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Youth Support Volunteering in Spain - Barcelona

Youth Support Volunteering in Spain - Barcelona

Curious about being a Youth Support volunteer in Spain? International Volunteer HQ’s Youth Support project enables volunteers to assist in schools and after-school centres for young people from disadvantaged communities in Barcelona. Volunteers gain youth work experience while being good role models, and creating a positive, supportive environment. You’ll help support educational staff with their daily tasks and informally teach personal development and life skills that can have a major impact on the lives of young people.

Highlights:
  • Programs start every second and fourth Monday of the month
  • Affordable fees from AU$1997 for 2 weeks
  • Includes accommodation, breakfast and lunch, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
  • Be a positive role model and mentor for disadvantaged young people

  • Relax on Spain’s amazing beaches

  • Stay in a modern, socially driven hostel in Barcelona

Key information

Provide a safe space for marginalized youth
Based in after-school centres
Dormitory-style hostel
Volunteers aged 18+
Fully hosted experience from AU$1997 for 2 weeks
Durations from 2 - 12 weeks
Spanish language lessons available
Up to 5 hours volunteering a day

This program is ideal for:

Volunteers who enjoy spending time with children and teenagers. You’ll work closely alongside the local staff and other volunteers to promote better outcomes for young people in Barcelona so no experience is required.
Who is this program suited to?

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

There is a growing socioeconomic divide in Barcelona, and those who grow up in underprivileged communities don’t tend to have access to support services that exist in other parts of the world. Volunteers on the Youth Support project can forge meaningful connections with young people and help give them tools to build a better future for themselves.

After-school centres aim to provide a safe, supportive place for students to spend their free time in a productive way, and volunteers play an important role in fostering an inclusive environment for all who want to attend. You’ll help with personal development and establishing life skills that can change young people’s expectations of themselves and what their futures could look like.

As a Youth Support volunteer you’ll assist with the support of students between the ages of 3 and 18 by:

  • Helping with homework
  • Arranging activities
  • Teaching English
  • Mentoring children
  • Supporting the educational team in schools with their daily routine or break time
  • Spending time with the young people who attend
  • During school and summer holidays, you can also help with trips to the beach or on summer camps outside town.
Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #1: No Poverty

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #1: No Poverty

More than 10% of the world’s population live in extreme poverty, struggling to fulfil the most basic needs like health, education, and access to water and sanitation, to name a few. Growth must be inclusive to achieve sustainable development and an economy that benefits all.

Why do Youth Support volunteering in Barcelona with IVHQ?

When you volunteer with young people in Spain you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:

  • Improving opportunities for young people in Barcelona
  • Helping students develop life skills in a safe place
  • Developing your communication skills
  • Gaining youth work experience
  • Immersing yourself in the Spanish way of life
  • Discovering Spain’s Catalonia region

Volunteer requirements

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

  • All volunteers are required to speak fluent English, have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a criminal background check to IVHQ before departure.

  • Volunteers are required to have a conversational/intermediate level of Spanish language ability.

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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What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience

SH
Sarah Hutchings
05 Sep 2023

I gained amazing experiences working with younger children, some of which were from deprived backgrounds, which gave me valuable experience and insight into their way of life and language. The volunteering was wonderful we went on trips to the pool, beach and a climbing centre with the children which was fun for all. We also spent days in the school organising fun activities which helped me to learn some basic Spanish.

...
SK
Sanskriti Kumar
05 Sep 2023

I loved the local support team, they were super helpful and fun which made the experience really enjoyable. I worked on a project in Youth Support where I actually felt needed by the kids and the staff who worked there and I got to practice my Spanish too! It really is such a life-changing experience because not only are you exposed to a different culture and learn so much about the place you live, you get to meet and make so many friends through the volunteer program. It's a great experience to go alone to learn more about yourself and see how you can push yourself outside of your comfort zone to make the most of this experience.

...
AP
Amandine Pascual
25 Aug 2023

The local team were perfect, always ready to help! Thanks to them, I really enjoyed my stay and my placement. I think the kids loved learning about another country, another language, and another culture. I got along really well with them so I do think I had a good impact by volunteering and taking care of them!
As for the impact on me, these three weeks had such a big impact, I met new people, I practiced another language and continued discovering another culture. The kids had such a big impact on me, I don't think I'll ever forget these weeks over there. I think I can say I gained maturity. By living "by myself", by taking care of other people or simply by being responsible of my own life. Discovering new people and new habits made me gain self confidence as well, it made me realize I'm not a child anymore and that felt good! I've known for a while that I want to work around children after college, and spending 3 weeks with these ones really confirmed, once again, that this is what I love and what I'm meant to do.

...
MH
Macy Hubbard
02 Aug 2023

The preparation checklist was really helpful and so were the email reminders, they helped me to stay organized. Also, thanks to my Program Manager for being there to answer any questions I had and for always responding so quickly! The in-country volunteer coordinator was so amazing and I felt so grateful to have her there to guide me. She was available no matter what time it was.

My favorite moment was meeting the children on the first day of my placement, they were so excited to meet me and welcomed me with open arms. I will never ever forget it! I learnt more about myself and realized that it's so important to live in the moment and take everything in. Jump right in and do it - it’s scary at first but will turn out to be the most incredible adventure where you will learn so much about yourself and the world around you.

...
JA
Jada Albizures
13 Jun 2022

My favorite moment from the volunteer experience was spending time with the other volunteers and talking about our different projects. I learnt about a culture different from my own and pushed myself out of my comfort zone to have a great experience! A moment I will never forget is when I was able to tie together two jump ropes so the kids at the school could all jump together. They were so excited and said there was never a long enough jump rope for all them to use. They just couldn’t stop saying thank you and it was a special moment where I could actually see the impact I was making.

If you’re thinking about volunteering abroad then do some research to find what program is the right fit for you. Once you've found it then GO FOR IT!! I think saying that you tried is better than never going and regretting it. Even if you’re going alone, there will be plenty of people to meet along the way. Enjoy the journey and remember that we only live once!

...
KV
Kelly Vrydaghs
19 Oct 2021

IVHQ is a wonderful program to volunteer on! You are guided through every step of the program so well, the process of going overseas doesn’t seem so daunting. All of the IVHQ staff who I came into contact with were very kind and I felt safe about what I was getting myself into. I don’t have the right words to express how amazing the volunteering experience was, but I can say that I would, and will, do this again in a heartbeat! Every time memories from the trip arise, I am filled with intensely happy feelings. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to travel and volunteer.

...

To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.

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

Academic course credit

Gain course credit from your college or university and meet your academic requirements when completing a volunteer abroad program with International Volunteer HQ!

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Volunteer Abroad in Barcelona, Spain with IVHQ

Location

Catalonia is a region in northern Spain with its own distinct culture. Barcelona is its capital and melds millennia of history with modern life in a way that creates a vivid, stylish city with a vibrant atmosphere. It’s rich with the art and architecture of Gaudi and Picasso; home to FC Barcelona - one of the world’s best football teams; loaded with remnants of its ancient Roman past; stacked with beautiful beaches and parks and known for its mouth-watering cuisine. The IVHQ Spain volunteer program in Barcelona hosts a popular range of meaningful volunteer work. The dedicated local team supports volunteers 24/7 as they’re immersed in local life, helping you to develop an authentic understanding of this iconic destination. Volunteer placements are located throughout the wider city area of Barcelona. Some placements are up to a 90-minute commute, which can be on different means of public transport.

Arrival and orientation

The program orientation begins on the second and fourth Monday of every month, and volunteers need to arrive in Barcelona on the Sunday before orientation.

After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Barcelona–El Prat Airport (BCN). 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 transported via Metro and bus to the volunteer accommodation. Your accommodation is covered by your program fee and includes the night before your program orientation.

If you are travelling in Spain prior to your volunteer program and arriving overland, we will provide you with a time and place to meet the local team in Barcelona on the day before your program orientation.

Orientation is hosted by our Spain team in Barcelona. It begins the morning of your chosen start date and lasts for a full day. The orientation covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Spain – an introduction to Spain and Barcelona, culture and customs, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities, an introduction to project and placement as well as a tour of the local area and a basic Spanish language lesson. The orientation will also give you a chance to sign up for additional Spanish language lessons and to meet other volunteers with whom you can swap contact details for weekend travel and socialising .

Volunteer schedule example

Weekdays:

After the initial orientation, you will have a morning, afternoon or evening shift at your placement and will work for approximately 3 to 5 hours per day. Please note that start times and daily workload depends on the specific project that you are participating on.

A typical daily schedule is as follows:

7:00 - 10:00 AM Breakfast at the volunteer accommodation.
8:00 AM Volunteers with a morning shift travel to placement to join local placement staff and begin work on their project.
1:00 - 3:00 PM Lunch is served at the 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.
8:00 - 10:00 PM Most volunteers choose to eat dinner at this time. There are restaurants close by to the volunteer accommodation or you can prepare your own dinner in the communal kitchen.

Weekends:

On your free weekends in Spain, visit Gaudi’s unfinished yet still iconic La Sagrada Familia church, catch a football match, try a local paella, sunbathe on an incredible beach or wander the streets of Les Ramblas to Barcelona’s city centre.

Volunteers staying for longer durations, or who wish to travel before or after their program, can visit areas further afield in Spain including; Granada, Valencia, Madrid and many other places. Volunteers can make travel arrangements once in Barcelona, with the advice and guidance of our local team.

Accommodation and WiFi

Volunteers are accommodated in a dormitory-style hostel about 10 - 15 minutes from the city centre of Barcelona. You can expect to share a room with up to seven other people of the same gender. The hostel also caters to independent travelers and groups who book rooms from time to time for varying lengths of stay. Every volunteer will have access to their own locker to store valuables and other personal belongings. The hostel has shared bathrooms equipped with western toilets and showers in each room. Bedding is provided for each volunteer. Volunteers can also enjoy a shared living room, kitchen and large outdoor terrace. There is staff who clean the accommodation throughout the week; however, volunteers are required to keep their rooms tidy.

WiFi is available in the volunteer accommodation and can be accessed from many cafes and restaurants in the area. A local SIM card with data can also be purchased for unlocked phones.

Private rooms in the hostel with shared or private bathrooms can be arranged upon request for an additional cost, subject to availability.

Meals

Volunteers are provided with breakfast and lunch each day.

Breakfast is self-serve at the volunteer accommodation and includes fruit, bread, jam, cereal, milk, tea, and coffee. Lunch is provided in the accommodation according to a fixed menu. Meals will include pasta, rice, meat, seafood, vegetable and salad dishes as well as some typical Spanish dishes.

Volunteers who wish to spend the day in the city and require a packed lunch can request this the day prior.

Tap water is fine to drink in Spain; however, bottled water is readily available if you prefer and you should budget approximately US$5 (approximately AU$8) per week for this.

Pricing

  • USD
Duration
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$1997 Equivalent to AU$143/day
3 weeks AU$2738 Equivalent to AU$130/day
4 weeks AU$3478 Equivalent to AU$124/day
5 weeks AU$4219 Equivalent to AU$121/day
6 weeks AU$4960 Equivalent to AU$118/day
8 weeks AU$6442 Equivalent to AU$115/day
10 weeks AU$7924 Equivalent to AU$113/day
12 weeks AU$9405 Equivalent to AU$112/day
  • Accommodation
  • Breakfast and lunch
  • 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$529) 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, dinners, 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 Spain generally find US$100 to be sufficient for weekly expenses including dinners, transportation and miscellaneous spending.
  • Please note: You will need to budget an extra US$10 per night for the Barcelona City Tax, paid directly to the accommodation upon arrival.
  • Any changes or cancellations within 14 days of your start date are subject to a US$200 late change/cancellation fee.

Language lessons in Barcelona

Spanish language lessons are available for all volunteers in Spain regardless of their ability. Volunteers are strongly encouraged to take advantage of these lessons to allow them to work and communicate more effectively during their program. The language lessons are tailored to each volunteer’s current level of Spanish and are taught by professional Spanish teachers. Classes run Monday through Friday, the cost is very affordable and offered exclusively to IVHQ volunteers.

  • 1 x 1 hour class = AU$70
  • 10 x 1 hour classes = AU$525 Spanish lessons can be booked through IVHQ once you have been accepted onto the Barcelona program.

Check what's required to visit Spain

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 Madrid
Population 46.9 million
Languages Spanish
Currency Euro (EUR)
Time zone UTC+01:00

Weather and climate: Being such a large country, the climate of Spain is very varied. Barcelona and its metropolitan area has a Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and hot summers. Its average annual temperature is 21.2 °C (70.2 °F) during the day and 15.1 °C (59.2 °F) at night. In the coldest month, January, the temperature ranges from 12 to 18 °C (54 to 64 °F) during the day and 6 to 12 °C (43 to 54 °F) at night. In the warmest month – August, the temperature ranges from 28 to 32 °C (82 to 90 °F) during the day and about from 20 to 24 °C (68 to 75 °F) at night. Large fluctuations in temperature are very rare.

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How to get started

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