FREE Ebook! Add you viewing Tips & Tales: First Time Volunteers Abroad

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How to start volunteering abroad

We get it, we really do! Making an impact isn’t as easy as 1, 2, 3. Or— could it be? Yes, your first volunteer opportunity abroad can seem overwhelming. Nobody knows that better than we do. That’s why GoAbroad and a leading international volunteer organization, GVI, put our heads together to come up with a comprehensive resource for first time volunteers abroad.

Download the First Time Volunteers Abroad Ebook

NEW! Downloadable Ebook with GVI for First-Time Volunteers

Once you learn the ins and outs of how to start volunteering abroad, you’ll need to ask yourself some big questions like: Are you ready to volunteer abroad? Our writers that contributed to this essential ebook definitely had to ask themselves this before their volunteer abroad programs.

As part of GoAbroad’s mission to provide the best and most comprehensive resources for meaningful travelers, our writers share their best tips everything related to volunteer abroad programs.


...volunteering abroad is NOT synonymous with being a modern-day savior, but it is synonymous with giving time and skills for the benefit of a community. Still, not all volunteering abroad is quite that simple. International volunteer work requires you to have flexibility, patience, respect, and a good dose of humility. It also requires an understanding of why you are doing what, where, and with whom. One of the most important international volunteer requirements is clarity.” – Julia Zaremba


Find out how sustainable the projects are (meaning you want to make sure the project you are joining is long-term). This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to go for long-term; you can be a short-term volunteer on a long-term project. You just want to be sure the project you join has a sustainable impact and doesn’t end when the volunteers leave. The most successful projects have been going long before you join the program, and will continue to flourish after you.” – Jenny Clark

Our contributing writers are volunteer experts, with real experience and all the best info on how and when to apply, the best possible volunteer abroad programs for you, scholarships and grants, and anything you might need to know as a first time volunteer abroad.

Volunteering abroad isn’t your feel-good vacation. It’s not “voluntourism." It’s work. Hard work. We want to inspire you to embark on an international volunteer opportunity and give back to communities around the world, but only if you’re ready to put in a little elbow grease and prepare for some growing pains. So, read up and get going!

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Download the Add you viewing Tips & Tales: First Time Volunteers Abroad Ebook

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