Volunteers around the world come in all shapes, sizes, races, and ages. Many organizations are thrilled to welcome the contributions of their volunteers, from the young to the young at heart. If you are over the age of 50, this guide is for you!

Senior volunteers have a wealth of experiences and knowledge from a full career, parenthood, and other life milestones. They can bring these skills to any volunteer endeavor, they already carry a positive attitude and desire to help and share, and some studies have discovered that seniors who volunteer usually enjoy increased health!

There are plenty of opportunities for volunteer projects abroad and domestic for seniors to participate in after retirement. Senior volunteers can be found in the Peace Corps, teaching English, working with faith-based organizations, and in diverse projects around the world.

Volunteer programs are very flexible in length; seniors can commit to as little as a couple of weeks to as long as a couple of years. Whether you want to volunteer in Europe or Africa, by yourself or in a group, volunteering abroad can be the adventure you crave, while you reach out to help others in need. There is something out there for any healthy individual, regardless of age.

Teaching: Teaching is a natural fit for seniors, who bring a great deal of rich life experience and diverse knowledge. Volunteers can be teaching English, physical education, life skills, and in one program, even surfing! Senior volunteer teachers also make great mentors for children and teenagers who come from poor families or off the streets to get more education and care at community centers. For more information concerning good countries for seniors to teach on Go Overseas!

Community and Care Projects: Community and care projects involve working with all ages in community centers, orphanages, and health care centers. Senior volunteers develop activities, teach, assist in feeding, cleaning and health care, and provide mentoring and support.

Another aspect of community projects involve participating in art and media related projects, such as photography, editing and writing, journalism, and filmmaking. These projects help raise awareness about what’s going on with the community to the greater world. Another example of a community project is helping the locals with the establishment and the tending of a community garden.

Conservation: For senior volunteers who love animals and the environment, a conservation project may be the adventure they seek. Volunteers contribute to research, use photography to raise awareness about conservation efforts, and work with animal rehabilitation. Volunteers can also work in botanical gardens, in developing more garden projects, giving tours, and performing maintenance of the garden.

Archaeology: Several volunteer programs offer the unique opportunity for seniors to participate in archaeology projects. Volunteers assist in digs, research, processing finds, and raising awareness. For any volunteer who is interested in preserving history and local culture, this is a great opportunity for you.

Central and South America: Demand is always high for volunteers of all ages in Central and South America. In tourist destinations, such as Cusco, Peru, there are individuals in the tourism industry who want to learn English. Likewise, there is opportunity to help in preserving the history and culture of the Incas through archaeology. In the bustling cities, such as Buenos Aires, senior volunteers can use their life experiences and knowledge to reach out and make a difference in community centers and orphanages. Also, no matter the region, qualified medical volunteers are always in demand to help in hospitals and clinics everywhere.

Africa: Most African countries are constant recipients of international aid and volunteers, and seniors can certainly find ample opportunities to teach, help in community centers and orphanages, and participate in conservation and wildlife efforts. Some of the popular areas include South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Zanzibar.

Europe: Senior volunteers enjoy time spent in Eastern European countries, such as Bulgaria and Romania. Senior volunteers often participate in teaching, community and orphanage care, and cultural projects.

Asia: In Asia, there is always a large demand to learn English and there are community centers and orphanages where children and teenagers need guidance and support. Also, it’s a culture that greatly respects elders for their experience and wisdom. Senior volunteers can work in various Asian countries, such as China, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Over 50 and Overseas: A resource full of volunteer and travel opportunities for anyone over the age of 50. You can search through diverse categories, from teaching to faith-based projects. You can also search through different countries. It links many different resources, both for abroad and domestic opportunities. Of note is a section about Personal Health and Security.

AARP: Always a great resource for seniors on all manner of subjects from home and family, to politics. They also have a page devoted to travel, which certainly bears a look.

U.S. Department of State: The U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs is always a useful page to visit for information about passports, visas, and travel advisories. There is also a page about your health while overseas, especially with travel insurance. It is very important, no matter what your age, to be healthy before volunteering abroad, so check with you volunteer program about health requirements, vaccinations, and any risks involved with your volunteer project. It’s always a good idea to register for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program as well.

Resources Concerning Health: Health and safety is a very important issue to consider before going abroad. Senior citizens are not covered by Medicare abroad, so they must consult with AARP or a travel agent for information about medical care coverage while you are abroad. The Bureau of Consular Affairs has a great page concerning health abroad for senior citizens.

You should also consult your primary physician and make sure he or she thinks you are able to manage the work of volunteering abroad, as well as handling traveling overseas, change in diet, and other issues that may come up. Women on the Road have a fantastic list of questions you should ask yourself as you prepare to take on a volunteer project abroad.

Volunteer Programs for Senior Travelers Abroad

Displaying 106 - 120 of 574 programs
Volunteering Journeys
Volunteer in India with Volunteering Journeys
12 reviews6 interviews

India is one of the most diverse and culturally enriching countries...

Global Crossroad
Volunteer in Kenya - Lowest Fees & Trusted Since 2003
10 reviews

Astride the equator on Africa's eastern coast lies Kenya, where colors...

Sankalp Volunteer Society, India
Volunteer Programs In India $110/week
7 reviews1 interview

We offer you or your group meaningful volunteer work opportunities...

Fundación Aldeas de Paz
NGO Management & Administration in the Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
9 reviews

This versatile experience and observation program gives insight into...

Pod Volunteer
Pod Volunteer | Animal Rescue in Thailand
7 reviews2 interviews

Thailand is a magnet for travellers from around the world due to its...

IFRE Volunteers Abroad
The Most Affordable Volunteer in Tanzania - 25K happy Volunteers Since 2006
10 reviews

Do you want to explore a new country while also giving back to the...

Omeida Chinese Academy
Volunteer in China + Learn Chinese!
3 reviews

Traveling China on a budget? We got you covered. Want to explore China...

Volunteering With India
Volunteer in Medical Projects in India
6 reviews

Are you planning to join in the field to volunteering in India through...

V2 Volunteer & Vacation
Volunteer & Vacation in the Caribbean
Trinidad and Tobago
6 reviews2 interviews

V2 offers short-term volunteering vacations and internship programs in...

Involvement Volunteers International (IVI)
Volunteer in Vanuatu - Non Profit Org & Charity (30+ Years)
5 reviews

Over 12% of Vanuatu’s population live below the poverty line, with 1/3...

Worldwide Experience
Worldwide Experience: Conserving Biodiversity in Mauritius
4 reviews1 interview

If you have a special interest in the conservation of rare species and...

People and the Sea
Marine Resources Researcher - Malapascua Island, Philippines
3 reviews

This expedition puts a strong emphasis on both marine sciences and...

LEO Africa
LEO Africa - Wildlife monitoring, conservation & Sustainable living
South Africa
13 reviews

LEO Africa is a wildlife monitoring, conservation and sustainable...

Atelier Aquatic Community Interest Company
SEA Change Training Programme - Atelier Aquatic
5 reviews

The Atelier Aquatic SEA change programme (Scientific research...

RCDP International Volunteer Program
Volunteer in Nepal - Lowest Fees & Happy Volunteers Since 1998
19 reviews

From hot and sweltering region bordering India, the landscape of Nepal...

What People Are Saying

Malapascua Island

My expedition with People and the Sea is an unforgettable memory to me (: During three months I had the chance to obtain my divemaster with a great instructor as well as interesting coral reef science...

Little Adam's Peak

Where to begin! I volunteered for 2 weeks at a Turtle Conservation Project in Sri Lanka. This was my first time traveling abroad and I couldn't have picked a more perfect place. This country has SO...

Me with my good friend :)

I did the food rescue project with IVHQ in Lisbon, Portugal. The experience was truly an unforgettable one, I have made memories that I will cherish forever. I would say that I am quite shy, and was...

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