Volunteer in Bali - Ubud
At a glance…
- Available year-round
- 6 meaningful project options
- Projects based in and around the cultural center of Ubud
- Accommodation in volunteer houses
- Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support
- Program fees from US$295 for 1 week (approximately CA$370)
- A special 1 week volunteer program is available
- Between 40 and 80 volunteers start in Bali each month
- Most affordable fees - as the world leader in affordable volunteer travel, we’re able to keep our fees low by partnering with a local organization in Bali to support meaningful community projects and local employment.
- Superior support - your experienced IVHQ Program Manager, teamed with our local team in Bali will ensure you feel supported every step of the way - from planning to volunteering.
- Responsible projects - we’re dedicated to ensuring that our projects are responsibly run and have sustainable positive impacts that are supporting local needs.
- Online training - as soon as you register on an IVHQ program, you will gain access to our interactive volunteer training to ensure you’re well prepared for your program.
- Safety-first - volunteer safety is a top priority for IVHQ and we have clear standards for risk management on each program. You can feel confident that you are placed with trustworthy institutions, organizations and families that have been screened by our local teams.
- New friendships - as an IVHQer, you’ll always be in the company of friendly locals and like-minded volunteer travelers who will quickly become your life-long friends.
- Epic weekend adventures - you’ll have your weekends free to explore Bali with your new-found friends.
The program is based in and around Bali’s cultural center of Ubud, with volunteer placements based predominately in Pejeng and Penestanan. Volunteers are required to fly into Ngurah Rai International Airport, which is a 15 to 18 hour flight from most major airports in Canada. The Turtle Conservation volunteer project is located on the island of Nusa Penida, 45 minutes by boat from Sanur. IVHQ also offers a separate volunteer program on the northern coast of Bali in Lovina. If you are interested in volunteering in Lovina, you can learn more about the Lovina volunteer program here.
Volunteers begin the IVHQ Bali - Ubud volunteer program every Monday and can choose to volunteer for periods ranging from 1 week to 12 weeks. The first week of your volunteer program will be orientation, after which you will begin your volunteer project.
Short-term volunteering in Bali - If you wish to experience a taste of volunteering in Bali, you can register for a special one week volunteer program. You will spend the first part of your week with the other volunteers on orientation, gaining a cultural insight into Bali. This will be followed by two days visiting a volunteer placement to get an idea of what it is like to volunteer. Please note, this option is not available for volunteers on the Turtle Conservation and the Construction and Renovation projects, as this projects have a two week minimum duration.
As a volunteer on our Teaching project in Bali, you will play a hands-on role in developing the English language skills of elementary students within Ubud. Balinese students are eager to practice their conversational English skills and learn from native speakers, as greater English literacy supports opportunities for higher education and career prospects in areas like Bali where Tourism is a rapidly expanding industry.
This project is well suited to creative and proactive volunteers with a passion for showing students that learning English is fun. By using a range of teaching methods, including games, songs, art, sport and music, your role is to inspire and encourage students to further their English learning. If you are new to teaching, you can team up with another volunteer to gain confidence and greater control of the class, as the excitement levels can take over.
When volunteering on this project, you will spend a couple of hours each day preparing lessons and 2.5 - 3 hours hours teaching at a local elementary school. There is a general syllabus for you to follow and examples of what previous volunteers have taught to guide your lesson planning.
As you will be volunteering with the support of IVHQ’s local team and placement staff, you do not need to be a qualified or experienced teacher to participate on this project. However, we encourage volunteers to come prepared by completing some relevant training, like a teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) course. Visit our Online TEFL Course page to learn how to gain an internationally-recognized TEFL certification at a discounted rate.
Please note that volunteers on this project are required to be fluent in English.
The aim of this project is to provide young children in the community of Ubud with a head start on their English education before they begin formal schooling. As a volunteer on this project, you will work in small villages where you will assist in the class teaching basic English to local children aged 4 to 5 years old.
If you’re someone who genuinely loves working with children and understands their behavior, this project will be well suited to you. Keep in mind that you will be surrounded by plenty of young children every day and their friendliness can sometimes become overwhelming - they are children after all!
When volunteering on this project, a typical day will involve working alongside a local Kindergarten teacher for an hour assisting with their lessons and another hour teaching informal English. The children will have a short break between lessons when you will be able to play games with them. You will also spend an hour planning and preparing for the next day’s lessons.
Please note that the work volunteers do on the Kindergarten project will be more informal than the Teaching project, as the children will of course want to play rather than be taught. However, just getting them enthused about coming to kindergarten and giving them basic English phrases will help prepare them for their schooling and future exposure to the English language.
If you would like longer hours of work, we recommend that you also teach in one of the other education projects in the afternoon, which can be arranged once you arrive in Bali. Due to school holidays, the Kindergarten project will be closed in June, July, August and December.
Construction and Renovation
As a volunteer on our Construction and Renovation project in Bali, you will play an important role in supporting the development and refurbishment of community infrastructure within Ubud.
This project is well suited to volunteers with a willingness to work hard and an enthusiasm for helping out wherever your support is most needed. Your tasks may include laying bricks, painting, laying tiles, carpentry, landscaping or gardening. A typical day on the project will involve 3 - 4 hours of work.
You are not required to have previous experience with construction work, however a reasonable level of fitness and strong dedication to the work at hand will go a long way in ensuring you get the most out of your volunteer project.
Please note, this project has a minimum duration of 2 weeks and incurs a surcharge of US$50 (approximately CA$60) per week (excluding the first week) for supervision, materials and the logistics involved in the project. This amount will be included in the Program Fee quoted to you by IVHQ when you apply.
As a volunteer on our Turtle Conservation project, you will work alongside a local team on the small island of Nusa Penida to help protect the endangered sea turtles of Indonesia via both proactive and reactive activities. The long-term aim of this project is to increase the turtle population within the area of Nusa Penida.
If you’re someone who has an interest in wildlife, conservation efforts and likes being outdoors, this project is for you!
When volunteering on our Turtle Conservation projects, you’ll have a hands-on role in caring for the turtles housed at the conservation center. Typical tasks include feeding and cleaning of turtles and the equipment at the center. Additionally, you can assist with proactive conservation efforts, which include the improvement of the surrounding environment via beach clean ups, waste management improvement and educating locals about the issues facing Indonesia’s sea turtles and what can be done to help.
Please note that volunteers must be prepared for a more basic standard of both meals and accommodation on the island. Nusa Penida is not a tourist island and volunteers can expect fewer shops and attractions available - bearing in mind the beach is practically at your doorstep!
Volunteers on the Turtle Conservation project must participate on the project for a minimum of 2 weeks.
As a volunteer on our Environmental Education project in Bali, you will play an important role in educating young Balinese children about protecting the local environment. Plastic water bottles and plastic food wrappers are of great concern in Bali and you will often see people simply throwing these on the ground, as food in Bali was traditionally wrapped in biodegradable banana leaves. The aim of this project is therefore to raise awareness of good environmental practices at a young age.
This project is well suited to volunteers with an interest in conservation and supporting the delivery of environmental education campaigns. Strong initiative is a must as you will need to have an idea of what you would like to teach and how your lessons will be implemented to engage a young audience. Being creative, dynamic and fun with your message will go a long way in keeping the students engaged, as the children will have limited English skills.
When volunteering on this project, you can expect to get the students out and about in nature and working together. Campaigns can include cleaning up the local school, village and rivers, or educating children about recycling. You will spend 1 - 2 hours each day planning your campaign and then you will teach at a local primary school in the afternoon for 2.5 - 3 hours.
Please note that many of the schools where volunteers work are under resourced and while basic materials can be provided, you will need to bring your own specialized resources if you require these for your campaign. If you do not actively plan a campaign, you will spend the majority of your time teaching English.
When volunteering on the Health Education project in Bali, you will play an active role in the promotion of better health and wellbeing among youth within Ubud. Teaching basic health practices at a young age can go a long way in supporting the long-term health of the children you will be working with. The project is well suited to volunteers with an interest in health and teaching basic hygiene techniques. Creativity is a must, as the children have limited English skills, so you need to be willing to adapt your approach to keep the students engaged in your lessons.
Volunteers on this project work in local schools throughout the Ubud area, actively teaching the importance of basic hygiene and general health. Topics can include brushing teeth correctly, washing hands, general body cleanliness and nutrition. You are encouraged to come prepared with an idea of what you would like to teach, and new topics and ideas are always encouraged. You will spend 1 - 2 hours each day planning your campaign and then you will teach at a local primary school in the afternoon for 2.5 - 3 hours.
Qualified doctors can run health campaigns or check-up clinics in local villages around Ubud. Volunteers who wish to do so need to come prepared with an idea of what they wish to focus on during their program.
Please note that qualified doctors who wish to arrange campaigns or clinics are required to provide proof of qualifications and bring any medical equipment they may require with them as resources are limited.
IVHQ offers programs in two locations in Bali and both aim to strengthen the local community through projects focused on education, childcare, environmental protection and healthcare. Bali programs have a particular focus on English language education and this is because having a basic understanding of English is a big advantage for the future job prospects of young people in Bali wanting to make the most of the booming tourism industry. Bali has historically been a popular destination for IVHQ volunteers and this continued in the last year. Our focus for both locations has been on ensuring they provide a consistent experience to volunteers and deliver against their promise of helping local projects to be successful and thrive long-term. In the last 12 months volunteers on the Bali program spent around 22,000 hours supporting wildlife and environmental conservation initiatives, around 55,000 hours working on projects that aim to improve education outcomes, and over 9,500 hours undertaking hands-on projects that improve local facilities and infrastructure.
Latest impacts achieved:
- Supported at least 17 kindergartens’ access to native English speakers each day and provided a valuable source of additional labor for daily activities
- Delivered basic English language education to around 1,400 young people, including more than 100 children in early childhood schools as part of the kindergarten project
- Actively supported 20 schools with volunteers who undertake a range of teacher-support tasks
- Delivered stationery and other equipment to underprivileged children at a large number of schools and education centers
- Provided labor that could otherwise have not been afforded to help build or renovate four kindergartens, and several schools
- Enabled the Turtle Conservation project to significantly expand it’s impact and reach through delivering more than 17,000 hours of volunteer time
The program orientation begins every Monday and volunteers need to arrive in Bali on the Sunday before orientation.
After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at the Ngurah Rai International Airport, also known as Denpasar International Airport (DPS). 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 to the volunteer accommodation in Ubud. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation.
If you are traveling in Bali prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up in Ubud or Denpasar on the day before your program orientation.
Orientation is hosted by our Bali team at their office in Ubud. Orientation begins on the morning of your chosen start date and runs for the first 5 days of your stay. Orientation covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Bali! The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing.
For volunteers on the one week duration, you will spend the first part of your week with the other volunteers on orientation, gaining a cultural insight into Bali. This will be followed by two days visiting a volunteer placement to get an idea of what it is like to volunteer.
The orientation schedule is as follows:
Day One: Introduction to the IVHQ Bali Program and the local staff, Indonesian customs, rules and expectations, safety and an Ubud walking tour (2 - 3 hours). This will be followed by a welcome dinner and Balinese dance show!
Day Two: Language lessons and a local village walk through the countryside and nearby rice paddies (3 hours).
Day Three: Language lessons and a Batik painting class.
Day Four: Indonesian cooking class and a flower making class (flower offerings are a daily ritual in Bali). This will be followed by a discussion session for your upcoming project.
Day Five: Temple visit and an introduction to your project. This will help you prepare for your placement on Monday.
Please note, this schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on the needs of the program, local weather conditions and unforeseen circumstances.
Once orientation week is complete, Turtle Conservation volunteers will travel to Nusa Penida to start their project. Volunteers in Ubud will prepare for the start of their projects the following week.
First Day: On your first day of volunteering, you will be escorted to your placement by a local coordinator and introduced to the placement staff you will be working with.
Weekdays: A typical volunteer day is as follows:
8.00 AM Breakfast at the volunteer house.
9.00 AM Volunteers spend 1 to 2 hours planning for their projects and head to their placements at 1pm. Work and hours is dependent on the project and placements that the volunteer is working at.
12.00 PM Lunch
5.00 PM Work at the project usually ends. Volunteers are free to travel back to their homestays, go sight seeing, or do some shopping.
7.00PM - 8.00 PM Dinner at the volunteer house.
Please note, this schedule can vary depending on the project that the volunteer is participating on.
Volunteers are accommodated in volunteer houses, located approximately 15 minutes drive outside of central Ubud. Village life is quintessentially local and you will get a good chance to see typical Balinese life – roosters crowing and all! Living conditions are comfortable and all volunteer houses have fans in the bedrooms. Volunteers can expect to share a dormitory style room with three to seven other volunteers. The bathroom is shared with a hot water shower and western toilets. There is a pool in a local guesthouse nearby which you can use for US$3. WiFi is available at the volunteer accommodation and there are great internet cafes in the Ubud center if you would like to access a higher speed connection.
For couples or those wanting more privacy, private rooms with an ensuite are available for an additional US$130 (approximately CA$160) per week. For volunteers wanting more comfort, an accommodation upgrade option is available in a private villa for an additional US$180 (approximately CA$225) per week. Families volunteering with children 12 years and under will need to pay an extra US$200 (approximately CA$270) to cover private accommodation and extra care during the program.
Volunteers on the Turtle Conservation project are transported to Nusa Penida after the orientation week. Living conditions on the island are basic yet comfortable and volunteers can expect to share a room with one to seven other volunteers of the same gender. There is WiFi available at the volunteer accommodation, however the connection is unreliable so we recommend purchasing a local SIM card with data for an unlocked mobile phone during your program orientation in Ubud. Please note there are no accommodation upgrade options available on the Turtle Conservation project in Nusa Penida.
Volunteers are served mainly Balinese style dishes and should expect light vegetarian meals. Rice is a staple in the Indonesian cuisine, and eaten daily, typically teamed with fresh vegetables and occasionally tempeh/tofu. Volunteers can expect typical dishes such as nasi goreng (fried rice and vegetables - often considered as the national dish), mie goreng (fried noodles and vegetables) or gado gado (mixed vegetables with a satay sauce). Western meals may be served during the week. Breakfast can include fresh fruit, toast, and eggs. Tea, coffee, and toast will be available throughout the day. Purified drinking water is also available in the volunteer house; we do not recommend that you drink the tap water. Three meals per day are provided on weekdays, and breakfast and dinner only during the weekends. If volunteers wish to eat out in Ubud, there are a large numbers of restaurants and local warungs (restaurants) to suit all tastes and budgets. If you have special dietary requirements, please let us when you apply so that we can make arrangements for you. However, we need to stress the point that you should not expect to eat as you normally do at home. We will do our best to see that you are well taken care of, and as a volunteer, there is a need to be flexible.
“My experience with IVHQ in Bali was so rewarding and such an amazing eye-opener! It was tough to begin with, but by the end the children I was working with were like family, I didn’t want to leave! The staff were so friendly and the people I met, and the girls I stayed with were fantastic!” - Ruth Albertson-Kill (Kindergarten Volunteer in Bali)
During the weekends, volunteers have spare time to relax or take the opportunity to explore Ubud, or other parts of Bali. Popular destinations and activities include the beaches of Sanur, Seminyak or Kuta, cycling or trekking tours on Mount Batur, and visits to rice terraces and temples.
See our Bali Travel and Tours page for more volunteer travel options in Bali!
|Currency||Indonesia Rupiah (IDR)|
Weather and climate: Bali has a tropical climate with year round warm weather and an average temperature of 30°C. High humidity can be expected during the wet season, October - April. The dry season is between the months of May - September and has the lowest humidity.
Volunteers need to be 18 years or over to participate, unless volunteering with a parent or guardian. All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a criminal background check to IVHQ’s local team on arrival in Bali. Additional requirements apply for Teaching and Healthcare volunteers, please read the project descriptions above.
Speaking Bahasa Indonesia is not a prerequisite for the IVHQ Bali - Ubud volunteer program, however on certain projects, the volunteer work will be restricted with limited language ability. Past volunteers feel that taking lessons can help you immensely with your day to day volunteer work and communicating with local people. Volunteers interested in taking classes can arrange these directly with the local staff once in Bali.
Free Interactive Volunteer Training - All volunteers are encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training, which is available exclusively to registered IVHQ volunteers. The training is designed to build an understanding of important aspects that need to be considered before embarking on an IVHQ program. It helps volunteers to prepare in the right way by providing advice on what it takes to be a safe, responsible and valuable volunteer. Try a sample of the training here.