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September 2016

Volunteer Opportunities Around the World

Travel the world and use your language skills

Have you ever wanted to travel the world but couldn’t do it because of high costs? Working with volunteer organisations is a great solution: for a reasonable fee, many of these organisations provide food, housing, and a compelling reason to travel. From working with farms and animals to helping at-risk children, volunteering abroad provides a travel experience much more profound than simply sightseeing. Here is a list of five amazing volunteer abroad opportunities for you to consider, as well as resources to discover more for yourself.

Volunteer on an organic farm in Tuscany

The region of Tuscany is what many non-Italians think of when we consider the idyllic Italian life. Beautiful hills, fields of olives, amazing wine, and stunning Renaissance cities can all be found here. Through WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms), one can find numerous farms on which to work. There’s a goat farm, where goat milk and cheese is produced. Wine lovers could opt to work on a vineyard, and what better place to do so than near the city of Chianti, from which the wine by the same name originates. Of course, working on an olive farm offers an experience wholly Italian. For a list of organic farms and their contact info, click here. WWOOF is a trusted and established international organization with offices around the world. If Italy is not your preferred destination, check out their website for more volunteer abroad opportunities elsewhere.

Restore temples in Sri Lanka

GVI is a family-run volunteering organization that has high satisfactory rates from participants. Unique opportunities include restoring temples in Sri Lanka alongside the Sri Lanka Temple Renovation program. Team up with locals to help rebuild these beautiful historic landmarks, while also helping to establish youth centers as well. Volunteering in Sri Lanka offers not only a chance to literally touch Sri Lankan history, but also an opportunity to help shape the future of its children. For more info, click here.

Care for pandas at the Giant Panda Center in China

It goes without saying that this program by GoEco, an international volunteer tourism company, is popular. Who wouldn’t want to care for adorable giant pandas? The truth is that these cuddly creatures are near endangered (they were recently taken off the “endangered” list but are still extremely “vulnerable”), and it’s a big responsibility to help maintain their existence. Working at the center entails food preparation, enclosure cleaning, observations, and general care. If you’re interested in learning more about working with giant pandas, click here.

Teach at-risk orphans in Tanzania and help build their town

Working with children, particularly those who are at-risk and without families, is quite possibly the most poignant experience one can have. Through Love Volunteers, an organization that offers affordable volunteer opportunities that help improve the lives of communities, one can have such an experience. Volunteer in the town of Arusha in Tanzania at a family-run, volunteer-supported orphanage where at-risk children reside. Teach in a local school or volunteer in the hospital. Help maintain a functioning and hygienic water supply through various agricultural projects. For more information, click here.

Build homes for low-income families in the United States

Habitat for Humanity has helped over 6.8 million needy people find reliable and affordable shelter around the world since it was established in 1976. The program is particularly vibrant in the United States, where many low-income families are in need of housing. With the recent flooding in the South, Louisiana will be especially in need of new homes.

The world is full of volunteer abroad opportunities. Searching on any of the aforementioned sites ought to uncover a trove of programs. Other great search resources include Go Overseas, Transitions Abroad, and GoAbroad.

Have you volunteered abroad in the past? How was your experience? Let us know on our Facebook Page, and be sure to “like” TELC English for more articles on culture from around the world!

Picture: (c) Fotolia,