Volunteer Abroad

Apply to volunteer abroad - search programs in in over 100 countries around the world for 2015 & 2016. Our website features hundreds of inspiring volunteer projects which will provide you with a life changing experience. As a volunteer you will get a rewarding experience, help others, meet new people and immerse yourself into a new culture. We have short and long term placements from 1 week to over 12 months+ perfect for gap years, career breaks, meaningful holidays or people just seeking to do something beneficial. We have safe and structured programs where you will need to pay a fee but you can also find free, low cost, fully funded and paid volunteering abroad. There are placements for summer, Christmas, honeymoons and all year round for individuals, groups and families. Read more information, search projects and apply to make a difference today.  


Volunteer Programs Abroad

Search our inspiration selection of volunteering projects around the world which includes free and low cost opportunities.


Find Volunteering Programs by Continent



Choose Program Type





Other Options



Volunteer Abroad

Guide to Volunteering Overseas

Get inspiration for a life changing trip today and read more information about applying to give back. On our website you can read information about volunteering programs, search opportunities and apply. We help thousands of people find and arrange volunteer trips every year and you can read on for information on why you might want to sign up and how you can set up a dream trip.



Volunteer Projects in the Developing World

Why Volunteer Abroad?

There are no specific reasons why you might choose to volunteer abroad, maybe you are looking to do something different or you are planning a break and you want a rewarding experience which is totally different to anything you have ever done before. You will get to explore a new region of the world and be far more than just a tourist. This is your chance to do something different, help other people and find out about yourself and have an experience more meaningful than just sunbathing. By applying you will get to live and immerse yourself in a foreign country, meet people from all around the world and be able to have a real hands on learning experience. 

Not only is working as a volunteer a wonderful experience, it’s also one that you can take home with you and show to your friends and families through the memories you have, friends you've made and pictures you have taken. There are hundreds of really amazing projects and organisations which need assistance all year, you could apply to help communities, conservation, wildlife, education and teaching initiatives or work on care projects. Whether you are looking to gain experience for a future career or just spend a vacation doing something different there are projects for everyone. Some projects can be join for a short period of less than a week whilst on others you can stay for over a year meaning there are options to fit all time frames.



Volunteer Work Abroad

Who Benefits from Voluntourism

Before a lot of people depart on volunteering placements abroad one popular question is 'who is this going to benefit?' and 'will I be able to make a difference'. By deciding to travel overseas and help a volunteer program you will be able to help others whilst helping yourself develop personally. You will benefit personally and professionally, this will be a fresh new learning experience. Occasionally in the media there are negative stories about the effectiveness and how worthwhile programs are. Don't let this put you off, developing countries benefit from international help as a lot of places lack the people and skills to help make a difference. New participants bring new ideas and skills and can also help programs develop overtime by working with local staff. By applying for educational, environmental, wildlife or community based placements you will be able to contribute and have a positive impact. Tourism is also a massive boost to any country, the presence of international volunteers provides money for destinations and for projects, of which a lot require a donation to keep projects operating. By traveling and volunteering you will be buying local food or staying in accommodation which will boost others indirectly.



Group Volunteer Programs Abroad

Group Volunteer Trips Abroad

Find group volunteer trips and volunteer holidays around the world on our website, apply to join a program today. Group volunteer holidays are popular and everyone is welcome to apply, you can also join short and long term programs. If you are a student you could volunteer with a school group over the summer break or you can also volunteer with friends and family members. These group trips are popular with people travelling solo and who are worried about meeting new people, It is also a fantastic opportunity to help rewarding volunteer programs and communities around the world. If you are wanting to go overseas and join a volunteer program but you are unsure where to go, browse our country directory. On group volunteer projects around the world you will be able immerse yourself into a new country, experience living in a different culture and really make a difference. Everyday is likely to be a new experience when volunteering, whether you are aer working with wildlife, people or teaching you will experience a unique experience with fresh memories everyday. View group volunteering programs above or contact us for advice.



Duration of Placements

You can participate from as little as a day, to over a year. The minimum and maximum program length really depend on the organisation or program, some have a minimum of one week but a lot require at least 2 weeks or longer. On care / orphanage projects most organisations like participants to stay long term 4 weeks or longer because you need to learn new skills and develop bonds with people you are working with. Please note being away from home on a long term volunteer program will impact relationships, holidays, and finances, these things should be considered before joining a year long placement for example.




  • Most Nationalities are able to apply but you will need to be eligble for a tourist visa for the destination you are interested in. 
  • Most organisations require you to be 18 to volunteer by yourself on a project overseas. But some companies specialize in trips for 15-17 year old's, these are usually structured and short term programs organized in conjunction with schools. If you are under this age limit you might need to volunteer with your family, there are family trips available but certain restrictions apply.
  • No previous experience is required for non skilled positions but if you are looking to help as a doctor for example you will need qualifications. You will need to be in good health, flexible, enthusiastic, adaptable, have a desire to make a positive impact. A good level of English is needed for most placements and sometimes depending on the destination you might need to know the basics of the local language. 



How to Apply

Our directory should give you some really inspirational ideas on where you can go and what you could do. There is no deadline or best time to apply and please research all countries before signing up to a program. Some organizations allow you to book a program over one year in advance. Sometimes its good to book the program early as this reserve your spot, some projects only need a limited number of volunteers so can fill up quickly. You should also be able to change your program dates if needed. Please contact us if you have any questions or need any help.



What to Think about Before Applying

  • Where would you like to go / do
  • What budget do you have available - this might determine your destination or program/organisations
  • Some programs can be challenging, if you are not prepared to actively help and put effort in, you might be best just going for a general holiday
  • Remember locations can be in the  developing world meaning facilities and living standards might not be what you are used to
  • Buy travel insurance to cover all events and be sure to read past testimonials for tips and recommendations on how to get the most out of the experience
  • Read about your destination and see if you need any vaccinations or medication e.g. malari tablets



What to Expect

You have the option to apply direct with local projects and NGO's or arrange your trip through an international company who will be able to arrange you a placement. Even if you apply by yourself you won't be alone volunteering, most organizations have lots of people helping at anytime but if you are worried please enquire direct before applying. This is certainly no normal holiday, sometimes working hours can be long and exhausting so please beware of this before applying. Every day will be new and there will be lots of free time for you to relax or travel and see more of the country you are based in. Usually when participating you will develop strong bonds with your fellow volunteers and you might make friends to last a life time. You will take away lots of positive memories from volunteering in a foreign country, most people really enjoy the experience and are able to make a contribution to projects around the world. If you speak Portuguese you can view more information about our website and opportunities here: Trabalho voluntário no exterior com a One World 365



Why You Might Need to Pay to Volunteer Abroad

Pay to volunteer? How does that made sense? Shouldn't this be free if you are donating your time? Think again. The concept of paying money to give your time and work as a volunteer can seem confusing, but this is now generally the norm when it comes to voluntourism. Don't let paying a fee put you off applying too volunteer, this experience is a great opportunity to challenge yourself to do some good in the world whilst also supporting local organisations that have little resources and no funding.

If you apply through an international agency you will be asked to pay a fee to participate which acts as a framework to providing you with a structured experience. If you are looking for a safe placement and you are worried about going solo we highly recommend applying with a large international sending agency. They provide a safety barrier incase anything does go wrong as you will be able to assist you every step of the way. A lot of companies have a financial framework in place or are member of ATOL and the Trave Trade Association giving you peace of mind knowing the money you pay is safe and secure. On most sending agencies websites they will have a transparent breakdown of where the money you pay actually ends up.

Generally the fee you pay with a sending agency covers the following aspects:

  • Most NGO's and non-profit organisations are run on shoe-string budgets without any funding, the fee keeps them running throughout the year
  • Group flights / placements can be arranged which is great if you are worried about traveling / applying solo
  • You will be provided with placements, detailed pre-departure briefings, orientation and information
  • Accommodation and meals are included - these cost money and if not covered by volunteers will be at the expense of local projects without much revenue
  • There will be associated admin and support costs including in-country staff
  • Safety and security, if you pay a fee with an international agency you will know the projects exists without the fear of turning up and nothing being there
  • Incase anything goes wrong - most sending agencies offer 24 hour in country support
  • There are lots of really amazing organisations who operate worldwide without funding and without the efforts and money from international participants they could not operate and do the work they do
  • Also remember paying to volunteer is far more active than just giving a donation to a charity



Free Volunteer Programs Abroad

If you are currently researching a volunteer vacation and looking not to spend a fortune doing so in the process you might have realised if can be a struggle to find free and low cost programs. What you might not know is One World 365 is one of the largest resources in the world for volunteering abroad, we help thousands of people every year give back and unlike many other websites as we feature free, low cost and reasonably priced opportunities and organisations in destinations all around the world.

We get lots of e-mails and enquiries asking for help in choosing a organisation from people wanting to help but are on tight budgets or do not want to break the bank participating which is why we have written this guide. You might have been searching out opportunities already and struggling to find programs which don't cost you thousands of dollars. When initially searching it can be diffcult to find a completely free volunteer abroad program unless you get a paid position with a large international agency but there are lots of ways to keep costs down or even participate at no cost at all.

These are our top tips on how to find free volunteer programs around the world:

  • Know the Difference between the Types of Organisations - To volunteer abroad for free you will need to research organisations thoroughly, there are lots of NGO's, grass-roots organisations and charities operating around the world which usually charge either nothing, a nominal fee or ask for a donation. 
  • Apply Direct Through our Website - Contact local organisations and see if you can help - there are hundreds of projects which allow you to participate for no fee but when applying you will need iniative, flexibility and good planning skilled. With these types of organisations you will need to be independent, this means planning your flights, travel and transport whilst sometimes you might need to also buy food/drink and pay for external accommodation. 
  • Learn a Skill - Sometimes if you have a certain skill or work in a skilled job you can find free or paid placements in areas like medicine, healthcare, architecture, business, engineering or teaching where you can help/train local non-skilled staff. 
  • Narrow Down Your Search - There are so many free opportunities worldwide to help and if you just want a flexible placement these are best to be searched out when you have a country in mind. 
  • Be Independent - Some organisations charge a fee to live onsite but depending on the location you could book yourself accommodation or do a homestay in a nearby town or city travelling independently to the project site. Sometimes this is not possible due to the remote location of some projects.
  • Apply for a Grant / Bursary - If you live in the United Kingdom you can visit your local library (or buy online) a book called 'the Directory of Grant Making Trusts'. This book lists organisations which offer financial assistance to people seeking to do good in the world e.g. volunteering or helping communities and wildlife. You will need to put together a good structured plan on where the money you are requesting is going and also show that the money being donated is being spent well.



Paid Volunteer Jobs Abroad

To get a paid volunteer job you will need to be a skilled professional. Several international organisations and charities offer paid volunteer positions in countries all around the world and you can search opportunities on our website.