Summer Volunteer Abroad Programs
Guide to volunteering abroad in summer 2023 & 2024
Summer is traditionally a time to take a much-needed break from classes and spend it lounging in the sun with friends. If you’d rather spend your summer doing something meaningful though, volunteering abroad over the summer is an opportunity of a lifetime.
Whether it's wildlife volunteering in South Africa or community development in Peru, get ready to leave the classroom or cubicle behind for an epic summer volunteering trip abroad. Check out these summer volunteer opportunities for tips on how to get started.
Popular summer volunteer project types
Summer volunteer opportunities exist in nearly every field. Here are some of the most popular summer projects to get you started.
- Summer camps: Volunteers can assist with youth development programs such as sports and leadership camps as well as language camps and summer school. If you're planning to teach English, you might be required to have a TEFL certificate.
- Construction: Contribute to building projects repairing or constructing things like schools, homes, hospitals, or latrines.
- Conservation: Projects range from working with injured wildlife to monitoring sea turtle habitats. If you’re passionate about animals and the environment, conservation volunteering is right for you.
- Community development: Help communities in need by setting up skills workshops for women, organizing local youth mentorship, or engaging in public health education.
Best countries for summer volunteering
Volunteers looking for affordable and well-run summer volunteer programs need look no further than India. India is packed with things to do and see: several UNESCO World Heritage Sites including the Taj Mahal, a beloved culinary tradition, and spiritual practices like yoga and meditation make this country unique and at the top of many travelers' bucket lists.
📌 Popular summer volunteer program types in India: medical and public health, youth mentoring, teaching English
If you want to volunteer in summer while beating the heat, you’ll find temperatures that are just right in South Africa. With highs around 68°F in June through August, the climate is ideal for projects working outdoors with animals or children. Whether you volunteer in beautiful and trendy Cape Town or spend your time trekking through Kruger National Park, South Africa won’t disappoint.
📌 Popular summer volunteer program types in South Africa: wildlife conservation, veterinary, community and youth development
Famous for its “Pura Vida” mantra, Costa Rica is a place to enjoy life and live carefree. Its sprawling beaches, diverse wildlife, and opportunities for ecotourism make it a great place to spend a summer giving back. Zipline through cloud forests or hike through one of Costa Rica’s 28 national parks after a busy week of volunteering. The country’s compact size makes it easy to travel between project responsibilities.
📌 Popular summer volunteer program types in Costa Rica: marine conservation, teaching English, environmental conservation and climate change
Machu Picchu, llamas, ceviche, and Inca ruins – these are just a few of the things that make Peru iconic and unforgettable. If you’re interested in witnessing the splendor of the Andes, trekking through the Amazon, or kayaking across Lake Titicaca, you can do it all in Peru. Join a variety of projects in cities like Cusco, Lima, and Huancayo.
📌 Popular summer volunteer program types in Peru: community development, teaching, medical and public health
How to volunteer in the summer
If you’re keen to volunteer abroad in the summer, follow these simple steps to make it happen.
- Choose a project that fits your goals and passions. Think about your interests and where in the world you’d like to make a difference to help you choose the best summer volunteer program.
- Determine how long you can volunteer for. If you’re short on time, explore projects that take on volunteers for days or weeks.
- Start budgeting for your volunteer trip abroad. Factor program fees, airfare, and insurance into your overall budget. Apply for scholarships and/or begin crowdfunding to support your mission.
- Apply for your visa and travel insurance. If you need a visa, make sure to apply well in advance of your trip. Don’t forget to secure travel insurance, too!
- Be a responsible volunteer abroad and put the community first. Above all, keep the good of the community at the forefront of your mind. Volunteering abroad should be an enriching and fun experience but don’t forget to respect the local people and culture while you’re there.
Cost and funding
When choosing between summer volunteer programs, it’s important to explore the associated costs. Be sure to check out scholarships and grants to help defray your trip costs.
Average volunteer trip costs
Summer volunteer programs tend to be cheaper due to their short durations. You can expect to pay between $250-$600 USD for a week of volunteering abroad, though costs will vary based on location, provider, and included amenities. If you pay to volunteer abroad, be aware that things like accommodation and food are usually included in your program fee.
Scholarships and grants for volunteering
Scholarships and grants can help lessen the financial burden of your summer volunteering experience. Explore available opportunities online but also check with your volunteer organization to learn about the possibility of funding.
How long do summer volunteer projects last?
Summer volunteer projects last anywhere from a few days to the entire summer. The average time for volunteering abroad in the summer is between 1-3 weeks.
How do I volunteer abroad in summer?
To volunteer abroad in summer, start by exploring available programs in countries that interest you. You can find reputable and impactful projects right here on GO!Related Content
Do I need a visa to volunteer abroad in summer?
Whether you need a visa to volunteer abroad in summer depends on the country you choose. Some destinations allow short-term volunteering on a tourist visa while others require a visa to simply enter the country.
Why should you volunteer abroad in summer?
Can I volunteer abroad for free?