Volunteering abroad is an excellent way to acquire a cross-cultural experience, develop skills that can help in your career, and gain in-depth knowledge about important and far-reaching international problems and issues. Volunteering internationally can have a great impact on the people you serve as well as yourself.
While volunteer opportunities vary in scope and focus, as a rule they generally provide little or no salary or monetary compensation. Some provide housing. Many volunteer programs charge fees to help mitigate the costs of providing services. The following list is provided as a starting point in your research into volunteer opportunities. The Office of Overseas Study has no knowledge of the quality of the various volunteer programs available. We recommend that you ask for participant evaluations or the contact information for former participants.
Note: Indiana University does not award credit for volunteer experiences abroad.
- Amigos de las Americas (AMIGOS). AMIGOS provides public health, education, and community development focused volunteer opportunities in Latin America and emphasizes developing leadership skills.
- Cross Cultural Solutions. Cross Cultural Solutions sends volunteers abroad to work side-by-side with local people on locally designed and driven projects, allowing the volunteer to see a country through the eyes of its people. Programs are available in Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Morocco, Peru, Russia, South Africa, Tanzania, and Thailand.
- Education Abroad @ Ohio University. This site lists a number of volunteer opportunities and additional Web resources.
- Global Routes. Global Routes offers teaching internships in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Ghana, Kenya, and Thailand.
- Global Village Volunteer Network. Offers volunteer placement in Kenya and Tanzania. Our organization offers help in Teaching, Working in orphanages, medical clinics and counseling with HIV/AIDS patients.
- Global Volunteer Network. A non-profit organization that places volunteers in community projects in 21 countries in Asia, Latin American, and Africa. Volunteers have the opportunity to participate in a variety of educational, environmental and community aid programs.
- International Studies Abroad — Experiential Learning Abroad Programs (ISA-ELAP). A division of International Studies Abroad (ISA) that arranges and prepares students for volunteer placements in Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Peru. All placements require students to have taken a certain level of Spanish language depending on the placement.
- Learning Abroad Center. This site, maintained by the University of Minnesota, provides a listing of volunteer programs.
- The International Partnership for Service-Learning and Leadership (IPSL). IPSL is a not-for-profit organization that offers 13 undergraduate service-learning programs in 11 nations. The IPSL programs integrate academic studies with volunteer service and full cultural immersion. Service-learning opportunities in Ecuador, England, India, Italy, Jamaica, Lakota Nation (USA), Mexico, Philippines, Russia, Scotland, and Thailand.
- The International Volunteer Programs Association (IVPA). IVPA is an alliance of nonprofit, non-governmental organizations based in North America that are involved in international volunteer and internship exchanges.
- Peace Corps. This U.S. government organization matches volunteers with locations in over 63 countries in a wide range of long-term opportunities. Volunteers receive a living allowance and other benefits.
- Projects Abroad Inc. Volunteer projects and internships abroad in 23 countries.
- ProWorld Service Corps. ProWorld offers volunteer and internship placements with a sustainable development focus in Peru, Belize, Mexico, India, Thailand, Brazil, and Ghana.
- Vision in Action. Placements in human rights, community development, health, mircofinance, and environment. Six different countries.
- VolunteerAbroad.com. A database of international volunteer opportunities.
- Volunteers for Peace (VFP). Over 3,000 affordable international voluntary service programs in 95+ countries.
- World Teach. Teach English, math, and science in one of many sites around the world.
Study abroad is like spring training for this century. It helps you develop the fundamentals, the teamwork, and the determination to succeed."-Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State