It begins with a crystal-clear vision. Global Volunteers pioneered short-term international service-learning programs in 1984 to engage volunteers in meaningful community development projects worldwide. We proudly attribute over three decades of impactful development assistance to more than 33,000 volunteers and to our unique Philosophy of Service.
We follow these guiding principles:
• To serve only where we are invited.
• To work under the direction of local community leaders.
• To do only what we are asked to do.
• To work hand-in-hand with local people.
• To mobilize teams of one-, two- and three-week volunteers several times annually, year after year.
What Does This Mean For You And Your Students?
We help students transform their good intentions, curiosity, and adventurous spirit into genuine and useful assistance, and a rewarding volunteer or intern abroad experience. We guarantee:
• Sustainability: Every student is an important link in a long chain of volunteers. Together, they continue the work of teams before them, and set the stage for those that follow.
• Equal Partnership: Student groups enjoy a mutual relationship with communities and local people, affording deep insights and new friendships.
• Authenticity: Because our teams return to each community multiple times year-after-year, students are accepted as members, and are involved in the day-to-day life of the host community.
• World Citizenship: Students are engaged in true service-learning; developing the lens and perspectives of a responsible global citizen.
“As a university anthropology instructor and director of a Bolivia summer study abroad course, I fully endorse integrating the service-learning mission of Global Volunteers with the academic mission of study abroad. This innovative international experience helps train the next generation of young scholars to become compassionate global citizens and collaborative problem solvers.”
~ Caroline S. Conzelman, Ph.D., Assoc.Director, Global Studies Academic Program, University of Colorado, Boulder and Global Volunteers Board Member and Team Leader
“Today was our final day in St. Lucia. Once the bell rang for school to end, my heart dropped. We had been coloring pictures and one little girl made me one, saying: ‘this picture is for you, my friendly friend. From Gianni.’ After that, she wouldn’t let go of my arm. Other kids ran up and hugged me and wouldn’t let me go. The love and caring that I felt from these kids was like nothing else I had experienced before.”
– Izzy Edwards, St. Lucia student volunteer
Community Work Projects
Teach Conversational English
English, the international language of commerce, technology and opportunity, is a passport out of poverty for many. English speaking volunteers teach in classrooms and/or assist, tutor and converse with students, young adults and professionals. No prior teaching experience is required – we provide a Conversational English Teaching Guide to help student volunteers prepare.
Deliver Essential Services
Prescribed by the United Nations, the 12 Essential Services eliminate stunting and enable children to reach their full potential. Student volunteers help eradicate hunger, improve health and enhance cognitive development by planting/harvesting community gardens; teaching hand washing with soap and water, providing health, nutrition and hygiene education; promoting girls’ education; tutoring literacy and numeracy, and more.
Care for Children
Impoverished, handicapped and orphaned children are often overlooked in dire economic environments. Volunteers care for at-risk children and youth through play, songs and games, helping with homework, assisting at mealtime, and putting smiles on young faces.
Repair and Build
Student volunteers work hand-in-hand with local volunteers, youth and staff on light labor projects including cleaning, painting, and repairing classrooms, clinics and community centers. Community projects are always conducted with student volunteers’ safety and capabilities utmost in mind.
Sharing Skills and Interests To Make A Difference
Make a real difference while gaining a deeper understanding of the culture, language, history, and important social and economic issues of the host country. Most programs feature projects with students.
CHINA (Xi’an, Kunming) partners since 1996
Projects: Teaching conversational English to children, youth, and adults in primary, secondary and university classrooms.
COOK ISLANDS (Rarotonga) partners since 1999
Projects: Tutoring English and numeracy; providing
early childhood education; painting and repairing buildings.
CUBA (Ciego de Avila and Havana) partners since 2012
Projects: Practicing conversational English; assisting elders; painting and repairing buildings; community gardening;
ECUADOR (Quito) partners since 1996
Projects: Providing childcare and early childhood education in two childcare centers; repairing, paiting and maintaining center buildings.
GREECE (Island of Crete) partners since 1995
Projects: Teaching conversational English to youth at summer language camps and at after-school programs.
NEPAL (Kathmandu) This program, beginning in 2019, centers around assisting at-risk youth and marginalized women.
Projects: Teaching English; caring for children; repairing buildings.
PERU (Suburban Lima) partners since 2004
Projects: Teaching English and classroom subjects; providing health care; caring for preschoolers; repairing and maintaining buildings.
POLAND (Siedlce and Zakopane) partners since 1990
Projects: Teaching conversational English to youth in classrooms and summer language camps.
PORTUGAL (Beja) partners since 2008
Projects: Teaching conversational English to youth and adults in primary, secondary and post-secondary school classrooms.
ST. LUCIA (Anse la Raye) since 2012
Projects: Caring for pre-schoolers in daycare centers; tutoring numeracy and reading; painting and repairing buildings.
TANZANIA (Iringa) since 1987
Projects: Teaching conversational English and classroom subjects; presenting workshops to pregnant women and new mothers; providing health care; painting and maintaining buildings.
USA (Appalachia, Indian Reservations and New Mexico) since 1999
Projects: Painting and renovating homes and buildings; preparing and serving meals; encouraging and interacting with elders; teaching, mentoring and engaging youth; cutting and stacking firewood; landscaping.
VIETNAM (Hanoi) partners since 1995
Projects: Teaching conversational English to youth and adults in primary, secondary and university classrooms, at a government research center and at a training program for visually impaired adults
Engage Students’ Academic Knowledge!
Students in health care, child development, social work, nutrition, education, horticulture and related fields can often help facilitate workshops and provide basic, non-invasive services with local and volunteering professionals. Examples are well-baby check-ups, diabetes screening, dental hygiene demonstrations, handwashing with soap and water, campaigns for nutrition and healthy meal planning, HIV/AIDs prevention, container gardens and the like. They may also tutor special-needs students and help teachers develop model class room discipline plans. Your students’ academic growth is greatly enhanced through this genuine development assistance abroad and in the USA.
As an international NGO founded in 1984, we have the long-term expertise to engage college and alumni groups in measurable and effective service-learning and for-credit opportunities. We’ve collaborated withover 100 academic institutions and campus groups to meet study abroad criteria for international student volunteers abroad!
Connect Locally and Acquire a Global Perspective
The transformational impact of volunteering on both those who serve and those who are served is amplified when students volunteer. Global Volunteers service-learning programs optimize students’ learning opportunities, while providing the most effective services to our community partners. We call this service-learning model C-O-N-N-E-C-T.
All-Inclusive Service Program Fees
The Service Program fee covers all the C-O-N-N-E-C-T components for student groups of 10 or more, including airport transfers, ground trans-portation, safe and comfortable lodging, all meals, orientation, cultural enrichment activities, emergency medical evacuation insurance and Global Volunteers’ team leader.
Discounts for Institutions and Students
Talk to us about group discounts for professional associations, faith-based organizations, student groups and corporate groups of 10 or more.
Fundraise The Service Program Fee!
We put the FUN in FUNDRAISING! Many of our student volunteers raise enough money to cover their entire service program fee and airfare through our website based fundraising tool. We don’t retain an administrative fee – every donation (partially tax-deductible) is applied to the service program fee. We encourage and assist students throughout the fundraising process by providing a fundraising tool kit.