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Volunteering Abroad In Your 20s

Volunteering Abroad In Your 20s

Your 20s are all about exploring, trying new things, and finding your place in the world. What better way to do this than volunteering abroad as a young adult?! Traveling in your 20s with International Volunteer HQ is the safest and most affordable way to discover a new country, forge amazing friendships, and make a meaningful difference. You’ll join a social and fully-supported group of likeminded travelers (many of whom are also in their 20s) and have the chance to give back to community and conservation projects on the adventure of a lifetime!

More than 50% of IVHQ volunteers are in their 20s and 70% of our volunteers travel solo, so it’s super easy to make new friends. You’ll also have 24/7 support from our local team to keep you safe. This is truly the most empowering way to explore the world in your 20s!

Quote from Grace

This experience will change my life forever. I really connected with the group of volunteers and reflected on my own life. Deciding to volunteer can be scary at first but know that IVHQ will help you and answer any questions. Volunteering is such an eye opening experience. It’s impossible to put the feeling of helping others into words but it’s the most amazing feeling in the world.

IVHQ Volunteer Grace - Childcare in Tanzania Quote from Grace

Volunteer stories

Volunteer story from Sarah

“This program has completely changed my life. I met incredible, like-minded people who encouraged me to get outside of my comfort zone everyday, never allowing me to just give up. The staff were genuinely the nicest and coolest people ever. They took care of us, taught us everything we needed to know and were always there for us. The island we stayed on was truly a peaceful sanctuary. It allowed us to be connected with our surroundings and make the most of our experience.”

Read about Sarah's experience
Volunteer story from Rachael

“I decided to volunteer abroad based on my interest in international public health, as well as the opportunity to support developing communities while experiencing the culture. This program was the perfect way to volunteer while gaining shadow experience in a field I am passionate about. Every doctor, nurse, and technician at the clinic was so intelligent and talented. I am beyond grateful to each of them for allowing me to learn skills and knowledge from them.”

Read about Rachael's experience
How to volunteer abroad as a traveller young adult in your 20s with IVHQ.

How to volunteer abroad with IVHQ

Whether you’re looking to volunteer as a young adult somewhere close to home or far away, by a beach or in a rainforest, in a city or off the beaten track, IVHQ has volunteer programs in 40+ countries to suit all travel types.

Having the adventure of a lifetime can be done in 5 easy steps:

  • Apply for your chosen destination and project
  • Confirm your place by paying the Registration Fee
  • Prepare for your trip with the guidance of your IVHQ Program Manager
  • Depart for your destination
  • Our local team will collect you from the airport and support you every step of the way!

Already know where you want to travel to?

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Best programs for volunteering abroad in your 20s

Explore the most popular volunteer abroad programs for travelling in your 20s.

Volunteer in Argentina
Buenos Aires Córdoba
Volunteer in Argentina - Cordoba with International Volunteer HQ
1 - 24 weeks
Ages 16+ and families
Program Fees from £290
Volunteer in Australia
Cairns
Volunteer in Australia with IVHQ
1 - 4 weeks
Ages 18+
Program Fees from £860
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 £386
Volunteer in Fiji
Sigatoka on the Coral Coast of Fiji
Volunteer abroad in Fiji with International Volunteer HQ
1 - 12 weeks
Ages 17+ and families
Program Fees from £415
Volunteer in Guatemala
Antigua and Sipacate
Volunteer abroad in Guatemala with International Volunteer HQ
1 - 24 weeks
Ages 16+ and families
Program Fees from £307
Volunteer in Jamaica
Ocho Rios
Volunteer abroad in Jamaica with International Volunteer HQ
1 - 4 weeks
Ages 18+ and families
Program Fees from £436
Volunteer in Nepal
Kathmandu, Chitwan, and Pokhara
Volunteer abroad in Nepal with International Volunteer HQ
1 - 12 weeks
Ages 16+ and families
Program Fees from £228
Volunteer in New Zealand
Auckland
Volunteer abroad in New Zealand with International Volunteer HQ
2 - 12 weeks
Ages 18+ and families
Program Fees from £1042
Volunteer in Peru
Cusco Lima
Volunteer abroad in Peru with International Volunteer HQ
1 - 24 weeks
Ages 16+ and families
Program Fees from £228
Volunteer in Portugal
Lisbon Porto
Volunteer abroad in Portugal with International Volunteer HQ
1 - 12 weeks
Ages 18+ and families
Program Fees from £573
Volunteer in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico's coastal capital of San Juan
Volunteer in Puerto Rico with International Volunteer HQ
1 - 12 weeks
Ages 16+ and families
Program Fees from £519
Volunteer in Romania
Miercurea Ciuc, Harghita
Volunteer abroad in Romania with International Volunteer HQ
1 - 24 weeks
Ages 16+ and families
Program Fees from £418
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 £299
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 £307
Volunteer in Victoria Falls
Private game reserve in Victoria Falls
Volunteer abroad in Victoria Falls with International Volunteer HQ
2 - 12 weeks
Ages 16+ and families
Program Fees from £868
Volunteer in Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh City and surrounding suburbs
Volunteer abroad in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh with IVHQ
1 - 12 weeks
Ages 16+ and families
Program Fees from £332
Volunteer in Zambia
Livingstone and surrounding suburbs
Volunteer abroad in Zambia with International Volunteer HQ
1 - 16 weeks
Ages 18+ and families
Program Fees from £319

FAQs

Volunteering abroad in your 20s offers numerous benefits, including:

  • Personal growth: It helps you develop a greater sense of empathy, resilience, and adaptability.
  • Global perspective: It exposes you to different cultures, traditions, and ways of life, expanding your worldview.
  • Skill development: You can acquire and enhance valuable skills such as teamwork, communication, leadership, and problem-solving.
  • Career boost: Volunteering abroad showcases your initiative, cross-cultural competence, and commitment to social causes, which can enhance your employability.
  • Network building: You can connect with like-minded individuals, professionals, and local communities, building a diverse network.
  • Self-discovery: Volunteering abroad can provide clarity about your passions, interests, and future goals.

Yes, volunteering abroad can significantly enhance your CV or resume. It demonstrates various positive attributes to potential employers, including:

  • International experience: It showcases your ability to adapt to diverse environments and work with people from different backgrounds.
  • Cultural competency: Volunteering abroad highlights your understanding and appreciation of different cultures, which is valuable in a globalized world.
  • Soft skills development: It exhibits your ability to collaborate, communicate, and problem-solve in challenging situations.
  • Initiative and commitment: Volunteering abroad reflects your motivation, dedication, and willingness to contribute to a cause larger than yourself.
  • Leadership potential: It demonstrates your capacity to take on responsibilities, lead teams, and make a positive impact.

Volunteering abroad in your 20s can help you acquire a wide range of skills, including:

  • Cross-cultural communication: Interacting with people from diverse backgrounds enhances your ability to communicate effectively across cultures.
  • Adaptability and resilience: Navigating unfamiliar environments and overcoming challenges builds your resilience and adaptability.
  • Problem-solving: Volunteering often involves finding innovative solutions to local issues, fostering your problem-solving skills.
  • Teamwork and collaboration: Working alongside fellow volunteers and local communities fosters teamwork, cooperation, and collaboration.
  • Leadership: Taking on responsibilities within volunteer projects allows you to develop leadership qualities and take initiative.
  • Empathy and compassion: Interacting with individuals facing different life circumstances cultivates empathy and compassion for others.

To find reputable organizations that offer volunteering opportunities abroad for young adults, consider the following steps:

  • Research: Utilize online platforms, search engines, and directories dedicated to volunteer opportunities abroad, such as Go Abroad and GoOverseas. Look for organizations with positive reviews and ratings on platforms like Trustpilot.
  • Awards and accreditation: Check if the organization has won any awards or is accredited by recognized bodies, such as B Corporation or the UN’s Volunteer Groups Alliance. This is a good indication of how ethical and trusted the organization is.
  • Transparent information: Look for organizations that provide clear and detailed information about their projects, impact, costs, and volunteer requirements.
  • Volunteer testimonials: Read testimonials or reviews from previous volunteers to gain insights into their experiences with the organization.
  • Contact references: Feel free to reach out to past volunteers who have gone with the organization to inquire about their experiences. Facebook groups are a good place to do this.

The best volunteering programs for travelers in their 20s can vary based on personal preferences, interests, and desired destinations. However, some popular options often include:

  • Environmental conservation: Participate in projects focused on wildlife conservation, sustainable farming, or ecological restoration.
  • Community development: Engage in initiatives related to education, healthcare, infrastructure development, or women’s empowerment.
  • Teaching and childcare: Volunteer as an English teacher or care for and mentor local children to support educational opportunities for local communities.
  • Wildlife and animal care: Contribute to animal rescue centers, wildlife sanctuaries, or marine conservation efforts.

To prepare for volunteering abroad, consider the following steps:

  • Research: Utilize online platforms, search engines, and directories dedicated to volunteer opportunities abroad, such as Go Abroad and GoOverseas. Look for organizations with positive reviews and ratings on platforms like Trustpilot.
  • Research your destination: Familiarize yourself with the local culture, customs, traditions, and any specific requirements or safety considerations.
  • Understand the project: Gain a comprehensive understanding of the volunteer project, its objectives, tasks, and expected outcomes.
  • Check visa requirements: Determine the visa requirements for your destination and ensure you have the necessary documents and permits.
  • Vaccinations and health: Consult with a healthcare professional or travel clinic to receive any recommended vaccinations or medications for your destination.
  • Travel insurance: Obtain travel insurance that covers medical expenses, trip cancellation, and other unforeseen circumstances.
  • Fundraising or budgeting: Plan your finances, including fundraising if necessary, to cover travel costs, project fees, and living expenses.
  • Pack appropriately: Pack essentials such as appropriate clothing, personal items, adaptors, and any necessary equipment for your volunteer project.
  • Learn basic local phrases: Familiarize yourself with basic phrases in the local language to facilitate communication and show respect for the local culture.
  • Stay informed and connected: Stay in touch with the volunteering organization for updates, connect with fellow volunteers, and gather any last-minute information or recommendations.

With IVHQ, all of these steps are fully guided and included in your MyIVHQ preparation checklist, including a full Program Guide and volunteer training which covers everything you need to know. You gain access to this after applying and registering for your chosen IVHQ program.

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!
Message us for more information

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Got questions? Message our volunteer Travel Experts. We're here to guide you through an unforgettable volunteer experience.

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