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The Best Volunteer Abroad Programs For 2021 & 2022

Best volunteer abroad programs - your comprehensive guide

Looking for the best volunteer abroad programs to join in 2021 and 2022? As the world’s leading provider of top rated volunteer abroad programs, International Volunteer HQ is making it easy for you to find the best volunteer travel opportunities. With feedback from more than 10,000 volunteers and insight from our experienced volunteer abroad support staff, we’re sharing 25 of our most recommended volunteer trips for 2021 and 2022.

As Covid-19 restrictions continue to ease, many students, graduates, families and older adults are looking to combine an immersive cultural experience with a meaningful getaway. The majority of IVHQ’s volunteer programs are now open 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 and best places to volunteer abroad that are currently accepting volunteers for 2021, 2022 and beyond.

What are the best places to volunteer abroad in 2021 and 2022?

With volunteer programs in Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, North America, Central America, South America and the Middle East proving most popular for 2021 and 2022, explore the best volunteer abroad programs as chosen by past IVHQ volunteers in the following regions:

Wondering how we measure the effectiveness of our volunteer abroad programs? Check out the scoring guide that past volunteers use to rate IVHQ programs here.

What are the best volunteer abroad programs for 2021 and 2022 based on your travel style?

Wondering how to volunteer abroad and where to start? Whether you’re a high school student, an older adult or a family, discover the top volunteer abroad programs for your travel style below:

Best volunteer abroad programs for 2021 and 2022

The majority of IVHQ’s volunteer abroad programs have already reopened in countries where public health guidelines, local government advice and entry requirements allow. With many countries around the world easing Covid-19 restrictions, volunteers are needed more than ever to help local communities get back on their feet.

As more people opt 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 2021, 2022 and beyond. You won’t want to miss out on these humanitarian volunteer opportunities!

To help you choose the best 2021 and 2022 volunteer programs to match your personal interests and the causes you care about - we’ve selected the top programs below based on how past volunteers have scored them.

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.

Find out where you can volunteer abroad right now

Find out where you can volunteer abroad right now

The majority of IVHQ’s programs have reopened. Find out where you can volunteer abroad without having to quarantine.

What Are The Best Volunteer Abroad Programs in Africa for 2021 and 2022?

Volunteer Abroad in Tanzania

Volunteer in Tanzania with IVHQ in 2021 & 2022

Tanzania is a country bursting with natural splendor, beautiful beaches, ancient villages and local tribes. It’s also home to the astounding Mount Kilimanjaro and some incredible wildlife, making it a nature and animal lover’s paradise.

Many choose to combine our volunteer programs in Tanzania with a safari tour, 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 tackle some of 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 a conservation volunteer program in Eastern Africa? Check out IVHQ’s Zanzibar volunteer program below, which you can easily be added to the start or end of your Tanzania trip.

Explore the Tanzania programApply to volunteer in Tanzania

Volunteer Abroad in Zanzibar

Volunteer in Zanzibar with IVHQ in 2021 & 2022

Looking to unplug from everyday life and reconnect with nature? , Located off the coast of Tanzania, the island of Zanzibar boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, unique wildlife, charming locals and vibrant culture.

IVHQ’s Zanzibar program is perfect for animal and nature lovers who want to get a taste of Africa. As a volunteer, you can live in a beachside bungalow and regenerate wild turtle populations on the Turtle Conservation project. Alternatively, you can stay in a rustic forest camp and protect endangered species, such as the Red Colobus Monkey, snakes, lizards and tortoises on the Rainforest & Coastal Conservation project.

This is a unique opportunity to go off the beaten track to help protect delicate ecosystems, preserve natural spaces and tackle climate change. Volunteering in Zanzibar can easily be combined with IVHQ’s Tanzania program too.

Explore the Zanzibar programApply to volunteer in Zanzibar

Volunteer Abroad in Victoria Falls

Volunteer in Victoria Falls with IVHQ in 2021 & 2022

Imagine volunteering abroad in a setting where your backyard has breathtaking views over a zebra-filled savannah - Victoria Falls is just that. Not only is this one of the best opportunities to volunteer in Africa with animals, Victoria Falls offers one of the most unique 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.

While the work is physically demanding, you’ll be rewarded for your efforts with night camping in the reserve itself. If you are in search of animal volunteering abroad and are passionate about conservation and wildlife, IVHQ’s Victoria Falls program is sure to deliver an unforgettable experience.

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.

Explore the Victoria Falls programApply to volunteer in Victoria Falls

Volunteer Abroad in Kruger National Park, South Africa

Volunteer in Kruger National Park, South Africa with IVHQ in 2021 & 2022

Want to go into the wild and protect endangered species? Our Wildlife Conservation project in South Africa is based on one of Africa’s largest and most iconic game reserves - Kruger National Park.

Volunteers get to live amongst the ‘Big 5’ - lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo - and help preserve their spectacular home. A typical day on the Wildlife Conservation project includes game drives, vegetation sampling, camera trapping, habitat assessments, monitoring of rare and endangered species and much more.

If you want to volunteer in South Africa on a community focused project, we have plenty in and around Cape Town to choose from. Or, for the ultimate adventure, combine our Kruger project with one from Cape Town!

Explore the Kruger programApply to volunteer in Kruger National Park

Volunteer Abroad in Ghana

Volunteer in Ghana with IVHQ in 2021 & 2022

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. In your free time, you’ll be able to explore Ghana’s best kept secrets, thanks to the popular tips the local team has to offer. Explore our 2021 volunteer opportunities in Ghana below.

Explore the Ghana programApply to volunteer in Ghana

Volunteer Abroad in South Africa

Volunteer in South Africa with IVHQ in 2021 & 2022

If you’re a first time traveler, a solo traveler or have never been to Africa, volunteering abroad in South Africa is a popular choice. Set in Cape Town, IVHQ’s South Africa program is incredibly popular for those looking for a meaningful and social travel experience with easy access to surfing, hiking and even weekend safari tours.

The volunteer work itself 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 in Cape Town.

Looking for a conservation project or want to go on safari in South Africa? IVHQ’s Wildlife Conservation project in South Africa is based in Kruger National Park and gives volunteers the unique opportunity to live amongst the ‘Big 5’ - lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo - while observing them on game drives and protecting their spectacular home.

Explore the South Africa programApply to volunteer in South Africa

Volunteer Abroad in Morocco

Volunteer in Morocco with IVHQ in 2021 & 2022

Morocco is a glowing cultural hub with a unique fusion of European, African and Middle Eastern influences that result in an upbeat lifestyle, perfect for travelers seeking an authentic cultural experience. IVHQ’s Morocco volunteer programs are based in the stunning regions of Rabat, Casablanca and Sale.

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

Explore the Morocco programApply to volunteer in Morocco

What Are The Best Volunteer Abroad Programs in Central America for 2021 and 2022?

Volunteer Abroad in Costa Rica

Volunteer in Costa Rica with IVHQ in 2021 & 2022

Known for its laid back culture and beautiful beaches, rainforests and volcanoes, Costa Rica is consistently a top pick for those looking to volunteer in Central America. IVHQ’s Costa Rica volunteer programs are located in a range of volunteer locations in Costa Rica, including the capital city of San Jose, and Manuel Antonio on the Pacific Coast.

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.

Explore the Costa Rica programApply to volunteer in Costa Rica

Volunteer Abroad in Guatemala

Volunteer in Guatemala with IVHQ in 2021 & 2022

Volunteering in 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 - to Medical, Childcare and Teaching projects in the bustling city of Antigua.

Explore the Guatemala programApply to volunteer in Guatemala

What Are The Best Volunteer Abroad Programs in South America for 2021 and 2022?

Volunteer Abroad in Peru

Volunteer in Peru with IVHQ in 2021 & 2022

For 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 choose to volunteer in Peru’s capital - Lima (starting at just $180 for 1 week), or in Cusco- the gateway to Machu Picchu. During your weekends, you’ll have easy access from either location to iconic attractions such as lRainbow Mountain, Lake Titicaca and the Salt Mines.

Explore the Peru programApply to volunteer in Peru

Volunteer Abroad in Ecuador

Volunteer in Ecuador with IVHQ in 2021 & 2022

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. Volunteer programs are 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, however there is still a great need for volunteers to assist with the development of the city.

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

Explore the Ecuador programApply to volunteer in Ecuador

Volunteer Abroad in Argentina

Volunteer in Argentina with IVHQ in 2021 & 2022

Argentina draws in tourists from around the globe for many reasons - its natural beauty, delicious cuisine, vibrant culture and so much more.

IVHQ’s Argentina volunteer programs are located in the cultural hub of Córdoba and coastal capital, Buenos Aires.Volunteer projects include Childcare, Construction & Renovation, Elderly Care, Healthcare, Special Needs Support and much more.

Both of IVHQ’s Argentina programs are within a short flight of the iconic Northeast Argentina region, making it an ideal weekend escape for volunteers. This is a stunning, untouched part of the country, home to the famous Iguazú falls and the rugged beauty of the surrounding National Park.

Explore the Argentina programApply to volunteer in Argentina

Volunteer Abroad in Colombia

Volunteer in Colombia with IVHQ in 2021 & 2022

InColombia IVHQ offers a diverse range of volunteer projects to suit every volunteer’s skills and motivations. Our local team on the ground is extremely passionate about their local initiatives, making it easy for volunteers to go above and beyond to make a difference.

Volunteer work in Colombia is based either in the capital of Bogota or the coastal city of Cartagena. Programs include Childcare, Elderly Care, Teaching and more.

Explore the Colombia programApply to volunteer in Colombia

What Are The Best Volunteer Abroad Programs in North America and the Caribbean for 2021 and 2022?

Volunteer Abroad in Belize

Volunteer in Belize with IVHQ in 2021 & 2022

Our Belize program is based on a stunning private island 45 minutes from mainland Belize in the Caribbean, with a focus on preserving endangered 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 the Belize programApply to volunteer in Belize

Volunteer Abroad in the USA

Volunteer in the USA with IVHQ in 2021 & 2022

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 vibrant cities across the US.

With volunteer programs in San Diego, New Orleans, Philadelphia and Chicago, this is an exciting chance for Americans to gain a new cultural perspective without crossing any borders.

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.

Explore the USA programApply to volunteer in USA

Volunteer Abroad in Puerto Rico

Volunteer in Puerto Rico with IVHQ in 2021 & 2022

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!

Explore the Puerto Rico programApply to volunteer in Puerto Rico

What Are The Best Volunteer Abroad Programs in Europe for 2021 and 2022?

Volunteer Abroad in Croatia

Volunteer in Croatia with IVHQ in 2021 & 2022

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.

Explore the Croatia programApply to volunteer in Croatia

Volunteer Abroad in Portugal

Volunteer in Portugal with IVHQ in 2021 & 2022

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.

As requested, IVHQ have opened an exciting new Forest Conservation project in Portugal. This involves helping restore native forests just outside of Lisbon to help tackle climate change and protect precious ecosystems.

Explore the Portugal programApply to volunteer in Portugal

Volunteer Abroad in Romania

Volunteer in Romania with IVHQ in 2021 & 2022

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.

Explore the Romania programApply to volunteer in Romania

Volunteer Abroad in Spain

Volunteer in Spain with IVHQ in 2021 & 2022

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.

Explore the Spain programApply to volunteer in Spain

What Are The Best Volunteer Abroad Programs in the Middle East for 2021 and 2022?

Volunteer Abroad in Jordan

Volunteer in Jordan with IVHQ in 2021 & 2022

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.

Explore the Jordan programApply to volunteer in Jordan

What Are The Best Volunteer Abroad Programs in Asia for 2021 and 2022?

Please note: IVHQ’s Asia volunteer programs are due to open in early 2021, apart from Nepal which is already open and hosting volunteers. If you’re interested in one of our Asia programs, you can still apply and register now. Your Program Manager will let you know if it is not going to open in time for your chosen dates so you can change your plans for free thanks to our flexible booking policy.

Volunteer Abroad in Nepal

Volunteer in Nepal with IVHQ in 2021 & 2022

Volunteer in Nepal in 2021 or 2022 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.

Explore the Nepal programApply to volunteer in Nepal

Volunteer Abroad in Bali - Indonesia

Volunteer in Bali, Indonesia with IVHQ in 2021 & 2022

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.

Explore the Bali programApply to volunteer in Bali

Volunteer Abroad in India - Kerala

Volunteer in India - Kerala with IVHQ in 2021 & 2022

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.

Explore the India programApply to volunteer in India

Volunteer Abroad in Vietnam

Volunteer in Vietnam with IVHQ in 2021 & 2022

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.

Explore the Vietnam programApply to volunteer in Vietnam

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 2021 and 2022, 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.


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.


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.


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 in 2021 and 2022:

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.

Best volunteer abroad programs for college students in 2021 and 2022:

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 in 2021 and 2022:

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 in 2021 and 2022:

Volunteer abroad for families

The family vacation has taken a different form this year, 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 2021 and 2022:

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 in 2021 and 2022:

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 50 destinations around the world. So grab out the map and start planning your volunteer trip around the globe.

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!