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Special Needs Support Volunteer Program in Croatia - Split

Special Needs Support Volunteer Program in Croatia - Split

Inspired to be a Special Needs Support volunteer in Croatia? International Volunteer HQ’s Special Needs project gives volunteers the opportunity to assist in care centres for children, teenagers and adults with a wide range of physical and mental disabilities. Volunteers will gain experience caring for people with special needs and help them become more accepted and less stigmatized in their communities, improving their overall quality of life.

  • Programs start every Monday
  • Affordable fees from AU$1623 for 2 weeks
  • Includes accommodation, meals, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
  • Help provide fun activities and care for disabled people

  • Discover Split’s urban and natural beauty

  • Stay in a fun, comfortable, modern hostel

Key information

Provide care & connection for those with disabilities
Based in care centres around Split
Dormitory-style hostel accommodation
Volunteers aged 18+
Fully hosted experience from AU$1623 for 2 weeks
Durations from 2 - 12 weeks
Discover the sunny Mediterranean coast
Up to 5 hours volunteering a day

This program is ideal for:

Caring, compassionate volunteers who want to support people with disabilities. As you will be working closely with the local placement staff, you don't need previous experience to participate on this project.
Who is this program suited to?

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

Having access to appropriate and effective care makes a huge difference to the lives of people living with disabilities. Volunteers in Croatia provide carers with extra assistance which means disabled people are able to participate in a wide range of activities and recieve more individualiseds care and attention.

As a Special Needs Support volunteer your daily tasks may vary but usually include:

  • Running outdoor activities such as beach walks, bicycle tours and animal farm projects
  • Indoor activities like arts, crafts and cooking
  • Helping with physical therapy
  • Providing care and companionship
  • Preparing food, serving meals
  • Cleaning or helping with personal care
Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #3: Good Health and Well-Being

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #3: Good Health and Well-Being

Good mental and physical health is key to sustainable development and building healthy and happy communities. Now more than ever, we must increase access to free healthcare and health education across the globe to achieve an acceptable standard of living and wellbeing for all.

Why do Special Needs Support volunteering in Split with IVHQ?

While volunteering on the Special Needs project in Croatia you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:

  • Improving access to care for people with disabilities
  • Helping students develop life skills in a safe place
  • Learning or practicing the Croatian language
  • Developing your communication skills
  • Gaining experience caring for people with special needs
  • Immersing yourself fully in the Croatian culture
  • Exploring Split’s lively historic centre

Volunteer requirements

Volunteers need to be 18 years or over to participate on this program, unless volunteering with a parent or guardian. If you are under the age of 18, IVHQ offers alternative volunteer opportunities for teens. Visit our High School Volunteer Abroad High School Volunteer Abroad page to learn more.

All volunteers must speak fluent English, have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a recent criminal background check.

Are you eligible to volunteer?

Submit a free application so we can confirm your eligibility and check availability for your preferred dates.

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Academic course credit through International Volunteer HQ and Intern Abroad HQ.

Academic course credit

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Read reviews from Special Needs Support volunteers in Split

”The whole experience, and the beauty of Croatia was amazing. I cannot isolate one moment in two weeks of joy.”

Read reviews from Special Needs Support volunteers in Split

Volunteer Abroad in Split, Croatia with IVHQ


The IVHQ Croatia volunteer program is based in Split, a vibrant seaside spot on the Mediterranean coast and the second largest city in Croatia. ​This is a golden opportunity to volunteer in Europe in a place high up on every traveller’s bucket list. Split is a popular tourist hub because of its scenic ocean views, rich culture and authentic Croatian feel.

Volunteer placements are located in and around Split with the Marine Conservation project based in Omiš. While Split is a well developed city, it does have pockets of under-served communities, social and environmental issues and local initiatives that need volunteer help. By choosing to volunteer here, you’ll be supporting community-led projects that focus on providing opportunities to improve the livelihoods and wellbeing of the local community.

Arrival and orientation

The Croatia volunteer program begins every Monday, and you need to arrive in Split on the Sunday before your chosen start date.

After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Split International Airport (SPU). The cost of your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee. When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and taken to the volunteer accommodation, approximately 40 minutes away. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation.

If you are travelling in Croatia prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up from a meeting point in Split on the Sunday before your program start date. You are also free to make your own way to the volunteer accommodation.

On Monday, orientation is hosted by our local team in Croatia and runs for a full day. Orientation covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Croatia – an introduction to Croatia, Croatian customs, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities in Croatia, and an introduction to your project and placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socialising.

Volunteer schedule example


A volunteer day is subject to change depending on your specific project and placement. ​A typical daily schedule​ might be as follows:

8:00 - 10:00 AM Breakfast is served at the restaurant next door to volunteer accommodation.
9:00 AM Volunteers with a morning shift travel to placement to join local placement staff and begin work on your project.
12:00 - 2:30 PM Lunch is served at the restaurant next door to volunteer accommodation.
2:30 PM Volunteers with an afternoon or evening shift travel to placement to join local placement staff and begin work on their project.
7:30 - 9.00 PM Dinner at the restaurant next door to volunteer accommodation. After dinner you will have the remainder of the evening free to relax and use as you wish.


Volunteers have the weekends free and Split and Croatia are full of interesting things to do, see, visit, eat and learn.

Croatia has a wondrous history and culture, paired with beautiful coastline and nature. You can spend a weekend traveling across the country - visit the popular Klis fortress that is only a short drive from Split, or spend the day in nature surrounded by waterfalls in Krka National Park or Plitvice National Park. If you are looking for an adventurous activity, try rafting down the river in Dalmatian hinterlands, or sea-kayaking the beautiful see-through Adriatic Sea. There is so much to see and explore, and nothing is far away in Croatia!

Volunteers can make travel arrangements further afield once in Croatia, with the advice and guidance of our local staff.

Accommodation and WiFi

Volunteers are accommodated in a dormitory-style hostel located in central Split, about a 10 minute walk from the city center. The nearest bus station is about a 5 minute walk from the hostel and there is a restaurant, local coffee shops, pizzeria, supermarket, pharmacy, ATM and other utilities also within a 5 minute walking distance from the hostel.

The hostel is separated into 3 different dormitories which are usually arranged by gender, however at busy times shared-gender dorms are also utilised. You can, therefore, expect to share a room with up to 7 other people. Every volunteer will have access to their own locker to store valuables and other personal belongings, free WiFi and air conditioning. Volunteers also have access to a dining room and lounge area. There is also a kitchen available that volunteers can use with fridges, microwaves and basic utensils.

The hostel has shared bathrooms, separated by gender, equipped with western toilets and showers. Bedding and towels are provided for each volunteer. Local staff do clean the accommodation throughout the week, though volunteers are required to keep their rooms tidy.

A private room upgrade in Split is available upon request and is subject to availability. The private rooms are located within a 20 minute walk of the hostel and are self-catered. Volunteers staying in a private room will also have lunch and dinner included in the partner restaurant but breakfast is not provided in the accommodation.


Volunteers are provided with breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. Breakfast is self-served at the volunteer accommodation and includes cereals, butter, marmalade, cream cheese, ham, milk, coffee and bread. Lunch and dinner are also provided in the restaurant and volunteers have the choice between a meat, fish, vegetarian and pizza option.

Tap water is safe to drink in Croatia and while we encourage volunteers to bring a reusable drink bottle to minimise the consumption of single-use plastics, bottled water is readily available if you prefer. You should budget approximately AU$8 per week for this.

Every volunteer will have access to their own locker to store valuables and other personal belongings, free WiFi and air conditioning. Volunteers also have access to a dining room and lounge area. There is also a kitchen available that volunteers can use with fridges, microwaves and basic utensils.” changed to “Every volunteer will have access to their own locker to store valuables and other personal belongings and air conditioning. There is also a dining room, lounge area and kitchen available that volunteers can use with fridges, microwaves and basic utensils. WiFi is also available at the volunteer accommodation, as well as many cafes and restaurants in the area.


  • USD
Program Fee
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
  • USD
2 weeks AU$1623 Equivalent to AU$116/day
3 weeks AU$2239 Equivalent to AU$107/day
4 weeks AU$2855 Equivalent to AU$102/day
5 weeks AU$3472 Equivalent to AU$99/day
6 weeks AU$4088 Equivalent to AU$97/day
8 weeks AU$5320 Equivalent to AU$95/day
10 weeks AU$6552 Equivalent to AU$94/day
12 weeks AU$7785 Equivalent to AU$93/day
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Airport pick-up
  • Personalised preparation tools, guides and check lists
  • Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
  • Discounts on language lessons
  • Certificate of International Volunteer Service

Learn more about what's included in your IVHQ Registration Fee and Program Fee.

  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately AU$547) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services. IVHQ fees are priced in USD but you may elect to pay in AUD.
  • A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • Additional things to budget for include: Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, public transport to and from your placement each day and return to the airport when your program finishes.
  • Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Croatia generally find US$80 to be sufficient for basic weekly expenses.
  • Any changes or cancellations within 14 days of your start date are subject to a US$200 late change/cancellation fee.

Check what's required to visit Croatia

Safety and support with IVHQ

Safety and support

IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.

  • All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
  • All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
  • All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
  • All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Learn more about IVHQ's safety

Essential country information

Capital Zagreb
Population 4.7 million
Languages Croatian
Currency Croatian Kuna (HRK)
Time zone UTC+02:00

Weather and climate

The Adriatic coast of Croatia, where our volunteer program is based, enjoys a Mediterranean climate of cool, rainy winters and hot, dry summers. Temperatures in Split range from 41°F to 50°F (5°C to 10°C) in winter and 79°F to 86°F (26°C to 30°C) in the summer, which runs from June to August.

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How to get started

Pick a destination + project and apply for free
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Pay the Registration Fee to secure your place and upgrade your MyIVHQ account
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