Best Volunteer Programs in Europe
The history, architecture, scenery, cuisine, safety, and climate of Europe make the continent a favorite travel destination. The bonus of getting to truly get to know local people through community projects – experiencing the fullness of their culture, and making life-long friends – is a highlight of a Global Volunteers program. Each is summarized here for your consideration! For all of them, English fluency and open-mindedness are your only requirements.
Best Volunteer Program in Greece
On the Mediterranean Sea, our Crete Program is a volunteer standout! Teach conversational English to children and teenagers (ages 8-16) in lively classrooms or stimulating summer schools. If you don’t have prior teaching experience, don’t worry. Volunteers are usually paired to “team teach” and are provided classroom materials and curricula to guide their lessons. Also, the school complex has air-conditioned classrooms, a large playground, and a basketball court available for fun learning activities. Volunteers can assist with two different conversational English work projects during the year:
- During the spring and autumn in after-school language schools:
Under the guidance of the local teachers, volunteers assist at language schools following a curriculum.
- During the summer months June-August, at the Global Volunteers summer school program:
At a local elementary school, you can create your own lesson plans and teach conversational English for four hours each morning; Monday through Friday. Use pictures from home, your own texts, personal stories, and anything creative to make English fun, such as worksheets, color by numbers, arts & crafts projects, stories, songs, and outdoor games and activities.
Other volunteer projects:
Volunteers also teach adults at the Women’s Association of Heraklion in the spring and fall, and occasionally, volunteers can help paint and “spruce up” community facilities, maintain gardens and help pack supplies for a refugee center.
Beginning in 2022, volunteers will work at the new House of Angels, an orphanage/residential care center for children abandoned by their parents.
Read about our Greece Program here.
Best Volunteer Program in Italy
Volunteers say Sicily has it all: Stunning scenery, beautiful beaches, charming villages, baroque cities and churches, ancient ruins, friendly citizens, outstanding food, and a mild, sunny climate. And, maybe most compelling of all, volunteers in Sicily can enjoy uncommon hospitality. Since 1995, Global Volunteers has served Italian students and adults in a variety of communities in mainland Italy. Now in the Trapani Province of Sicily, near the southwestern coast of the island, our partnership with the municipal government of Castelvetrano offers a new experience. Volunteers can teach conversational English to students in high school classrooms and small groups.
On a typical day, volunteers create their own lesson plans from standard curriculum texts and our Conversational English Teaching Guide, engaging small groups of high school students in games and diverse interactive activities. You can team teach, work one-on-one, or conduct classes on their own – depending on your own style and comfort level.
Read about our Italy Program here.
Best Volunteer Program in Poland
Poland’s extraordinary beauty, hospitality, and history make this program one of the most popular volunteer abroad programs available. Get ready for breathtaking landscapes. The Tatra mountains of Zakopane and the verdant forested plains of Reymontowka cast their spell on volunteers serving in Poland. Here, volunteers help students with English pronunciation, vocabulary, phrases, and idioms in classrooms with elementary and middle school students during the school year in Siedlce. In the summer months, volunteers can join two-week English language “camps” in a lovely manor house surrounded by beautiful landscapes. In these camps, volunteers and students bridge the summer break and the school year with skits, games, songs, field trips, and imaginative activities in English.
No previous teaching experience is required. You’ll just need your creativity and native knowledge of English to make learning the language fun for students. If you are unsure about what to do, you can always use the Global Volunteers English Teaching Guide, teacher workbooks, and the large resource library we have on-site to plan your lessons and indulge your “inner teacher!”
Read about our Poland Program here.
Best Volunteer Program in Portugal
The Iberian Peninsula is known for its imaginative food and vibrant culture. The long coastline of the country has helped create a national cuisine heavily based on fresh seafood. A common distinction in Portugal is between the regions to the south and north of the Rio Tejo (Tagus River). The two regions differ in customs, traditions, and geography. Your home base on a Global Volunteers service program in Portugal is Beja, the diminutive, beautiful, and historically rich community in the heart of cork farms and vineyards. If you enjoy culture, architecture, and romance, then Beja is the place for you. Here, you can work with teens and adults in classrooms, offices, and community centers, and choose assignments in public elementary and secondary schools, or with young adults in technical or trades schools.
Your efforts pay big dividends when students improve their educational and career opportunities through conversational skills – pronunciation, vocabulary, idioms, sentence structure, and the like. Use your own creativity to prepare engaging lessons and instructional games or follow the class curricula. As a native English speaker, you don’t need teaching experience here either. You use the standard lesson plans, and at other times, your lessons will become more free-form.
Read about our Portugal Program here.
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