Bali has long been recognized as one of the planet’s most picturesque destinations. With its sandy beaches, towering mountains, dense jungles and terraced rice paddies, there’s a reason it’s known as the Island of the Gods. A beautiful island in Indonesia, Bali boasts a rich spiritual and artistic culture that’s hard to miss. Everywhere you go, you’ll stumble on ancient temples, Hindu offerings and a thousand other details that continually reinforce the pure specialness of this island. It’s truly a tropical paradise, and you deserve to explore it: if you’re using your time to give back as a volunteer in Bali, you should reward yourself with a little something, too.
Volunteer Opportunities in Bali
As a volunteer in Bali, you’ll find a rich range of opportunity to suit your unique service priorities. Unsurprisingly, Bali’s main industry is tourism, and most of the possible volunteer opportunities circle back to it in one way or another. Tourism is the livelihood of many of the Balinese people, and through your service work, you’ll help keep it that way. Do your part to keep the island pristine and its wildlife safe by volunteering with sea turtles, protecting animals at a wildlife rescue center, or leading environmental education initiatives. Set young Balinese children up for success in life by sharpening their English – an imperative tool for anyone engaged in the tourism industry. Or simply give back to the community through programs that emphasize childcare, healthcare, or infrastructure.
Whatever you choose, you’ll be doing your part to make Bali into just that much more of a paradise. If you’re trying to decide which of the many volunteering programs is the best fit for you, here are several organizations that can offer you some amazing experiences. Read on!
The Best Bali Volunteer Programs
International Volunteer HQ, a world leader in affordable volunteer travel with over 80,000 past volunteers, provides a range of well-planned and trusted opportunities for those looking to experience the world through volunteering.
As a volunteer with International Volunteer Headquarters, you’ll have many options for your placement within Bali. Whether you want to relax near the black sand beaches of low-key Lovina or post up in Ubud, Bali’s cultural capital, there’s a great range of activities for every kind of volunteer: get your hands dirty working on a construction project, design and lead your own environmental education campaign, get involved in healthcare education, teach English or work with young Balinese children.
The vast majority of these projects are available in either of the program locations, with the exception of the sea turtle conservation project, which is available only through the IVHQ program in Ubud. You’ll actually be housed on Nusa Penida, an island off of Bali, where you’ll be actively involved in turtle care as well as environmental education and clean-up.
Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age and will have weekends off for their own explorations. The program lasts anywhere from one to 12 weeks and offers flexible start dates.
Offering trusted, low cost volunteer opportunities in a variety of overseas locations, Plan My Gap Year is an ideal program not only for students looking to make their gap year meaningful, but for anyone interested in exploring the world through service.
Plan My Gap Year offers a variety of exciting opportunities for travelers looking to visit Bali as volunteers. These projects are all based out of Tabanan, a region known as the “rice bowl” of Bali. Volunteers can choose to immerse themselves in either childcare or English teaching.
As a childcare volunteer, you’ll assist teachers in a kindergarten classroom, play with young children and lead activities during an after-school community program. As an English teacher, you’ll work with somewhat older children in Balinese elementary schools, taking advantage of the more structured environment to make an especially focused impact on the students’ language skills. In either program, you’ll be giving these children a head start in life by helping them develop invaluable language skills that will help them more easily find work in the future.
But don’t worry; you’ll still have plenty of opportunities to do your own exploration of the island on weekends. You must be at least 17 years old to volunteer. The program begins on the first and third Sunday of each month and can last anywhere from two to 24 weeks, depending on your preference.
Plan My Gap Year offers a medical volunteer program in Bali, which places you at Rumah Sakit Umum Tabanan, a government-operated hospital that treats hundreds of patients each day. Your medical experience and willingness dictates your level of involvement – you will be monitored by staff, and if you are capable and it is permitted, you may get involved in hands-on procedures, such as administering IV injections and dressing wounds. Areas of interest you may explore include General Surgery, Intensive-Care, Emergency, Maternity and Midwifery, Neonatal, Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Antenatal, Prenatal, Ultrasound, General Medicine, Outpatient and Public Health. Plan My Gap Year volunteers participate in a seminar that teaches about traditional Balinese religion and culture, and how medical professionals cater to these beliefs in their medical treatment. Program fees start at $435 for two weeks, and volunteers may stay up to 16 weeks.
Another excellent volunteer opportunity that you can be a part of with Plan My Gap Year in Bali brings you to a Wildlife Rescue Centre to help care for animals victimized by poachers. Every day is an adventure at the rescue center: you may find yourself clearing brush in the crocodile enclosure, replacing branches and chains in the bird aviary, assisting with upkeep and care for endangered animals, and enriching their lives—and your own—in the process. A few of the tasks that you will take on include feeding, cleaning, and general maintenance, all of which go toward creating a better habitat for the animals. Maintenance tasks range from fixing the hinges on doors, to repairing fences, to repairing habitats and clearing the grounds of rubbish and weeds. Volunteers arrive on the first and third Sunday every month, and program fees start at $270 for one week.
Global Leadership Adventures offers life-changing service trips for teenagers, designing their experiences to encourage open-mindedness, broaden international awareness, and create global leaders.
GLA offers two programs in Bali with different focuses, both offered on select dates throughout the summer. On the Bali: Land of Discovery program, you’ll spend 21 days engaging in a variety of volunteer and adventure activities in Bali. You’ll spend your days creating your own lesson plans and teaching Balinese children at an English camp, while your afternoons and evenings will be free for excursions and adventures. You might learn to scuba dive, play with the elephants at the Elephant Safari Park, visit ancient temples or try your hand at surfing.
If you’re looking for a different sort of hands-on volunteering experience, check out the Bali: Global Health Initiative program. This 14-day program is designed to provide you with a deep understanding of the fascinating field of public health in the developing world. You’ll explore a variety of medical settings, from Western clinics to the practices of traditional jungle healers, shadow local health professionals and visit birth clinics and youth health workshops. Some of the possible tasks you may be helping with include serving as a scribe for doctors, recording data, restocking supplies or performing pulse checks. You’ll even have the opportunity to design and implement a health education workshop for regional youth at the end of the program.
Emphasizing conservation, education, and exploration, Frontier’s programs encourage participants to become trailblazers and get active in locations around the world.
Frontier offers four different incredible volunteer experiences in beautiful Bali, so whatever kind of adventure you’re looking for, they’re likely to have it. Teach at a local Balinese school, lend your unique skills to sea turtle conservation or jump into a range of construction and renovation projects designed to improve the local infrastructure.
Looking for a more well-rounded sort of experience? Check out the Bali Experience program, which combines a variety of volunteer and adventure elements for one action-packed international experience. Spend your first week immersing yourself in Balinese culture through language lessons, cultural excursions and art and cooking classes. Dive into your volunteer assignment the second week, focusing on your choice of healthcare, environmental education or teaching. Finally, you’ll spend the third week on adventures throughout Bali, from whitewater rafting down the Ayung River to biking through the majestic Batur Mountains.
All four projects last for two or three weeks and begin on the first or third Sunday of each month, with some exceptions.
A top destination for volunteer abroad programs, Bali has tons of offerings for those looking to make their way to the gorgeous island. Make your search a bit easier with Abroadly, Volunteer Forever’s booking platform. Every program on the platform has been carefully vetted for safety, quality, and ethical commitment, meaning you can quickly find the right volunteer project in Bali (as you can search based on preferences and budget!).
In minutes, you could discover your dream program in Bali, whether that be teaching English or an environmental conservation project. Don’t hesitate to apply—application fees are fully refunded if you’re not accepted. And if you do get accepted, Abroadly gives you a few ways to make your trip more affordable. Abroadly applicants get free access to Volunteer Forever’s crowdfunding platform, as well as the opportunity to win a $500 scholarship. How awesome is that?
Perfect for gap year travelers, those pursuing a career in education, and those that just want to give back, one program you can be part of through Abroadly lets you volunteer at learning centers and schools in either Ubud or Tianyar. You’ll work with underprivileged students, teaching them English, art, math, and other subjects. You’ll use storytelling, games, and activities to engage students and motivate them to explore the world. The great thing about this program is that your impact will be felt immediately. These learning centers and schools have insufficient resources and staff to give the children the education they deserve, and your help will fill part of that gap.
During free time, explore Bali. Ubud is a town known for its terraced rice paddies, rainforests, and Hindu temples and shrines. Tianyar is near many popular diving spots. Go out and have a blast! Program fees start at $800 for two weeks, with stays up to 16 weeks available.
Ready to apply to a Bali volunteer program? Begin your search on Abroadly now!
Named a Top Eco-Traveling Enthusiast in 2017 by Greenmatch, GoEco is a leading ecotourism company that connects volunteers to several great environmental and community development projects in Bali. Founded in 2006 by experienced volunteers, GoEco focuses on providing volunteers unique, impactful, and affordable service opportunities across the world, including in Bali. The organization has lots of enthusiastic reviews from past volunteers, and they’ve even been recommended by publications like the Huffington Post, USA Today, and Boston Globe.
GoEco has three volunteer opportunities in Bali, including the Bali Road Trip experience, which combines sightseeing and travel with service work. You can live in an authentic Balinese village, raft through thrashing rivers, teach English to schoolchildren, and more ($1,440 for three weeks).
If you’re interested in immersing yourself in the local community, try the Education and Community Work initiative in Bali (from only $790 for two weeks). It’s one of GoEco’s top ten most popular programs. You can volunteer in construction, teaching, or medical outreach. During the project, you’ll get to engage in positive cultural exchange and do some tangible good, like erect a building, teach the youth English, and raise awareness about how to live healthier lives.
Or, if preserving wildlife is your passion, check out the Bali Sea Turtle Rescue project (from just $990 for two weeks). Held in Nusa Penida, a relaxed and gorgeous island just southeast of Bali, your main duties as a volunteer will be to prepare food and feed the turtles, clean the creatures and their tanks, and make conservation awareness marketing materials. During hatching season, you can even assist with releasing the baby turtles into the wild, which is a memorable experience.
Interested in applying to a GoEco volunteer program in Bali? Start your search on GoEco now!
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