How to Volunteer Abroad as a Couple

How to Volunteer Abroad as a Couple

When you volunteer abroad as a couple, you discover so much more about each other than in your daily lives. Serving with Global Volunteers is a life-changing experience that will both challenge and strengthen you. And its a unique adventure you will have together forever.

“Jake and I have taken vacations together, but we wanted to do more, to get more fulfillment from our travels, and to experience more of the culture. I had volunteered abroad before and knew that it was an experience I wanted to share with Jake. So in the summer of 2015, we decided to volunteer abroad as a couple in the remote village of Pommern, Tanzania. There were definitely adjustments to make, but the whole experience only made our relationship stronger.”

how to volunteer abroad as a couple

Jake and Kelsey on how to volunteer abroad as a couple:

“Every new experience we shared together was special and something that drew us closer as a couple. We both left with a mutual love for the country and people of Tanzania. We really believe that volunteering abroad is the only way to travel!”

How to volunteer abroad as a couple.

You are beginning an exciting journey – one that will require patience, communication, and teamwork. Work together to choose a country that you’re both interested in. What are your individual skills? Discuss how you want to spend your free time. What type of living arrangements do you prefer as a couple? Alumni volunteers suggest these steps for deciding how to volunteer abroad together:

      1. What countries are on your bucket lists?

Create separate lists of your top five volunteer abroad locations – including details about what interests you. Then compare your lists. Your selections will likely differ, but Global Volunteers offers a variety of options, so look for overlapping regions.

      2. What are your skills? What type of volunteer projects interest you?

The type of work you will do depends on (1) what our host communities have requested from us and (2) your interests and skills. Global Volunteers’ unique philosophy of service requires volunteers to work at the invitation and under the direction of local community partners – and one-on-one with local people. While remaining faithful to this philosophy of service, we will also do our best to tailor to your preferences as a couple. Global Volunteers offers various volunteer projects ranging from Teaching to Childcare, Labor to Gardening. Start by downloading the Global Volunteers e-catalog here. Or, call 800-487-1074 for a mailed copy. Our catalog describes the service projects in greater detail, and how to volunteer abroad in each country.

Volunteer abroad as a couple

      3. What level of comfort do you prefer as a couple?

Depending on your appetite for challenge and adventure, you can choose a program close to home, or in a community remote and unseen by conventional tourists. And, lodging in our partner communities also ranges from dormitory style in the USA to comfortable hotels and guest houses in small towns or large cities abroad. Each has its unique appeal; it just depends what your preferences are as a couple!

We find that many couples prefer a private hotel room. Global Volunteers offers private room options in: China, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Greece, India, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, St. Lucia, Tanzania and Vietnam.  In West Virginia and Montana, your roomy home provides a frame or bunk bed. Private rooms can sometimes be arranged in the USA if requested in advance, and depending on the volunteer team size.

Volunteer abroad as a couple

Ready to get started?  Learn from alumni couples about how to volunteer abroad.

Alumni Global Volunteers couples can offer advice on how to volunteer abroad together.  Call us for references from the countries of your choosing.  You can register online here.

Where will this journey take you?  Perhaps volunteering as a family is your next adventure in service!

Speaking from experience…

Hear other couples describe how to volunteer abroad together:

how to volunteer abroad as a couple in Cuba

Gail and Bill on how to volunteer abroad as a couple in Cuba:

Traveling together means that you never have to explain the experience to your closest friend. Stepping out of our comfort zone in Cuba enabled Bill and I to grow as a couple; to share an experience that drew us closer even after 45 years of marriage! Watching each other use our individual talents and gifts in Cuba was a gift to ourselves. As we look at our pictures, we smile because we don’t need words to describe where we’ve been. We already share the story.


how to volunteer abroad as a couple in Costa Rica

Alix and Ed  on how to volunteer abroad as a couple in Costa Rica:

I met Ed volunteering in Costa Rica. It was an unexpected joy to find someone who shared the same desire to help others. We quickly became comfortable together on the team.  That was more than 10 years ago – and we’re still together!


how to volunteer abroad as a couple in Tanzania

Steve and Bethan on how to volunteer abroad as a couple in Tanzania:

Neither of us really knew what to expect and we were both pushed out of our comfort zones. This taught us something new about each other, a deeper understanding, and a greater respect. The trip gave us the opportunity to not just learn another culture or to travel somewhere we’d never been but to do something that mattered, together.


how to volunteer abroad as a couple in Vietnam

Keith and Tim on how to volunteer abroad as a couple in Vietnam:

Volunteering together is a great way to meet like-minded people coming together to make a positive change in the lives of others.  Spending the time a part of a community adds to the adventure and satisfaction of a job well done.


how to volunteer abroad as a couple in Peru

Stephen and Barbara on how to volunteer abroad as a couple in Peru:

It’s very difficult to explain that this was not just a trip. It was a life-altering experience for both of us. We touched as many people as we could and made a difference in their lives. Sometimes we got so excited and charged up about our work, we couldn’t sleep at night.


how to volunteer abroad as a couple in the Cook Islands

Don and Mickey on how to volunteer abroad as a couple in the Cook Islands:

As a couple, we were able to experience new friends, new food, new cultures, new adventures and lots of fun times.  Going on a working vacation has been far better at getting to know a new place than just going as a visitor.  Not having to cook our meals and do the dishes is also a nice bonus.


how to volunteer abroad as a couple in Tanzania

Eric and Mimi on how to volunteer abroad as a couple in Tanzania:

Global Volunteers has made a big impact and my husband’s and my life. Thank you for starting this great organization and giving us the opportunity to be volunteer servants and friends to the Pommern, Tanzania community.


Did you know Global Volunteers was founded by a couple? Our Co-founders, Bud Philbrook and Michele Gran, “conceived” Global Volunteers on their honeymoon. Read the entire story here.

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