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Youth Support Volunteering in Spain - Barcelona

Youth Support Volunteering in Spain - Barcelona

Provide a safe space for marginalized youth
Start dates
Programs start every second and fourth Monday of the month
Choose from 2-12 weeks
Volunteer hours
Up to 5 hours a day
Volunteers aged 18+
Dormitory-style hostel
Program fees
From £1031 for 2 weeks
What's included
Find out here
Apply for free
'Who is going' users image
Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

This program is ideal for:

Volunteers who enjoy spending time with children and teenagers. You’ll work closely alongside the local staff and other volunteers to promote better outcomes for young people in Barcelona so no experience is required.

Project details

Curious about being a Youth Support volunteer in Spain? International Volunteer HQ’s Youth Support project enables volunteers to assist in schools and after-school centres for young people from disadvantaged communities in Barcelona. Volunteers gain youth work experience while being good role models, and creating a positive, supportive environment. You’ll help support educational staff with their daily tasks and informally teach personal development and life skills that can have a major impact on the lives of young people.

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

There is a growing socioeconomic divide in Barcelona, and those who grow up in underprivileged communities don’t tend to have access to support services that exist in other parts of the world. Volunteers on the Youth Support project can forge meaningful connections with young people and help give them tools to build a better future for themselves.

After-school centres aim to provide a safe, supportive place for students to spend their free time in a productive way, and volunteers play an important role in fostering an inclusive environment for all who want to attend. You’ll help with personal development and establishing life skills that can change young people’s expectations of themselves and what their futures could look like.

As a Youth Support volunteer you’ll assist with the support of students between the ages of 3 and 18 by:

  • Helping with homework
  • Arranging activities
  • Teaching English
  • Mentoring children
  • Supporting the educational team in schools with their daily routine or break time
  • Spending time with the young people who attend

During school holidays and summer holidays (approximately the end of June to the middle of September), instead of focusing on teaching English and homework help, volunteers will have the chance to showcase their creativity by organizing games, workshops, theater plays, and other fun activities for young people. Volunteers may also help with trips to a swimming pool or beach once a week.

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #1: No Poverty

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #1: No Poverty

More than 10% of the world’s population live in extreme poverty, struggling to fulfil the most basic needs like health, education, and access to water and sanitation, to name a few. Growth must be inclusive to achieve sustainable development and an economy that benefits all.

Why do Youth Support volunteering in Barcelona with IVHQ?

When you volunteer with young people in Spain you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:

  • Improving opportunities for young people in Barcelona
  • Helping students develop life skills in a safe place
  • Developing your communication skills
  • Gaining youth work experience
  • Immersing yourself in the Spanish way of life
  • Discovering Spain’s Catalonia region

Volunteer requirements

  • Volunteers need to be 18 years or over to participate in this program. If you are under the age of 18, IVHQ offers alternative volunteer opportunities for teens. Visit our High School Volunteer Abroad page to learn more.

  • All volunteers are required to speak fluent English, have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a criminal background check to IVHQ before departure.

  • Volunteers are required to have a conversational/intermediate level of Spanish language ability.

Are you eligible to volunteer?

Submit a free application so we can confirm your eligibility and check availability for your preferred dates.

Apply for free

Not sure which program to join?

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'Who is going' users image
Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience

Naomi Hicks
11 Jun 2024

I liked how supported I felt before the program. I gained a lot of confidence in my ability to speak Spanish to little kids. I also felt like this program helped me grow into a very independent person as I had to travel to and from the hostel alone. My advice would be to be in the moment as much as possible.

Carmen Knie
28 May 2024

It was helpful to have this checklist and different advices before the trip started. I gained self development, I came out of my comfort zone and am more open minded about cultures and social backgrounds. I got to know so many interesting people and I already miss the children of the school there. I had a wonderful time.

Sarah Hutchings
05 Sep 2023

I gained amazing experiences working with younger children, some of which were from deprived backgrounds, which gave me valuable experience and insight into their way of life and language. The volunteering was wonderful we went on trips to the pool, beach and a climbing centre with the children which was fun for all. We also spent days in the school organising fun activities which helped me to learn some basic Spanish.

Macy Hubbard
02 Aug 2023

The preparation checklist was really helpful and so were the email reminders, they helped me to stay organized. Also, thanks to my Program Manager for being there to answer any questions I had and for always responding so quickly! The in-country volunteer coordinator was so amazing and I felt so grateful to have her there to guide me. She was available no matter what time it was.

My favorite moment was meeting the children on the first day of my placement, they were so excited to meet me and welcomed me with open arms. I will never ever forget it! I learnt more about myself and realized that it's so important to live in the moment and take everything in. Jump right in and do it - it’s scary at first but will turn out to be the most incredible adventure where you will learn so much about yourself and the world around you.

Jada Albizures
13 Jun 2022

My favorite moment from the volunteer experience was spending time with the other volunteers and talking about our different projects. I learnt about a culture different from my own and pushed myself out of my comfort zone to have a great experience! A moment I will never forget is when I was able to tie together two jump ropes so the kids at the school could all jump together. They were so excited and said there was never a long enough jump rope for all them to use. They just couldn’t stop saying thank you and it was a special moment where I could actually see the impact I was making.

If you’re thinking about volunteering abroad then do some research to find what program is the right fit for you. Once you've found it then GO FOR IT!! I think saying that you tried is better than never going and regretting it. Even if you’re going alone, there will be plenty of people to meet along the way. Enjoy the journey and remember that we only live once!

Kelly Vrydaghs
19 Oct 2021

IVHQ is a wonderful program to volunteer on! You are guided through every step of the program so well, the process of going overseas doesn’t seem so daunting. All of the IVHQ staff who I came into contact with were very kind and I felt safe about what I was getting myself into. I don’t have the right words to express how amazing the volunteering experience was, but I can say that I would, and will, do this again in a heartbeat! Every time memories from the trip arise, I am filled with intensely happy feelings. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to travel and volunteer.


To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.

Academic course credit

Academic course credit through International Volunteer HQ and Intern Abroad HQ.

Academic course credit

Gain course credit from your college or university and meet your academic requirements when completing a volunteer abroad program with International Volunteer HQ!

Learn about course credit


Volunteer Abroad in Barcelona, Spain with IVHQ


Catalonia is a region in northern Spain with its own distinct culture. Barcelona is its capital and melds millennia of history with modern life in a way that creates a vivid, stylish city with a vibrant atmosphere. It’s rich with the art and architecture of Gaudi and Picasso; home to FC Barcelona - one of the world’s best football teams; loaded with remnants of its ancient Roman past; stacked with beautiful beaches and parks and known for its mouth-watering cuisine. The IVHQ Spain volunteer program in Barcelona hosts a popular range of meaningful volunteer work. The dedicated local team supports volunteers 24/7 as they’re immersed in local life, helping you to develop an authentic understanding of this iconic destination. Volunteer placements are located throughout the wider city area of Barcelona. Some placements are up to a 90-minute commute, which can be on different means of public transport.

Arrival and orientation

The program orientation begins on the second and fourth Monday of every month, and volunteers need to arrive in Barcelona on the Sunday before orientation.

After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Barcelona–El Prat Airport (BCN). 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 via Metro and bus to the volunteer accommodation. Your accommodation is covered by your program fee and includes the night before your program orientation.

If you are travelling in Spain prior to your volunteer program and arriving overland, we will provide you with a time and place to meet the local team in Barcelona on the day before your program orientation.

Orientation is hosted by our Spain team in Barcelona. It begins the morning of your chosen start date and lasts for a full day. The orientation covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Spain – an introduction to Spain and Barcelona, culture and customs, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities, an introduction to project and placement as well as a tour of the local area and a basic Spanish language lesson. The orientation will also give you a chance to sign up for additional Spanish language lessons and to meet other volunteers with whom you can swap contact details for weekend travel and socialising .

Volunteer schedule example


After the initial orientation, you will have a morning, afternoon or evening shift at your placement and will work for approximately 3 to 5 hours per day. Please note that start times and daily workload depends on the specific project that you are participating on.

A typical daily schedule is as follows:

7:00 - 10:00 AM Breakfast at the volunteer accommodation.
8:00 AM Volunteers with a morning shift travel to placement to join local placement staff and begin work on their project.
1:00 - 3:00 PM Lunch at the volunteer accommodation.
2:30 PM Volunteers with an afternoon or evening shift travel to placement to join local placement staff and begin work on their project.
8:00 - 10:00 PM Volunteers usually have dinner around this time. Please remember that you will need to purchase your own dinner from a local restaurant or supermarket.


On your free weekends in Spain, visit Gaudi’s unfinished yet still iconic La Sagrada Familia church, catch a football match, try a local paella, sunbathe on an incredible beach or wander the streets of Les Ramblas to Barcelona’s city centre.

Volunteers staying for longer durations, or who wish to travel before or after their program, can visit areas further afield in Spain including; Granada, Valencia, Madrid and many other places. Volunteers can make travel arrangements once in Barcelona, with the advice and guidance of our local team.

Accommodation and WiFi

Prepare for an exciting stay just a short distance from Barcelona’s bustling city centre! Volunteers will be accommodated in a vibrant dormitory-style hostel, offering a lively atmosphere and the chance to meet other volunteers and travelers. Each room accommodates up to eight individuals of the same gender, providing a comfortable and sociable environment.

Expect modern conveniences like shared ensuite bathrooms with hot showers, cozy bedding, reading lamps and individual sockets next to each bed, and air conditioning. Each volunteer will have their own, complete with a provided lock. While towels are not provided, they can be rented from the hostel reception for a small fee, approximately US$3 (approximately £2) - US$4 (approximately £3), or you’re welcome to bring your own towel from home.

The hostel features communal spaces including a welcoming living room, dining area, fully-equipped kitchen, and a spacious outdoor terrace, perfect for socializing and enjoying meals together.

WiFi is available in the hostel, free of charge, and can also be accessed from many cafes and restaurants in the area. If you would like to keep connected during your stay, it’s recommended to bring an unlocked mobile phone and purchase a local SIM card once you arrive in Spain.

Private room upgrades with shared or private bathrooms can be arranged upon request for an additional cost, subject to availability.


Volunteers are provided with breakfast and lunch everyday.

Breakfast is self-serve at the volunteer accommodation and typically consists of fruit, bread, jam, cereal, milk, tea, and coffee.

Lunch is provided at the volunteer accommodation’s restaurant, according to a fixed menu. Meals typically include pasta, rice, meat, seafood, vegetable and salad dishes.

Dinner is not included in the program and you will need to purchase this yourself. You can expect to budget around US$13 (approximately £10) - US$23 (approximately £19) for dinner, however; prices will vary depending on what type of establishment you choose to purchase your dinner from.

Tap water is safe to drink in Barcelona but if you would prefer to drink bottled water, it is readily available and volunteers should budget approximately US$5 (approximately £4)- US$8 (approximately £6) per week for two liters of water per day.

If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know when submitting your application so we can make arrangements for you. As you will be living and volunteering abroad, you should not expect to eat as you normally do at home; however, the local team will do their best to ensure you are well taken care of.


  • USD

Spots are limited. For a Registration Fee of just US$329 (approximately £273) you secure your spot and unlock all our preparation and training tools.

You don't need to worry about paying your Program Fee until you get closer to your start date.

Program Fee
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
  • USD
2 weeks $1,240 Equivalent to $89/day
3 weeks $1,700 Equivalent to $81/day
4 weeks $2,160 Equivalent to $77/day
5 weeks $2,620 Equivalent to $75/day
6 weeks $3,080 Equivalent to $73/day
8 weeks $4,000 Equivalent to $71/day
10 weeks $4,920 Equivalent to $70/day
12 weeks $5,840 Equivalent to $70/day
  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately £273) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services.
  • A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Spain generally find US$100 to be sufficient for weekly expenses including dinner, transportation and miscellaneous spending.
  • Any changes or cancellations within 14 days of your start date are subject to a US$200 late change/cancellation fee.
  • Breakfast and lunch
  • Airport pick-up
  • Accommodation
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Personalised preparation tools, guides and check lists
  • Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
  • Discounts on language lessons
  • Certificate of International Volunteer Service

Learn more about what's included in your IVHQ Registration Fee and Program Fee.

  • Transport to and from your placement each day
  • Return to the airport when your program finishes
  • Dinner
  • US$10 per night for the Barcelona City Tax, paid directly to the accommodation upon arrival.
  • Flights
  • Visa (if required), travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check.
  • Personal spending money for snacks, laundry, public transportation, drinks and leisure activities during your free time.

Free-time experiences & tours in Barcelona

Take your volunteer experience to the next level with IVHQ's affordable activity and tour add-ons in Barcelona! Explore your options below and learn how to book them once you've been accepted onto the IVHQ Barcelona program.

Spanish Language Lessons - Ten Hour Intensive Class
Spanish Language Lessons - Ten Hour Intensive Class

Want to improve your Spanish language skills while volunteering in Spain? There’s no better time or more affordable way to gain confidence speaking, reading and writing in Spanish!

From £271

Check what's required to visit Spain

Safety and support

Safety and support with IVHQ

Safety and support

IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.

  • All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
  • All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
  • All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
  • All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Learn more about IVHQ's safety

Essential country information

Essential country information

Capital Madrid
Population 46.9 million
Languages Spanish
Currency Euro (EUR)
Time zone UTC+01:00

Weather and climate: Being such a large country, the climate of Spain is very varied. Barcelona and its metropolitan area has a Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and hot summers. Its average annual temperature is 21.2 °C (70.2 °F) during the day and 15.1 °C (59.2 °F) at night. In the coldest month, January, the temperature ranges from 12 to 18 °C (54 to 64 °F) during the day and 6 to 12 °C (43 to 54 °F) at night. In the warmest month – August, the temperature ranges from 28 to 32 °C (82 to 90 °F) during the day and about from 20 to 24 °C (68 to 75 °F) at night. Large fluctuations in temperature are very rare.

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