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How To Volunteer Abroad As A Physical Therapist


How to volunteer abroad as a Physical Therapist

If you’re looking for physiotherapy volunteer abroad opportunities, International Volunteer HQ offers an extensive range of physical therapy volunteering work overseas, specifically on our Special Needs Care projects. These projects are suitable for both physical therapy students and qualified physical therapists, allowing you to engage in meaningful volunteer work relevant to your area of expertise with the opportunity to give back to communities with limited access to healthcare.

What are the requirements for physical therapy volunteering abroad?

IVHQ offers affordable volunteer abroad programs for physical therapy students, as well as physiotherapy volunteering placements for qualified physical therapists.

The scope of volunteer work available depends on your specific experience and qualification levels, and you will need to specify this during the application process. Once your application has been submitted, your IVHQ Program Manager will work with our local team to organize a physiotherpy placement that’s best suited to you.

How to volunteer abroad as a Physical Therapist

Why you should volunteer abroad as a physical therapist with IVHQ?

IVHQ offers all-inclusive and affordable physical therapy volunteer placements overseas that are budget-friendly and can be customized to suit your unique skills and experience, with program fees starting as low as US$180 for 1 week.

With over 16 years of experience in hosting volunteers overseas, IVHQ specializes in taking care of all your pre-departure and in-country arrangements. We also arrange your airport pick-up, accommodation, meals and orientation, and provide you with access to 24/7 in-country support to ensure you’re all set for your volunteer abroad experience.

What volunteer opportunities are available for physical therapists?

As a physical therapy volunteer with IVHQ, you can work alongside local physical therapists in a variety of special needs care homes and clinics in the following locations:

If you have a passion for working with the elderly, you can also use your physical therapy skills to assist on one of our Elderly Care projects.

If you would prefer to volunteer as a physical therapist in a medical setting, then check out the following locations:

How to volunteer abroad as a Physical Therapist

How long can you volunteer abroad as a physical therapist?

IVHQ runs volunteer programs year-round and you can choose to volunteer abroad for durations ranging from 1 to 24 weeks, so it’s easy to coordinate a volunteer trip that works with your schedule.

How do I apply for physical therapy volunteer abroad programs?

  • Choose a destination and the project you wish to volunteer on from the opportunities listed above, as well as the dates you wish to volunteer.
  • Complete the free online application form with the details of your chosen program and dates. You will then receive an email confirming that IVHQ has received your application. Within 48 hours (2 working days), you will receive an email from your IVHQ Program Manager acknowledging your application and confirming the country, project and dates of your volunteer program. In this email, you will receive instructions on how to pay the Registration Fee in order to confirm your booking with IVHQ.
  • Log in to your MyIVHQ account to pay your Registration Fee. As soon as your Registration Fee has been received by IVHQ, you will be provided with all the information and support you need to prepare for your upcoming volunteer program. Your IVHQ Program Manager will be your point of contact throughout your preparations up until you finish your volunteer program.

How to volunteer abroad as a Physical Therapist

What can you expect when volunteering abroad as a physical therapist?

Each physical therapy volunteer placement will vary based on the project setting you select, as well as the needs in country at your time of arrival, so it is important to keep an open mind throughout your volunteer experience.

To hear from IVHQer Brendan Smith about his time volunteering in Cusco on a Special Needs placement, check out his blog here: “What’s it like to volunteer in Cusco?”

In Brendan’s insightful account, he details his experience of volunteering alongside a local physical therapist in Cusco and how this was significantly different to his role as a physical therapist at home.

Before taking part in your physiotherapy volunteering abroad, you will also be provided with online training and guidance from your IVHQ Program Manager on how to best prepare for your trip and they’re available for any questions you may have.

What are the benefits of volunteering abroad as a physical therapist?

Both students and professional physical therapy volunteers are appreciative of the invaluable first-hand experience and cross-cultural exchange that they gain while assisting physical therapists at their placements abroad. With opportunities in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and Central America, IVHQ gives you the opportunity to volunteer across a range of settings. In addition to helping in a medical setting, volunteers have the opportunity to work within special education schools, clinics and elderly homes where your knowledge and skills as a Physical Therapist is in demand.

How can I volunteer with a group of physiotherapists?

We are proud to have hosted a large number of university volunteer groups over the past 10 years, and we have a specialized IVHQ Groups Team who provide interested group leaders with all the information and support they need to register for one of our volunteer programs. For groups of over 10 or more members, we can also help you in building a customized group itinerary, or organize a medical campaign for you to support. We’ll guide you and your group through the application process, from start to finish, and ensure that you and your group are prepared for your volunteer trip. Learn more about group volunteer opportunities here, or contact our Groups Manager, Kirsty, ( to chat about your group trip plans.

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!