Global Volunteers
95% Rating
(118 Reviews)

Global Volunteers

Global Volunteers, a non-profit organization, has been giving short-term volunteers the chance to provide essential services to local people on service programs since 1984 - and trusted by 33,000+ volunteers. Volunteering for one to three weeks under the direction of local leaders, team members form groundwork for international peace via common, global understanding. Our goal is to sustain authentic development projects with the host community and give volunteers wide opportunities to help.

Global Volunteers' tax-deductible volunteer program fees start at $1,045. The fee includes all meals, accommodations, airport transportation, transportation within volunteer projects, project costs, administrative expenses, and support from Global Volunteers staff. Discounts are also available for students, family and multi-person groups, and returning volunteers. Free-time activities, airfare, or other travel are not included in the fees.

Most Recent Program Reviews

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Lindsey
Female
34 years old
Chicago

A Second Family

10/10

I have volunteered with Global Volunteers on the Blackfeet Reservation two summers in a row now. The people there are welcoming and warm and many have become like family to me. The program itself has been around for a long time, and all of our partners on the reservation are happy to see the volunteers come every year.

Driving around in the big Global Volunteers Van you begin to feel a bit like a celebrity because people are always asking you if you are one of the "Globals" and telling you about a new work project that the team can do. There is no shortage of work on the Reservation, but there is definitely a related culture shock for many volunteers.

As other reviewers have mentioned, the pace of life there is very different, especially if you are someone who is punctual, and rigid about order and control. Work projects may fluctuate day to day, based on this pace and the availability of materials and local people. You may find yourself doing a few different work projects but that affords the ability to meet more people, and create more relationships which is really the whole goal. The work projects are there, not only to get things done, but to facilitate cross-cultural understanding and create relationships with people.

I highly recommend this program for just about anyone. The people are amazing, the scenery can't be beat, and the flexibility of the work projects assures that your skills will be put to use. Oh, and did I mention Indian Tacos?! Delish! (PS- Indian is not a derogatory term on this particular reservation and they are indeed called Indian Tacos).

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James
Male
69 years old
Milwaukee
University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee

A unique and rewarding way to immerse yourself in Polish culture

10/10

I have been to Poland three times with Global Volunteers. Each time I spent two weeks at the Reymontówka summer camp. I had a great experience each time and would like to return next summer.

The camp is unique. You get to know Polish middle school and high school students by teaching them and interacting with them. They are eager to learn English and you can get really creative in the camp. The emphasis is on oral English so you by no means have to have an English or ESL teaching background.

Anyone can succeed in this program. The team leader, Dorota, is wonderful and you can talk to her about any concerns. The staff is also great and will help you with feedback and teaching ideas. The library in the teachers' room is huge and has so many activities and resources you can use.

You have a change to go into town several times during the two week stay. You will visit places that other travelers in Poland don't even know about. You have the chance to enrich your stay in Poland by spending the weekend in Warsaw or Kraków, both of which are very much first-rate, modern European cities.

The setting is also unique. The camp is located in a beautiful forest. You will have a room in the beautiful manor house and eat delicious homemade meals in the dining room. It is fun to talk to other volunteers and get ideas from them.

This is your chance to meet Polish people and have Polish experiences that you wouldn't have as just a traveler in this beautiful and welcoming country. You won't regret coming here!

How can this program be improved?

Really, the program is great just the way it is. I won't change anything!

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Alexandra
Female
19 years old
San Diego, Califorina
University of Michigan

Once in a Lifetime Experience

10/10

Zakopane was my first experience with Global Volunteers, and they exceeded my expectations and beyond. From start to finish, the GV staff helped me in every way possible to prepare for the trip and have an outstanding two weeks.

Only being seventeen at the time I thought it would be weird teaching students so close in age as me, but it made the trip all the more special because my students and I had many of the same interests that made my teaching and their learning more fun and interesting.

Going with the kids on their after lesson activities like hiking and occasionally soccer, was definitely the highlight since you got to know the kids, as well as the other volunteers, on a more personal level. Making sure there was never a dull moment, volunteers and the kids participated in off key sing-a-longs and the kids teaching the volunteers some Polish along the way on the hikes.

It was hard to leave after the two weeks had finished, but I knew that I would definitely be returning to have the same amazing experience with the wonderful staff and the sweetest students sometime in the near future.

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Jo
Female
52 years old
Nr Sevenoaks, Kent, UK
Other

We learnt skills we never knew we had.

9/10

I wanted my twin 17 year old daughters to do some voluntary work during their summer holidays. Teaching English at Reymontowka in Poland was something that I thought would be challenging yet achievable given their ages.

From the minute of arriving we were made to feel appreciated, like honoured guests. During our time there we were treated to performances, by the children, showcasing Polish culture through song and dance. I would say we learnt as much about the Polish culture as they did English.

We were part of a group of five non-native speaking volunteers (we are British and our two co-volunteers were American). None of us had any previous teaching experience. However, there was a resource room full of learning material, games, books etc which made the lesson planning easy. We were left to ourselves to decide what to teach our groups relevant to their ages and abilities. The afternoons we were free to explore, lesson plan or watch the activities laid on for the youngsters.

The children gravitated towards my daughters (being closer in age to them) and, of course, my girls knew all the words and dance moves to current pop songs which helps. It made my daughters feel very special. The age range of the children was 8-11 years. The majority of them really wanted to improve their speaking ability though I was surprised how much English they already knew. They were definitely not beginners.

We were genuinely sad to leave at the end of our two weeks. Not only did we learn about a country I had never thought to visit before but we were shown huge respect and friendship from all whom we encountered. We had the opportunity to visit Warsaw during our weekend off and flew to Krakow at the end of our volunteering for an extra few days of sightseeing.

On a personal note I was delighted to accompany my daughters (in fact I needed to as they were under 18 years old). I could see by the end of the two weeks how they had grown in confidence and belief in themselves. We left with many happy memories.

How can this program be improved?

Before arrival I thought the children would come from disadvantaged backgrounds. A lot of the children came from, what appeared to be, quite affluent families. If they had come from a lower social/economic background this would have made the voluntary experience more rewarding for me.

Linda
Male
68 years old
Gaithersburg, Maryland
Washington & Lee University

Volunteering at the Blackfeet Indian Reservation

9/10

I participated in the program at the Blackfeet Indian Reservation last July (2015). It was not strictly an LGBT program but I am a transgender (TG) woman. I believe my participation was breaking new ground for the TG community in particular. There were 14 volunteers including myself. I was treated as and housed along with the other women. I spent most of the week at the Blackfeet (adult) Care Center (BCC). I was treated with the utmost respect by the staff, other volunteers and the American Indians with whom I worked. The native Americans were very appreciative of our presence and assistance. It was a very fulfilling and memorable experience for me. I made many friends among the volunteer group. I am going to Cuba this year on a two-week volunteer assignment.

Linda Roberts

Program Listings

Greece

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Join Global Volunteers for one to two weeks and teach English in Crete, the captivating Greek island. Volunteers in Greece ha...

Poland

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You're needed for one to three weeks as a volunteer to teach in rural school classrooms in the Siedlce region, east of Warsaw...

Romania

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Global Volunteers’ Romanian presence began in 1999 concentrating on helping at-risk and disabled children improve their acces...

Cuba

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Experience Cuba hand-in-hand in service and partnership with the Cuban people - for one to two weeks. Our affordable, tax-ded...

United States of America

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Join Global Volunteers for one week in helping and understanding the Blackfeet culture as a volunteer. Your help is wanted to...

Vietnam

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Join Global Volunteers for one to two weeks in Vietnam as a volunteer English teacher! Teach at a public university, a privat...

Costa Rica

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Join Global Volunteers for one to two weeks in a variety of projects in Costa Rica! Couples, families and groups of students,...

Italy

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Experience Italy as a volunteer with Global Volunteers - for one to two weeks! Our mutually beneficial relationship with teac...

Tanzania

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Volunteer in Africa with Global Volunteers for one to three weeks! Volunteers have the opportunity to help local communities...

Cook Islands

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Join Global Volunteers for one to three weeks in a variety of volunteer projects in the Cook Islands! Experience this exotic...

Mexico

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Experience Mexico as a "non-tourist" - for one to two weeks. Volunteers practice English in small groups with college student...

China

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Ecuador

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Travel to Ecuador for one to two weeks with Global Volunteers for a new perspective! As a volunteer, you will help children,...

Peru

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India

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Join Global Volunteers on a unique service learning program in India for one to three weeks. Our philosophy of service ensure...