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The Best Volunteer Abroad Programs For 2020 & 2021

Best volunteer abroad programs - your comprehensive guide

Looking for the best 2020 and 2021 volunteer abroad programs? Here you can find International Volunteer HQ’s list of the top volunteer abroad opportunities, featuring 23 of our most recommended volunteer trips for 2020 and 2021.

As the world’s leading provider of top rated volunteer abroad programs, IVHQ is making it easy for you to find best volunteer abroad programs. With feedback from more than 10,000 volunteers and insight from our experienced volunteer abroad support staff, we’re sharing the top volunteer abroad trips that receive the best reviews from our volunteers.

With COVID-19 restrictions easing, many students, graduates, families and older adults are looking to combine an immersive cultural experience with a meaningful getaway. IVHQ has volunteer programs open in more than 30 countries in line with government guidelines and you can book with confidence thanks to our flexible booking policy. This gives you the freedom to make changes to your travel dates, volunteer program and destination for free up to 14 days before your start date.

Here are the highest rated volunteer abroad programs which are currently open and hosting volunteers, as well as the best volunteer abroad programs to plan for 2021 and beyond.

Where are the best places to Volunteer Abroad in 2020 and 2021?

Best volunteer abroad programs for 2020

As the world is reopening, so are our volunteer abroad programs. With many countries around the world exiting COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, volunteers are needed more than ever to help local communities get back on their feet. Our volunteer programs are reopening in countries where public health guidelines, local government advice and border restrictions allow.

Scroll down to see a list of the best volunteer programs that are currently open for 2020 that receive the highest ratings from past volunteers. Alternatively, if you’re planning to volunteer overseas in 2021, skip ahead to our best volunteer abroad programs for 2021 and beyond.

Please note that the following list is just a selection of volunteer programs that are currently open. To see the full list of program reopenings and to learn how we’re keeping you safe - see our Coronavirus Updates page or contact us to speak directly with a Volunteer Travel Specialist.



Best 2020 Volunteer Programs in Africa:

Volunteer Abroad in Tanzania 2020

Volunteer in Tanzania with IVHQ in 2020

Tanzania is Africa’s visually stunning prize jewel. The country is bursting with natural splendor, beautiful beaches, charming ancient villages, tribes that date back centuries and breathtaking geological wonders - including the astounding Mount Kilamanjaro.

The country is an animal lover’s paradise, boasting some of the most incredible wildlife in the world, such as elephant, giraffe, lion, leopard, buffalo and even the critically endangered rhino. Many IVHQ volunteers choose to combine our volunteer programs in Tanzania with safari, hiking or even a trip to Zanzibar during the weekends!

Volunteer opportunities in Tanzania range from Animal Welfare and Childcare to Medical, Teaching and Women’s Education. These programs all aim to tackle the greatest challenges faced by local communities in Tanzania by improving access to education and healthcare, as well as providing safe spaces for vulnerable populations.

Looking for conservation volunteer programs in Africa? Check out IVHQ’s Zanzibar volunteer program which includes a Turtle Conservation and Rainforest & Coastal Conservation project.

See More Tanzania Programs

Volunteer Abroad in Victoria Falls 2020

Volunteer in Victoria Falls with IVHQ in 2020

Not only is this one of the best opportunities to volunteer in Africa with animals, Victoria Falls offers one of the top wildlife conservation volunteer programs. Volunteers are based on a private game reserve near the magical Victoria Falls - a once in a lifetime experience for volunteering abroad with animals! Volunteer work is focused on the unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience in conservation management activities and assist with ongoing research. Imagine volunteering abroad in a setting where your backyard has breathtaking views over a zebra-filled savannah - Victoria Falls is just that!

While the work is physically demanding, you’ll be beyond rewarded for your efforts with highlights including a night camping in the reserve itself! If you want to volunteer abroad with animals and are passionate about conservation and wildlife volunteering, IVHQ’s Victoria Falls program is sure to deliver an unforgettable experience that will stay with you long after you return home.

For those who want to explore this incredible area but want to help local people in the community, check out our Zambia program. Volunteer opportunities in Zambia include Construction & Renovation, Elderly Care, Kindergarten, Medical, Rural Teaching and Teaching.

Learn More About Victoria Falls

Best 2020 Volunteer Opportunities in USA, Central & South America:

Volunteer Abroad in Belize 2020

Volunteer in Belize with IVHQ in 2020

Based on a stunning private island 45 minutes from mainland Belize in the Caribbean, our Belize program is all about preserving precious marine life. Volunteers receive comprehensive training so they can assist local marine biologists to gather data, conduct surveys and remove invasive species.

The Marine Conservation project involves going on 13 scuba dives a week to collect data and carry out surveying, so if you don’t have your open water diving certification, you’re able to get PADI qualified on the program. You can expect to see lionfish, corals, whale sharks, turtles, queen conch and many more fascinating underwater species on your dives.⠀

Volunteers monitor the reef, whale sharks and other marine life, eradicate invasive species, help set sustainable fishing limits and take part in weekly beach clean-ups to preserve the fragile reef ecosystem, protect against global warming and remove harmful plastics from the ocean.

Explore Belize program

Volunteer Abroad in the USA 2020

Volunteer in the USA with IVHQ in 2020

Our USA volunteer programs bring people from all walks of life together under one common cause. This is a unique opportunity to support local organizations and NGOs that work to empower marginalized communities, minority populations and important environmental causes in some of the most breathtaking cities across the US.

With volunteer programs in sunny San Diego, vibrant New Orleans, fascinating Philadelphia and the wonderful city of Chicago - this is an exciting chance for Americans to gain a new cultural perspective without crossing any borders in 2020.

Whether you want to help the homeless, combat pollution, build homes for those in need or provide safe spaces for young people - IVHQ’s volunteer programs in America empower you to help overcome some of the greatest social and environmental challenges of our time.

See All USA Programs

Volunteer Abroad in Costa Rica 2020

Volunteer in Costa Rica with IVHQ in 2020

Volunteering in Costa Rica in 2020 allows you to see many sides to this beautiful country. Known for its beaches, volcanoes and biodiversity, there are plenty of opportunities to explore the vast rainforests and coastlines during your free time. IVHQ offers a diverse range of volunteer locations in Costa Rica, including Costa Rica’s capital city, San Jose, and Manuel Antonio on the Pacific Coast.

Another one of Lonely Planet’s top countries to visit in 2020, Costa Rica is a shining light for sustainability across most of what it does. Many of the best attractions are based in nature, and it’s cosy enough that you can visit rainforests, volcanoes and beaches in just one day.

Costa Rica is one of IVHQ’s most popular volunteer trip locations, with 12 diverse and responsible projects that include Turtle Conservation, Eco-Agriculture Conservation, Childcare, Teaching English, Healthcare and more.

See More Central America Programs

Volunteer Abroad in Puerto Rico 2020

Volunteer in Puerto Rico with IVHQ in 2020

A stunning island in the Caribbean, Puerto Rico is bursting with character and culture. The country is a unique melting pot of influences from South America, Europe, North America and the wider Caribbean, resulting in a laid back, tropical and Latin feel.

Volunteer work in Puerto Rico is focused on assisting with widely felt social issues resulting from Hurricane Maria in 2017, with projects in Youth Support, Environmental Sustainability, NGO Support and Community Development. Puerto Rico is home to many things you can’t find anywhere else - from the brightly-colored Old Town in San Juan to some of the world’s only unique bioluminescent lakes!

See More Caribbean Programs

Best 2020 Volunteer Abroad Programs in Europe:

Volunteer Abroad in Croatia 2020

Volunteer in Croatia with IVHQ in 2020

A gem of the Mediterranean, Croatia is a glistening coastal country that has fast become a favorite for travelers to Europe - especially in the summer and fall. Our Croatia volunteer program is based in the popular city of Split, which is vibrant all year round, and has become iconic as the film set to a whole bunch of Game of Thrones scenes.

Volunteer projects include Marine Conservation, Youth Support, Teaching, Animal Care, Special Needs Support and a unique Creative Technologies opportunity. There’s nothing like watching the sunset over the Mediterranean coast from an idyllic beach-side perch.

See More Croatia Programs

Volunteer Abroad in Portugal 2020

Volunteer in Portugal with IVHQ in 2021

Lisbon is the capital of Portugal and one of the most vibrant cultural cities in Europe. You’ll love its charming cobbled streets, quirky cafes, stunning surf beaches, funky bars and delicious Portugese delicacies. The city is bursting with beautiful architecture, rich cultural history, incredible street art and museums.

As one of the sunniest places in Europe, Lisbon benefits from balmy temperatures year-round with a lovely Mediterranean climate.

From Environmental Scuba Diving and Inclusive Agriculture to Supporting the Homeless and Youth Support projects - there’s a multitude of impactful volunteer opportunities to help this part of the world get back on its feet.

See More Portugal Programs

Best 2020 Volunteer Abroad Programs in the Middle East:

Volunteer Abroad in Jordan 2020

Volunteer in Jordan with IVHQ in 2020

Jordan is a beautiful country in the heart of the Middle East that boasts diverse landscapes and people - and it’s safe to travel around! You can experience the peaceful and humble Bedouin way of life in the desert, the fascinating ancient kingdom of Petra and the progressive vibrant city of Amman - where our volunteer programs are based.

We’re incredibly proud that our Jordan program was shortlisted as a finalist for the Innovative New Volunteer Abroad Program Award for 2020 in the GoAbroad Awards.

Our local coordinator of this unique program was once an IVHQ volunteer herself. Back in 2013, Masar volunteered with IVHQ in South Africa, India, Colombia and Kenya, which had a profound impact and inspired her to establish a volunteer program in her home country of Jordan. Volunteer opportunities in Jordan include Arts and Music, Special Needs Support, Teaching, Women’s Education, Youth Support and a unique Ramadan project.

Discover Jordan programs

Best volunteer abroad programs for 2021 and beyond

In the current climate, more and more people are looking ahead and planning future volunteer adventures for 2021 and beyond. With many choosing to travel in a more sustainable and meaningful way, IVHQ’s volunteer abroad programs across Africa, Asia, Central America, South America and Europe are booking up quickly for the year ahead.

Whether you’re looking to plan a gap year, a family volunteer vacation, an alternative break or your first solo adventure - our Volunteer Travel Specialists are here to help you organize your dream volunteer trip on a budget.

To help you choose the best 2021 volunteer programs to match your personal interests, previous experience and the causes you care about - we’ve selected the top programs below based on how past volunteers have scored them.

Best 2021 Volunteer Abroad Programs in Africa:

Volunteer Abroad in Ghana 2021

Volunteer in Ghana with IVHQ in 2021

Volunteers on the Ghana program consistently rave about the immersive cultural experience and welcoming community vibes. The local people you’ll work with and the incredible support team will make you feel at home from the moment you land in Ghana. The local team has a long history of providing dedicated support to ensure IVHQ volunteers achieve positive outcomes across the communities they work within.

As a volunteer in Ghana, you’ll develop a strong sense of connection to your host community and your contribution will be recognized with a great deal of gratitude from your local hosts. There are also plenty of opportunities for volunteers to make the most of free time and weekends in Ghana. You’ll be able to explore Ghana’s best kept secrets, thanks to the popular tips the local team can offer. Explore our 2021 volunteer opportunities in Ghana below.

Discover Ghana Programs

Volunteer Abroad in South Africa 2021

Volunteer in South Africa with IVHQ in 2021

If you’re a first time traveler, solo traveler or have never been to Africa, volunteering abroad in South Africa in 2021 is a popular choice! It has the character of Africa with easy access to surfing, hiking and even weekend safari tours. Set in Cape Town against the striking backdrop of Table Mountain, the setting itself makes IVHQ’s South Africa program incredibly popular for those looking for a meaningful travel experience. Not only that, but the volunteer work in South Africa receives outstanding reviews from IVHQ volunteers, making it one of the best volunteer programs in Africa.

With volunteer projects like Surf Outreach, Teaching English and Sports Development, there is a significant focus on youth development and increasing access to education within under-resourced communities in Cape Town. As one of the most popular volunteer destinations, we offer projects options in two locations within Cape Town. Find out which South Africa volunteer project is best for you.

Explore South Africa Programs

Volunteer Abroad in Morocco 2021

Volunteer in Morocco with IVHQ in 2020

Morocco’s biggest city, Marrakech, has been named Africa’s Capital of Culture in 2020. Not only that, but Morocco is one of Lonely Planet’s top countries to visit, as a unique cultural destination that’s made vast improvements in its infrastructure to make for a better tourist experience.

IVHQ’s Morocco volunteer programs are based in the stunning regions of Rabat, Casablanca and Sale, as well as the incredible city of Marrakech. Morocco is a fusion of colorful European, African and Middle Eastern influences that result in an upbeat lifestyle perfect for travelers seeking a truly authentic cultural experience.

With volunteer projects ranging from the thrilling Amazigh Immersion in the Atlas Mountains to Sports Education, Women’s Education and a huge range of Teaching projects - there’s a volunteer program to suit every skill set.

See More Morocco Programs

Best 2021 Volunteer Abroad Programs in Asia:

Volunteer Abroad in Bali, Indonesia 2021

Volunteer in Bali, Indonesia with IVHQ in 2021

If you’re looking for the one of the top volunteer programs in Asia, look no further than Bali. As a volunteer in Bali, you can choose from two locations: Ubud - the cultural hub of Bali, or Lovina - the laid-back coastal beach town. (Find out where you should volunteer in Bali).

For travelers who want to volunteer in Indonesia, this is the perfect volunteer program for surfers, nature lovers or anyone looking for a volunteer opportunity off the beaten path. The Bali program is one of IVHQ’s best volunteer abroad programs, with between 40-80 volunteers starting each month. There are six different projects available, with everything from Turtle Conservation to Kindergarten Support, so there’s plenty of variety to customizes your meaningful volunteer trip to Asia.

See More Bali Programs

Volunteer Abroad in India - Kerala 2021

Volunteer in India - Kerala with IVHQ in 2021

India has captivated travelers for generations, and for good reason! It’s mixture of vibrant sights, sounds and colors, spirited people, dynamic cultures and vivid atmosphere all combined to create a truly remarkable country to visit. As a volunteer in India, you’ll build authentic connections with locals by supporting volunteer projects that meet the needs of the local communities. It’s a rare chance to be immersed within the Indian culture and to get an authentic sense of what the country is about.

IVHQ’s volunteer program in Kerala, India is based in the coastal city of Kochi, which is an eclectic old town recognized by Lonely Planet as one of the world’s top 10 cities to visit in 2020. Come ready to experience India in a new light - tropical, laid back and without the hustle and bustle of the big cities. With a perfect mixture of cool, contemporary cafes and authentic cultural galleries and shows, Kerala is one of Asia’s best kept secrets.

IVHQ also offers a popular range of volunteer projects in Delhi, the fast-paced and exciting capital of India. Whether you choose to volunteer in Kerala or Delhi with IVHQ, you’ll have access to a trusted support network and the help of a 24/7 local team which takes the hassle out of organizing your India volunteer experience.

See All India Programs

Volunteer Abroad in Vietnam 2021

Volunteer in Vietnam with IVHQ in 2021

Vietnam is known for its culture, cuisine and natural beauty. As a volunteer in Vietnam, you’ll get to experience a mix of all that, as well as many local secrets and traditional traveler highlights. At the same time, you’ll help make a positive and lasting contribution to the Vietnamese community that you’re immersed in, making it the best way to experience Vietnam.

Volunteers are highly valued by the local community and the welcoming nature of the IVHQ Vietnam local team makes this volunteer program a firm favorites with Vietnam volunteer program participants. You can volunteer in Vietnam teaching English or if you’re on the path to a medical career, this is one of IVHQ’s best medical volunteer abroad programs. Learn more about becoming a volunteer in Vietnam.

See More Vietnam Programs

Volunteer Abroad in Nepal 2021

Volunteer in Nepal with IVHQ in 2021

Volunteer in Nepal in 2021 and experience it all! This is a country full of color, culture, incredible landscapes and friendly people. One of the highlights of the Nepal program is just how varied the placement locations are with volunteer projects loacted in Kathmandu, Chitwan, Chitlang and Pokhara. IVHQ’s 2021 Nepal volunteer program is perfect for volunteers looking for a wide range of volunteer opportunities in truly unique locations throughout the country.

Nepal is well known to be a safe option for volunteers traveling solo and IVHQ volunteers have found there’s plenty of sightseeing opportunities and local attractions to explore in your free time. A special one week program is also available if you’re looking for short-term volunteer opportunities in Asia.

See More Nepal Programs

Best 2021 Volunteer Abroad Programs in South America & Central America:

Volunteer Abroad in Colombia 2021

Volunteer in Colombia with IVHQ in 2021

Something about the Colombia volunteer program means volunteers become incredibly passionate about their work and always go above and beyond to make a difference. With a diverse range of volunteer project options to suit every volunteer’s skills and motivations, paired with a local team that is driven and enthusiastic about their country and what they do, you’re guarenteed to have a meaningful volunteer experience in Colombia.

See All Colombia Programs

Volunteer Abroad in Ecuador 2021

Volunteer in Ecuador with IVHQ in 2021

Volunteers on our Ecuador volunteer program can choose from a range of volunteer abroad projects, including Teaching English, Street Children Work, School Support, Kindergarten, Summer Project and NGO Support. The program is based in Ecuador’s capital city of Quito and its hinterland. Nestled high in the Andes, Quito is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful cities in South America. Despite this aesthetic beauty, there is a great need for volunteers to assist with the development of the city.

Previous volunteers have told us they can see just how worthwhile their work has been. This means when it comes time to pack your bags, you can set off knowing you’ve signed up for a life-changing and meaningful experience!

If you’re looking for volunteer opportunities in Ecuador in a more costal setting, explore the volunteer project options in Santa Elena, based on the Pacific coast.

See All Ecuador Programs

Volunteer Abroad in Peru 2021

Volunteer in Peru with IVHQ in 2021

For the many volunteers, their experiences volunteering in Peru are some of the best of their lives. With 10 different project options, you can choose volunteer work such as Amazonian Jungle Conservation or the Medical Volunteer project.

You can chosse to volunteer in Peru’s capital - Lima, or the gateway to Machu Picchu - Cusco. Lima volunteer programs offer some of IVHQ’s most affordable program fees, starting from $180 for 1 week, while Cusco is popular for volunteers wanting to experience life in the ancient city of Cusco. During your weekends, you’ll have easy access from either location to iconic Machu Picchu, as well as Rainbow Mountain, Lake Titicaca and the Salt Mines. It’s easy to see why Peru offers one of our top rated volunteer programs and such an incredible destination to explore!

See All Peru Programs

Volunteer Abroad in Argentina 2021

Volunteer in Argentina with IVHQ in 2020

Northeast Argentina is stunning, untouched country that Lonely Planet has recognized as one of the top 10 regions to visit in 2020. The famous Iguazú falls are a highlight, and the rugged beauty of the surrounding National Park will keep outdoor lovers happy and entertained.

IVHQ’s Argentina volunteer programs are located in the cultural hub of Córdoba and coastal capital, Buenos Aires, which are both within a short flight of the iconic Northeast Argentina region, making it an ideal weekend escape for volunteers.

Volunteer projects include Childcare, Construction & Renovation, Elderly Care, Healthcare, Special Needs Support and much more.

See More South America Programs

Volunteer Abroad in Guatemala 2021

Volunteer in Guatemala with IVHQ in 2020

Guatemala is the ultimate adventure for those who like to go off the beaten track. With a rich fusion of Mayan and Spanish cultures, there are plenty of fascinating colonial towns, ancient Mayan ruins and quaint rural villages to explore. Guatemala’s incredible volcanoes, lush rainforest, beautiful lakes and fascinating cultural cities make this country a hit with nature and city lovers alike.

IVHQ’s volunteer opportunities in Guatemala range from unique programs such as Mayan Cultural Immersion in the Highlands, Eco-Agriculture on a local coffee farm and Turtle Conservation on a remote part of the Pacific Coast - to Medical, Childcare and Teaching projects in the bustling city of Antigua.

See More Central America Programs

Best 2021 volunteer abroad programs in Europe:

Volunteer Abroad in Romania 2021

Volunteer in Romania with IVHQ in 2021

Is the appeal of Europe drawing you in? Our Romania volunteer program is the stand-out option, with its misty mountains, vast forests and fascinating history. The IVHQ Romania volunteer program consistently gets fantastic volunteer feedback, with the in-country program support often singled out for special praise.

The local team in Romaina welcomes every volunteer into community, giving you a rare insight into authentic Romanian life and culture. There is plenty to keep volunteers busy in their downtime, with the rest of Europe on your doorstep. The program is based in the town of Miercurea Ciuc in the distinctive region of eastern Transylvania. IVHQ has a wide range of top rated volunteer abroad projects available in Romania, including Teaching English, Sustainable Agriculture and Animal Care.

See More Romania Programs

Volunteer Abroad in Spain 2021

Volunteer in Spain with IVHQ in 2020

Take a volunteer adventure in Barcelona to discover the ins and outs of this cosmopolitan city. You’ll be placed at the heart of the city while volunteering on meaningful community-driven projects among the world-famous art and architecture.

Volunteer placements include Marine Conservation, Youth Support, Special Needs Support and more. As an IVHQ volunteer, you’ll be immersed in this historic Spanish city, working alongide locals and other international volunteers and making valuable contributions to projects that value your support.

See More Spain Programs


How do we measure the effectiveness of our volunteer abroad programs?

In case you’re wondering how we select the best volunteer abroad programs for 2020 and 2021, here’s some context to understand the criteria IVHQ volunteer programs are measured against…

Program Support

As the world leaders in volunteer travel, IVHQ has a specialist support team to help you find the right volunteer program to match your motivations, skills and the causes you care about. Once you’ve found the right volunteer program and registered to volunteer overseas with us, you’ll be connected with a dedicated Program Manager to support you on your journey. You’ll also gain access to the full suite of preparation tools within your MyIVHQ account. Here, you can access your detailed program guide, online volunteer training and customized preparation checklist to ensure you’re all set to volunteer overseas.

Our local teams are also on-hand to support you throughout your volunteer experience, from the moment you step off the airplane. This includes organizing your airport pick-up, program orientation and 24/7 support while you’re abroad. IVHQ works closely with these local teams day in, day out to ensure that your volunteer abroad experience is the best it can be.

Volunteer Work

IVHQ’s locally-led programs are designed to ensure you can make a positive contribution to important causes through your volunteer work abroad, while enjoying a culturally immersive experience. With our huge range of 300+ volunteer projects to choose from, there are plenty of options that give you the opportunity to pursue your passions, explore a career path or even share one of your hobbies with others. You’ll also need to consider how active you are, as some volunteer programs are more physically demanding than others. Our team of Volunteer Travel Specialists can help you choose the perfect program based on these factors.

Accommodation

After a day of volunteering, nothing beats coming home to a comfortable home away from home. When volunteering abroad with IVHQ, you’ll be living in the company of like-minded volunteers from around the world. The accommodation options vary from coutry to country but you can be confident that you’ll always have a safe and vetted place to call home. You could be living in a homestay with a few other volunteers, a volunteer house with dormitory-style rooms or you may wish to request a private room if that option is available.

Meals

Depending on the volunteer program you choose to join, you can be served up to three meals a day. Volunteer meals are typically made up of local cuisine so you’ll have the opportunity to sample traditional home cooked meals that can often accommodate special dietary requirements. Check out our choice of the best volunteer destinations for vegetarians and vegans here.

Impact

The best volunteer abroad programs are the ones that deliver the biggest impact through mutually beneficial exchanges between international volunteers and their host communities. When volunteering abroad with IVHQ, you can feel confident that you’ll be contributing to locally-driven volunteer projects that are supporting important social and environmental objectives. This is achieved by working in collaboration with local people who are in the best position to determine where volunteer support is most needed. It’s crucial that when you’re looking for legitimate volunteer abroad programs, you consider how your time abroad will impact the community and that volunteer work is driven by their needs.


Best volunteer abroad programs for high school students:

Volunteer abroad for high school students

We’ve got 15 volunteer programs around the globe that high school students can take part in. Whether you’re traveling as an individual or with a group, read our comprehensive High School Volunteer Abroad Guide which details the destinations and projects available for high school volunteering abroad, as well as the dedicated support that’s provided for teen volunteering.

Also, new for 2020 is the chance to take part in a tailored experience just for teenage volunteers abroad! Our Youth Adventure Packages are set tours that offer the perfect mix of seeing the attractions of a new country and volunteering on meaningful projects as a teen. You’ll also be traveling with people your own age and have just the right amount of supervision to keep your parents happy!

Best volunteer abroad programs for college students:

Volunteer abroad for college students

Volunteering abroad as a college student is the perfect opportunity to broaden your career prospects and immerse yourself in a foreign community during your break period. If you’d like to learn more about how volunteering abroad can benefit you and discover our best volunteer abroad programs for college students, check out our helpful guide - Volunteer Abroad For College Students.

Whether you’re setting out for your first adventure abroad or you’re well traveled, here are some amazing volunteer destinations that are popular with college students because of their program price, flexibility and community impact.

Top volunteer abroad programs for older adults:

Volunteer abroad for older adults

When we leave our youth, it’s all too common to lose our spirit for adventure and feel as though opportunities aren’t suited for us. Luckily, volunteering abroad has no barriers for older adults. If you’re looking for a new life direction or if you’re highly skilled at what you do, volunteering allows you to connect with a local community and provide meaningful support in your chosen field.

The best thing about IVHQ is that you can travel in your own style. Room upgrades are available in most of our volunteer destinations, so you can choose to have your own privacy or be immersed with other volunteers on your program. Take a look at our Best Volunteer Programs For Grown Ups Guide for all you need to know, or check out some of these recommended options:

Best volunteer vacations for families:

Volunteer abroad for families

The family vacation has taken a different form in 2020, with more and more families looking for meaningful multi-generational travel experiences over traditional resort-style vacations. Volunteering allows families to work together in ways not possible on your average vacation, while still gaining all the perks of visiting a new destination, experiencing local cuisine and seeing the attractions. If you’re looking for recommendations for family volunteer opportunities, check out our helpful Volunteer Vacations for Families Guide and take the family on a trip they won’t forget.

Best medical volunteer abroad programs in 2020 & 2021:

Volunteer abroad for medical

Volunteering abroad has long been a popular option for college students working towards a career in medical fields. Put your theory work into practice as you provide meaningful medical volunteer assistance to underserved communities around the world. Medical volunteering abroad is the perfect way to make the most of your semester break, gain international healthcare experience and give back to communities that value your support. Check out our extensive range of medical volunteer opportunities in our Medical Mission Trips article.

Top volunteer programs for one week:

Volunteer abroad for 1 week

Strapped for time, but still want to volunteer in other countries and do meaningful volunteer work? IVHQ offers fantastic volunteer opportunities to suit a range of travel styles. Take a look at our Volunteer Trips Abroad You Can Take For 1 or 2 Weeks Guide, which details more than 10 destinations and the type of traveler they would suit.

If you’re looking for something else, here are a few other top programs based on FAQs from volunteers:

Where’s the best volunteer abroad program based on accommodation?
Volunteer in Madagascar or volunteer in Belize and experience living on a private island alongside other international volunteers.

What’s the best volunteer abroad program for vegans?
Definitely explore volunteering in Jamaica or support our volunteer projects in Ubud, Bali.

Where’s the best volunteer abrod trip if you want a personalized volunteer experience?
If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten track experience where you’re working will a close-knit group of volunteers, explore volunteering in Jordan.

What’s the best place to volunteer and then fill my weekends with adventures?
You can’t beat spending your weekend on safari in Tanzania.

If you want to volunteer in other countries and are still having a hard time deciding which volunteer abroad program is best for you, IVHQ has programs in more than 40 destinations around the world. So grab out the map and start planning your volunteer trip around the globe.

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The Best Volunteer Abroad Programs For 2020 & 2021

Here are our top 23 volunteer abroad programs for 2020 and 2021. These volunteer programs have been decided by volunteer reviews and provide the best volunteer trip recommendations for every type of volunteer traveler, whether you’re a high school student, college student or older adult.

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How to get started

Pick a destination + project and apply for free
Meet your personal volunteer travel expert
Pay the registration fee to secure your place and upgrade your MyIVHQ account
Get ready to volunteer abroad, we’ll support you every step of the way!