Albania is a country located in Eastern Europe and bordered by Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia and Greece. You might be surprised to learn there is a scenic coast and also spectacular nature with mountains throughout the country and we have some fantastic small group adventure tours and gap year programs where you can see and do a lot. This is also an up and coming destination for adventurous travellers seeking new countries to explore which are untouched by tourism - it will be an authentic experience visiting. You can also apply to volunteer in Albania.
Albania is a cultural destination with lots of places you might want to visit including towns, cities, museums, ruins and churches. Known as the ‘Cradle of the Balkans’, most flights arrive into the capital Tirana where you can check out the local mosque, local square or visit the National museum. Albania has a large number of historical sites and also beautiful landscapes, places you must visit include the Greek and Roman ruins at Apollonia and Butrint, Korca, Lake Ohrid, Saranda, Vlora and Gjirokaster. There are a range of budget and medium ranged hotels - this destination offers great value compared to other nearby countries. Albania is an emerging destination after years of turmoil, it's best to visit before the crowds start arriving. Check out our tours or search travel operators in Albania today, a lot of people travel overland visiting places like Greece and Montenegro too.
Albania has had a difficult past few decades, first with the end of Communist leadership in the 1990's and also economic issues and unrest. This is one of the poorest countries in Europe and there are international and local NGO's working to improve living conditions and help communities. By applying to work in Albania you will get to experience a different country and be able to make a difference in helping fight poverty and discrimination.
Albania is very much a country looking to the future and you can play a role in improving life for local people. Hundreds of people work as a volunteer every year but more people are needed, this country really needs more hands on the ground to help development and we highly recommend applying if you want to make a real difference. You will get to learn more about the country and interact with friendly local people who will be really happy to know you have travelled there to help. People in Albania will be very curious about you and your reasons for being in their country.
You can join projects in the capital of Albania - Tirana and also more remote areas of the country like in Thethi located in the spectacular Alps in the North of the country. You will get to experience the slow traditional pace way of life on rural outreach programs - some very unique.
In Albania there are lots of different cultures and minorities mixed together, a lot of organisations offer placements with the Romani community where you can help with their integration into society and also help fight discrimination against them. The Romani community are often discriminated throughout Europe and this often holds back people's potential to do something positive with their lives. Being able to have a positive impact on this community and helping them improve their lives will be a really rewarding experience.
There are placements throughout the year where you can teach in schools, community centres, kindergartens - tasks include helping children learn English, coaching sports and helping with recreation activities. Educational standards in Albania are very poor compared to other destinations in Europe, you might be shocked by the basic nature of classrooms and schools. You will usually be working alongside other international participants and also local staff to ensure the structured running of classes helping children to progress in learning.
Poverty is a real issue in Albania and you will see this first hand when visiting, this country might be a culture shock. There are placements in hospitals and nurseries in the capital Tirana. You could care for abandoned and vulnerable children playing a key role in helping shape a better future for them. During the placements full training will be given and you will be able to assist local staff in the daily running of operations.
There are community outreach programs run throughout the year where you can go to remote villages and town helping with construction and improvement efforts. Tasks can include building new facilities, painting buildings and improving outdoor spaces for local people.
Usually you will need to be aged 18 and over to volunteer in Albania and be able to commit for at least 2 weeks but we recommend longer term placements for full benefit. Learning some basic Albania phrases is highly recommended.
Generally you will be provided with shared accommodation with other participants, this is usually an apartment, or hostel style dorms. Home stays are also available.
Usually you will be required to work around 4 hours per day, from about 9 till midday meaning you will get lots of free time to explore your new surrounds. View our tours in Albania to see how you can make the most of your time here.
Some organisations will charge a fee to participate, this usually include placements, transfers, food and accommodation. You can enquire today for more information or apply direct by contacting the organisations we have listed on our website. If you are worried about Albania as a destination there are also programs in nearby countries. Summer and group programs in Albania are very popular and you will need to apply well in advance for placements in June, July and August.