Croatia Volunteer Highlights
- Volunteering in Croatia is available year-round with programs starting every month
- Volunteer projects in Croatia include Youth Support, Teaching, Special Needs Support, Animal Care and Creative Technologies
- Volunteer work is located in the coastal hub of Split and surrounding areas
- Volunteer program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 support in Croatia
- Affordable volunteer program fees from US$549 (approximately £440) for 1 week
- Between 5 and 15 volunteers start in Croatia each month
- Explore this program for high school volunteer trips, gap year programs and group volunteer opportunities
- Most affordable fees - as the world leader in affordable volunteer travel, we’re able to keep our fees low by partnering with a local organisation in Croatia to support meaningful community projects and local employment.
- Superior support - your experienced IVHQ Program Manager, teamed with our local team in Croatia 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, organisations 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 travellers who will quickly become your life-long friends.
- Epic weekend adventures - you’ll have your weekends free to explore Croatia with your new-found friends.
The IVHQ Croatia volunteer program is based in Split, a vibrant hub on the Mediterranean coast and the second largest city in Croatia. This is a golden opportunity to volunteer in Europe in a place that’s high up on every traveller’s bucket list. Split is a popular tourist town because of its scenic ocean views, rich culture and authentic Croatian feel. In recent years it’s become a hot spot for tourists on sailing trips in particular due to its iconic harbour setting and vibrant atmosphere. This is where orientation and general administration is carried out by our local team.
Volunteer placements are located in and around Split. While Split is a well developed city, it does have pockets of under-served communities, social and environmental issues and local initiatives that need volunteer help. A portion of the local population live on the edge of poverty, and this reality particularly affects vulnerable people. By choosing to volunteer here, you’ll be supporting community-led projects that focus on providing opportunities to improve the livelihoods and wellbeing of the people that call Split home.
Volunteer Croatia programs start on the first and third Monday of every month. Volunteers can choose to volunteer for between 1 to 12 weeks.
The Youth Support project in Croatia provides an important developmental platform for underprivileged young people who need educational support and assistance with important social and interpersonal skills. By helping young people in Croatia to learn key life skills, you can help to heighten their expectations for themselves and open up new possibilities for their future.
As a volunteer, you’ll work in after school centres and act largely as a positive role model for young people aged between 7-18 years old. More specifically, you can do anything from assisting with homework, supporting and encouraging studies of geography or history, organising activities such as theatre sessions, helping with arts and crafts activities, sports and assisting with any general work that needs to be done at the centre. You will also have the opportunity to teach English in an informal way, mostly by interacting with the young people at the centre to improve their verbal and written English language skills, which is often one of their biggest difficulties.
The main objective of the Youth Support project is to provide a much-needed safe place for young people to go after school, educational support, a social hub and a place where they are well supported. International volunteers are seen as an important part of this education as those who use the centres often haven’t encountered different cultures and values before. This is an opportunity for you to bring new perspectives and creativity to these centres and the lives of the young people who go there.
This project is well suited to volunteers who are passionate about working with young people to support their education and help them to develop their interests and life ambitions. Your specific tasks will depend on the time of the year you volunteer as well as the needs of the centre. You’ll work closely alongside the organisation staff and other volunteers to promote better outcomes for youth.
This project has a minimum duration requirement of two weeks and all volunteers are required to provide a recent medical certificate verifying they are fit to work with children.
Within Croatia there are communities that have less than adequate access to education. As a teaching volunteer on this program, you’ll be contributing to increasing access to education for those who need.
You can expect to work in a local NGO which focuses on teaching languages to locals in need. English is by far the most common language being taught but if you are fluent in another language, and there is interest from locals to learn it, then you may also be able to teach that language too.
This project is well suited to aspiring teachers who would like to extend their teaching skills abroad as well as any volunteers interested in a cultural exchange that involves teaching language to those in need. You will need to be confident to lead lessons independently and you will have the opportunity to create your own class dynamics. You can expect to help adults looking to pursue a career in tourism and need advanced language skills, teach children who have language difficulties or inspire those who want to learn a new language.
This project is open to all volunteers - teaching experience is not a prerequisite to participate, but you will need to be enthusiastic and bring all your creativity and innovation to the classroom. We encourage volunteers to come prepared by completing relevant training, such as a teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) course. Visit our Online TEFL Course to learn how to gain an internationally-recognised TEFL certification at a discounted rate.
This project has a minimum duration requirement of three weeks.
Special Needs Support
Individualised care makes a huge difference to the lives of people living with disabilities, and volunteers in Croatia can help vulnerable people get the support they need.
Volunteers provide assistance in care centres for children, teenagers and adults with a wide range of physical and mental disabilities, enabling them to be more integrated in their communities and to live a less stigmatised life, while also improving their overall quality of life.
You’ll work alongside a team of local staff and volunteers helping to run outdoor activities such as beach walks, bicycle tours and animal farms projects, and indoor activities such as arts and crafts workshops, cooking and physical therapy.
This project is well suited to compassionate, patient and caring volunteers. As you will be working closely with the local placement staff, you are not required to have previous experience or training to participate on this project.
This project has a minimum duration requirement of two weeks and all volunteers are required to provide a recent medical certificate verifying they are fit to work with individuals with disabilities.
Pet shelters play an important role in Croatia due to the high number of cats and dogs that are abandoned by their families for a number of reasons. Animal shelters are often overcrowded, and volunteers play an important role in giving time and love to animals, promoting their health and wellbeing and giving them the best chance of being adopted. The shelters also aim to raise awareness around animal abandonment and reduce future abandonment rates, as well as help to find homes for strays.
Your tasks will vary day-to-day but can include assisting with bathing and brushing dogs, providing companionship by playing, walking and socialising with the animals and helping to measure and weigh them. Playing with the animals each day is very important as it enables them to get along with people, while also giving them fun, active time in their day. You may also assist with taking photos and recording small videos to build an ID book for each animal to help promote their adoption.
Volunteers can also help to improve conditions for the animals by taking care of green spaces in the shelter and helping with small construction projects such as building dog runs and fences.
This project is well suited to those passionate about animals and animal rights. You’ll have the opportunity to learn about animal welfare in a different country while being part of a team that shares the same passion as you. All animals housed in the shelter are fully vaccinated.
Local NGOs in Croatia are increasingly focused on raising public awareness of environmental and social issues, and this can only be achieved by running successful awareness campaigns. As a volunteer on the Creative Technologies project, you will contribute towards changing mentalities and helping create campaigns that encourage the local community to take action in their own surroundings.
Volunteers can use their skills in web design, illustration, photography, videography, marketing and communications on this project. There is a great deal of behind-the-scenes work which takes place in local NGOs and you’ll help support this with your illustration and design skills, helping to create infographics, brochures, posters, animations, videos, announcements and photos.
You should also be prepared to work on events such as beach clean-ups, street actions and any other campaigns that run during your placement, as it’s essential for you to get involved in the NGO’s overall mission. Longer term volunteers may also have the opportunity to help renew the visual representation of the NGO in relation to their website, logos or other graphic items.
These NGOs generally won’t have an abundance of resources available, so volunteers need to provide their own laptops, design software (Adobe Creative Suite or equivalent) and/or camera equipment in order to participate on this project. Volunteers will be required to have prior skills, so please ensure you include all relevant qualifications and/or experience in your application.
The Croatia volunteer program begins on the first and third Monday of every month, and you need to arrive in Split on the Sunday before your chosen start date.
After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Split International Airport (SPU). The cost of 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 which is about a 20 minute drive. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation.
If you are travelling in Croatia prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up from a meeting point in Split on the Sunday before your program start date or alternatively, you can make your own way to the volunteer accommodation.
On Monday, orientation is hosted by our local team in Croatia and runs for a full day. Orientation covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Croatia – Introduction to Croatia, Croatian Customs, Rules and Expectations, Safety, Travel Opportunities in Croatia, Introduction to your Project and Placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socialising.
A volunteer day is subject to change depending on your specific project and placement. A typical daily schedule might be as follows:
8:00 AM Breakfast at the volunteer accommodation.
9.00 AM Volunteers with a morning shift travel to placement to join local placement staff and begin work on your project.
12.00 - 2:30 PM Lunch is served at the 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.
7:30 - 9:00 PM Dinner at the volunteer accommodation. After dinner you will have the remainder of the evening free to relax and use as you wish.
Please note this schedule will vary depending on the needs of your particular project.
Volunteers are accommodated in a dormitory-style hostel located in Split, about 30 minutes from the city centre. You can expect to share a room with up to six other people of the same gender. Every volunteer will have access to their own locker to store valuables and other personal belongings. Volunteers also have access to several common indoor and outdoor spaces, a TV with free Netflix and a small kitchen with basic utensils. The hostel has shared bathrooms equipped with western toilets and showers. Bedding and towels are provided for each volunteer. Local staff do clean the accommodation throughout the week, though volunteers are required to keep their rooms tidy.
WiFi is available in the volunteer accommodation and can be accessed from many cafes and restaurants in the area. A local SIM card with data can also be purchased for unlocked phones.
Private rooms in the hostel with shared or private bathrooms can be arranged by request for an additional cost, subject to availability.
Volunteers are provided with breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. Breakfast is self-served at the volunteer accommodation and includes cereals, eggs, butter, marmalade, cream cheese, ham, milk, coffee, juice and bread. Lunch and dinner are provided in the accommodation according to a fixed menu. Meals will include pasta, rice, meat, seafood, vegetables and salad dishes as well as some typical Croatian dishes.
Tap water is safe to drink in Croatia and while we encourage volunteers to bring a reusable drink bottle to minimize the consumption of single-use plastics, bottled water is readily available if you prefer. You should budget approximately US$5 (approximately £4) per week for this.
|Length of Program||Program Fee £GBP ($USD)|
|1 week||£440 ($549)|
|2 weeks||£640 ($799)|
|3 weeks||£835 ($1,049)|
|4 weeks||£1,035 ($1,299)|
|5 weeks||£1,235 ($1,549)|
|6 weeks||£1,435 ($1,799)|
|8 weeks||£1,830 ($2,299)|
|10 weeks||£2,230 ($2,799)|
|12 weeks||£2,625 ($3,299)|
- All programs attract a Registration Fee from US$299 (~£240) on top of the Program Fee (partially refundable until 60 days before your program start date*). A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment. Please note IVHQ fees are charged in USD.
- Discounts on language lessons
- * Terms and Conditions do apply
- Visa, flights, travel insurance, vaccinations, criminal background check, souvenirs, in-country trips or tours, transport to and from your placement if required.
- Transfer back to the airport at conclusion of the program
- Spending money - Volunteers in Croatia generally find US$80 to be sufficient for weekly expenses
What it covers
- Most affordable program fees
- Dedicated support from a volunteer expert
- Complete MyIVHQ account access
- Online volunteer training
- Comprehensive program guide
- Deals on flights and travel insurance
- IVHQ alumni membership
What it covers
- 24/7 in-country support
- Airport pick-up
- Program orientation
- Volunteer placement
- Discounts on language lessons
During the weekends, volunteers have spare time to relax or explore other parts of Split and Croatia. You can explore the old town of Split - situated in the Diocletian Palace, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and has many landmarks to observe. Take a stroll along the seafront promenade and hit the beach to soak in the refreshing water of the Dalmatian coast.
If you want to head further afield, make sure to include the remaining six UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Croatia and to take a sailing trip along the coast. With so much on offer, it’s a great idea to do your own research before you go to get an idea of what you may want to see and do once you are in Croatia. When it comes to booking excursions, we find that volunteers prefer to get together once in-country to organise travel and tours.
|Currency||Croatian Kuna (HRK)|
Weather and climate: Croatia can be divided into three climatic regions. The Pannonian Plains in the north have a continental climate of cold winters and hot summers, the mountainous Dinara Region in central Croatia has an alpine climate and the Adriatic coast, where our volunteer program is based, enjoys a Mediterranean climate of cool, rainy winters and hot, dry summers. Temperatures in Split, where our program is based, range from 41°F to 50°F (5°C to 10°C) in winter and 79°F to 86°F (26°C to 30°C) in the summer, which runs from June to August.
Volunteers aged under 18 years old are able to volunteer in Croatia, but will be required to provide IVHQ with two separate parental/guardian consents from each of their parents/guardians and two character reference letters in order to participate on the program. They may also be asked to provide additional documentation to the local team.
Independent volunteers (those travelling without their parents or guardians) under the age of 18 years will be required to provide additional waivers and documentation, which a guardian must complete.
Volunteers under the age of 18 can only participate on the Animal Care and Creative Technologies projects.
Volunteers must speak fluent English. Volunteers must have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a recent criminal background check.
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.