• Portugal
1 to 2 weeks

Program Details

Short Term Spring Break Summer Winter Year Round
Small Group (1-15) Medium Group (16-30) Large Group (31+)
Travel Type
Family Older Travelers Solo Women


Starting Price
Price Details
Global Volunteers tax-deductible Portugal program contribution starts at $2,762 (with qualifying discounts). The contribution 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.

Note: During the COVID-19 outbreak, Global Volunteers is waiving the fee to transfer from affected service programs to a future date.
What's Included
Accommodation Some Activities Airport Transfers Equipment Meals Transportation Wifi
What's Not Included
Airfare SIM cards
Mar 26, 2024
Mar 14, 2023
31 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Join Global Volunteers as a volunteer English teacher in Portugal - for one to two weeks! We are looking for volunteers in the Beja area of Portugal to teach dynamic and exciting groups of youth and adults. Portuguese people, especially in rural areas, have limited resources for learning English even though it’s an increasingly important skill. Volunteers assist in public elementary and secondary schools and technical and trade schools.

The need for volunteers grows each year and no professional teaching background is necessary. Existing lesson plans and curriculum are available for all volunteer teachers. Informal types of lessons, especially focused on U.S. culture, are encouraged. Help Global Volunteers inspire young English-learners!

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Complete immersion in Portuguese culture.
  • Work with Portuguese people to support their English language learning.
  • All logistics (except for international airfare) arranged by our staff, so you can focus on volunteering.
  • Global Volunteers' policy: safety trumps everything. Volunteers are well taken care of by their Team Leader while on a service program.
  • Discover the fascinating culture and beautiful sites of Portugal.

Program Impact

Beja’s aim to become a major tourist hub in the Alentejo region propels educators’ desire to fully prepare students to support and advance this capacity through their English skills. We work directly through English language teachers in middle, secondary, and college-level classrooms to teach students practical conversational English lessons. Use your own creativity and ideas from Global Volunteers’ English Teaching Guide. The classrooms are remarkably similar to American schools, with some of the classrooms being computerized. Many materials have been assembled and are available, including age-appropriate maps, games, and songs. Ample time is provided for preparation and, at the evening team meeting, volunteers share experiences and success stories. You don’t need special skills – just a desire to help and patience when communicating with students. Share and start a dialog and watch “the magic” happen!

Talking about the American lifestyle and culture prompts students to interact, question, and practice their speaking ability. It’s largely through sharing life stories and experiences that the teaching, the learning, and the friendships occur!

Program Reviews

4.57 Rating
based on 7 reviews
  • 5 rating 57.14%
  • 4 rating 42.86%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 4.75
  • Support 4.75
  • Fun 4.75
  • Value 4.45
  • Safety 4.85
Showing 1 - 7 of 7 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

GV Portugal February 2023

This was my fourth program and third country with GV (China and Poland). Had just as meaningful and exciting experience in Portugal as the other programs. Wonderful accommodations, well organized program given events (teachers on strike), and wonderful opportunities to interact with students and local adults we tutored. Had a wonderful tour of Beja by a retired high school history teacher, and local volunteers were extremely nice and helpful. I fulfilled my personal goal to learn more about Portuguese history. I was able to maintain my special diet of vegetarian, fish and eggs with no problem, and got to try a couple of traditional Portuguese cod specialties.

Though I was able to only go for one week this trip, recommend 2 week stay if possible—better value, more opportunity to work with local students, and option to tour over the intervening weekend.

  • Well organized.
  • Wonderful accommodations
  • Friendly locals and great sites.
  • Teachers we’re having a work slowdown when I was there
52 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Beja October 2021 Program

Please read the blog that I wrote about my time volunteering in Beja, Portugal! I plan to do this program again sometime in the future! It was a well run program and the leader, Joe Testa, was fabulous. The community loves it when there are Global Volunteers in town and you really feel that they appreciate our work in the schools. We were very warmly welcomed. Living in Beja for 2 weeks was a joy. Rich history, great food, and very walkable city. Beja is close to Evora and other towns in the Alentejo region of Portugal. I would definitely recommend this program to 1st time volunteers as well. It was my first time doing a Global Volunteers trip.


  • Great hotel
  • Amazing teaching experience
  • Welcoming local people
74 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Teaching English with Global Volunteers in Beja, Portugal

This was my third volunteer experience with Global Volunteers but first trip to Portugal. The goal was to build relationships and provide exposure to (American) English as a native speaker. The educational settings ranged from small classes of six to larger classes of twenty with some one-on-one tutoring. Students ranged in age from ten to working adults. Students (and their teachers) were genuinely warm and welcoming. The people of Beja were so gracious and friendly and tolerated my feeble attempts at speaking Portuguese. Being that this was my first trip to Portugal I was fascinated to learn more about the complex history of the country, the art, the architecture, the agriculture, etc., etc., etc.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
I am proud to say, that at the recommendation of several of my students, I tasted and enjoyed two traditional Portuguese dishes from the Alentejo region: migash and açorda de alho. You shall have to travel to Beja to try them yourself!
115 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering Teaching English in Beautiful Beja, Portugal with Global Volunteers

From the time we arrived to the moment we departed, our Global Volunteers were provided the utmost hospitality in the charming town of Beja, Portugal! The endearing relationships that have developed over the years amongst Global Volunteer staff, and the host teachers, citizens and boutique hotel staff made us volunteers feel like we were part of the Beja family.

Our assignments were to talk with a variety of classes each day about life in the United States and answer questions they had for us. Since there was no formal “teaching” of English, anyone would enjoy volunteering for this program. One of the most enjoyable experiences was talking with inmates in the prison.

Beja - a magical city filled with a rich Roman history, architecture, cobblestone streets wonderful people and delicious food!

111 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Teaching in Beja

I enjoyed teaching English as a 2nd language to a few of the college professors from 5:30-7:30. We had fun and they really enjoyed learning more English grammar, idioms, wring skills etc.
However. I did not really enjoy my time with the vocational students during the day as much, because very few of them spoke English at all and we did not really have a translator except maybe one student once in a while. Therefore, it was difficult to get the particular lessons across to the kids. I thoroughly enjoyed the city of Beja and the people there and our group! It definitely was a good experience.

What would you improve about this program?
I am not sure.... maybe more one on one teaching or small group tracking of those that knew some English
113 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering in Beja, Portugal

Spending two weeks in Beja, Portugal was an opportunity to enjoy the rhythm of this small city in the agricultural region of the Alentejo. This is a journal entry I wrote one day on my trip. I was assigned to teach at an elementary school in the nearby town of Cuba - the true birthplace of Christopher Columbus!

"Another day in beautiful Beja and team 10 will scatter to our varied assignments. Trains, buses, and sturdy feet propel the Global Volunteers on their mission to wage Peace and Social Justice by helping to teach conversational English.

Our school has primary through 9th grade classes and today started with a small group of 3rd grade students who reviewed their counting skills by making a tally of the tables (14) and chairs (27) in the classroom. They then learned to identify the pencil, its home the pencil case, the rubber and the pen. One boy observed that the pencil used to live at the Stationery Store.

The fifth graders have a better understanding but appear a bit shy about speaking. Questions are numerous showing great curiosity if not always in English.

We had another wonderful lunch with the Director and a few of the teachers. This is very convivial time with easy questions from us and them. We’ve been invited on a tour of Cuba Monday afternoon and a meal of wild rabbit at someone’s house. This should be a memorable event that strengthens the friendship growing between us.

The evening started with another Portuguese lesson from Joachim. This was a bit more challenging with some tricky pronunciations! At the end of the time Joachim looked at the coffee table and exclaimed, “What’s this book doing here!?” It was a copy of his collection of short stories based on life in Beja. I wish it were in English so I could read it.

Dinner was a great mix of pizzas and fun conversations. We close another day with a sense of well earned sleepiness and possibly dreams of great adventures to come."

I've been volunteering with Global Volunteers since 1998 and have been on 11 trips. This trip to Portugal was like all my other experiences as far as logistics. The hotel was very comfortable, the food excellent and plentiful, safety is never a concern. Global Volunteers works tirelessly to ensure the volunteers have the best opportunity to participate in the program and make the most of the experience.

The community in Beja was welcoming and gracious.

I've recommended this location to several friends and wouldn't hesitate to suggest this for a first-timer or returning volunteer.

Timothy Cunniff

107 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Neat students

This was my 4th G.V. teaching English project. I was assigned to several different teachers, and that was a bit frustrating, as one of the teachers did not have the same classes every day, but went from Adult class to adult class. Those were interesting experiences however, because we were working with low income and vocational drop outs, and were helping them with English to facilitate their working in hospitality. The other class was a lot of fun because I saw the same students several times per week. These were high school age students and were working toward vocations in I.T., travel and hospitality. Teaching them idioms was great fun. Best of all was meeting with a younger teacher to help her with nouances of grammar and idioms.

114 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers