Volunteering abroad is an immensely rewarding experience. It not only makes way for incredible and authentic cultural exchange, it’s the ideal escape that gives students and working adults alike the much-needed break they need from monotony. If you’re someone with a strong wanderlust and the urge to make a change along the way, we have the perfect list for you. Take a look at these diverse organisations — in price and place — that offer some life-changing volunteer programs!
Where: All over the world
Fronteering is a travel and volunteer organisation that offers travellers a vast range of travelling and volunteering opportunities, all focused on wildlife, indigenous people, environment, sustainability or local communities. Whether you would like to wake up surrounded by an expanse of forestry or immense snowy mountain peaks with the sound of howling wolves in the distance, these guys have you covered. One of the more expensive organisations, these guys offer opportunities all over the world. Check them out here.
2. Lha Social Work
Where: Dharamsala, India
Lha Social Work is a Tibetan volunteer organisation that helps you teach and volunteer in Dharamsala. They have several programs depending on your particular skill set. If you’re fluent in a language like English or Hindi, you can apply as a teacher for their Conversation Classes. The duration of your stay at McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala ranges from a week to a full month or more, depending on your availability. The month-long programs, however, are inadvertently more immersive. This is also probably the most economical option on the list, as Lha doesn’t charge anything for all their assistance — this also means that booking accommodations, etc, is your lookout; Lha simply provides information and references.
3. World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms
Where: All over the world
Perhaps one of the most eclectic organisations in the world, WWOOF is also pretty unique in its mission. If you’ve always been wistful of life on the countryside or the farm, then the programs offered by this organisation are ideal for you. WWOOF essentially brings together ‘hosts’ and volunteers to promote organic living. Hosts are people who live on farms or on organic properties, and volunteers are people who wish to visit these places to assist the hosts in their day-to-day work on the farm. WWOOF has hosts and volunteers from all over the world, and depending on several factors, the costs vary.
Where: Argentina, South America
Road2Argentina is a great portal for travellers looking for not just cultural immersion, but also some work experience. Along with volunteering opportunities and programs, Road2Argentina offers internships in Argentina. With the country’s beauty and cultural wealth, there’s no doubt that this is a great place to visit and lose yourself in (proverbially) for a few weeks. This is not the most economical option, but worth it if you plan to visit South America for the first time.
5. Academia Uruguay
Where: Uruguay, South America
Academia Uruguay hosts programs in Uruguay that offers students the opportunity to combine Spanish courses with volunteer work. Be warned: For this any course via this portal, intermediate Spanish is mandatory, since the program includes interacting and teaching. It’s very similar to the Lha program in the way that it charges no extra cost for the assistance they provide, instead, let’s you take care of your expenses for a great chance at travel and cultural exchange. The minimum duration you can apply for is a month for true immersion.
[Featured image: Slava Bowman/Unsplash]