Volunteering Abroad for Young Adults: 20 Best Programs

Volunteering Abroad for Young Adults

Volunteering abroad as a young adult is a life-changing experience that can profoundly impact your growth and development. Not only will you get to experience a different culture, but you will also have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of others.

I am passionate about programs that create opportunities for young adults. One of my favorites is volunteer opportunities because this is one of the best ways for young adults to gain valuable life experiences while making a difference in people’s lives and positively impacting the world.

This post will look at the benefits of volunteering abroad, the different types of volunteer programs available, and the top 20 picks for the best volunteer abroad programs for young adults.

Why Volunteer Abroad As A Young Adult?

Volunteering abroad can provide several benefits beyond just travel and adventure. It allows individuals to gain hands-on experience in various fields, from healthcare to education to wildlife conservation. It also allows volunteers to immerse themselves in new cultures and make meaningful connections with local communities. Additionally, volunteering abroad can help individuals develop essential skills, such as communication, problem-solving, and adaptability.

The Benefits of Volunteering Abroad for Young Adults

Volunteering abroad offers numerous benefits for young adults, including:

Personal Growth and Development: Volunteering abroad allows young adults to try new things and develop experiences that can be later marketed to employers. This is because you get hands-on experience in a practical setting and develop new skills. You will learn how to communicate with people from different cultures, adapt to new environments, and work as part of a team.

Making a Positive Impact: By volunteering abroad, young adults get the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of others. Whether you teach English, build homes, or work in a healthcare facility, you will make a difference in the lives of those individuals around you.

Cultural Immersion: Volunteering abroad allows you to experience a new culture and way of life. You will have the opportunity to learn about local customs and traditions, try new foods, and explore new places.

Networking Opportunities: Volunteering abroad can also provide valuable networking opportunities. You will meet people from all over the world and make connections that can benefit you in the future.

Types of Volunteer Programs Available

There are many different types of volunteer programs available for young adults. Some of the most popular options include:

  1. Tutoring: Tutoring, especially teaching English, is a popular volunteer option for young adults. Many countries are in need of tutors for various subjects and English teachers, and you can help provide this valuable skill to children and adults.
  2. Healthcare: Healthcare volunteer programs are another popular option. You can work in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities, providing care to those in need. You can also work with established volunteer teams, offering help directly to individuals in various communities.
  3. Conservation: Conservation volunteer programs allow you to help protect the environment and wildlife. You can work on reforestation, wildlife conservation, and marine conservation projects.
  4. Community Development: Community development volunteer programs focus on improving the lives of people in underserved communities. You can work on projects such as building homes, schools, and community centers.

Tips for Getting Started

If you are interested in volunteering abroad, here are some tips for getting started:

  1. Research Volunteer Programs: Many different volunteer programs are available, so it is important to research and find one that matches your interests and skills.
  2. Consider Your Budget: Volunteering abroad can be expensive, so it is important to consider your budget when selecting a program. Some programs offer scholarships or fundraising opportunities to help offset costs.
  3. Prepare for Culture Shock: Volunteering abroad can be a culture shock, so preparing yourself mentally and emotionally is important. Read up on the culture and customs of the country you will be visiting, and be prepared to adapt to new ways of life.
  4. Stay Safe: Safety should always be a top priority when volunteering abroad. Make sure to research the safety of the country and program you will be participating in, and follow all safety guidelines and protocols.

How to Choose the Right Volunteer Abroad Program

Choosing the right volunteer abroad program can be overwhelming, but there are a few key factors to consider.

  • First, consider your interests and skills. What type of volunteer work are you most passionate about, and what skills can you bring to the table?
  • Second, consider the location and culture. What countries or regions interest you most, and how comfortable are you with the local culture and language?
  • Finally, consider the program’s reputation and support. What kind of training and support does the program offer, and what kind of impact have previous volunteers had in the community?

20 Best Volunteer Abroad Programs for Young Adults:

Volunteer opportunities Abroad for Young Adults

Each of the following volunteer programs offers unique opportunities for young adults to impact the world while also gaining valuable life experiences positively. It is important for individuals to thoroughly research and consider their options before committing to a program to ensure that it aligns with their personal goals and values.

Below is a list of the top programs offering opportunities for volunteering abroad for young adults. Please research each program carefully to ensure they meet your needs before applying to the program.

Kaya Responsible Travel

Kaya Responsible Travel offers volunteer programs in over 30 countries, with a focus on community development, education, and healthcare. Their programs are designed to be sustainable, responsible, and positively impact the local community.

Website: https://www.kayavolunteer.com/

International Student Volunteers (ISV)

ISV offers volunteer programs in 7 countries, with a focus on environmental conservation, community development, and cultural immersion. Their programs, including adventure activities and educational components, are designed for young adults.

Website: https://www.isvolunteers.org/

Global Vision International (GVI)

Global Vision International is a leading provider of international volunteer opportunities. They offer programs in over 10 countries, including Fiji, Costa Rica, and South Africa. GVI’s programs focus on community development, conservation, and education. They provide training and support to ensure that volunteers are fully prepared for their experience.

GVI has over 150 volunteer programs in 13 countries, including wildlife conservation, marine conservation, community development, and more. Their programs focus on sustainable development and cultural immersion.

Website: https://www.gvi.co.uk/

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

IVHQ offers affordable opportunities for Volunteering Abroad for Young Adults in over 40 countries. Their programs focus on community development, teaching, and wildlife conservation. IVHQ offers a variety of volunteer opportunities, ranging from one week to six months. They also provide training and support to ensure that volunteers have a positive and impactful experience.

IVHQ offers volunteer programs in over 50 countries worldwide. They have a wide range of programs, including conservation, community development, education, and more. Their affordable and flexible programs make it accessible for young adults to participate in meaningful volunteering experiences.

Website: https://www.volunteerhq.org/

IVHQ Alternative Breaks

IVHQ Alternative Breaks offer a unique volunteer opportunity for those looking to make a difference during their school break or vacation. These programs offer short-term, intensive volunteer experiences in a variety of countries, including Costa Rica, Fiji, and Ghana. IVHQ Alternative Breaks focus on community development, education, and environmental conservation. They provide training and support to ensure that volunteers have a positive and impactful experience during their short time abroad.

If you are looking to find opportunities for remote work abroad, this post discusses the 10 Best Remote and Travel Jobs for Young Adults.

Projects Abroad

Projects Abroad is a global leader in international volunteer opportunities. They offer programs in over 50 countries, including Cambodia, Ghana, and Peru. Projects Abroad’s programs focus on community development, conservation, healthcare, and education. They have programs for both short-term and long-term volunteering experiences. They provide extensive training and support to ensure that volunteers are fully prepared for their experience.

Website: https://www.projects-abroad.org/

Cross-Cultural Solutions (CCS)

Cross-Cultural Solutions offers volunteer programs in 12 countries, including Ghana, Peru, and Thailand. Their programs focus on education, healthcare, and social services. Their programs are designed to immerse volunteers in the local culture while positively impacting the community. Cross-Cultural Solutions provides training and support to ensure that volunteers have a positive and impactful experience. They also offer programs for families and groups.

Website: https://www.crossculturalsolutions.org/

African Impact

African Impact offers volunteer programs in 10 countries across Africa, including South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Zambia. Their programs focus on wildlife conservation, community development, and education. African Impact provides training and support to ensure that volunteers have a positive and impactful experience. They also offer internship opportunities for those looking to gain professional experience.

Their programs are designed to positively impact the local community while also providing volunteers with an authentic cultural experience.

Website: https://www.africanimpact.com/

Maximo Nivel

Maximo Nivel offers volunteer programs in three countries in Latin America, including Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru. Their programs focus on education, conservation, and community development. Maximo Nivel provides training and support to ensure that volunteers are fully prepared for their experience. They also offer Spanish language classes for those looking to improve their language skills.

They offer both short-term and long-term programs.

Website: https://maximonivel.com/

Love Volunteers

Love Volunteers offers volunteer programs in over 34 countries, including Vietnam, Kenya, and Nepal. Their programs focus on community development, education, environmental conservation, and healthcare. Love Volunteers provides training and support to ensure that volunteers have a positive and impactful experience. They also offer flexible start dates and affordable program fees.

Website: https://www.lovevolunteers.org/

Learn how you can work remotely with no experience.

Plan My Gap Year (PMGY)

Plan My Gap Year offers volunteer programs in 17 countries, including Bali, Ghana, and India. Their programs focus on education, healthcare, and community development. Their affordable and flexible programs make it accessible for young adults to participate in meaningful volunteering experiences.

Plan My Gap Year provides training and support to ensure that volunteers are fully prepared for their experience. They also offer internships and TEFL certification courses for those looking to gain professional experience.

Website: https://www.planmygapyear.com/

Rustic Pathways

Rustic Pathways offers volunteer programs in 20 countries, including Fiji, Cambodia, and Costa Rica. Their programs focus on community service, education, cultural immersion, and adventure. Rustic Pathways provides training and support to ensure that volunteers have a positive and impactful experience. They also offer high school and college credit programs as well as for families and adults.

Website: https://rusticpathways.com/

Volunteering Solutions

Volunteering Solutions offers volunteer programs in 25 countries, including Thailand, Ghana, and Ecuador. Their programs focus on education, healthcare, and community development. Volunteering Solutions provides training and support to ensure that volunteers have a positive and impactful experience.

They offer both short-term and long-term programs, internships, and gap year programs. Their program fees are also affordable, and they have flexible start dates to accommodate various schedules. They offer programs ranging from one week to six months, allowing volunteers to choose the duration that best fits their needs.

Website: https://www.volunteeringsolutions.com/

GoEco

GoEco offers Volunteering Abroad for Young Adults programs in over 50 countries, with a focus on wildlife conservation, community development, and environmental sustainability. Their programs are designed to impact the environment and the local community positively.

Website: https://www.goeco.org/

Global Leadership Adventures (GLA)

GLA offers volunteer programs in 20 countries, with a focus on community service and leadership development. Their programs are designed for high school students and include cultural immersion and adventure activities.

Website: https://www.experiencegla.com/

Volunteering Abroad for Young Adults

I shared a post earlier on Emerging Careers For Young Adults. Read it here.

United Planet

United Planet offers volunteer programs in over 30 countries, with a focus on community development, education, and cultural immersion. Their programs are designed to promote cross-cultural understanding and global awareness.

Website: https://www.unitedplanet.org/

AIESEC

AIESEC is a youth-led organization that offers volunteer programs and internships in over 100 countries, with a focus on leadership development and cultural exchange. Their programs are designed for young adults and include professional development and cultural immersion.

Website: https://www.aiesec.org/

Visions Service Adventures

Visions Service Adventures offers volunteer programs in the United States and abroad, with a focus on community service and cultural immersion. Their programs, including adventure activities and leadership development, are designed for high school students.

Website: https://www.visionsserviceadventures.com/

FIE:

Foundation for International Education – FIE offers volunteer programs and internships in several countries, with a focus on cultural immersion and professional development. Their programs are designed for college students and include academic credit and career development.

Website: https://www.fie.org/

Child Family Health International (CFHI)

CFHI offers volunteer programs and internships in several countries, with a focus on healthcare and cultural immersion. Their programs are designed for pre-med and healthcare students and include academic credit and professional development.

Website: https://www.cfhi.org/

Habitat for Humanity International

Habitat for Humanity offers volunteer programs in over 70 countries, with a focus on community development and affordable housing. Their programs are designed for all ages and include group volunteering and advocacy opportunities.

Website: https://www.habitat.org/volunteer

A Few Final Words:

Volunteering Abroad for Young Adults can be a life-changing experience, providing valuable skills and connections while positively impacting communities around the world. Our top picks for the best volunteer abroad programs for adults offer various opportunities in various countries, allowing individuals to choose the program that best fits their interests and needs. Whether you’re looking to gain professional experience, make a difference in the world, or have an adventure, volunteering abroad is a great way to do all three.

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Christine Udeani, JD
Christine Udeani, JD

Christine is a dedicated mother of six young adults and a teenager who has made significant contributions to the online world through her writing and entrepreneurship. She attended Northwestern University, Strayer University, Thomas M Cooley School of Law, NWCULAW, and holds degrees in business, Law, and Communications. She shares tips and experiences to help young adults and their parents with this generation’s issues.

Find me on: Web | Twitter

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