Volunteering Abroad

For much the same reasons you might have chosen to study abroad. You'll gain vital work experience and improve your foreign language abilities. You'll learn about another culture by living in it and working alongside people from that culture, and in doing so you will learn more about yourself and your own culture. You will make friends, create an international network, and give something back.

There are many reasons to volunteer abroad and the rewards from doing so are even greater. On this page, we offer some tips as you begin looking for international volunteer opportunities and list a few programs that can assist you. Please note, however, that we do not endorse any of these programs. We simply offer them as a way for you to begin your research.

Tips for Volunteering Abroad

Many organizations can provide an opportunity for you to volunteer your time and skills abroad. You can volunteer with a local nonprofit or religious group, apply to a U.S. government-based program like the Peace Corps, or work through an organization that can help you find a volunteer placement abroad. The opportunities to volunteer abroad are many.

Finding your own placement through a local organization offers you a chance to work with people you already know and with whom you feel comfortable, but it can also be difficult and can require a lot more effort and energy your part. Using a placement organization opens up greater possibilities, but will require that you pay some sort of fee to offset the cost of the services the organization provides. A few web-based resources you might look at as you think about your options are:

IVPA (International Volunteer Programs Association)

An association of non-governmental organizations involved in international volunteer work and internship exchanges. They set forth good principles and practices that volunteer programs should follow.

ServeYourWorld

Articles explaining how volunteer program fees are used.

TransitionsAbroad

Articles that explain the benefits of volunteering with an organization and where fees go.

International Volunteer Programs

Cross-Cultural Solutions

Opportunities in Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Morocco, Peru, South Africa, Tanzania, and Thailand.

Idealist.org

A nonprofit, online organization that offers a searchable database of volunteer opportunities.

Peace Corps

The Peace Corps goal is to promote world peace and friendship. They have 139 host countries worldwide.

Habitat for Humanity International

“Join us in the fight against poverty housing and homelessness around the world.”

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

IVHQ provides affordable, safe, and responsible volunteer abroad programs in 30 different countries around the world. They place thousands of volunteers and offer a wide range of volunteer travel opportunities.

Contact Us 

Charla Bailey
Director of International Education

Office: Tschoepe Hall 107
Phone: 830-372-8098
Email: cbailey@tlu.edu

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