chance to feed, groom, and walk huskies, help with ranch maintenance, go dogsledding and snowmobiling (if you’re volunteering in the winter), clear and prepare dogsled tracks, and more. Located in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, or the Yukon, this program is excellent for volunteers who love animals and the outdoors, and starts from $1,395 for your first four weeks.

Predator Research Internship

If you’ve always wanted to visit the Amazon, Fronteering invites you to help with bush dog research and monitoring in the rainforest, with tasks such as setting camera traps, collecting data, helping with community activities, performing research, and much more. This volunteer abroad opportunity starts from one week at $695, and you’re invited to stay up to six weeks to help further research, get to know the community, and rough it in the Amazon Rainforest.

Amazon Amerindians

Through this program, you’ll delve into the jungles of Guyana to help an indigenous community create a sustainable, eco-friendly infrastructure through construction, maintenance, wildlife research, and more. And depending on your skills and background, you can also teach IT skills, build wildlife viewing camps, and much more. You’re invited to stay two to eight weeks, starting at $1,695.

A Broader View Volunteers

Best Volunteer Abroad Programs: A Broader View

A Broader View Volunteers, a US nonprofit charity, was founded in 2007 by Sarah and Oliver Ehlers. Their team sends more than 5,000 volunteers each year to 245 programs across 25 countries, and has raised and distributed more than $3 million in donations worldwide.

A Broader View’s goals are to provide developing countries with volunteer assistance while educating those volunteers about the communities in which they serve. Projects can include wildlife conservationchildcareteaching, and more, and start from one week at $745, depending on the location and placement. Many of their projects are offered year-round, which provides you flexibility in terms of your start date.

A Broader View is one of the best rated programs on our site and has over 150 positive reviews on Volunteer Forever!

A Broader View Opportunities to Check Out

Ecuador: Quito Hippotherapy

Volunteers in the Quito Hippotherapy program assist with rehabilitation and recreational programs with horses for those with mental or physical disabilities. Through this placement, volunteers feed and groom horses, prepare them for and handle them during therapy sessions, and may provide horseback riding lessons to the general public. Gardening and canine therapy placements also are available. Placements range from one to 12 weeks and start from $895. Volunteers must have intermediate Spanish knowledge, and immersion courses are available for those that would like to gain a greater language proficiency.

Peru: Environmental Conservation

In this conservation volunteer abroad program, volunteers work in reforestation, organic farming education, and sustainable growth at a Peruvian national park in the Madre de Dios region. Projects can include flower inventory, research, replanting, clearing holes, animal rescue, and other tasks. This program lasts one to 12 weeks and starts at $895. Spanish language background isn’t required, but is helpful while assisting on community outreach programs.

Colombia: Social Welfare Program

Volunteers in A Broader View’s Social Welfare program assist a local center that cares for children from 18 months to five years old, and that educates single mothers about child care, nutrition, and hygiene. On this placement, volunteers help provide lunch, assist in the kitchen, teach preschool lessons, and play games with the children. This program starts from two weeks at $995.

Uganda: Maternity / Midwifery Nursing Program

Based in the Bulenga community, this program provides the opportunity for volunteers to support two healthcare centers that offer maternity, ultrasound, and contraceptive services; treatment for malaria, typhoid, and diarrhea; infant care; antenatal care; and HIV/AIDS testing and counseling. Volunteers also assist with outreach and education for expectant teen mothers within the community. This program starts from two weeks at $995.

A Broader View Program Review: Logan, Honduras Medical Program

I had a great time in La Ceiba, Honduras. I did not feel unsafe or threatened at any time. My work was great and fulfilling at both the old hospital and the school. My host family was excellent and accommodating, and the food – especially the local food – was very delectable.

All of the people, from the children to the patients at the hospital were very nice and respectful. I had a lot of fun with the other volunteers and I highly recommend being outgoing and personable… it will make you life way easier if you can hang out with friends and commiserate after a long day of work.

I had very good Spanish entering into the program, but after 2 weeks of immersion my Spanish is crisp and fluent; I truly valued the ABV experience as a life-changing event. I am willing to speak with others about my experience.

Global Leadership Adventures

The Best Volunteer Abroad Programs: Global Leadership Adventures

Founded in 2004, Global Leadership Adventures provides teen and high school programs abroad that combine community service with hands-on learning and adventure. With an emphasis on safety – outlined in Global Leadership Adventures’ five-point safety system – this organization sends thousands of travelers to nearly two dozen countries throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America every year.

As a leader in youth development, Global Leadership Adventures has a database of nearly 2,000 references willing to vouch for the impact of their programs – and in fact, GLA’s co-founder was recognized by President Obama for making a positive impact in Africa.

Global Leadership Adventures Opportunities to Check Out

Dominican Republic: Spring Break Service Adventure

On this spring break program, you’ll volunteer with rural communities in the Dominican Republic and learn about their challenges in accessing daily necessities. A few projects you can take on include building schools and community centers, assisting in reforestation or water filtration projects, or building vertical gardens or clean-burning stoves. You’ll also have the opportunity to check out the beach, explore freshwater lagoons and caverns, and much more. This eight-day program costs $1,899 – click here to learn more and to register.

Dominican Republic: Global Health Initiative

Another amazing program you can sign up for in the Dominican Republic is Global Leadership Adventures’ Global Health Initiative. Perfect for students who want to pursue an education in medicine or public health, you’ll meet with community leaders to discuss health, sustainability, and education, assist traveling doctors and Peace Corps volunteers with their work, and lots more. On the adventure portion of your trip, you’ll zip line through the jungle, hike through waterfalls, and explore coral reefs on a snorkeling expedition. This 14-day program costs $3,399 – learn more here.

Galapagos: Preserving Nature’s Wonders

If you’re passionate about protecting animals and their natural habitats, check out this program in the Galapagos Islands, where you can help to restore the habitat of native wildlife. On Isabela Island, you’ll volunteer in a tortoise breeding center, and on San Cristobal Island, you’ll help to clear invasive species to allow tortoises and birds to re-inhabit the area. You’ll also be able to go snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, and hiking during this two-week program. Click here to learn more.

Ghana: Children of Africa

GLA also invites you to Ghana, where you’ll teach children in a village primary school or orphanage, make bricks for construction of new facilities, and play soccer and other team games and sports with the kids. You’ll also learn about Ghanaian culture through workshops in cloth dyeing, drumming, and local Ewe or Krobo language – and you’ll have the opportunity to meet with local tribe members and chiefs to learn about religion, social construction, and much more.

During the adventure portion of your trip to Ghana, you may have the chance to explore mountains, hike waterfalls, and explore outdoor markets. This 21-day summer trip costs $4,999, and is an amazing way to spend your summer break. Click here to learn more and to sign up!

Raleigh International

The Best Volunteer Abroad Programs: Raleigh International

Founded in 1984, Raleigh International offers volunteer abroad programs for youth and young adults in Nepal, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Tanzania. Programs focus on clean water and hygiene, sustainable use of natural resources, and community building. So far, 400,000 youth volunteers have traveled with Raleigh International, with another 800 expected to sign up this year.

With a commitment to youth leadership and engagement, Raleigh International helped design and currently holds the BS8848 Safety Standard for organizing and managing visits, fieldwork, expeditions, and adventurous activities outside of the UK. If you’re in high school or college, taking a gap year, or recently graduated and looking for a way to make a difference, Raleigh International offers a wide variety of volunteer projects with a real impact led by multicultural and multinational teams.

Raleigh International Opportunities to Check Out

Nepal Expedition

One of Raleigh International’s expeditions brings you to Nepal. Based in a rural village in Gorkha, you will be able to make a difference by volunteering with an initiative to improve access to safe water and sanitation. This is especially important in an area where 85% of homes were affected by the devastating earthquake of 2015 – as a volunteer, you will help with digging trenches, laying pipes, and awareness-raising to help those living in this community lead healthy lives. As part of this expedition, you also will have the chance to go trekking in the foothills of the Ganesh Himal mountains. Learn more here!

Naturally Africa Volunteers

Best Volunteer Abroad Programs: Naturally Africa Volunteers

Naturally Africa Volunteers (NAV) coordinates sustainable, community-centered projects throughout KenyaSouth AfricaMalawiTanzaniaGhana , and Namibia. Their projects tend to run from two to twelve weeks and are perfect for volunteers who are seeking shorter term opportunities in Africa. Naturally Africa Volunteers seeks to solidify its change on two levels– by coordinating high-impact, well-researched volunteers programs and by supporting its international volunteers from the moment they join the project.

NAV is dedicated to making sure that each international volunteer has the best experience possible and is able to work in close conjunction with communities across the continent. Volunteers are currently urgently needed in Malawi to assist with medical carechildcareteaching, and sports coachingParticipants from Volunteer Forever are eligible for a reduced program fee that starts at an affordable $925 for a two week placement, which includes your room & board, transportation (including airport pickup), and contribution to the host community.

Naturally Africa Volunteer Opportunities to Check Out

Naturally Africa Volunteers supports programs in many areas of interest, including volunteer teachingmedical volunteeringsports coachingcommunity outreach, and wildlife and conservation. Volunteers who are interested in a short-term volunteer project (2-3 weeks) will especially be interested in NAV’s Wild Coast School Project, which places volunteers in underfunded rural South African schools supporting full-time staff and volunteers. Volunteers will have the opportunity to work with students aged 6-14 promoting computer literacy, often through traveling through rural schools alongside state-of-the-art technology education equipment including laptops that the students usually lack access to.

Naturally Africa Volunteers Program Review

My time in Malawi was amazing. Meg, Sam and Aug were the main reason. They provided a balanced view on how to go about my role as a volunteer. I can not describe how inspired I was by the whole trip and the staff at the cottage.

The structure of the project was brilliant. You can clearly see the priorities. Keeping a good relationship with the village population and the elders was their main focus. Providing amazing support to the wound clinics, HIV support groups, nursery and home based care groups was incredible. I am very lucky I was part of the development of the different village I visited.

At the weekends I got to experience other parts of Malawi. Like the landscape and culture outside the village. I wish I could have stayed for longer. I hope to return to Malawi in the near future. – Maria, March 2015


Best Volunteer Abroad Programs: Frontier

Founded over 25 years ago, Frontier combines community development, capacity building, ecosystem protection, economic growth, and the development of civil society through collaboration between local communities, researchers, and volunteers of all ages.

From their first program in Tanzania – a marine park still operating today, developed in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund – Frontier has expanded to include more than 400 projects in 72 countries around the world.

This nonprofit scientific research organization employs dedicated staff who have been published in more than 450 articles in peer-reviewed journals – and whether you’d like to take on an internship abroad, volunteer project, gap year, or teach abroad / TEFL program, Frontier is a fantastic way to travel the world and make a positive impact.

Frontier Opportunities to Check Out

Costa Rica: Big Cats, Primates, and Turtle Conservation

On this program, you’re invited to gain practical research and conservation experience while helping to conserve the natural habitats of Costa Rica’s wildlife. Costa Rica has one of the world’s most biodiverse ecosystems, and your work will be vital to protecting it and ensuring endangered animals have a place to thrive. A few activities you’ll take part in include beach patrols to research turtle nesting habits, surveying and collecting data on big cats, walking primate transects to collect data on different species, and more. This program starts from one week at $1,445.

Fiji: Marine Conservation and Diving

Through this placement, you’ll have the opportunity to aid conservation research on Beqa Island, Fiji. You’ll locate and map coral reefs, conduct a reef census to discover which species live there, assess coral bleaching and damage, record marine life feeding habit observations, and much more. This research is provided to local stakeholders, research groups, and government entities to help develop plans for protection of the island and its marine ecosystem. This project starts from one week at $2,095.

Costa Rica: Animal Rescue Project

Costa Rica is home to more than 500,000 animal species in need of protection from deforestation, encroachment on natural habitats, and poaching. On Frontier’s animal rescue project in Costa Rica, you’ll volunteer in a rescue center that provides a sanctuary to animals that have been injured or that have been rescued from captivity, with the goal of reintroducing them into the wild. You’ll work alongside local staff to care for the animals – such as monkeys, sloths, raccoons, and other wildlife – and educate visitors about wildlife protection and environmental conservation. This program starts from two weeks at $1,145, plus $395 for each additional week if you’d like to stay longer.

Madagascar: Marine Conservation and Diving

If you want to go off the beaten track, take a look at this marine conservation program in Madagascar, where you can dive nearly-untouched coral reefs while studying marine life and providing valuable research into sustainable management of the island’s natural resources. A few tasks you’ll take on include charting coral reefs, recording healthy fish populations, identifying different species in the reef, studying how fishing communities utilize marine resources, and more. This volunteer program starts from one week at $1,745, with PADI Open Water and Advanced Open Water training available at an additional cost.

Big heart, but little wallet? Check out our list of free volunteer programs and affordable volunteer organizations.

P.S. If you’re still looking for a volunteer opportunity, check out our list of gap year programs and recommended volunteer projects in AsiaSouth AsiaAfricaCentral AmericaSouth America, and Thailand. You can also read about 7 Great Medical and Veterinary Volunteer Abroad Projects10 Dental Volunteer Abroad Program and Medical Mission Tips for Pre Dental Students, and nursing volunteer abroad projects for students and nurse professionals. Or, if medical volunteer projects aren’t for you, be sure to read about our sports and coaching volunteer abroadwildlife conservation and veterinary abroad, teach abroad, and intern abroad programs. Lastly, if you’re under age 18, you may be interested in a teen volunteer abroad program from one of our many great partners.