Finding International or Overseas Volunteer Opportunities
This index of websites provides information about service opportunities outside of the U.S. for U.S. citizens (but may be applicable to other countries’ citizens). Opportunities vary in length from one week to several years, depending on the program sponsor. Organizations may require participants to pay a program free as well as their own travel expenses.
Amigos de las Americas
Sponsors volunteers, primarily between the ages of 16 - 25, in public health and environmental projects in Mexico and Central and South America.
A not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting volunteerism, providing community service, encouraging collaboration, and improving cultural awareness in locations throughout the world. Programs offer a mix of community service and recreation. Past projects have included building a vocational training center for street children on the Amazon, building additional rooms onto a health clinic in the Bolivian Andes, and doing some historic preservation and environmental cleanup in the Greater Yellowstone Area. Volunteers do not need any special skills, just a willingness to help.
Cross Cultural Solutions
A non-profit organization that sends volunteers abroad to provide humanitarian assistance with Volunteer Work Programs in China, Ghana, India and Peru. Their three-week programs give volunteers from all over the world the opportunity to come face to face with global issues and become part of productive solutions. They developed close partnerships with social service pioneers in the host countries targeting health care, education and social development as the focus of work. They have programs in India, Ghana, Peru and China.
Over 160 research expeditions in 60 countries on topics such as archeology, wildlife management, ecology, ornithology, and marine mammalogy. Volunteers aid scientists in all aspects of research.
Choose an opportunity based on location (worldwide), species, or type of work (research, conservation, education, or care).
Global Citizens Network
Work with grassroots organizations in the host community. Opportunities available in Belize, New Mexico, Yucatan, Guatemala, St. Vincent, Kenya, and Bolivia.
Global Health Corps
University of Northern Iowa established the Global Health Corps in 1996 as a field-based training program to enhance the professional preparation of post-secondary students in the area of cross-cultural community health. To date, more than 200 students in health promotion, pre-medicine, anthropology, social work, foreign languages, and related fields have conducted community health programs with over 10,000 under-served patients around the world.
Global Service Corps
Provides cross-cultural learning and community service adventures for adults in Costa Rica, Kenya and Thailand. Short-term (two to four weeks), long-term (two to six months), and student internship programs are available.
Global Volunteers is a private, nonprofit international development organization with volunteer service programs in 20 countries worldwide. No experience is necessary to serve on projects ranging from building community centers in Tanzania, teaching English in China or working with developmentally-disabled children in Ecuador.
Health Volunteers Overseas
Volunteers can go to Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Volunteers must be qualified professionals in anesthesia and nurse anesthesia, dentistry, internal medicine, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthopedics, pediatrics, and physical therapy. They teach and train local health care providers.
International Partnership for Service-Learning and Leadership IPSL programs integrate academic studies with volunteer service and full cultural immersion to give students a deeper, more meaningful study abroad experience.
International Volunteer Programs Association
An up-to-date search site for international volunteer and internship opportunities. The International Volunteer Programs Association (IVPA) is an alliance of nonprofit, non-governmental organizations based in the Americas, that are involved in international volunteer and internship exchanges. IVPA encourages excellence and responsibility in the field of international voluntarism and promotes public awareness of and greater access to international volunteer programs. IVPA offers a forum for international volunteer program representatives (staff, board members, etc.) to share information and resources, develop new skills, and collaborate on cost-saving initiatives.
Partners of the Americas
a network of citizens from Latin America, the Caribbean and the United States, who volunteer to work together to improve the lives of people across the region, through nonpolitical, community-based activities. Besides providing technical assistance and training to communities in Latin America, the Caribbean and the U.S., Partners' network of volunteers promotes collaboration in the region's social and economic development through working relationships among professionals and institutions across the hemisphere. There are various ways to volunteer through this program:
- Civil Society
- Education and Culture
- Agriculture and the Environment
- Women and Families
- Disaster Preparedness and Mitigation
- NGO Strengthening and Leadership Training
Opportunities are available in education, business, the environment, health, agriculture, and community development. Most assignments require a four-year college degree or three to five years of work experience. Volunteers receive a stipend.
Service Civil International USA Branch
Founded in the 1920s, SCI has 33 branches and groups in Europe and Asia, and approximately 5,000 volunteers active in 50 countries. SCI has links with many other organizations, worldwide, and holds consultative status with the United Nations UNESCO. The US branch web site promotes both short term (two-week) and long term (three to 12 month) assignments.
Students Partnership Worldwide (SPW)
A registered charity, SPW runs educational and environmental rural development programmes in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Every year, the program recruits around 250 Western volunteers, aged between 18 and 25, and partners them with local volunteers from other countries. Together, they receive intensive training before working in rural communities, raising awareness of important health, social and environmental issues, particularly amongst young people.
Teachers for Tomorrow
TFT began in 1990 when an English teacher from Pennsylvania travelled to Romania as part of an international adoption agency team. She was invited by the the Romanian state of Hunedoara to return to Romania to teach English to area children. Her first summer classes were held at Paclisa, a neuropsychiatric children's hospital in rural Transylvania. Since then TFT has expanded to a team of several teacher volunteers visiting two countries, Romania and India with disciplines covering English, history, science, math, elementary education, and library science.
United Nations Volunteers
More than 4,000 women and men of over 140 nationalities annually serve in developing countries as UNV volunteer specialists and field workers. These volunteers work in technical, economic and social fields, under four main headings: in technical cooperation with skills-short governments; with community-based initiatives for self-reliance; in humanitarian relief and rehabilitation; and in support of human rights, electoral and peace-building processes. They are professionals who work on a peer basis. They listen and discuss; teach and train; encourage and facilitate. The UNV program maintains a roster covering more than 100 professional categories. Agriculture, health and education feature prominently, as do information and communication technology, community development, vocational training, industry and population. Half of these volunteers work outside capital cities, frequently in remote towns and villages. works in partnership with governments, UN Agencies, development banks and non-governmental and community-based organizations. The programmes within which UNV specialists serve are usually managed by governments; often there is technical input and supervision from one of the UN system's specialized agencies, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the World Health Organization, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) or from the World Bank.
United Nations Information Technology Service (UNITeS)
Working to provide effective collaboration for existing programs that mobilize computer and Internet-technology volunteers in developing countries -- that can mean everything from a team of tech volunteers helping to wire a community center for Internet access, to a nurse who uses computerized databases in her work volunteering to show a health care center how they can use whatever software they have available to track patients and treatments. There are lots of volunteer programs sending IT volunteers into developing countries, and many other volunteer programs who want to start mobilizing such volunteers as well, and the UNITeS site lists and links to most of these programs: Global Technology Corps, NetCorps Canada International, GeekCorps, etc.
Visions in Action
an international nonprofit organization offering 6 and 12 month volunteer positions in five African countries and Mexico. Positions are available with nonprofit development organizations, research institutes, health clinics, community groups, and news organizations. There are also internship opportunities available on a continuous basis in Visions in Action's US Office in Washington, DC. The program features a month-long orientation, including intensive language study, followed by a 5 or 11 month volunteer placement.
Voluntary Service Overseas
Expert volunteers are sent to Africa, Asia, Pacific Islands, and Europe. Volunteers work in education, health care, natural resources, business, social work, librarianship, media, law, the technical trades and engineering. Expenses are paid.
Search by country to find all types of volunteer opportunities.
Volunteers For Peace
Provides many different types of volunteer opportunities, including positions in construction, environmental projects, social services and more depending on the needs of the host community. Opportunities are available all over the world.
Volunteers for Prosperity The mission of Volunteers for Prosperity is to encourage international voluntary service by highly skilled American professionals supporting the global health and prosperity goals of the U.S. Government.
Volunteers in Asia:
VIA is a private, non-profit, non-sectarian organization dedicated to increased understanding between the United States and Asia. Since 1963, they have provided young Americans with an opportunity to work and live within an Asia culture while meeting the needs of Asian host institutions. VIA's Asian Exchange Programs offer a wide range of short-term, international study programs between the U.S. and Asia and among various Asian nations. They have various projects in Indonesia, Laos, Vietnam and China.
Yahoo! Directory of International Community Service and Volunteerism Organizations
An index of related websites listed alphabetically.