Best Volunteer Abroad Programs for Canadians
Canadians can travel! You’re out there seeing the world, with the humble maple leaf proudly stitched on your backpacks! Throw an: “A-boot” (about) in there and you can’t be mistaken. Not American. Not Australian. Canadian! So why don’t you set off and join your fellow countrymen.
IVHQ offers affordable volunteer abroad programs in more than 40 destinations, and we host thousands of volunteers from Canada every year. Not to mention volunteering with IVHQ means your loonies and toonies will go further. And, we’ve got you covered on volunteer fundraising ideas! So don’t get bogged down in excuses, check out these top-rated volunteer programs as recommended by our Canadian volunteers. There is something for everyone, so whether you are traveling abroad, taking a gap year, wanting to experience a volunteer vacation, or wishing to provide assistance in a community abroad, IVHQ has the program for you.
Chasing waterfalls, diving into serene tropical waters and swimming with turtles - it’s bit different to catching the Canadian Pacific Railway or spotting a moose! But trust us you’ll love the change. You can even fly direct to the airport in San Jose from Toronto. Dream result! Volunteers can get involved in Teaching English, Special Needs Care, Childcare, Healthcare, Turtle Conservation, and Construction and Renovation projects. There is also the opportunity to muck in on the Eco-Agriculture program in the central highlands of Costa Rica, where volunteers assist local communities through strengthening coffee production operations. You’ll never look at your double-double from Tim Horton’s (just in-case you’re not familiar) in quite the same way after you’ve helped coffee-picking in the fields, roasting beans and packaging the final product. Sorry but you’ll be a coffee snob by then.
Beautiful Bali has to be on your bucket list! It’s one of IVHQ’s most popular programs so you can set off knowing you’ve chosen a proven winner. The intriguing culture, laid back lifestyle and genuine people will mean you’ll feel right home instantly. And if you want an action packed volunteer experience or to have enough time to stop and enjoy the pristine beaches - Bali will work! Even if you are coming alone or bringing your entire family - Bali is a fit! The project choices are plentiful - with Teaching, Construction and Renovation, Turtle Conservation, Environmental Education, Healthcare Education and Kindergarten placements on offer. In your spare time you can easily island-hop over to the remarkable Gili Islands or knock off an unforgettable trip of a lifetime to the Komodo Islands! It’s hard to say no to that eh?! We offer two Bali programs in Ubud and Lovina.
While the ol’ Canadian dollar ain’t what it used to be there are still destinations around the world where you can really make it stretch out! India is one such place! Living is incredible affordable - you can trade out your poutine for a snack of dal and chai for a loonie. You can choose between projects in bustling Delhi. Get your dose of monks and monasteries on the Dharamsala program. You can even take things coastal on the Kerala volunteer program. Either way India will capture your heart and it’ll be place you come back to time and time again. The optional orientation week based in Delhi also gives first-time travelers to India the chance to learn more about the Indian culture, undertake language lessons, watch a Bollywood movie in a local theatre, and visit the ever-famous Taj Mahal!
It’s time to fly on over to Africa. Nothing can prepare you for what this continent has in store for you. Kenya has always been one of IVHQ’s most popular volunteer programs in Africa, with safe and affordable opportunities for volunteers to give back to the local communities. In Kenya, you can choose to support Teaching, Childcare, Special Needs Care, Sports Education, Women’s Education or Music volunteer projects. When volunteering in Africa, make sure your budget allows you to take a safari through the Maasai Mara, it is a truly unbeatable experience! You’ll come home to Canada with pangs of African’t even (that’s when you can’t deal with life after Africa. It’s a thing, just ask our volunteers!).
Think salsa dancing, movie nights and guacamole-making classes. Based in the colonial city of Antigua and set against a volcanic backdrop, volunteers enjoy a picturesque setting. During the week, there are plenty of projects to support in the surrounding towns and pueblos of Antigua, including Teaching English, Childcare, Construction and Renovation, Elderly Care, Eco Agriculture Conservation, Lake Conservation, Medical, and Animal Care/Animal Rights. Save your weekends for exploring the world-renowned beach in Monterrico, or the Iximche Mayan ruins!
If you are wanting to trade the Rocky Mountains for Machu Picchu and tick the wonder off your Bucket List, then you need to head to Peru! Both of IVHQ’s volunteer destinations offer easy access to this must-do! Our Lima program is one of IVHQ’s longest-standing programs and offers volunteers our cheapest program fees and the chance to engage in community-driven projects, including Teaching English, Special Needs Care and Healthcare. If you’re seeking a more rural setting, Cusco could be the best option for you. Both the Andean Immersion and Jungle Conservation projects offer incredibly unique experiences, based outside of Cusco central in Amazonian Jungle or Sacred Valley locations.