Volunteering abroad can help your grow as a person, connect you to new friends, and open your eyes to experience different cultures and ways of living.
However, it can be difficult to find the project that best fits your skillset and will allow you to be the best volunteer you can be. After all, helping to make a positive impact is the most important part of being a volunteer!
Volunteer projects are wide-spread; you aren't simply limited to elephant conservation in Thailand or volunteer teaching English. There are an endless amount of possibilities that volunteering abroad can offer.
To help inspire you, we've compiled a list of 50+ volunteer ideas, that can be found all around the globe! From conserving trails in the jungles of Peru to helping with climate change research in Canada, these volunteer opportunities are sure to lead to a rewarding and empowering experience abroad.
Get your hands dirty
If you want to work outside and don't mind getting a little dirty, these opportunities will have you building, picking, digging, and soaking up the sun while you help the local community.
1. Grab a shovel and a hard hat and help build homes and schools.
From painting classrooms to digging holes for sanitation structures, there are plenty of volunteer projects in construction for volunteers who are passionate about improving the quality of the facilities for communities in need.
2. Plant trees in New Zealand.
New Zealand is home to many unique species of birds and land mammals. Helping to plant trees can help restore forest eco systems in New Zealand, as well as improve the habitats of the country's wildlife.
3. Help harvest coffee in rainforests in Brazil.
Help the local people harvest coffee in Brazil, the largest coffee producer in the world! At the Iracambi Rainforest Research Center you can also get involved in biodiversity conservation in Brazil's Alantic Forest.
4. Make new friends and WWOOF around the world.
World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) exists all over the globe. In exchange for room and board, you'll work on an organic farm. Depending on the farm, you may do anything from caring for animals, picking vegetables, or building greenhouses.
5. Help conserve trails in the jungles of Cusco, Peru.
You're sure to have the adventure of a lifetime exploring Peru's ancient history and legendary landmarks. Trail conservation helps mitigate the effects of tourism on the local area.
6. Practice sustainable and organic farming techniques in Argentina.
Argentina leads the way in organic farming practices, as they're one of the world's largest agricultural producers. By volunteering on an organic farm, you'll learn new skills and gain a more holistic understanding of agriculture's journey to consumers.
7. Restore national parks in Australia.
With over 500 national parks across Australia, you are spoiled for choice! Make a difference by restoring habitats while enjoying diverse wildlife and flora.
8. Assist with mangrove tree planting in Tanzania.
Help conserve the Jozani Forest by protecting its lush mangrove forests. In your free time lounge on the white sand beaches of beautiful Zanzibar Island.
9. Conserve part of the Cloud Forest in Ecuador.
Participate by planting, partaking in research activities, and assisting with trail work in La Hesperia's Biological Station. Ecuador's Cloud Forest will have you immersed in natural beauty, surrounded by diverse plants and animals on a daily basis.
10. Plant flowers and learn about landscaping practices in gardens in England.
Have a green thumb and a love for gardening? What better place to put your skills to work than in the rolling green hills of England?
11. Help restore native forests in Hawaii.
Learn about the island’s sacred history and culture from locals while helping to reverse the effects of deforestation. Don't forget to take advantage of snorkeling with turtles and stargazing Hawaii's clear skies while you're there.
12. Install drinking water storage facilities for community groups in Uganda.
Clean water is a basic human right not afforded to all communities across the globe. Help construct and repair water storage facilities to ensure a reliable supply of potable water for the people of Uganda.
13. Build chicken farms in Jamaica.
Support the industry of the local people by joining building projects. The warm and welcoming spirit of Jamaica will draw you in and have you coming back in the future.
14. Join a school rebuilding project in Nepal.
The effects of the 2015 earthquake are still being felt in Nepal. Many schools are in desperate need of repair and renovation after the damage they sustained.
15. Build and repair dog shelters in Hungary.
The Ugat Lak shelter at the border of Hungary and Ukraine has been inundated with pets since the war began. Lend a bit of muscle to build shelters for the homeless and displaced dogs. Don't be surprised if they steal your heart.
16. Help with climate care construction projects in the Seychelles.
Like many countries around the world, Seychelles is not a stranger to climate change. Made up of over 100 islands, there is a lot of work to be done to protect native species. Earn your PADI Advanced Open Water and Coral Reef Research Diver certifications and help reverse the effects of coral bleaching.
Use your specialized training and passions for good
You're talented so why not share those skills with the world? Check out ways you can support specialized projects around the globe that are looking for people just like you.
17. Assist in delivering dental care to children in Kenya.
Get involved with a project that provides much-needed dental care to over 500 a week. Get to know the kids by teaching dental hygiene and aiding qualified dentists then unwind with an unforgettable safari.
18. Teach English to Buddhist monks in Nepal.
Learn about Buddhism and the lives of monks while teaching the valuable skill of a foreign language. When you're not in the classroom, pass the time by trekking the Himalayas with your new adopted family and experience the real Nepal.
19. Volunteer as a healthcare worker in India.
Join a team dedicated to providing healthcare to rural and underserved areas of Jaipur, India. Jump on the mobile clinic that brings both medical assessments and medication to those who need it most.
20. Tap into your creative side and volunteer in marketing!
Do you consider yourself social media savvy? Experienced in marketing? Help NGOs highlight the amazing volunteer work they’re doing abroad by helping to manage their social media accounts.
21. Teach carpentry in South Africa and help local people gain priceless skills.
Know how to build furniture? Are you handy with a saw? By teaching your own skills workshop, you'll be passing along valuable knowledge to people who can go on to make and sell their own wares.
22. Help to design and construct rainwater collection systems in Fiji.
If sustainability is up your alley, you'll be right at home in Fiji helping equip a local village with a rainwater collection system. Plant people can also get in on projects to build vegetable gardens and teach crop rotation.
23. Take your musical talents overseas and teach music lessons to children in Kenya, Honduras, or Palestine.
Music is a language that unites us all. Grab your instrument and hit the road to bring some joy to people around the world!
24. Join a winter research team and learn about climate change in Canada! (You may even get to sleep in an igloo!)
Use your data and research skills to advance the climate cause while exploring the Canadian wilderness. Don't forget a heavy coat!
25. Teach your IT skills to students in Thailand, Cambodia or Laos.
Digital literacy is priceless in this day and age. Teach invaluable IT skills in countries with developing infrastructures to help the local people get a leg up.
Make a difference in the lives of others
Helping others can be one of the most gratifying volunteer experiences. Whether you're working with adults or children, you're guaranteed to make meaningful human connections with people around the world.
26. Work in a children’s library in Nepal.
Share your passion for reading by volunteering at a children's library. Help promote literacy access by organizing books or leading storytime.
27. Help refugees by working in a camp, teaching English, or providing medical assistance.
Refugees are among the world's most vulnerable people. There is a wide range of volunteer activities you can get involved with to support their recovery from the trauma of war and conflict.
28. Love kids? Become an au pair in France, China, or Spain!
Au pair gigs generally include housing and meals -- a perfect way to live abroad while having your basic needs covered. Spend your weekdays taking care of cute kiddos and your weekends exploring your new city or town.
29. Educate communities about basic healthcare practices in South Africa.
Health promotion and education can lead to less stigma and better health among participants. Gain some public speaking experience by spreading the topics like good nutrition and HIV/AIDS prevention and care.
30. Girl Power! Volunteer with women in Asia for women’s empowerment.
All around the world, women lack opportunities in employment and education. Teach math, English, and IT skills to women eager to improve their lives.
31. Help assist workshops for adults in Ireland with physical and developmental disabilities.
Support adults with special needs through workshops that focus on daily living and employment skills. Spend your free time roaming the Emerald Isle and experience Ireland's natural beauty.
32. Lend a hand after major disasters around the world.
Volunteers are most needed after mass disasters. Help deliver food, clothing, and medical care to survivors of hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes.
33. Assist in community development projects in Guatemala.
Community development can take many forms. Travel to Guatemala to get involved with various projects like helping to repair buildings or establishing job skills centers to train adults.
34. Volunteer at after-school centers in Egypt.
Busy kids are safe kids. After-school programs need people like you to engage with kids in fun and meaningful ways.
35. Teach English at summer camps in Japan or South Korea.
If you're too old to go to summer camp, why not teach at one? English language summer camps abroad aren't all work and no play. Play games and go on day trips with the kids in between lessons.
Experience something unique
If you're feeling adventurous, check out some of these unique volunteer abroad opportunities.
36. Work on organic wine farms in France, Italy, or South Africa.
What's more romantic than spending your fall harvesting grapes and learning organic winemaking techniques? Travel to a famous wine country and make it happen!
37. Lend a hand assisting local festivals in Japan.
Interested in learning basket making and calligraphy? Volunteers are welcome to try various hands-on traditional trades and crafts!
38. Harvest olives in Italy.
Olive oil is king in Italy. Help bring in a season's harvest and experience life on a quaint Italian farm.
39. Assist at a coffee plantation in Columbia.
Coffee enthusiasts will love being part of a Colombian coffee plantation. Learn the ins and outs of the harvest and drink amazing coffee at the source!
40. Help repair and restore medieval buildings (like castles!) in France.
France is brimming with historic castles in need of repairs. Be a part of history by helping to bring these beauties back to their former glory.
41. Have an exciting summer as a volunteer for the Olympics.
Don't just watch the Olympics, be part of the fun! Volunteers get free entry tickets to select events in return for their time.
42. Become a diver and help protect the coral reef in Fiji.
If you've always wanted to get your diving certification, head to stunning Fiji. You'll learn not only safe diving techniques but conservation skills to protect coral and sea life.
43. Sail around the world for free as a volunteer crew member.
Experience life on the high seas as a volunteer. Crews are needed to sail and maintain boats and ships that travel the globe.
44. Assist with food preparation in a soup kitchen in Vietnam.
Feeding people in need is a simple way to do real good. Donate your time prepping and serving healthy food.
Rescue and help care for animals and wildlife
Have a passion for brightening the lives of animals? Consider volunteering abroad with organizations that rescue and rehabilitate animals in need or support wildlife research!
45. Monitor the coral and fish in Mexico.
Our seas are in desperate need of protection. Gather data on marine life to help guide policy and change.
46. Volunteer at primate rehabilitation centers around the world.
If you love monkeys, volunteer abroad caring for sick and injured primates. Centers need dedicated volunteers to assist with medical care, prep and distribute meals, and help with rehabilitation efforts.
47. Help to breed and release endangered Macaws in Costa Rica.
Endangered animals benefit from human intervention to keep them from extinction. Protect Scarlet and Great Green Macaw populations from declining numbers in Costa Rica.
48. Join a coastal marine expedition in Thailand.
Experience the wonder of Thailand's coastal areas. Join conservation efforts that mitigate the effects of tourism and preserve the natural beauty of its seas.
49. Bottle feed baby orphaned animals in Zimbabwe.
We're pretty sure not much is cuter than baby animals. Maybe except baby animals being bottle fed!
50. Support sea turtle conservation in Indonesia, Costa Rica, or Mexico.
Majestic sea turtles need protection from poaching and the dangers of fishing nets. Guard turtle nests at night or help rescue injured turtles. Save turtles while volunteering by the beach -- it's a win-win!
51. Sail the Galapagos Islands and learn how to protect their sea lions.
The Galapagos Islands are well known for their beauty and biodiversity. Enjoy the scenery and get involved in the conservation of adorable native sea lions.
52. Care for dolphins in Greece.
Try to think of a more idyllic setting to care for friendly dolphins than Greece. We bet you can't! You may engage in volunteer activities like data collection and rehabilitation to help support local conservation efforts.
Ready for your volunteer adventure?
Now that you’ve read our truly awesome list of volunteer ideas, start thinking about which opportunity will be right for you! Consider your skills, desires, and hobbies so that you can find the perfect match. Each of these 50+ volunteer ideas will offer an incredibly fun and rewarding experience.
Continue your volunteer abroad research: