Short-Term Volunteer Abroad Opportunities

We’re serious about service. Global Volunteers is a human and economic development organization that engages short-term volunteers to help families and local organizations meet their development objectives. Many organizations offer some form of volunteer abroad opportunities, or service-learning experience. Some are only one day or even a few hours. Very few are week(s)-long full-day community development programs.  The end result is that some day-programs can actually exploit the people you hope to help. At best, they can inconvenience the community, and at worst, harm children and their families. Global Volunteers excels in several areas which ensures that your short-term volunteer abroad , or USA opportunities extend ethical, genuine service to the local community and teaches you to be a responsible volunteer.  Compare our programs.  Compare our philosophy. Compare our success.

Our Philosophy of Service

We respect local people’s responsibility for their own development. Our short-term volunteer abroad opportunities target skills and energy:

  • Where we are specifically invited
  • Under the direction of local leaders
  • On community-based projects
  • Providing only requested services
  • Working hand-in-hand with local people

Our Longstanding Partnerships

We’ve cultivated local partnerships over three decades in order to:

  • Support local communities’ development vision and goals
  • Invest in sustained community relationships
  • Work in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations
  • Adhere to international development best practices
  • Engage short-term volunteers on long-term projects
  • Help children reach their full human potential
  • Mobilize over 36,000 volunteers since 1984

Our Leadership & Expertise

Our experts in human and economic development guide short-term volunteer abroad opportunities:

  • Country managers who are highly educated local nationals and fluent in English.
  • Senior executives with advanced degrees in in International Development, Law, International Communications, Public Affairs, English, Finance, and Business Administration.
  • Management team embodying 100+ years of international living, academic and career expertise.
  • Global staff sharing a broad vision of comprehensive community service.
  • Co-founders with five decades of executive expertise in business, non-profits, law, and federal and state governments.

Our Comprehensive Projects

We ensure children’s growth and development in all development projects abroad:

  1. School and household gardens
  2. Child nutrition programs
  3. Micro-nutrient supplementation
  4. Improved stoves
  5. Health, nutrition and hygiene education
  6. Malaria and dengue fever prevention
  7. De-worming programs
  8. HIV/AIDs education
  9. General education
  10. Girl’s education
  11. Potable water, sanitation facilities
  12. Psycho-social support

Our Measurable Outcomes

We raise funds and allocate resources for community projects.  Major projects include:

  • Medical Clinic and village water system in Tanzania
  • Household container gardens in St. Lucia, India, Tanzania, and Peru
  • Dormitories for at-risk children in Peru and India
  • Reaching Children’s Potential Center in Tanzania
  • Elementary school in rural China
  • Industrial washer and dryer in rural Romanian pediatric clinic
  • Landscaped patio, perimeter fence and garden on the Blackfeet Reservation
  • Playgrounds and furnishings in many rural communities worldwide

Our Worldwide Assistance

Since 1984, we’ve worked in over 200 communities in 36 countries on six continents. Impacts in just the past 12 years include:

  • 4,730 Children fed or provided nutritional care
  • 1,075 Mothers provided nutrition training
  • 9,880 Hours of teacher training
  • 236,195 Students taught conversational English
  • 6,210 Hours of math, science instruction
  • 20,680 Children given direct health care
  • 7,020 Children immunized
  • 3,980 Women provided prenatal care
  • 8,875 Teens, adults given general medical care
  • 9,174 Individuals provided HIV/AIDS education

Our Exceptional Host Partners

We’re privileged to work with devoted hosts and community partners who guide short-term volunteer abroad opportunities:

  • Local, tribal and national governments
  • Colleges and universities
  • Pre-schools and K-12 schools
  • Hospitals and health clinics
  • Crisis centers and shelters
  • Faith-based institutions and organizations
  • Local non-profits and NGOs
  • Orphanages and children’s homes
  • Childcare and day activity centers
  • More added every year

Our Excellence in Programming

We maximize our partners’ service benefits, and our volunteers’ program experience. Our model is based on:

  • A unique, reliable philosophy of service
  • Premier volunteer instructional materials
  • Full engagement by community leaders
  • Year-round continuity in programming
  • On-going training for in-country staff
  • Proprietary team-building and orientation
  • Relevant education and cultural presentations
  • Detailed team and host evaluation process
  • Secure community lodging and nutritious meals
  • Optimally trained team leaders and consultants

Our Commitment to Safety

“Safety Trumps Everything” on short-term volunteer abroad opportunities. We protect your health and security by:

  • Monitoring US State Department bulletins
  • Providing emergency medical evacuation insurance abroad.
  • Suspending programs upon US travel warnings
  • Escorting volunteers to/from the gateway airport
  • Arranging comfortable lodging and nutritious meals
  • Furnishing bottled or purified water daily
  • Securing commercial transportation and reputable drivers
  • Supervising every service project assignment
  • Recommending team security measures
  • Coordinating collaborative service daily

Our Volunteers’ Service Goals

You can expect to exceed your expectations on your volunteer abroad program:

  • Share skills in a culturally respectful way
  • Contribute to genuine development
  • Produce measurable outcomes
  • Wage peace and promote justice
  • Learn from and about local people
  • Become immersed in the local culture
  • Be properly guided and appreciated
  • Make friends and grow personally
  • Remain connected after returning home
  • Have fun and make a genuine difference

More about teamwork on site here.

Our Corporate Responsibility

We comply with the highest standards in NGO management and international development:

  • To be inclusive of people of all creeds, backgrounds, religions, etc.
  • To strictly adhere to IRS requirements for service program contribution tax-deductibility
  • To honor local leaders’ goals, visions and community objectives
  • To conduct business in a respectful, transparent manner
  • To enable volunteers to serve to the best of their abilities
  • To monitor and evaluate each area of our influence
  • To scrupulously manage our finances and donations
  • To fulfill our organizational goal for continuous improvement
  • To recognize that our staff and volunteers are our most valuable assets

Fill the form below for more volunteer abroad information, or call: (800) 487-1074

Please take a moment to answer these questions so that we can best help you.

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Global Volunteers is a U.S. based NGO in the central time zone (UTC -6). Because tax-deductibility, visa requirements, and language proficiencies vary, please choose the country you’re inquiring from to enable us to provide you the most appropriate information.

Thank you for your interest in a development partnership with Global Volunteers. We're unable to expand our programs at this time. As our website portrays, our current service programs center around providing the 12 Essential Services for our Reaching Children's Potential Program. But for future reference, please send any information to:

As a private, non-profit organization independent from government and religious funding, Global Volunteers’ programs are financed almost entirely by volunteer contributions. This is important because our community partners cannot afford the “open market” costs of the services and materials we provide. Your tax-deductible service program contribution pays your expenses in the partner community. These include your food, lodging, work site transportation, program materials, team leadership, emergency evacuation insurance, and administrative costs. In addition, we provide supplemental financing to help meet our host’s many, on-going and special needs.

While English fluency does not disqualify you from participating on any of our programs, Global Volunteers is a U.S based NGO with your teammates, training materials and other communications being conduced primarily in English.

We’re unable to provide any assistance in obtaining your passport or visa. You'll need a passport to travel abroad and for some countries, you’ll need a visa.  Please keep this in mind when planning your travel schedule. If you live outside the U.S., you may have additional restrictions for participating on U.S. programs.

To provide you with information to match your specific interests, please tell us a little about you:

Many employers help cover part of the service program contribution. Providing this information can help us determine if this is available to you.

Our volunteer coordinators are available from 8:30AM to 4:30PM Central Time and will email you during that time on the next business day. If you prefer, you may chat now, or call 651-407-6100 if you’re inquiring during office hours.

Please choose up to 4 program locations and projects that interest you.

By providing my phone number to Global Volunteers, I agree and acknowledge that Global Volunteers may send text messages to my wireless phone number for any purpose. Message and data rates may apply. We will only send one SMS as a reply to you, and you will be able to opt-out by replying "STOP". For more information on how your data will be handled please visit No mobile information will be shared with third parties/affiliates for marketing/promotional purposes. All the above categories exclude text messaging originator opt-in data and consent; this information will not be shared with any third parties.