international volunteer programs

5 most popular international volunteering programs

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Nowadays, volunteering had become more and more of a very addressed topic worldwide. It is not only about volunteering in your own city’s community or doing some kind of act. Volunteering had become the way of youths enabling their own strengths. It is also a help in adapting mechanisms and contributing to making the world a better place. Knowing that they would leave a good deed in a place that needed it made volunteering rise. It’s popular among youths that want to have a totally different experience than living in routine and leave the comfort zone to something worth it, but challenging. That’s why international volunteer programs were created.

It is also the action that had made great changes to the target groups. All by providing help, support, and offering hope among the disadvantaged communities around the world. The purpose of volunteering is also to offer opportunities to develop new skills and competencies. Also, to enrich knowledge for those who decide to sign up for those experiences.

What are the international volunteer programs?

International volunteering programs

The international volunteer programs are opportunities that allow youths from many parts of the world to make a change in their personal lives. It works as well in the lives of others by embarking on voluntary programs in affected and disadvantaged communities. Youths of different ages are choosing to volunteer through international volunteer programs for many reasons. One of them is the chance to make a difference in other people’s lives. Then, offer help where it is really needed while having a learning process that in time, it will help them gain life experiences for future professions.

Moreover, the international volunteering programs had been proven to have a great impact on self-development, self-value, and self-trust. It gives a sense of accomplishment, the opportunity to meet new people and experience interculturality, it allows youths to travel and combine the necessary tasks to be done with sensitivity, kindness, and devotion.

Discover the international youth volunteer programs and their aims

Lots of people have been asking for relevant information about the available international volunteer programs. They asked especially about international youth volunteer programs. Those who are interested in traveling the world, meeting other cultures, gaining experience, and paying it forward to a community in need, can benefit from all those volunteers abroad programs

There are many international volunteer programs out there, specially designed for different types of objectives and aims. Of course, all focus on the main objective, which is spreading solidarity among people. In today’s article, we will discuss the 5 most popular international volunteer programs. You’ll find out what does it take to be part of them. We’ll cover every important detail about international volunteer programs. Also, summer volunteer programs, student volunteer programs, and give you tips for making the right choice.

1. European Solidarity Corps (ESC)

European Solidarity corps logo – Photo from

We start the 5 most popular international volunteer programs with the European Solidarity Corps Program. European Solidarity Corps is a European Union program destined for youth volunteering. Its aim is to promote solidarity as an important value around the world and offer high-quality solidarity activities to improve the lives of young people, non-profit organizations, and disadvantaged communities. So, Either you want a summer volunteer program, an international youth volunteer program, ESC is definitely the right choice for you.

What is volunteering through ESC?

Volunteering through the European Solidarity Corps program provides young people with opportunities. They get a chance to contribute through daily tasks to the benefit of the organizations that are in need and the communities that lack something. It is facilitating the improvement of skills for those who participate by taking action on their personal, educational, social, cultural, and professional development.

It also supports active citizenship and employment, including support for the mobility of young volunteers, trainees, and workers. Moreover, International volunteer programs are specially designed for this. During a period of 2, 6, or 12 months, youths from Europe and the other eligible countries, can choose to serve a need in one affected.

They can choose based on what would they like to contribute with, or either with participating in different projects that would improve their experience and skills. Every cost such as the travel ones, the accommodation, food and pocket money is covered by the program. The participants also benefit from international Cigna insurance.

The activities implemented through European Solidarity Corps

Through European Solidarity Corps, there is a wide variety of topics to choose from, as one of the international volunteer programs. The volunteering projects that youths can apply to start from topics of inclusion, integrations, and citizenship. It continues with environment protection, disaster prevention, health, education and training, entrepreneurship, creativity and culture, and sport.

Who can become a volunteer? – What process needs to be followed?

Any youth aged between 18 and 30 can enroll directly on the portal. You need to be legally resident in one of Europe’s member states or in one of the other eligible countries. Then, your profile will be exposed for the organizations to revise.

The partner organizations that have projects will recruit the participant that suits their objectives of projects. If you have followed the process and you had been selected by an organization, you will receive an invitation to their project and get in contact for the 1st interview. Good Luck!

2. Erasmus+ Youth Mobilities

Erasmus+ Logo – Photo from

The Erasmus+ program is one of the international volunteer programs that activate in the fields of education, training, and sports. It aims to support the development of those who want to participate in international mobilities. Youths are welcomed in projects designed by organizations from all around the world.

This Program is complex, as it focuses on different types of projects such as learning mobility projects for individuals and cooperation projects between organizations and institutions. It also comes as a support to promote active citizenship, helping initiative, entrepreneurship, and inclusion.

What is volunteering through Erasmus+?

Volunteering through Erasmus+ allows youth to experience a different culture, boost their cv, enriching their network by traveling to a different country. It’s all to take part in a volunteering project.

As volunteers through Erasmus+, youths are committing themselves to work unpaid or full time during a period of 2 weeks and 12 months. Same as for the European Solidarity Corps, the Erasmus+ program provides the participants with transportation, accommodation, food, and pocket money.

The activities implemented through Erasmus+

The activities held through the Erasmus+ program are specially designed so that the youths would be able to develop new skills. They could learn a new language, learn about different cultures, gain confidence in themselves and their potential. Moreover, one of the biggest benefits is that they are given the possibility to create an impact in the community they are serving.

Now, the activities are spread through categories. The priorities of Erasmus+ are inclusion and diversity, digital transformation, environment, climate change, and democratic participation. Those activities are best to train your skills when it comes to having a holiday from University. The program is also known as an international student volunteer program.

Who can become a volunteer? – What process needs to be followed?

The program allows every youth between 18 and 30 years old to apply for an Erasmus+ program experience and be from a European country or one eligible one. You enroll yourself on the Erasmus+ platform and start searching for a sending organization.

If you succeeded to get in contact, the next step is applying to find a placement and settle arrangements. Also, You have to be legally resident in the country of the sending organization that recruited you. You will keep in contact with the sending organization throughout the experience and be able to inform them about your activities, tasks,, and feelings. Also, you’ll possibly find out more about other opportunities as well

3. Volunteer service overseas

VSO Logo – Photo from

Volunteer service overseas is one of the international volunteer programs as a charity that tries to combat poverty through its actions. It brings together youths from all over the world in order to work for diminishing inequality and poverty. Also, they are an independent organization that focuses on building capacities and promoting interculturality.

They work together with corporate partners worldwide to reach their community-based goals and give equal chances to another country to learn and share practices. VSO is active in 24 countries across Asia, Africa, and the Pacific.

What is volunteering through Volunteer service overseas ?

VSO is focused on the values of inclusion, integrity, collaboration, and knowledge achievement. They believe in positive transformation through community work and always sustainable development as well. To volunteer with VSO means going to Thailand, South Africa, or any other from the partner countries.

Exploring, building and developing skills, helping the needs of a local community, and providing a new atmosphere. Moreover, The organization offers the chance to improve leadership skills, problem-solving skills, adapt and learn skills, and cross-cultural competencies development.

The activities implemented through Volunteer service overseas

Through Volunteer service overseas, participants are offered programs that focus on inclusive education, quality healthcare, and resilient livelihoods. Those are synthesizing their vision and mission and supporting more than 50 million people through programs in more than 90 countries. The top countries assigned for VSO projects are Nepal, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Kenia, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.

Who can become a volunteer? – What process needs to be followed?

Everyone aged between 18 and 35 are eligible to apply for youth volunteer roles with VSO. The roles don’t require a lot of experience, so it is quite a competition to get an assignment. You can register on their online platform, read carefully what are the program’s topics, and choose which one to apply.

Then, you’ll need to fill in the application form regarding your education, work history, skills, experiences, interests, and personal and professional references. If everything goes right, you will be contacted for the interview with the further steps.

4. United Nations (UN) Volunteers

United nations volunteers – Photo form

The United nations volunteers are one of the international volunteer programs that spreads support and peace around the world through volunteering. They work in collaboration with partners from 130 countries in order to integrate volunteering into development programs. They strive to promote global value and show the impact of volunteering in affected areas.

What is volunteering through United Nations (UN) Volunteers ?

Volunteering through UN means deciding to take concrete action regarding an important issue and enrolling into a volunteering stage for at least 6 months. It is an enriching experience that gives numerous opportunities that lead to personal rewards.

The program encourages youths to develop their entrepreneurial and creative side. It also helps them to develop themselves within and beyond their assignments. Moreover, it helps them to have a total cultural immersion in the area they will live in. Every volunteer will be given a grant, life, health insurance, transportation, and resettlement allowance. Usually, the duration of the program is between six to 12 months, with the possibility to extend it for one to two years.

The activities implemented through United Nations (UN) Volunteers

This program has numerous goals that will respond to the global challenges of our times. Their objectives are met through specific activities in projects related to Poverty, Hunger, Health, Education, Gender equality, Water, Energy, Economy, Infrastructure, Sustainability, Climate change, Forests, Peace, and justice, and Global Partnerships.

Who can become a volunteer? – What process needs to be followed?

If you are past 25, without any upper age limit, you can become a volunteer with the UN. The first step is to enroll on their online platform and do research to find out if you meet the minimum requirements. Then, If everything goes well, you can directly sign in and apply for assignments.

Of course, you have to be fully committed to their values and principles, and be ready to adapt and work with people and local organizations. Tip; the high demanded participant profiles are for community development and environmental conservation.

5. Workaway – International volunteer programs for traveling differently and connecting globally

Workaway logo – Photo from

The Workaway community is exactly what their catchphrase is trying to spread, to travel differently and connect globally. Different from the other four international volunteer programs, work away is mostly focused on the community it builds through volunteering, cultural exchanges, and summer volunteer programs. This community offers the possibility to help and pay it forward to those who help other cultures. They can use this experience to immerse themselves into a totally new surroundings.

What is volunteering through Workaway ?

So, Volunteering through Workaway is for everyone that wants to hop on in an adventure solo. You can do is as a pair or along with friends, even with kids. It is one of the best ways to meet people. You will live with new people, to taste the local life of somewhere different. At the same time, to know that you work for the good of something. You will receive a room and meals for the work you do, and depending on the arrangement between the workers and the hosts, you can expect additional pay.

The activities implemented through Workaway

When volunteering with work away, you do not have a specific list of activities shown to you as an example. Through this community, the locals and hosts are posting job offers such as helping with their projects, or the ones they are part of. You can teach English, Recycle, take care of wallabies, farming, and so on, in more than 170 countries worldwide with 50 000 opportunities awaiting.

Who can become a volunteer? – What process needs to be followed?

Everyone can become a volunteer with work away, and the process it’s quite different than for the other. You have to enroll in the community and design your profile. If it passes the verification, you can start contacting the hosts that offer something that would meet your goals as well. You get to discuss with them directly about the future tasks and demands and establish what you expect in return.

Volunteering, a way to become an active participant of a community and immerse youself into another culture – Intercultural learning

If someone would have told me that volunteering could be so meaningful 5 years ago, I would probably not understand the purpose of it. After immersing myself in a 6-month volunteering stage with European Solidarity Corps as an in-country volunteer, I decided to spread awareness regarding the importance of volunteering and the impact that it has on the youths, structures, and the beneficiary communities as much as I can, by any means possible. My experience had offered me an open door to a whole new vision of the world that surrounds me. It helped me establish meaningful connections, and discover skills that lead me to gain professional experience for future purposes.

The interculturality that I have lived along with a team of 6 people from France, Spain, and Turkey made me realize that the world has such beautiful people. Also, that life is indeed a journey that deserves to be followed with grace and solidarity. Moreover, The chance to give back to a community that needed help made me realize how a small action can mean such a big change for someone who needs it. That is why enrolling in something such complex as volunteering is definitely a life-changing opportunity.

Which one suits you best? – Choosing the right volunteering opportunity to explore your potentials

internationa volunteer programs

You have been presented with the 5 most popular international volunteer programs. They are spread into opportunities of summer volunteer programs, student volunteer programs. All of them are some of the most popular international volunteer programs which are active worldwide. They provide opportunities that create social transformation.

All for those who decide to take a step out of their comfort zone and do something for the benefit of others. European Solidarity Corps, Erasmus+, Volunteer service overseas, United nation volunteers, and Workaway are definitely some of the best volunteers abroad programs that continuously strive to make the world a better place and help youths unblock their potential. So, Be ready to enroll and take the first step out of your comfort zone!

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