Volunteer in France: Renovation, Construction & Social Work

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About Program

Volunteers For Peace, a Vermont-based nonprofit organization, has offered international volunteer opportunities for over 30 years. You choose from nearly 3,000 projects in over 90 countries. Each year, almost 1,000 volunteers engage in these projects to explore a new place, strengthen communication and leadership skills, and build cultural understanding and connections around the world.

In France, there are about 400 volunteer projects each year that involve renovation, construction, historic preservation, archaeology, festivals, environmental projects like trail building, park maintenance, education, organic farming, working with specific social demographics like children, the elderly and mentally or physically handicapped individuals, and many more!

Most projects in France are 2-3 weeks long and entail volunteering in an international group. Our partners in France also offer great Teen Only projects for ages 14-17. Don miss out and sign up today!

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Program Reviews

9.5 Rating
based on 4 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 100%
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  • Impact 9
  • Support 9
  • Fun 9.8
  • Value 9.8
  • Safety 8.5
Showing 1 - 4 of 4
Yes, I recommend this program


I really enjoyed ST VINCENT, France work camp in a cemetery. The reasons are it was an an international experience, each member was from a different country. We were able to share our unique background and cultural similarities. I enjoyed not feeling embarrassed by our age. Each volunteer was a different age and it did not affect our work behavior. Our work schedule was organized in a professional manner and it made it fun for us to finish the project. The project was taking down the cemetery wall. We removed the grout and stucco and put on new one. We used hand tools such as a chisel, to take it off the old grout, and a float to grout and stucco the cemetery wall. Every day our meals were prepared by some of the volunteers and it made the work experience different and more fun. Our afternoon were free from work, and it gave us the time to visit the village, or swim at our own leisure to also enjoy the country side. I recommend work camp for those who are able to commit to a project, and to also discipline oneself to volunteer.

What would you improve about this program?
Two weeks was intense, I would have liked it to spend more time working on the cemetery wall but also longer visits to Toulouse and other villages too.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Solidarites Juenesses in Leucate

Overall, I had a fantastic adventure in Leucate. The work camp consisted of everyday living with internationals on a campground from all around the world. It was amazing to learn about people and their cultures from the following places: Russia, South Korea, Hungary, France, Spain, Holland and Denmark. It was fascinating to experience the country and city side of France. Our goal was to come together and learn about each other. It was a wonderful balance of working and leisure. I didn't expect all of the marvelous activities which were planned besides the work. It is a unique experience which is invaluable for personal growth and global awareness. There were difficult moments which included the time zone difference, the acclimation and the attempt to assimilate everyone which was humorous. The Russians were so frank and hysterical. The South Korean was very sensitive to others. The Hungarian was able to relate to all, being the leader. The French girl was able to mediate on our behalf. The Spanish person suffered the most from the linguistic barrier. The Dutch and Danish people were very proud of their cultures. As an American I related well with the Russians, because of their communication style which was the most similar to mine. On a personal level, I was most interested in the South Korean person, since I am half Chinese. One of my favorite moments was when we would rotate cooking duty which caused us to taste each person's country. I was immensely happy that each person was able to reflect their particular country and wouldn't have wanted it any other way!

What would you improve about this program?
Being an American, one of the most overwhelming adjustments was security. Being in a tent, virtually anyone could unzip my tent. Thankfully, we had a car on loan to put my valuables in. It was a great way for me to increase my trust in others. Europeans don't seem to be as concerned about safety as American people are...
2 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

A Hidden Gem for Teens

This summer was the second experience for my 16 year old son with VFP. In 2013, he went to a youth program in Estonia of all places and wound up having a fantastic time, connecting with kids from all over Europe and had wonderful experiences, in what was actually in hindsight a fairly spartan environment.
For 2014, we chose a project in a tiny town on a river in the Bordeaux region of France and this was a truly wonderful experience. They took fantastic side trips to parks or to towns, seemed to have a really good balance of work / play, really got to know this charming town of only 600 people, and was personally thanked with a handshake by the town's mayor. The photographs were beautiful and as a parent I just felt that all the targets were hit in terms of cultural exposure, working really hard and having a blast.
The program offered an amazing value. Airfare aside, the 2-weeks cost just a few hundred dollars. These programs are not fancy, but are well-organized and well-run. My son slept in a large tent, but surrounded by vineyards. They had to shop and prepare their own meals, but that was obviously part of the fun. It seems that some of the programs are easier to get to than others, and if you're sending a teen you should speak with the VFP office before choosing a trip.
The people in the VFP office are extremely helpful as well as knowledgable. They made good recommendations and helped fill-in blanks when needed. I can only speak of these 2 programs of theirs, but we've had wonderful experiences that were much more affordable than most of the programs our friend's kids went on.

What would you improve about this program?
We were able to solve the logistics, but it would have been helpful if we'd known earlier what was in involved getting him to the pick-up and back. It seems that each program is a little different.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

A great time AND helping the community

I had a great time working in France in 2010. VFP was very helpful in setting me up with a project and making sure I had the information I needed. I was given information regarding what to bring and what to expect when I got there.
The fees were very reasonable compared to other programs I looked considered. I had to purchase my own ticket, but fees covered all accommodations (camping in a campground with bathrooms and showers), food for the three weeks, and all sorts of other activities we did. I loved getting to know people from all over the world, most of whom I still keep in touch with over a year later. The community we were in was extremely welcoming and helped us in any way they could.
I wasn't able to do another volunteer project this past summer, but look forward to next summer when I will definitely sign up with VFP and do another project or two!

2 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers

Sorry for my delay. So long as you are willing and able there aren't age restrictions. But volunteers under 18 years old are required to submit a signed Parent/Guardian Authorization Form prior to participation. To find a project, follow these 4 steps: 1. Enter your information and preferences on our search page at https://vfp.org/projects/ 2. Select “Search Projects” Any available projects will...

Bila, Sorry for the late response. Sometimes this is a possibility. It depends on the project. Many projects allow 13 yr olds, if their parents accompany them. See also https://vfp.org/projects/ to search for projects or feel free to email me at vfp@vfp.org Thanks Matt at VFP

One's experience is truly up to the individual. Being an English speaker I was surrounded by fellow English speaking internationals which enabled me to be comfortable and not go outside the box. Every meal we would go get the baguette and that was a moment to try French. The evenings were usually free unless one explored with the group or had an activity planned. I guess one could meet locals in...

Hi Dylan, Each project has a $500 registration fee ($650 for teens) that includes accommodation, food, leadership and work materials during the project. Flights are not included though.