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Teen & High School Volunteer Abroad

Teen & High School Volunteer Abroad

There’s no need to wait ‘til you’re 18 to volunteer abroad! International Volunteer HQ specialises in offering safe and affordable volunteer opportunities for high school students and teens in more than 17 destinations around the globe.

Volunteering for teens is an educational, mind-opening and life-enriching travel experience. Since 2007, IVHQ has supported thousands of high school students to volunteer in Africa, Asia, South America, Central America, North America, Europe, the Caribbean and the Pacific. We also organise a range of volunteer trips for high school groups.

Almost 20% of IVHQ volunteers are teenagers, so we know a thing or two about providing budget-friendly, safe and hassle-free volunteer travel experiences for young explorers. Find your calling below!

Whether you’re looking for community service trips for high school students or summer volunteer programs for teens, IVHQ’s high school volunteer programs offer safe, culturally immersive and impactful trips year-round, from 1 week to 24 weeks.

High school volunteers between the ages of 16-17 can travel independently on 17 IVHQ programs, including Portugal, Tanzania, Peru, Costa Rica and more. Teen volunteers on these projects work alongside volunteers of all ages.

So what are you waiting for? Jump right in and explore our best teen and high school volunteer abroad options below!

What do past high school volunteers say about their experiences?

It is hard to pick just one favourite moment from the volunteer experience because everything impacted me in some way! The guidance and preparation resources I received from IVHQ were very helpful and my emails were responded to quickly. The children and the amazing local team had the biggest impact on me along with meeting other people volunteering abroad. What I would say to someone still hesitant about volunteering abroad is, to just go for it - you won’t regret it! Ethan Chisholm, 16 years
(Rainforest and Coastal Conservation project in Zanzibar)

My accommodation was amazing as I was able to build a great relationship with my host family. The meals they provided for me were amazing. I would tell future volunteers to just do it because it was the best experience ever and they will meet so many people and they definitely won’t regret it. Faith Hockley, 17 years
(Childcare project Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica)

My best moments from the volunteer experience was the spontaneous moments I had with the new friends we made there. The impact my volunteering trip had on me was the exploring of a new culture and the knowledge and respect I took with me from Bali. My advice for future volunteers is just do it! It will be an unforgettable experience! Laurie Ferreira, 17 years
(Turtle Conservation project in Bali)

My highlight moment from the volunteer experience was seeing how other people live in the world and seeing how I can make a difference in someone’s life. I learned how to adapt to new environments and learned so much from the people and surroundings. When volunteering with the kids and the school it opened my eyes to real world issues. Phoebe Pierce, 17 years
(Childcare project in Fiji)

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Fully chaperoned Teen Volunteer Summer Camps

IVHQ’s Teen Volunteer Summer Camps are the perfect programs for 16 and 17 year old volunteers who want to travel independently in July or August. These programs are fully chaperoned and give you the chance to make friends with other teen volunteers from around the world! You’ll take part in community volunteering, cultural activities, sports, Spanish language lessons, and lots more…

Top picks:

Supports community development

3-5 hours volunteering per day

Program Fees from £1525

  • Duration: 1 - 3 weeks
  • Only available in July
  • Based in San José & Manuel Antonio
  • Volunteers aged 16 and 17

This is an amazing opportunity for 16 and 17 year olds wanting to volunteer in Costa Rica during the summer. The Teen Volunteer Summer Camp is fully chaperoned and includes an exciting fusion of community volunteering, cultural activities, sports, and tourism activities.

Supports community development

3-5 hours volunteering per day

Program Fees from £1699

  • Duration: 1 week
  • Only available in July
  • Based in San Juan
  • Volunteers aged 16 and 17

A unique opportunity for 16 and 17 year olds to volunteer in Puerto Rico in the summer. The Teen Volunteer Summer Camp is fully chaperoned and involves an exciting range of community volunteering, cultural activities, sports, Spanish language lessons, and tourism activities.


Volunteer programs for high school student groups

IVHQ’s volunteer trips for high school student groups enable teenagers to give back as a school group on projects that align with an area of study. Our team of volunteer travel experts create customized group options for high schools from across the globe.

Most high school student groups are chaperoned by teachers, staff and parents. IVHQ’s volunteer programs require a ratio of one adult or guardian to every 8 students. Groups with this ratio can choose from 40+ volunteer countries. High school students travelling as a group without a guardian can choose from 17 destinations worldwide.

Top picks:
Volunteer in Bali
Lovina Ubud & Nusa Penida
Volunteer abroad in Bali, Indonesia with International Volunteer HQ
1 - 12 weeks
Ages 16+ and families
Program Fees from £319
Volunteer in Costa Rica
Manuel Antonio San Jose & surrounding areas
Volunteer abroad in Costa Rica with International Volunteer HQ
1 - 24 weeks
Ages 16+ and families
Program Fees from £385
Volunteer in Tanzania
Arusha and surrounding suburbs
Volunteer abroad in Tanzania with International Volunteer HQ
1 - 16 weeks
Ages 16+ and families
Program Fees from £298

Service and mission trips for teens

Looking for mission trips for high school students? IVHQ offers a wide-range of high school service abroad programs, which enable under 18s to give back to important community initiatives while immersing themselves in a different culture.

Whether you’re seeking non-religious mission trips or meaningful service trips for teens, choose from 17 beautiful destinations worldwide. Mission trip volunteer work includes teaching abroad, childcare, construction, community development, animal care, conservation and much more.

Top picks:
Volunteer in Guatemala
Antigua and Sipacate
Volunteer abroad in Guatemala with International Volunteer HQ
1 - 24 weeks
Ages 16+ and families
Program Fees from £306
Volunteer in Peru
Cusco Lima
Volunteer abroad in Peru with International Volunteer HQ
1 - 24 weeks
Ages 16+ and families
Program Fees from £227
Volunteer in Tanzania
Arusha and surrounding suburbs
Volunteer abroad in Tanzania with International Volunteer HQ
1 - 16 weeks
Ages 16+ and families
Program Fees from £298

Summer volunteer programs for teens

Want to do something incredible during summer break? IVHQ offers summer volunteer programs for high school students abroad across 17 magical destinations. Summer is a popular time of year to volunteer abroad as a teenager, so you’re sure to meet plenty of like minded people!

Whether you’re seeking summer volunteer opportunities for teens in South America, Central America, Africa or Europe, we’ve got something for you!

Let’s make this a summer to remember by giving back to the people and places that need it most. You could even earn academic credit in your summer before starting university, to give you a head-start!

Top picks:
Volunteer in Belize
Private island off the Caribbean coast of Belize
Volunteer in Belize with International Volunteer HQ
1 - 8 weeks
Ages 16+ and families
Program Fees from £870
Volunteer in Costa Rica
Manuel Antonio San Jose & surrounding areas
Volunteer abroad in Costa Rica with International Volunteer HQ
1 - 24 weeks
Ages 16+ and families
Program Fees from £385
Volunteer in Portugal
Lisbon Porto
Volunteer abroad in Portugal with International Volunteer HQ
1 - 12 weeks
Ages 18+ and families
Program Fees from £572

Volunteer programs in Africa for high school students

Dreaming of teen volunteering in Africa? From Women’s Education and Childcare to Rainforest Conservation, IVHQ’s Africa volunteer programs for teens are a unique way to explore this beautiful continent and gain an authentic taste of the culture, while supporting local community and conservation efforts.

Whether you want to volunteer in Africa as a high school student group or volunteer and go on safari, IVHQ has plenty of awesome project options for teens in Tanzania and Zanzibar. You can also add one of our recommended activities and tours onto your volunteer trip, such as climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, visiting the Maasai tribe or going on safari!

Top picks:
Volunteer in Tanzania
Arusha and surrounding suburbs
Volunteer abroad in Tanzania with International Volunteer HQ
1 - 16 weeks
Ages 16+ and families
Program Fees from £298
Volunteer in Zanzibar
Matemwe and Jozani
Volunteer Abroad in Zanzibar with IVHQ
1 - 12 weeks
Ages 16+ and families
Program Fees from £468

Cheap volunteer abroad programs for high school students

High school volunteering abroad as a teen doesn’t have to break the bank! IVHQ’s volunteer programs are fully hosted, meaning that your Program Fee includes accommodation, meals, airport pickup, 24/7 in-country support, orientation and more! Everything is organized for you, making this a super easy and affordable way to take a volunteer vacation.

Teens can choose from 17 affordable volunteer programs in Africa, Asia, South America, Central America, Europe, the Caribbean and the Pacific. Program Fees start from just US$20 (approximately £16) per day including accommodation - check out some of our most affordable options below.

Top picks:
Volunteer in Peru
Cusco Lima
Volunteer abroad in Peru with International Volunteer HQ
1 - 24 weeks
Ages 16+ and families
Program Fees from £227
Volunteer in the Philippines
Aborlan District on the island of Palawan
Volunteer abroad in the Philippines with International Volunteer HQ
1 - 24 weeks
Ages 16+ and families
Program Fees from £315
Volunteer in Thailand
Hua Hin Chiang Rai
Volunteer abroad in Thailand with International Volunteer HQ
1 - 12 weeks
Ages 16+ and families
Program Fees from £306

Online volunteer opportunities for high school students

Not looking to go abroad but want to make a difference from home? As a division of IVHQ, Intern Abroad HQ offers a diverse range of impact driven online internships for teens. This is a unique opportunity to volunteer virtually and make a positive impact from your laptop, while gaining international career experience and boosting your skills.

Intern Abroad HQ’s online programs for high school students include Marine Conservation, Creative Design, Marketing, Business, Microfinance, Social Work, NGO Support, Human Rights, Sustainable Farming and much more!

Best teen & high school volunteer opportunities abroad

Volunteers aged 16-17 can participate in teen programs independently in the following destinations:

Volunteer in Argentina
Volunteer in Argentina - Cordoba with International Volunteer HQ
  • From £290 for 1 week
  • Ages 16+ and families
  • 16 project options
Volunteer in Bali
Volunteer abroad in Bali, Indonesia with International Volunteer HQ
  • From £319 for 1 week
  • Ages 16+ and families
  • 11 project options
Volunteer in Belize
Volunteer in Belize with International Volunteer HQ
  • From £870 for 1 week
  • Ages 16+ and families
  • 1 unique project
Volunteer in Costa Rica
Volunteer abroad in Costa Rica with International Volunteer HQ
  • From £385 for 1 week
  • Ages 16+ and families
  • 16 project options
Volunteer in Croatia
Volunteer abroad in Croatia with International Volunteer HQ
  • From £911 for 1 week
  • Ages 16+ and families
  • 6 project options
Volunteer in Guatemala
Volunteer abroad in Guatemala with International Volunteer HQ
  • From £306 for 1 week
  • Ages 16+ and families
  • 12 project options
Volunteer in Laos
Volunteer abroad in Laos with International Volunteer HQ
  • From £236 for 1 week
  • Ages 16+ and families
  • 3 project options
Volunteer in Peru
Volunteer abroad in Peru with International Volunteer HQ
  • From £227 for 1 week
  • Ages 16+ and families
  • 19 project options
Volunteer in the Philippines
Volunteer abroad in the Philippines with International Volunteer HQ
  • From £315 for 1 week
  • Ages 16+ and families
  • 4 project options
Volunteer in Portugal
Volunteer abroad in Portugal with International Volunteer HQ
  • From £572 for 1 week
  • Ages 18+ and families
  • 14 project options
Volunteer in Romania
Volunteer abroad in Romania with International Volunteer HQ
  • From £417 for 1 week
  • Ages 16+ and families
  • 7 project options
Volunteer in Sri Lanka
Volunteer abroad in Sri Lanka with International Volunteer HQ
  • From £315 for 1 week
  • Ages 16+ and families
  • 9 project options
Volunteer in Tanzania
Volunteer abroad in Tanzania with International Volunteer HQ
  • From £298 for 1 week
  • Ages 16+ and families
  • 8 project options
Volunteer in Thailand
Volunteer abroad in Thailand with International Volunteer HQ
  • From £306 for 1 week
  • Ages 16+ and families
  • 9 project options
Volunteer in Vietnam
Volunteer abroad in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh with IVHQ
  • From £331 for 1 week
  • Ages 16+ and families
  • 5 project options
Volunteer in Zanzibar
Volunteer Abroad in Zanzibar with IVHQ
  • From £468 for 1 week
  • Ages 16+ and families
  • 2 project options

How to volunteer as a teenager overseas

Applying to volunteer as a teenager is simple! Once you have decided where to volunteer and which project you would like to join, you can apply. It’s free, only takes a few minutes and there is no commitment needed at this stage. Our team of Volunteer Travel Specialists will then guide you through the next steps to secure your spot and start preparing for your trip.

Teen volunteers are required to provide IVHQ with parental/guardian consent and two satisfactory character references in order to participate. You may also be asked to provide further documentation to the local team depending on your chosen destination.

Check out our helpful FAQ section below for you and your parents to understand why IVHQ offers the most trusted teen and high school volunteer abroad programs.

FAQ's

There are a number of ways you can volunteer with IVHQ depending on your age:

Under 16: You’re able to volunteer as part of a group (for example, a group of students from your high school, with your family or friends) on certain IVHQ programs. You must have parental/guardian consent and be accompanied on the program by a designated guardian over the age of 18. Contact us to find out more.

16 & 17 years old: You can join one of our teen volunteer abroad programs independently with parental consent and two satisfactory character references. You can choose from volunteer projects in more than 17 destinations and will receive 24/7 support from the local team, but not full time supervision.

IVHQ places thousands of young volunteers around the world each year and we are committed to ensuring teen and high school volunteer programs are safe, reliable and responsible. We do this by providing the following support and services in each destination:

IVHQ Local Teams: IVHQ partners with local volunteer organisations in each program location. Our local teams are responsible for providing 24/7 support to volunteers throughout the duration of their volunteer program. IVHQ has a careful selection process in choosing our local teams and every program that IVHQ offers has been personally inspected and approved by IVHQ staff. We have experienced the programs first-hand, vetted the local teams and provided comprehensive IVHQ program management training. Our local teams are well equipped to provide effective volunteer programs and take care of you in-country.

Airport pick-ups: Our local teams meet our volunteers as soon as they arrive. If arriving by plane, the local team will pick you up from the airport. If a flight is delayed, they’ll be there to collect you when you land. If arriving overland (for example, if you plan to travel in the country before your volunteer program starts), our local team will make alternate arrangements for your pick-up so they can meet you.

Volunteer accommodation: Teen volunteers are accommodated with other volunteers in a safe community near their volunteer placements. Our accommodation providers have been hosting international guests for many, many years and are well versed in hosting visitors who are new to the country. You can be sure that you and your dietary requirements will be well looked after. Plus, our placements and accommodation locations are continually monitored by our staff to ensure our volunteers are happy and comfortable.

24/7 support: When you apply to volunteer abroad with IVHQ, you’ll be connected with a dedicated Program Manager. They’re experts when it comes to volunteering abroad and will help you prepare for your volunteer abroad journey. Once you arrive at your volunteering destination, you’ll be met by the local team, who are on hand 24/7 to provide assistance on any matter, from making the most of your volunteer project to tips on how to spend your free time.

We understand there are a lot of questions that parents and guardians have when it comes to sending their children abroad. From pre-departure checklists to in-country specifics, we’ve thought out every aspect of our teen and high school volunteer programs.

To start, we recommend you read our volunteer abroad information for parents. This guide aims to provide you with a base understanding of what makes IVHQ the most trusted volunteer provider. Our experienced Program Managers are here to provide you with any additional support and answers to any questions you have once your teen has applied for a volunteer program or package.

We have tailored our teen and high school volunteer programs to provide options that are best suited for young volunteers.

If you need further clarification on these options, head to the web page for your chosen destination and go to the U18 section for confirmation. We are also happy to help with any questions you have!

As part of all IVHQ programs, a local team member can pick you up whether you arrive via plane or public/private transport. This information is confirmed and secured via your MyIVHQ account once you’ve registered for the program.

There are two different options for support on our teen and high school volunteer programs:

  1. Take part in one of our teen volunteer programs (16 - 17 year olds) and get guardian consent to volunteer independently. Our team of local coordinators provide 24/7 on-call support throughout your program and will check in with you periodically.

  2. Take part in a standard IVHQ program, accompanied by a designated guardian who is at least 18 years old. This guardian can be a friend, family member or teacher, but it must be someone known to you and your parent or guardian must provide consent for you to volunteer on the program with them.

More than half of all IVHQ volunteers are aged between 18 - 24, so there’s a strong chance of having at least some fellow volunteers of a similar age as you. Depending on the program you volunteer on, there is also a high chance of having other under-18 volunteers on the program with you.

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!
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